How did Community Flower Studio start?

By Dr Bibiana Chan, Director, Community Flower Studio

I came across a story on SBS Business Secrets about a florist in Canberra in March 2018. This link gives a glimpse into what is unique about

I came across a story on SBS Business Secrets about a florist in Canberra in March 2018. This link gives a glimpse into what is unique about GG’s Flowers:

In April 2018 I went to Canberra and met with the three key women behind GG’s Flowers: The mother who studied Floristry at TAFE, the youngest daughter, Gayana, who has Down’s syndrome and Nip, the sister who put her own career on hold to help run the business. I’m inspired by their hard work and the social enterprise they established to reach out to young people with special needs.

On my return I talked to some friends and health researchers about this. We then formed the Community Flower Studio Think Tank. We were keen to establish a similar social enterprise to reach out to young people facing mental health challenges. Flower Studio aims to provide young people with basic skills in retail business and floristry. If they feel inclined to study for professional qualifications at TAFE, Flower Studio can provide the necessary support. Young people these days are particularly vulnerable because of the widespread use of social media. Stigma is still attached to mental illness, and they face ever-increasing unkind treatment and bullying at schools and workplaces, and potential financial hardship caused by low wages, high rents and everyday expenses.

We need to think creatively and consider our next steps. We are planning to work in partnership with St Vincent de Paul Society and StreetWork. Community Flower Studio represents a safe and creative SPACE for floral artists to explore ideas and create floral arrangements.

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