News Release

Service Brings Amazing Transformation


On Saturday, 27 October, over 150 volunteers gave a total of 800+ hours of service which were given in love as they transformed the gardens and exterior of the Monkami Centre, a facility for people with disabilities, located in Croydon.

This service event was coordinated by the Maroondah Stake (diocese), of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as part of a Pacific-wide Day of Service. The efforts of church members combined with friends of Monkami and local businesses saw a wave of volunteers engaged in good works.

Volunteers helped create sensory gardens, planting raised vegetable plots, wheelbarrowing tons of mulch, painting the exterior of many buildings as well as working on garden furniture.

Luke Roberts of the Monkami Centre expressed gratitude and excitement about the day of service, recognising the difference it will make in the day to day lives of the people of Monkami. Luke shared, “The difference this service will make will brighten their hearts, put a smile on their face and just give them the joy that people in the community care about who they are and where they are. It doesn’t matter who they are as you are always here for them.”

Bishop John Osmotherley of the Croydon Ward (congregation) said, “We believe in coming together to do good things for the community by participating in local days of service. Our goal is to build unity through our community by serving one another.”

Church member Barbara Nightingale was at the Day of Service with her husband, daughter and two of her grandchildren. She said she has seen the people of Monkami for years and wanted to come out and help make life better for them.  

Barbara's daughter, Rachel, said her reason for coming out to serve was that she wanted to show her children what it’s like to give to others. Many children and young adults joined their families in gardening, painting and moving mulch. Nine year old Ben from another family said, “I loved it, it was really fun!” Asher Paton, a young single adult church member, said he enjoys serving as it is the right thing to do. 

The Monkami Centre has supported those with disabilities for over 60 years. The Centre relies mainly on government funding to provide its vital occupational and community activities that help those it serves be independent and engaged in their community. 

Jodie Gibson, Day Services Manager at Monkami, said the day of service was amazing. “Monkami’s Tagline is ‘Powered by People’ and it’s great to see this concept in action today with the community coming together.”

Support from local businesses such as Daisy’s, Croydon Paint Place, Easy Roller Painting and Flemings in Monbulk, along with assistance from Maroondah City Council, made it possible to achieve the degree of exterior painting, planting and mulching that has seen the Monkami Centre given a "face lift" to provide many more years of service to the community.

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