Annual General Meeting November 2011

President’s Report:  Lisa Landon-Smith

This AGM marks the closing of another eventful year for the Mosman Community Gardeners (MCG). Like our gardens we are a thriving group and there are many highlights from 2011 to reflect on. We have had many satisfying harvests and our involvement in the community grows. I think you can say that the Mosman Community is beginning to know MCG!

Highlights from 2011

Our Gardens are growing
We have now been tending the garden for National Parks and Wildlife Services at Middle Head as volunteers for over a year. It is a wonderful demonstration of what can be achieved, even on a small scale and has allowed our members to get their hands dirty, whilst we pursue other gardens to grow edible plants for local residents.

A new project in Mackie Lane on a vacant Ausgrid site is our next step in expanding our gardening activities. It is early days, however we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and energy of local residents who are working on setting up the site and building of garden beds.

We have been active in the community
The involvement of the MCG in the recent Big Lunch as part of the Mosman Festival in conjunction with Mosman Home Gardeners showcased our gardens and our community spirit.

MCG members have generously volunteered their time to assist National Parks and Wildlife Services with events this year, covering:

  • the volunteer Christmas party
  • an Exhibition by a local artist
  • a visiting delegation from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and National Parks chiefs from around Australia (National Parks, Parks Victoria and NPWS).

All events were held at the Soldiers Institute at Middle Head with the garden looking bountiful and guests enjoying a variety of dishes prepared by our members using produce from the garden.

We have built strong relationships
Members of MCG prepared a compelling submission to Council for a community garden at Rosherville Reserve. Unfortunately the proposal was not embraced by all the local Community and did not receive the full support of Council. However, the opportunity has opened up our dialogue with Council and our activities are growing in support from both Council staff and our Councillors. We have received valuable mentorship from Warren Yates and Denise Wilton, who have been great supporters of MCG from the beginning.

Our members have had an opportunity to present to Council on a number of occasions. We have recently been successful in securing a grant from Council of $1500 and a contribution towards soil and plants for Mackie Lane. Our relationship with Ausgrid has expanded from our first gardening activity in Bardwell Rd through to the new and larger Mackie Lane site. We are excited about transforming this vacant and industrial site into an oasis. An agreement with Ausgrid and Council has been signed with MCG.

Our profile is growing
Our activities have been well documented by the Mosman Daily, with articles covering our proposal for a garden at Rosherville Reserve, the “before” photos of the Mackie Lane project and just recently we were being touted for one of the newspaper’s first community grants.

Outlook for 2012

We are in great shape, with two active gardens and our membership growing, we should be proud of our success and look forward to 2012 with enthusiasm. Our members have generously given their time and shared their skills whilst working together as a strong team to achieve these exceptional results. Our office bearers have completed their duties with diligence and in good humour. Thank you.

Personally, it has been a privilege and a joy to be your President. I look forward to my ongoing involvement and to see MCG continue to grow and mature under a new leader. This is a serious undertaking – but like a job in the garden – many hands make light work.

Lisa Landon-Smith
16 November 2011