Articles, Blog

Collingwood Children’s Farm & Massey Ferguson

My name’s Conor Hickey, I’m the General Manager here at the
Collingwood Children’s Farm. And I think that I probably have the best job in the world. It’s one of the few green spaces in this area of Yarra. It’s situated five Kilometers from the center of Melbourne city, which is quite amazing because when you walk around here you’d think you were in the middle of the countryside. The Collingwood Children’s Farm is forty years old this year. It started in 1979 by a local councilperson, who thought it would be a really good idea to set it up as a green space for all the kids living in the local flats. Space where they could hang out outside if they didn’t have
access to a backyard, but also to get to know where their food comes from. And we’ve continued in that vein ever since. It’s a working farm, we have all of the things that a
regular farm would have. We milk the cow and we feed all the animals every morning, we have horse riding RDA, Riding Develops Abilities, we have school groups coming down here to learn about food production, sustainability, meeting the animals. And we have a lot of community engagement, so
we run lots of workshops. We get about 15,000 people come through the gate every month, and that’s school groups, that’s general public. We have birthday parties, community events… It’s a well loved place in the city of Melbourne. The Collingwood Children’s Farm is set up primarily to
support people experiencing adversity. We run a lot of socially inclusive programs. We have a lot of children from local special schools, and adult disability support services. They have set tasks that they do every week, And they’re part of the family, part of the workforce here. They work that we do ranges from picking up sticks
out of the paddocks, and clearing the paddocks for the animals, and then we have teams working on different
activities around the farm. So fixing fences, or building things that the animals might need. This is an opportunity for them to get that hands-on
learning experience in a supportive community that really appreciates
the work that they do here. We’ve got a fair amount of land here, seven hectares, And obviously that’s a lot of work to move things
from one paddock to the next. So having the Massey Ferguson tractor here
is a massive help. We use it every day. And it’s a major attraction for a lot of the kids that visit. So we use it for tractor rides on family days, and there’s always a line a mile long waiting to get on it. So as well as being a workhorse, it’s one of the
favourite attractions as well. We get entry fees, which support a lot of
the work that we do here, but we do need additional support from the local
community and larger organisations, through corporate volunteering or donations or the use of an amazing Massey Ferguson tractor. It allows us to do what we do, and do it well. And without the support of the community, we wouldn’t
have the opportunity to help so many people. I feel very privileged to work in an organisation that does
the work that Collingwood Children’s Farm does.


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