The Mulberry Project began when a Congolese friend of founder Louise Noble noticed unused land at the family property in Queensland, and suggested members of the migrant community could use it to grow their traditional crops.
Since the initial idea, The Mulberry Project has grown into a social enterprise that turns underused land into market gardens, creating pathways to careers in farming and food for disadvantaged communities.
Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said “This initiative embodies the idea of providing a hand-up, with our support helping people help themselves.”
“Toowoomba has a global reputation as a community which cares, particularly for refugees and migrants. The Mulberry Project is a very practical way for new migrants and refugees to gain skills and self-esteem, and to contribute in a very positive way to the local community.
Heritage Bank’s sponsorship has provided more opportunities for The Mulberry Project to grow, including a migrant training centre, native plant nursery, expanded market garden, schools program, English language working bees and future NDIS psychosocial support program.
Under the sponsorship agreement, Heritage Bank staff will also be invited to participate in the project’s activities, including working with volunteers of the program.
Heritage’s partnership with The Mulberry Project adds to the range of initiatives it has underway to support diversity and inclusion. Heritage has also employed two community liaison officers from the Syrian community in Toowoomba to assist migrants with their banking needs; running seminars on the Australian banking system in Arabic, and providing the Speak Your Language translation service for members.