Coast garden bringing people together

GREEN THUMBS: Neighbours of all ages and backgrounds meet up at the Mermaid Waters Multicultural Garden.
GREEN THUMBS: Neighbours of all ages and backgrounds meet up at the Mermaid Waters Multicultural Garden.

JADE Li was a first-time mum when her own mother visited from China to help with the baby.

But a few weeks later, Jade's mother Ms Huang said she wouldn't be coming to visit again.

Ms Huang was lonely and felt isolated, even when she was out in the community or the park. She didn't know where she could meet people. 

Jade realised that her mother was probably not the only one feeling this way and discovered that many migrant families and elderly people faced the same situation.

This is what inspired her to start the Mermaid Waters Multicultural Garden.

With Crocker Park located behind a multicultural shopping arcade, she thought it would be the ideal spot to start a community hub. 

"Gardening is a very neutral thing. It doesn't matter what your age, gender or cultural background is, anyone can do it," Jade said.

"But a garden is not just about plants, it's about people. It's a way to bring people together that isn't forced." 

Jade went to the Gold Coast City Council and requested a trial garden, which was approved and supported by the council.

She says the community garden has changed the way the park is used and has made a huge difference to the community. 

"I'm not a gardening expert, I had never done gardening before this," Jade says.

"We all teach each other, and we learn from one another." 

About 20 regulars of all ages and backgrounds look after the garden.

They meet every Thursday morning to garden and for a cup of tea and a chat. 

Check out their Facebook page for more information.

If your community has an under-loved space that needs a green makeover, go to

Topics:  community gardens jade li mermaid waters multicultural garden

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