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The Orbost & District Enchanting Community Garden Pathway Project

Latest Update

We invite you to come along this ANZAC day to the launch of the “Linking Garden Pathway” at the site opposite Forest Park in Orbost.

The Linking Garden Pathway will be officially launched by The Hon. Joan Kirner with Deb Bye, Station Manager of Life FM Gippsland & Jane Rowe, East Gippsland Shire Mayor.

A sausage sizzle will follow and we request you RSVP by Tuesday 18th April for catering purposes. For more information or to RSVP please contact:

Kate on 0408 178 179 or Sandra on (03) 5154 1491 Alternatively you may email katedoc2@hotmail.com

Recent Update

The Orbost Project got off to a slow start due to the number of government bodies, community groups and individuals we had to consult. Everyone in the group was pleased with the way the mosaic tiles turned out.

The 13 tiles depict the first settlers of the area. All the cutting and aching backs had paid off. The next stage was to get them in the path! Much deliberation went on about what colour the cement should be, if indeed, it needed to be coloured!

This was Jill Gael and Belinda Brennan’s workshops in action! Compromise and consensus ensued and we all waited with baited breath to see how it would turn out. The results speak for themselves.

We were all happy and so were the locals and visitors who commented on it. Seeing our plan taking shape on the ground has given us added incentive and energy for our working bees to clear the area and plant our native plants and do our water feature.

We are all looking forward to our sculpture workshop later this month where we will learn new skills and add to the attraction of our Magical Community Path. We are also looking forward to including the local kinder and schools in completing the pathway with their interpretation of native fauna and flora on mosaic tiles.

We hope to launch in late December but this will depend on local elections. The East Gippsland Shire Council has been very supportive of the project and has contributed a great deal and we would like the council to be involved in the launch.

There is still plenty of work to do and if anyone in the community would like to join us they are more than welcome to do so. We meet as a group every Tuesday 10am to noon at the site. Come for a short while or stay as long as you like. The more the merrier!

We are happy with what we have done so far. At the moment we are clearing the area for planting and putting in our water feature in the top corner. We will finish the path with rock dust and have 21 mosaic circles that we will help the local schools and kinder to complete - three each - one of their school motto, one of their crest and one of local fauna and/or flora.

Previous Update

The Magical Garden Community Pathway Project being developed at Orbost has reached the stage where work is about to begin at the site.

Situated between the Orbost Exhibition Centre/Slub Hut and the Snowy Wilderness Discovery Centre (formerly known as Orbost Rainforest Centre), the pathway will link local tourist attractions and the area will be landscaped and planted with indigenous plants as well as having mosaic work and sculptures.

Our members are working on mosaics on 12 cement circles depicting the first settlers – including Indigenous, Irish, English, Chinese, Swedes and Dutch.

They are also busy organising plants and the laying of the path, which will happen on Thursday, September 17, weather permitting. The circles will be placed in the pathway as it is being laid.

We will then embark on the planning of the labyrinth that will be beside the pathway. The women are grateful for the wonderful support given by the East Gippsland Shire Council, Parks Victoria, Orbost Exhibition Centre and local businesses including Glenn Herbert who has kindly loaned us the use of one of his shops to display the project.

If you have time during the September school holidays call in to see how or project is progressing. The women are excited now that the ‘hands on’ work has started and are looking forward to the finished project. Many have learned new skills and made new friends through the project.

Outcomes So Far:

  • Participants profiles in the WwMB newsletter
  • Liaised with Shire, Parks Victoria,
  • Liaised with local businesses to obtain sponsorship
  • Sourcing quotes for materials
  • Various meetings and negotiation with Department of Sustainability and Environment and Park Victoria.
  • Have assisted in preparation of plan with Shire.
  • Negotiate and seek inkind contributions from community
  • Working with Koori art group
  • Planning a landscape and assisting with drawing up of plan
  • Continued contact with community groups and exploring how they can help the project
  • Participants taking responsibility for tasks
  • Research skills improved
  • Negotiation skills improved
  • Learnt how to compromise and gain consensus
  • Increasing artistic skills and completing workshops
  • Confidence leading to new skills


Participant Reflections:

  • "Inspiring, warm, wise, wonderful networking workshop for women."
  • " Excellent way to attend to personal skills and a stepping stone to achieve goals."
  • "General information and ideas excellent and self knowledge awareness."
  • "The communities in the area will benefit for years to come."
  • "Importance of recognizing and acknowledging diversity in personal abilities, skills and interests etc."
  • "Information and processes for communication and understanding of formation of ideas and committee processes very worthwhile."
  • "Stimulating and enriching."
  • "Opportunity to work together."
  • "Some great ideas discussed for the next exciting project."
  • "How to work with different people and how to be successful plan."
  • "Excellent facilitator."

2 Day Skills Development Workshop with Jill Gael

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September 2004
ADASS Room, Orbost Regional Health Centre

Nineteen participants arrived to participate in Jill Gael's 2 Day Skills Workshop. Six of those had been involved in the "Uniting Our Rural Communities" Project where the Mosaic Path in Forest Park was a result.

