Michelle Mitchell (right), a Grassroots Placemakers community placemaker shares the story of one of her community placemaking developments at Mirvac’s Olivine in Donnybrook.
On Thursday, 2 June 2022, the local community where I work as a community placemaker, invited various people including representatives from Hume Anglican Grammar, Whittlesea Council, Mirvac Developers, Grassroots Placemakers and local residents of the Olivine community, to gather together to unveil a special plaque celebrating Reconciliation Week.
With all the activities, building and excitement of establishing a new community in Donnybrook, it was important to acknowledge the past. The plaque that was unveiled featured a fingerprint artwork by a Wurundjeri artist, acknowledging the traditional owners of the land that the Olivine Estate at Donnybrook is built on.
Students from Hume Anglican Grammar in Donnybrook attended the event and showcased Indigenous inspired artwork of their own, as well as performing a song to Country. The students also participated in a number of traditional games after the ceremony.
As the local Placemaker at Olivine, I had the privilege of helping to unveil the plaque, along with two student leaders, and a community member, which reads: “The City of Whittlesea recognises the rich Aboriginal Heritage of this Country and acknowledges the Wurundjeri Willum Clan as the traditional owners of this place.”
To do justice is to show ‘a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people’ and I feel that in some small way our community demonstrated a heart for doing what is right as we continue to build this new community. In my role as a Placemaker, I also have a heart for justice which entails advocating for those who don’t have a voice, assisting minority groups, and strengthening the powerless.
Micah 6:6,8 “The people of Israel say, ‘What shall we bring with us when we go to worship the Lord? What shall we offer the God of heaven when we bow down to Him?… The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what He requires of you. You must act with justice. You must love to show mercy. And you must be humble as you live in the sight of your God.”
I love these verses from the book of Micah, and I pray that they continue to be the benchmark for this wonderful community work that I have the privilege of being involved in. As I wander through the neighbourhood called ‘Olivine’, as I hear the stories of its people, as I seek to sense the Holy Spirit’s work in these stories, I am in awe of what God is doing.
Our communities desperately need to find God and I strongly believe that we are God’s instruments in showing His incredible love, mercy, and justice to them. We need to be present in our communities, walking and listening to the cries of people’s hearts, and loving them as Jesus would.
In my role as a Placemaker, I also have a heart for justice which entails advocating for those who don’t have a voice, assisting minority groups, and strengthening the powerless.