Good Philanthrophy Includes Risk

Media Release Growing Change

Media Release

For Immediate Release

16 April 2018



The journey of Growing Change shows how hard it is to sustain social impact.


In 2015 Growing Change were the proud recipients of the Impact100 Fremantle giving groups primary grant of $100,000 for their Fremantle Social Farm Project.

The Fremantle Social Farm’s aim was to eliminate social isolation through growing and selling food. Impact100 Fremantle donors were impressed with the vision and integrity of the project.

With the support of Impact100 Fremantle and other donors and supporters, 2016 was an exciting year for Growing Change as they successfully began an urban farm at the North Fremantle Bowling Club site. As the year progressed and growing was in full swing, high quality produce was sold to local restaurants.

During this time a pilot horticultural therapy program was delivered to improve the health and wellbeing of the participants.

So in a remarkable 12 months a unique urban farm became operational and the site building commenced.

The focus for 2017 was to continue to build on this, begin community engagement and address social isolation in a greater way.

The farm was ready to receive many more visitors and throw its doors open to the community, however at the end of 2016 Growing Change experienced a major setback when CEO and Founder Renee Gardiner experienced serious health issues forcing her to step aside indefinitely.

Unfortunately, despite the ongoing efforts of a dedicated Board, bringing the farm back to life without Renee’s vision and leadership was too difficult.

In February 2018, following ongoing efforts the Growing Change board made the difficult decision to relinquish the existing lease agreement to the City of Fremantle.

The City of Fremantle will now hold an Expression of Interest process for the North Fremantle site.

The Fremantle Foundation and Growing Change wish to thank all donors for their contributions. We acknowledge that this news is disappointing for everyone involved.

Good philanthropy includes elements of risk. This project shows just how hard it can be to create and sustain social change.

Growing Change continues to explore projects and initiatives around its original objectives.

And through the City of Fremantle process it is the Fremantle Foundation’s strong hope that a successful community garden can be created on the site.