Australia’s first Indigenous urban food production farm opens

Mirvac Group and cultural start-up Yerrabingin have officially opened Australia’s first Indigenous urban food production farm, located on the rooftop of Yerrabingin House at South Eveleigh, Mirvac’s new technology and innovation hub (formerly known as the Australian Technology Park).

The completion of the cultural venture was marked by a celebratory event, attended by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retired); Costa Georgiadis, ABC’s Gardening Australia host; Yerrabingin founders Clarence Slockeeand Christian Hampson; special guests from anchor tenant Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Mirvac and its consortium partners AMP Capital, Sunsuper and Centuria Property Funds; as well as community and Indigenous members.

The farm brings to life Mirvac and Yerrabingin’s vision to celebrate South Eveleigh’s rich Aboriginal culture and heritage, through an engaging and educational experience. Workers, visitors and the local community will be encouraged to participate in the planned workshops to learn about Indigenous culture, native plants and tend to the farm. They also have the opportunity to purchase produce from the farm with over 30 native bush foods to choose from including finger limes, warrigal greens, native raspberries and sea celery.

Yerrabingin co-founder, Christian Hampson said, “We are excited to open Australia’s first Indigenous rooftop farm, to celebrate and promote Aboriginal permaculture. This is a significant step forward in embedding reconciliation into placemaking while harnessing the potential of Aboriginal social enterprise. The development industry can often be concerned about ‘overstepping protocol’ so it has been inspiring to work with Mirvac who has set an example for the industry in how to respectively incorporate Aboriginal culture and heritage.”

Mirvac CEO and Managing Director, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said, “With the transformation of South Eveleigh into a state-of-the-art work and lifestyle destination it was vital to Mirvac that we paid careful consideration to the site’s important Indigenous heritage and significance. By working with Yerrabingin we were able to co-create an experience at the precinct that will engage and connect the public to Aboriginal culture and traditions, while educating them on the history of the site.”

“Successful precincts around the world deliver diverse offerings and experiences so all people feel welcome. The Indigenous farm is a key part of our activation strategy for the precinct that will foster an inclusive community for visitors, local residents and workers.”

The farm will be self-funded through the delivery of 16 events per month for visitors and South Eveleigh’s 18 000 workers and residents. Yerrabingin will manage workshops, events and tours that focus on native permaculture, environmental sustainability, physical and mental health.

Yerrabingin are also working to establish the South Eveleigh Aboriginal Cultural Landscape Garden, which will grow native and medicinal plant species and bush food.

The Indigenous rooftop farm on Yerrabingin House of the precinct is part of Mirvac’s $1 billion transformation of South Eveleigh, set for completion in 2020. The farm is one element of a wide range of engaging and educational experiences at the precinct including tours of the garden and storytelling, focused on celebrating and remembering Aboriginal culture.

South Eveleigh has been co-created by Mirvac, anchor tenant Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and consortium partners, AMP Capital, Sunsuper and Centuria Property Funds.

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