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Seeds of Hope: Anna’s journey of personal growth through gardening

4 minute read

This Mother’s Day, it’s important to take pause and recognise the achievements of mothers everywhere, not just as parents, but as women taking control of their lives, with Anna’s story of resilience, courage, and community a perfect example of just that.

Anna's road to newfound confidence and independence started out in the darkness of domestic violence, when, despite having found safety, she found herself struggling with feelings of anxiety and isolation.

In 2021, Anna joined the ParentsNext program with Asuria, determined to start moving forward with her life again. Armed with a great deal of courage and the support of Asuria ParentsNext Mentor, Malaine Karaka, she took her first steps towards reclaiming her life.

Anna had previously completed a Diploma of Justice at Kangan, but the trauma she experienced made her rethink her choice of career. Finding safety was crucial, but it also meant starting over and rebuilding her life and her prospects.

During this difficult time, Anna found comfort in the simple act of gardening—a therapeutic escape that gave her a break from her anxiety. Recognising the healing power that this pastime provided, Asuria stepped in and provided funding for Anna to pursue a Certificate in Horticulture, along with a new laptop to help her study.

The more Anna learnt, the more her confidence grew, when she eventually felt ready to reconnect with the community, taking it upon herself to reach out to three local community centres with the offer of volunteer support.

After joining the teams at Coffee Table in Manor Lakes and 5 Faith Garden, it wasn’t long before her dedication was rewarded with extra responsibilities, including managing social media pages and helping to support grant applications to the council.

Since then, Anna has become an invaluable member of the teams, organising a family day at the Manor Lakes Community Garden, promoting healthy eating among other parents, and encouraging them to become volunteers themselves.

This led to perhaps one of Anna’s proudest moments: delivering the opening speech at a special luncheon attended by the mayor and business leaders, representing 5 Faith Garden.

From feelings of crippling anxiety, to becoming an invaluable member of her community -- and even launching her own online business selling hand-painted flowerpots – Anna’s story is an important reminder to mothers all across Australia that the ability to shape their future lies within their own hands, with people and communities never far away to lend a helping hand.

To find out more about ParentsNext from Asuria, visit: asuria.com.au/parentsnext

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