McAuley House, located in Flemington Road, North Melbourne provides accommodation and support to women aged between 25 and 55, unaccompanied by children, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and/or have a mental illness. The unique community and residential setting – including garden areas – offers women a safe environment in which to live that promotes respect and values the dignity and worth of each person.
Funding constraints have led to the McAuley House gardens becoming run down over the past few years.

Club activities have included:

• garden de-development in 2010 with work on the chapel garden.
• another working bee held in July 2012 when nine RCCMS volunteers, together with McAuley House personnel worked in the kitchen garden area; work included a general clean up, weeding, putting in garden edging, shifting and spreading granitic sand, (replacing unattractive thinly-grassed areas), pruning bushes and trees, and putting in supports for an espalier apple tree.  

Given the need for further garden re-development, an application was made for a Rotary Foundation District Grant to provide funding for materials – particularly timber for the making of garden furniture, but also garden mulch, soil and gravel, garden edging, plants. All this is aimed at improving the amenity of the gardens.

Now that the grant application has been approved by District 9800, members of the Community Service Committee will liaise with the Carlton Men’s Shed to build sturdy bespoke furniture for the chapel garden. Further garden re-development work will be undertaken with an additional working bee planned for early 2013 for additional work on establishing and re-developing garden areas at the rear and side of the property.  

Photo shows volunteers at the July 7th working bee