At CDC Victoria, our commitment to environmental responsibility and community engagement goes beyond transporting passengers. We believe in actively contributing to the well-being of the communities we serve and the environment we share. This commitment recently led us to join an exciting project in collaboration with Parks Victoria: the development of a special Sensory Garden at Serendip Sanctuary in Lara, an initiative aimed at fostering a deeper connection between people and nature.
Last month, Environment Minister Ingrid Stitt announced a partnership between a collective of passionate local businesses including CDC Victoria and Parks Victoria to create a sensory garden at Serendip Sanctuary, just outside Geelong.
Our team, in partnership with CMV Truck & Bus and Volvo Bus Australia, witnessed the launch of this remarkable project that promises to enrich the lives of both visitors and the environment.
This project is not just about creating a garden; it’s about paying homage to the original owners of the land. Serendip Sanctuary sits on Wadawurrung Country, and this initiative provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the rich heritage of this land.
CDC Victoria, alongside CMV Truck & Bus and Volvo Bus Australia, has committed $45,000 towards this project, which is being co-designed with disability groups and local schools. Parks Victoria will utilise these funds to design the garden, aligning it with the desires of the community. This project is part of a broader master plan aimed at enhancing Serendip Sanctuary and the You Yangs Regional Park.
Jeff Wilson, CEO of CDC Victoria, expressed his thoughts on this partnership by saying, “Our involvement in the development of the Sensory Garden at Serendip Sanctuary is a testament to our dedication to the environment and the communities we serve. We recognise the significance of such spaces for our communities as they not only offer a tranquil and stimulating environment for all but also as a platform for discovering the diverse cultural heritages of the lands upon which we stand today.”
Nick Curran, Aftersales & Service Manager, CMV Truck & Bus, shared his experience of the event, “Serendip Sanctuary is a hidden gem where you can immerse yourself in nature and wildlife. We are looking forward to returning with family and friends to explore its beauty. Giving back to our community and a focus on sustainability has always been an important part of our CMV Truck & Bus culture. Our proud partnership with Parks Victoria is another way CMV Truck & Bus is making a positive impact on the environment for future generations.”
Kate Totman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Volvo Group Australia, emphasised the significance of this partnership for Volvo, by saying, “Working with Parks Victoria, CMV & CDC on this environmental partnership is so important to Volvo as it aligns with our core value of Environmental Care. Working towards our sustainability goals has never been more important. Environmental care extends beyond just the bus and into every facet of what we do.”
Nature, Sensory Stimulation, and Inclusivity
The Sensory Garden at Serendip Sanctuary aims to engage visitors in a unique way. Through thoughtfully selected plantings and design, this garden will awaken the senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, and even taste. Its design will cater to people of all abilities, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the beauty of nature.
With its flat, wide, and smooth tracks, Serendip Sanctuary is also frequently visited by disability services and community groups. Parks Victoria is working with these groups to co-design and construct the garden to make sure it welcomes visitors of all abilities.
The Serendip project will take shape over the coming months. Once the design of the garden is confirmed, the start date for work will be announced later.
We are very proud of our long partnership with Parks Victoria and our engagement in environmental initiatives. One notable project last year as a sponsor was the creation of a dementia-friendly sensory trail at Woowookarung Regional Park in Ballarat. That award-winning trail was co-designed with people living with dementia and their carers, Ballarat community health groups, the Department of Health, and Dementia Australia.
We are proud to support such multifaceted projects where sustainability, inclusivity, and the beauty of nature converge.