The Lakeside Drive Community Garden (LDCG) in Darwin has been shortlisted for the 2011 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship that recognises exceptional student civic engagement initiatives in universities around the world.
Inspired by the diverse population and remote tropical environment of Australia's Northern Territory, the LDCG, is an outreach program of Charles Darwin University's (CDU) Office of Community Engagement.
LDCG coordinator Anjea Travers said the garden enabled students, staff, community members, organisations and local business to work together to create a demonstration site for tropical food production and sustainable living education in Darwin and regional areas.
“Collectively at the new Lakeside Drive site we hope to create a thriving, healthy centre for producing food, knowledge and inspiration based on permaculture ethics, principles and design,” Ms Travers said.
In 2008, upon returning from the Clinton Global Initiative Conference in New Orleans, the CDU Talloires student group decided to launch a community garden project that would enhance students' course of study as well as serve the wider Darwin community.
The new community garden on a one hectare site on Lakeside Drive in Alawa, now has more than 250 community members aged from six months old to 60.
Ms Travers said it was an honour to be nominated for the program that supported CDU’s mission to prepare students to be creative thinkers and contributors to the broader community.
“It highlights CDU’s commitment to community engagement and recognises the value of community garden programs at universities as being a tangible method of integrating community, learning and research,” she said.
The CDU program is one of 22 nominations selected to advance to the second round of the international competition. The winner will be announced in March, and the award presented at the Talloires Network's Global Leaders conference in Madrid in June 2011.