Moira Kelly, AO, famous humanitarian and founder of Children First Foundation, will meet this weekend to formalise a new charitable project, Global Gardens of Peace, in the tranquil gardens of the Yarra Valley Conference Centre.
Back in 2004, Moira visited Gaza to assess how many Palestinian children needed medical evacuation to the West as part of her charity Children First Foundation. As she became familiar with Gaza, what struck her amongst the chaos was the lack of a place for children to play. It hit her even harder when she visited the Australian War Memorial there – with its lush, beautifully maintained grass lawns and palm trees – beautiful gardens, but for the dead, not the living. Where were the gardens for children to enjoy?
In the last nine years, her vision for a Garden for Gaza has become a reality and her plans have now grown to the point that a charity, Global Gardens of Peace, is now forming.
A team of dedicated passionate professionals will meet with her this weekend to assign roles and responsibilities and to pledge their commitment to the charity’s future. Among the team are Andrew Laidlaw, Landscape Architect for the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, and Peter Symes, Horticultural Expert. Long time friend and supporter of Moira Kelly and owner of Yarra Valley Conference Centre, Louise Ward is a founding member of the new charity and was delighted to offer her Conference Centre as a meeting point for the charity to form.
“There was a lovely synergy in the team gathering at our venue’s gardens in the Yarra Valley to discuss these amazing gardens we all have a vision for,” said Louise Ward as she finalised preparations for the other two conferences she is hosting at her function centre this weekend. “Fortunately our accommodation was designed and built so that three conferences can be run simultaneously – none disturbed by the other. It will be a full on fun, creative and fun packed weekend all round.”