Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 10-11-15 Contents Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 2
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Editor: Meredith Clisby
Journalists: Georgina Connery,
Kimberley Le Lievre,
Mary Lynn Mather
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at bargain price
Australian National Botanic Gardens
on Saturday, November 14, at 8.30am
to buy some of the best native plants in
Many of them are not available from
local commercial nurseries and they
have all been produced from cuttings
and seeds gathered from within the
The Growing Friends Spring Native
Plant Sale runs until 11am at the car
park behind the Crosbie Morrison
Plants cost $3 and $5, with proceeds
funding the Gardens projects.
A list of them is available at
Go gift shopping to nurture planet
From left, Steve Skitmore events and project co-ordinator, and Catherine Claessens at The Canberra
Environment Centre preparing for the eco elves night markets.
Photo: Melissa Adams
Mary Lynn Mather
Think outside the box when playing
with gift ideas for friends and family
members on the festive season
Switching from mass-
manufactured, commercial products to
goods that support home-grown
artisans and talents is an eco-friendly
And the Canberra Environment
Centre is taking the hard work out of
the process, with a night market in
Handmade and ethical presents,
delicious food, a local wine and beer
bar and soothing tunes will all be on
offer at the free community event.
It s easily the most enjoyable place
to do your Christmas shopping this
year, said Steve Skitmore, the CEC
Stallholders will be cooking up
some glorious gastronomic
delights , so he recommended
arriving with an empty stomach.
Grab a bite to eat and sip a local
brew amidst the gums on recycled
pallet furniture and hay bales .
The beverages available at the Eco
Elves bar will be sourced from
enterprises like Zierholz Brewery, Mt
Majura Vineyard and Gardners
Ground, an organic winery in
Scheduled performers include
folksy songstress Ella Hunt, alternate
folk duo Loom & York (featuring
Liam White and Nina Haysler) and
blues and roots musician Guyy.
For the young ones, we ll have a
kids corner where they can make
wrapping paper, seed balls and get
their faces painted, Mr Skitmore said.
He described the centre as a
community hub, which aims to build
people s capacity to act sustainably
in everyday living and to network
with each other.
Bike-fixing, gardening and assorted
workshops testify to the wide range of
projects the ACT s longest-running
environmental centre has provided for
42 years. Support local and eco-
friendly businesses and get your loved
ones something that won t end up in
landfill, Mr Skitmore said.
Choosing gifts while listening to
live music and watching the sun set
over Lake Burley Griffin sounds like a
It could well be the perfect way to
get the Christmas shopping done early,
in planet-nurturing style.
The market will be held on Friday,
December 4, from 5pm to 9pm at the
CEC s Lennox Crossing site in Acton.
For more information, visit
Garden helps calm children and open up to therapists
The official opening ceremony for
the therapeutic garden at Dickson.
Photo: Graham Tidy
A new therapeutic garden and multi-
sensory experience at Dickson s
Melaleuca Place will help children
open up to therapy after abuse, the
centre s clinical psychologist says.
The garden opened on Wednesday,
just over a year after the centre started
providing intensive therapy to
neglected or abused children under
12 years old.
When it comes to building that
therapeutic relationship to start with,
we really need to use their
environment, and a children s
environment is your garden or any
other sort of open space, said Tej
Kaur, clinical psychologist and
Melaleuca Place team leader.
We were really so desperate to
have that space open to us, so we could
be most effective in the work we re
Ms Kaur said children can either be
disassociated or hyper-vigilant when
they first come to the centre because of
what s happened to them in the past. It
means they re often not in a place
where they will engage in
conversation, making therapy difficult.
These children can have difficulty
managing their emotions and
behaviour, and the long-term effects
can also lead to mental health
problems down the track.
Therapeutic elements scattered
throughout the garden -- a sandpit, a
blue water pump and the beginnings of
a sensory garden where children can
see, touch and smell a variety of plants
-- are all things that can help children
calm their minds and engage with
therapists, Ms Kaur said.
The garden was designed by groups
of landscape and occupational therapy
students at the University of Canberra.
While the designs were originally
competitively assessed against each
other, the panel chose to bring
elements from all the designs into the
I think everyone had a sandpit, it
was just where the sandpit was
placed, occupational therapy
graduate Kate Sterrenberg said.
[Part of the brief] was to make sure
that whatever children saw outside
through those windows, that it was
enticing and engaging enough for
them to want to come out.
The sensory part of the garden was
in Ms Sterrenberg s group s original
Sensory interventions are really
important for children who need to
learn how to regulate their emotions.
They learn through smell, through
touch, she said.
LOSES MOSQUE APPEAL
A controversial group whose leader
has a generalised hostility to the
Muslim religion has lost another
attempt to stop the construction of a
mosque in Canberra s north. ACT
Supreme Court Justice Richard
Refshauge said the group s opposition
to the mosque, purportedly on
planning grounds, was no greater than
that of an intermeddler or
busybody . The plans to build the
mosque in Gungahlin have been
plagued by delays as the small group,
named Concerned Citizens of
Canberra, fought them in the courts.
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