Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines attended the opening of the dementia-friendly sensory garden at the Chiltern Neighbourhood House on Friday, alongside Indigo Shire Mayor Sophie Price, Councillor Peter Croucher and Dementia Australia’s Bronwyn Baker.  

The garden, an initiative of Indigo North Health, has been designed using dementia-friendly principles such as circular paths, sensory experiences and quiet spaces to be enjoyed by aged care residents and their families and carers.  

Members of the co-located Men’s Shed and children of the Chiltern Playgroup are also enjoying the new outdoor space. 

“I congratulate Maree Murphy and the Indigo North Health and Chiltern Neighbourhood House team who have worked to create this beautifully landscaped garden with thoughtful consideration to the needs, enjoyment and wellbeing of those who visit,” Dr Haines said. 

“I have fond memories of working here as the matron of the Chiltern Bush Nursing Hospital, a very long time ago. I am delighted to see the site evolve and continue to provide important healthcare and mental health services to the community. 

“This is a welcome addition and asset for the people of Chiltern, the Indigo Valley and surrounding area.” 

The garden will host the Neighbourhood House’s fortnightly Memory Cafe which empowers communities to support couples, families and people living with dementia.  

Local contractors were engaged to build the garden which features a mural by local artist Kirrily Anderson of native orchids that grow in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park. 

The project was completed with support from the Indigo Shire Council and funding from two Victorian Government grants – the Supporting Carers Locally fund and a Universal Design Grant. 


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