December 2012

The site of the former Enterprise Migrant Hostel has become the Lexington Gardens Retirement Village.  With their support a Tribute Garden with 200 rose bushes, a large digiglass sculpture and a commemorative sea has been established.  People asked that the garden be somewhere peaceful where they could bring their families and future generations to tell their stories. This became the start of the Spirit of Enterprise Trail of significant sites.


Tribute Garden - Enterprise HostelCity of Greater Dandenong Mayor, Angela Long and councillors (left);  Minister Kotsiras and Parliamentarians (right)

The Tribute Garden with 200 rose bushes, a large digiglass sculpture and a commemorative seat was designed and funded by generous contributions from community organisations, former residents and workers with matching funding from The Victorian State Government and opened on 9 December, 2012.
The Garden’s Information Plaque
The garden’s circular form is home to the first 200 Enterprise Roses, and symbolises notions of security, protection and refuge. The glass petal exhibits the Hostel’s international role in assisting people from Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, South America and the Middle East. The welcoming nation of Australia is expressed through open hands, and the new beginnings for so many symbolised by water drops tracing back to their places of origin. The seat documents the sheer number of people who resided at Enterprise; their first home before settling in the general community throughout the nation. 

This Tribute to the Enterprise Migrant Hostel acknowledges and continues important personal connections that many have with this site. It invites the general community to learn about the wide reaching impact of the Hostel, those who worked there, and the positive community response led by visionary community leaders. It also provides today’s residents with a beautiful addition to their home grounds.

This garden is a place of continued dedication to an important part of Australia’s rich immigration experience.

Tribute GardenThe digiglass sculpture during the day and at night.  Photographer Mark Wilson.

The Official Opening
The Tribute Garden was officially opened by the Hon Nick Kotsiras, State Minister for Multiculturalism and the City of Greater Dandenong Mayor, Cr. Angela Long on 9 December, 2012.  Two former residents, Geraldina Alvarez Poblete and Peter Jong, both former residents also spoke, emphasizing the importance of the Enterprise Hostel in their lives.

The Enterprise Hostel will always be part of our life as it represents new beginnings, experiences, emotions so intense impossible to forget. We had a place to come to, felt protected therefore in a better position to fully embrace this unknown but exciting journey - Geraldina

I can honestly say this whole project has turned my life around. For 34 years I had no idea how I ended up in Australia.  Through the project I understand the difficulties my mother faced when she came to Australia. She came alone.  It was years before she was reunited with my father - Peter  (Peter was born a few weeks after his mother arrived and until he became involved in this project had never talked about his family’s experiences)

Tribute GardenAnother reunion (left); The rose bushes which had been planted 9 months earlier (right)

 enterprise garden
Layout of Tribute Garden during construction