Indra Kurzeme from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne and Janene Sadhu from Vision Australia talk to us about what it was like training the Garden Ambassadors to do tours with audio description for people who have no or low vision.
Hi I’m Indra Kurzeme, I’m the volunteer coordinator here at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne.

I have about 50 volunteers whom we call our garden ambassadors. They’re responsible for taking groups on tours. They’re also responsible for providing general garden advice as well as advice about the landscape and how it was constructed.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne is for everyone and we have made sure that we include all kinds of groups and part of that is making sure our garden ambassadors are trained to take tours for all kinds of people.

We spent some time today with Janene Sadhu from Vision Australia training people on how to give audio description tours. The garden is a wonderful place to engage all your senses, so the beauty of the garden here at Cranbourne is that you can touch things, you can feel the texture of the bark, you can crush the leaves and smell the fragrances. There’s a whole range of different surfaces as well for people to walk over. It’s about embracing all your senses and it’s a wonderful place to do that.

I did some training with the volunteers who take tours of the Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne so that people who have no or low vision can experience the garden in a meaningful way.

Every volunteer had a chance to guide me around part of the garden in the garden tour that we did today. They also audio described what they could see which was just fantastic. It gave me a really good and true picture of the gardens that we covered today.

I’ve never felt salt bush before.

It’s the whole heads of flowers and they’re a brilliant pink - like a lipstick pink. And they’re very soft.

They’re gorgeous.

One side is wider than on the other side. Oh okay.

Mmm - smells gorgeous.

It was such a fantastic experience - I really can’t say how good it was. I’d recommend anyone to come to the Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne because it’s a fantastic place.

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Last updated: October 2015

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