Researchers at WESTIR and Macquarie University Department of Sociology are working on a collaborative research project, ‘Culture, Community and Sustainable Food Practices: A Study of Community Gardens in Blacktown, Western Sydney’. The project aims to explore how the practice of community gardening among Blacktown residents facilitates intercultural sociality, builds ‘community’ and develops knowledge and skills in sustainable food practices.

Community gardens have become increasingly popular in local government and NGO initiatives to facilitate ‘community building’. Most recently, they’ve been established in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods to assist in the settlement of newly arrived migrants and build social bonds across cultural difference between established and new residents. Blacktown LGA has the largest urban population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW and a thriving culturally diverse community, with approximately 184 countries and 156 languages represented across the locality. Through ethnographic case studies of community garden sites in Blacktown, this research explores the dynamics of intercultural interaction in an everyday space that aims to facilitate sociality across difference. 

Further information can be found on the project’s blog,