As a result of that project The Women of the Snowy River group was formed and worked on the Friendship Bowl and the Flood Marker and other projects around the town.

Four of the participants were just there for the Saturday as they had attended the Sunday session at Buchan the previous week.

There were apologies f0rom six others who could not make it at the last moment and four others who would like to be involved when the project gets up and running.

There was a great deal of discussion about what Project to do and where to locate the project. Marlo, Newmerella and Orbost were all discussed

They firstly decided on the Project Criteria. This included the following Mission Statement:

The Women Who Mean Business group manage the Project

  • The have fun
  • They value our different contributions
  • We reach decisions by consensus
  • We work with the community

The project they eventually decided on was:

Magical Garden Community Walkway, incorporating nature garden, our creative
sculptures and rest spots (complimentary to its setting).

The spot in the town for this they felt was an area between the Rainforest Centre and the Slab Hut/Orbost Exhibition Centre. It would hopefully be a tourist attraction and link between other tourist attractions in the town and postcards of the area could be sold and possibly gift cards. The group need to research its viability and who actually owns the land before the Business Planning Workshop which will take place on Sunday 17th October at
the ADASS Room at Orbost Regional Health Centre from 10 am to 3 pm facilitated by Belinda Brennan.

The weekend was very successful and many participants learned new skills.

Feedback from the day included:

  • Inspiring, warm, wise, wonderful networking workshop for women.
  • Excellent way to attend to personal skills and a stepping stone to achieve goals.
  • General information and ideas excellent and self knowledge awareness.
  • The communities in the area will benefit for years to come.
  • Importance of recognising and acknowledging diversity in personal abilities, skills, interest etc.
  • Information and processes for communication and understanding of formation
    of ideas and committee processes very worthwhile.
  • Stimulating and enriching.
  • Opportunity to work together.
  • Some great ideas discussed for the next exciting project.
  • How to work with different people and how to be successful plan
  • Excellent facilitator.

Our thanks go to the Orbost Regional Health Board for kindly donating the
venue for these workshops.

Media Workshop with Deb Bye

Saturday 28th August 2004

There were eleven participants in Deb Bye's Media Workshop with apologies from four others.

There was a great air of excitement and anticipation and they were not disappointed. Deb was an entertaining and informative presenter who engaged her audience throughout her presentation. A highlight of the presentation was the mock interview of two participants to demonstrate interview technique.

Much to the amusement of the participants one of the media releases to be used as a sample was written and submitted by one of the participants. She was happy for it to remain included in the sample and very much appreciated the feedback.

Beth Harris, who has expertise in Web Page Design, also gave participants the benefit of her knowledge.

Nine participants heard about the workshop through word of mouth, one read it on a noticeboard and one was bombarded with word of mouth, noticeboard, flyer and school newsletter!

Ten participants were very satisfied with Deb Bye's facilitation of the workshop, one even commenting that it was excellent, another that it was amazing, great rapore with 'audience' and great interaction and another that it was fantastic, experienced, pithy, funny and useful. The eleventh was fairly satisfied.

Eight felt the workshop was long enough, however, one felt that the quality was such that she could have quite happily gone on for a lot longer! Another felt Deb covered many areas and gave time afterwards for extra questions and discussion and she was very pleased. One felt she would have liked more 'hands-on' work. Two participants were well satisfied and one was only just satisfied with the length of the workshop.

Nine participants felt it met with their expectations, one saying it was better and more useful than anticipated, another was pleased that Beth was there giving great information about Web pages and Web sites. Two participants were fairly satisfied.
All participants were satisfied with what was covered in the workshop although one would have liked TV interviews to be covered. The comment from one participant was I think the workshop covered many areas and was very extensive and another I'm sure there is lots more could be covered but I was very happy with the information on the day.

Seven participants were very happy with the venue, three were fairly satisfied and one felt it was a bit crowded.

Ten participants were very happy with the morning tea, comments included fantastic morning tea, Yummy, home made tasty treats - fantastic. One was fairly satisfied.

Nine participants felt they would participate in other activities connected to the project while one said she would be involved in some and one said she did not know it would depend on time permitting.

When it came to key information or skills obtained from the session the following were comments:

  • I honed my media skills.
  • Will completely redo approach to media - format suited to media.
  • How to prepare for media releases.
  • Planning.
  • Key hints on various approaches to media releases.
  • Points on dealing with the media.
  • Presentation of media release.
  • Working knowledge of how media works.
  • Writing media releases. Information was fantastic.
  • General basic idea of how and what to do and etiquette in dealing with the media. Very enjoyable and informative. Thank You.


A very successful workshop. Many thanks to Deb Bye and Beth Harris for their time and effort



What's Coming Up:

Business Planning Workshop with Belinda Brennan
ADASS Room, Orbost Regional Health Centre
Sunday 17th October 2004, 10 am - 3 pm

For more details or to register contact:
Kate Earle kate@wwmb.org.au Ph: 0408 178 179

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