Celebration of Country takes seed in Bowden

25 Jun 2020


An Indigenous food garden is planned for Bowden’s Guild Terrace reserve, in recognition of the region’s rich Kaurna heritage and ongoing cultural importance.

Through a collaboration between Renewal SA and Kaurna elders of the Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association, a small but productive native food garden will be planted in the (as yet) un-named central reserve of the new Guild Terrace estate, which is now almost 40% complete.

The aim of the garden is to share with residents the nutritional and medicinal benefits of plant species that are native to the Adelaide Plains and that are likely to have been found in the Bowden area.

It is hoped that the garden will both inspire and educate the community about how the Kaurna people interacted with their local natural environment and the types of flora that had special meaning to them, while adding an important cultural dimension to the shared Guild Terrace reserve.

“The garden is the first step in a larger plan to formally recognise Kaurna heritage throughout the Bowden neighbourhood and pursue opportunities with First Nations people to further honour this heritage on an increasingly larger scale,” said Shane Wingard, Renewal SA Project Director for Bowden.

“Through the leadership of Uncle Jeffrey Newchurch and Auntie Merle Simpson we have been able to give life to the idea of this garden and start an important conversation about how Country is recognised and celebrated in future development at Bowden.”

Recently a group of Kaurna elders—including Uncle Frank Wanganeen, Auntie Lynette Crocker and Auntie Merle Simpson, in the company of Kaurna NRM Liaison Officer, Reyne Simson—undertook a tour of the Guild Terrace development to view the site of the proposed Indigenous food garden.

They and other members of the Kaurna community will identify the plant list and assist in the naming and bedding out of the garden. Based on design principles identified by Kaurna, urban design studio ASPECT will create a blueprint for the garden and consult with Kaurna representatives and Guild Terrace residents to finalise the garden’s design.

It is envisaged that the Indigenous food garden will feature interpretive signage so that visitors to the garden will be able to understand the significance of different plant species and how they were traditionally used, including their common, Latin and Kaurna names.

Such signage will emulate in part that found at the native food garden in Lochiel Park—Renewal SA’s nation-leading green housing development—which was established in 2007 in collaboration with the Kaurna community and tells an important living story of the Kaurna lifestyle and their skills in resource management.

In addition to the garden, Renewal SA is working with Kaurna representatives to name the Guild Terrace reserve as a whole, as well as a new road opposite the reserve (between Second Street and Third Streets) as further acknowledgement of Kaurna’s close and continuing links with the area.

These initiatives have been developed under Renewal SA’s Reconciliation Action Plan, which seeks to identify opportunities to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture across the delivery of urban development projects and programs.

It is anticipated that work on the entire Guild Terrace reserve, including the Indigenous food garden and a proposed community herb garden, will be completed by November 2020.

More information on Renewal SA’s Reconciliation Action Plan can be found at renewalsa.sa.gov.au/reconciliation


Photo: Golden wattle: The seed pods of the Golden Wattle are a traditional Kaurna bush food that can be ground into flour for cooking. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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