Jona Children’s Sensory Garden is a purpose-designed therapeutic garden and play space within the Queen Elizabeth Centre at Noble Park. This centre provides a state-wide residential support service to families experiencing serious social difficulties.
The sensory garden/play area is a purpose-designed early childhood space which has two primary functions:
- It is used by QEC staff for play-based developmental programs with children while their parents are with QEC therapists.
- It is also a a space where residential parents can play informally with their children. Teaching parents to play outside has become a key function of the space.
The garden was the subject of a Research program conducted by Dr Amy Shaw from Deakin University in 2017. This study concluded that:
”Staff feel that the new garden has improved the learning opportunities of the clients and that it leads to better outcomes at the completion of their program. the new garden leaves parents and children feeling less agitated, less anxious, happier, and calmer and more relaxed. Staff also feel that the new garden helps them to improve their dialogue with clients.”