Charles Darwin University’s Indonesian Garden Project is one step closer to completion with the construction of the Pendopo, a statuesque centrepiece that forms the heart of the space.
It’s taken four years to reach this point and it seems the project has been hampered by a variety of setbacks, including visa difficulties and hungry termites! But in a low-key unveiling, attended by Indonesian Consul Bapak Harbangang Napitupulu and CDU staff, it’s clear the garden is taking root.
The unveiling also marked an emotional moment for CDU Volunteer Project Coordinators Scott McDonald, a team leader from Horticulture and Aquiculture, and Rebecca Harris, a cello lecturer and music course coordinator, and the principal driver of the project since its conception in 2004.
Walking upon the Pendopo alongside the Indonesian dignitary, Ms Harris said: “I feel a great sense of relief. It’s been a long haul and there were people who really didn’t think anything was happening for a while, but with the Pendopo now here, the garden is really taking shape.”
The assembly of the pavilion has taken one month and employed two Indonesian skilled workers. Ms Harris said the construction alone has provided a great cultural sharing experience, where students from the engineering department have got to see the Indonesian workers’ skilled hands in action and learn some new carpentry practices.
“Both the Indonesian men have families back in Sulawesi and what they are earning working with us here at the University is allowing them to put their children through school. To play a part in that is wonderful,” she said.
The project aims to create a distinctive educational, cultural and recreational resource not only for the University’s benefit, but also for the wider community.
Already much support has been given at a local, national and international level, however, as a project of this size requires much assistance, CDU is still seeking sponsors. All donations would be formerly recognised by the University and would be included on a plaque in the completed garden.
For more information on how to donate (both financial and in kind) contact Diana Jarvis, Manager External Relations at the CDU Foundation Office on (08) 8946 7299 or email email@example.com.