Garden for violence victims a national first

A garden to honour victims and survivors of family violence will be planted in Alice Springs in a partnership between the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group, NT Police and the local community.

It will be Australia’s first garden acknowledging family violence victims.

The idea for the ‘Garden of Reflection’ grew out of a TWFSG March Against Violence event held in July this year.

More than 300 people joined Aboriginal women from Alice Springs town camps to raise awareness about the impact of domestic violence on women, families and the wider community.

At the end of the march, participants symbolically planted flowers in the lawn area near the Alice Springs Police Station to commemorate and honour women who died because of family violence.

TWFSG co-coordinator Shirleen Campbell said a permanent garden would be a lasting memorial to women impacted by violence.

“When we saw the sea of flowers that were on the lawns, we knew we had to have some sort of place where our loved ones could be honoured and remembered,” Ms Campbell said.

“We talked about it with the NT Police, who have been very supportive of the idea and of the aims of our women in combatting violence in our community.

“This Garden of Reflection – Iterrentye akngerre akerte ampere – will be a place for everyone, where the community can come together in a serene and safe place.”

The garden will be developed in stages, with earthworks this year and early next, tiling in March and April and a community gardening day in June.

The project is expected to cost $100,000 and will open in July 2018.

“An idea that started as a seed with town camp women to honour and remember those impacted by family violence is growing into a real garden,” Ms Campbell said.

“We also plan to take these seeds, these messages, to Canberra so our national leaders will hear our voices and our stories.”

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