Global Gardens of Peace began as a thought provoking idea from Moira Kelly AO, International Humanitarian, during a medical rescue mission to Gaza in February 2004. It was during this visit that Moira also visited a WW1 Cemetery where graves were situated in a beautiful well-kept green environment. This was the only green space Moira encountered during her visit and wondered “If you can do this for the dead, why can’t you do this for the living?”
Moira was moved to take action and boldly expressed to the Director of the Union of Health Working Committees (UNHWC) and political associates that she intended to create a garden where the children of Gaza and their families could come and play in a happy, serene, clean environment that would provide them with a break from their daily troubles. She left vowing that she would return with the Australian people to build a Garden of Hope for Gaza.
In July 2007, Moira received a visit in Melbourne from an UNHWC representative who brought with him a letter entitled ‘Moira’s Garden’; his first words were ‘We have your land.’ 5000 square metres had been set aside for a children’s garden for Moira and the Australian people to create and build.
To lead the landscape design, Moira approached Andrew Laidlaw, Landscape Architect of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV), and with the support of the RBGV Andrew engaged additional horticultural and technical expertise to form a design team. As the design progressed, the concept of developing gardens for vulnerable communities around the world was explored and the entity ‘Global Gardens of Peace’ was formed.