‘In my skin, I live, I am.
In my culture, I breathe, I connect.
In my Spirit, I feel, I dream.
In my beliefs, I am strong.
Margaret Brodie Kaurna Senior
This garden honours the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains who have cared for this land since time began.
Under white settlement, their land was stolen and their people scattered.
Today, the people of Enfield Uniting Church thank them, and other First and Second Peoples, for participating with us in restoring this garden and building new relationships.
‘Maltunthi – Bring Close Together’ is the name offered for this garden by the Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK), the Association promoting the learning of Kaurna language.
The logo for ‘Maltunthi – Bring Close Together’ was inspired by this wooden shield – one of only 45 Kaurna artefacts held by the South Australian Museum (Item A31198). Their records show: ‘South Australia, Enfield; half a mile from the Windmill Hotel. Found (1942) when digging an air raid trench at a depth of 4 feet’. (An air-raid shelter at Prospect Oval was constructed in 1942.)
Photo reproduced with permission of the South Australian Museum
In 1854, the founding benefactors of this church included well-to-do colonists able to ‘pay a sufficient price’ for land to the South Australian Company. While Mr Richard Haines ‘kindly presented’ land for the church, another, Mr Charles Folland, took up extensive holdings in North Adelaide, Walkerville and Enfield. His family was reportedly ‘troubled by the aborigines’ and he was ‘speared in the leg.’ This is only a hint of the violent process of dispossession experienced by the Kaurna people across the Adelaide Plains after 1836. Their story – and that of Australia’s First Peoples – was not readily acknowledged for many generations.
In 2015, people of this church community began to ask: ‘What do we mean when we acknowledge that this is the land of the Kaurna People?’ Relationships were growing between the people of the church community and local people with Aboriginal heritage – Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Narungga, Peramangk – and other language groups across Australia.
We took our lead from the Uniting Church Assembly which had recognised the First Peoples of Australia in its Constitution in 1994. We began to listen and learn about contemporary national issues: constitutional recognition, the Uluru Statement, sovereignty, treaty. We held a community forum and art exhibition. Then someone asked: ‘What next?’ and the idea of ‘Building a Garden – acknowledging Kaurna land’ emerged.
The project has transformed a ‘derelict’ place into a public thoroughfare, a neglected block into a place of respect and a hostile site into an oasis.
Horticultural students from Tauondi Indigenous College, leaders of the Kaurna community including Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK) and the United Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) are among the many who have joined with Second Peoples in making this garden an expression of ‘Maltunthi – Bring Close Together’.
About the Plants
The plants chosen for this exposed, north-west facing site grow well because they are ‘at home’, that is, they are native plants of the Adelaide Plains. The ground covers, grasses and sedges, small shrubs and trees create a habitat for small birds and include some of the food and fibres well known to Kaurna and other Aboriginal families.
About the Garden Layout
Two specially-commissioned metal screens mark the entrance, each depicting plants native to the Adelaide Plains: she-oak (karku marngu), eucalyptus, quandong, knobby club rush, paper daisies, kangaroo grass and wattle. The traditional depiction of ‘meeting place’ in the left-hand screen is echoed in the circular paved area in the middle of the path which, in turn, recalls a track across the land.
Inspiration: Helen Munro, Toby Brown, Michelle Noronha, Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK), Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, Ms Margaret Brodie, Mr Jack Buckskin, Aunty Georgina Williams, Aunty Mona Olsson, Kevin Coleman, South Australian Museum
Funding: Enfield Uniting Church congregation, Anonymous Donors, Port Adelaide Enfield Council, Uniting Foundation
Screen Artists: Joy Furnell, Cathy Brooks
Suppliers: Littlehampton Bricks, Senturion Steel, Provenance Nursery, Playford Pavers, Andrew and
Contractors: Ground Landscaping, Regional Profile Cutters, Morgan’s Cranes, Basket Range Quarry, Adelaide Electric, Advanced Trees, Mt Barker Steel, Signs Inc.
