Working in a Music Business for the past 26 years became very stressful for all of us. We craved to be outside away from our screens and surrounded by things that grew naturally. Being lucky enough to work in the historic suburb of Petrie Terrace, our office is situated on the same street as Brisbane’s oldest school, the Albert Park Flexible Learning Centre run by Youth Plus.
One of the lovely things about working in Petrie Terrace is the neighbors and the people who lived in a house right next to our office had lived there for decades. Theirs was the penultimate girl next door story with each growing up next door to the other, marrying only to stay in the same street where each had been born.
What did this mean for us? No less than nine decades of local knowledge at our fingertips!!
We consider Norm and Pam to be the assets of our little neighborhood community and at that stage, Norm looked after the chooks and Pam looked after the garden. Eventually we were awarded the prized invitation to set up a garden bed in the school garden.
AND SO THE SOUND GARDEN PROJECT WAS BORN!!!
Our objective was to create a community project on a multi-dimensional level. The Garden of course would reap herbs and vegetables for us all to share. The gardening would provide stress relief during the day for Pushworth team members as well as a venue for training, connecting, exchanging and networking. Nothing beats putting your hands and feet into the soil to feel the heartbeat of the earth and as a team we got to use the time in the garden as a SOUNDING BOARD. It was in this heritage community garden where we thrashed out new ideas for products and services, expressed frustrations about client experiences, ran staff and student training workshops, interviewed artists about their latest album releases and just in general experienced a healthy opportunity to empty ourselves of business toxins while digging in the earth.
We had already established the PUSH THE EARTH policy and had prided ourselves on running a more sustainable business practice. Our experience managing the Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival for 13 years gave us the opportunity to create Training Programs for Volunteers, Interns and Work Experience students and thus we built a sturdy local community. From there we established the WORK WINDOW Work Experience program. As part of Pushworth Work Experience, students were able to work in the garden with us. In an environment surrounded by trees, plants, chooks, possums, turkeys and birds, we chatted about their values, vision, mission, purpose etc. and opened pathways to discovering what value Pushworth could add to them for a few short weeks.
In short, this tiny little community garden at the bottom of Clifton Street became a well-used SOUNDING garden.