The Abbotsford Convent is just four kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, and is made up of historic buildings and gardens.
It is adjacent to the Yarra River and Yarra Bend Park.
Aside from the stunning and peaceful gardens, the convent is home to studios and offices for small businesses, a radio station, four eateries, an open air cinema, food and craft markets, two galleries, an extensive program of events and venues for rehearsals, performances, classes, workshops and conferences.
Marg Allen and Joanne (Jo) Beescher are two part time gardeners who oversee all the maintenance of the grounds at the convent.
They also have eight regular volunteers that come in every week or month to help out, in addition to groups of corporate volunteers.
Marg says a lot of the big companies like Deloitte and PwC give their staff a day or two a year to do volunteer work somewhere and a lot of the staff choose to go to the convent, which is a huge help.