Design: Dreamtime Creative
Garden Maintenance: Madelena Lino
Project Coordinator: Margaret Gunn
Garden planted 23rd August 2017
Opening the Garden – 9 December 2018
For more information click here to view the Maltunthi: Bring Close Together DL Brochure
For a summary of the Opening Speech including 8 important aspects of the garden click here
As well as offering regular support for Christmas Bowl, Lenten Appeal and other projects supervised by the Assembly of the Uniting Church of Australia, Enfield Uniting Church currently supports the following ‘home-grown’ mission projects:
Serving the Poor Foundation Organisation (SPFO) – Cambodia
At Enfield Uniting Church we have been very fortunate to have our own ‘missionary’.
Mrs Chheng Sophoap (Poppy) came to Australia in 1980 after escaping the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. With two of her three children, she was accepted as a refugee after a period in a Thai refugee camp (Poppy’s husband had disappeared without trace).
During her escape Poppy became a Christian:
“I understood that my life was in His hand, without Him I couldn’t do anything. I am very well, because of Him. Now it is my turn to pay Him back. Lord I am ready to serve You and do what You want me to do”.
Poppy came to Enfield Uniting Church in 2002. In 2006, soon after the death of her second husband, she decided it was time to return to Cambodia for part of each year, to help the ‘poorest of the poor’. She published a book about her experiences: “Miracle during Pol Pot Regime – Sophoap’s Story” and used the proceeds to begin funding her plan. Enfield congregation decided to support her.
Poppy’s plan was for a Mobile Medical Clinic. Using the quarterly donations from the congregation, she purchased medicines in Phnom Penh, recruited a team of volunteer doctors, assistants and drivers, and began travelling to remote villages several times a year, helping up to 300 people at a time. (At least three members of the Enfield congregation have been able to visit Cambodia and travel with the Mobile Medical Clinic).
Serving the Poor Foundation Organisation was registered with the Cambodian Government as a Christian organization in 2007. Soon after, Poppy bought a one-hectare block of land in Kompot Province. Named ‘The Lord’s Garden’, it has large number of mango trees, jack fruit trees and ‘the best coconuts around’, a fish pond and space for the grazing of a few cows – the core of a community-benefit cow bank. New wells were sunk and supporters funded construction of a building which serves now as the centre of SPFO activities. It is used for community gatherings, while upstairs, the worship centre is a place where large numbers of children and their families come regularly for worship and Sunday school.
In 2016, Poppy handed over responsibility for The Lord’s Garden to a young Pastor, HENG Chen Sowath. Enfield Uniting Church remains committed to providing on-going support for his work. The needs of the community in this impoverished area continue, but Pastor Sowath is planting new crops (pepper), refurbishing the fish pond, trying to ensure children attend school (often impossible without the money for uniforms pencils and books). The needs are great but God’s work is being done.
Hope for Abyei
Abyei is an oil-producing area on the border of South Sudan and Sudan. It is one of the most controversial areas in the region.
When she was 14, Teresa Bol (one of our EKOS young people) announced she wanted to ‘build a hospital in Abyei’ – her birthplace. Her family had been displaced by war and Teresa had spent most of her childhood in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya.
Enfield Uniting Church agreed to the family’s request to supervise any money Teresa raised in numerous projects. Currently (2017) over $13,000 is invested with UCInvest.
Meanwhile, Teresa herself has completed Year 12, two degrees and is training as a paramedic. When the time is right, she will use the money to realize her dream. Pray in hope for such a day to come soon.
Bertha Munro Fund
Named in honour of her Mother, Helen Munro instigated this fund as a reserve for both loans and donations to refugee and other families in our church community who may be in acute need. Enfield Uniting Church contributes annually to the fund, and individuals can channel practical assistance through it. Money has been used e.g. to support family reunions after long separations (the collateral damage of war), pay education expenses for child relatives and pay application fees for orphaned children to come to Australia.
If you are interested in making a gift to any of these projects, (SPFO, Hope for Abyei or the Bertha Munro Fund) please contact the church office.