Children’s Participation and Wellbeing Through Greenspaces
This program of research is innovative as it takes a deeply sociological approach that challenges existing professional approaches to working with children, people with disability or other vulnerable communities in horticultural programs. Drawing from a contemporary perspective of Childhood and Disability Studies the programs take a participant focused approach and engages with horticultural professionals, educators and carers to understand more critically the social status of children and people with disability and the ways in which their lived experiences as active social beings can contribute to more meaningful engagement in gardening programs, with improved outcomes for wellbeing and inclusion.
The program is continuing to produce high quality outputs including research projects, accessible gardening programs, the convening of the Australian Therapeutic Landscapes Conference (hosted at Southern Cross University Gold Coast Campus in Oct 2018) and curation of an educational exhibit at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show. These achievements culminated in a formal acknowledgement by the Australian Institute of Horticulture for contributions to therapeutic horticulture as cited in their 2018 Awards of Merit.