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Taking people back in time

Visualise it. An 'outback dunny' surrounded by vivid displays of colour, edible plants and scented foliage, and a mattress sprung with fragrant flowers and stone steps floating in a sea of hydrangeas.
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A magical pop up garden is set to awaken the senses at what has been described as Victoria’s 'biggest' celebration of accessible communities.

A magical pop up garden is set to awaken the senses at what has been described as Victoria’s 'biggest' celebration of accessible communities at the Villa Maria and Transurban Out & About Family Fun Day this Sunday.

The fully accessible sensory garden, designed by Swinburne University Department of Environment and Horticulture students and teachers, will enable people of all abilities and ages to experience nature in a safe, tactile environment.

Team leader, Stewart Detez, says ‘sensory’ is more than just smell; it’s about colour, taste and memory.

“People will see it and it will give them a sense of joy and a little bit of wonder,” he says.

“Emotional triggers will take people back to past times. We’re using geraniums, which can be emotional triggers for older people. For me, it triggers an emotion of my childhood because we had an outside toilet covered in geraniums.

“It’s also about promoting to the community that the garden is an extension of our living space and that gardens aren’t sterile, they are places that we should be using as therapy, to relax, a sanctuary, and that every part of the garden has a place,” he says.

Mr Detez says the Out & About Family Fun Day is a great way for Swinburne University to support accessible communities and social inclusion. 

The event aims to challenge community perceptions of social inclusion with a huge line up of all abilities and all ages activities.

Out & About Ambassador, comedian Tim Ferguson, singer Kate Ceberano and Australian cricket legends, Dean Jones and Damien Fleming, will join the free community event that enables everyone to experience life as it should be – 100% accessible.

Some of Australia’s top Paralympians will also share heir inspiring stories and an all abilities Flash Mob will show that anyone, no matter their ability, can participate and have fun.

There will be a range of free modified sports at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, including basketball and giant foosball, yoga and fitness bikes, as well as a 2km all abilities walk around Melbourne's Albert Park Lake.

The Out & About Family Fun Day is on at Albert Park, Aughtie Drive, on Sunday, 30 November, from 10am to 3pm. Find out more about Villa Maria's Out and About Day.

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