New scheme opens Duneira to community

Jacqueline Ogeil

One of Mount Macedon’s most treasured properties will be made available to community groups for the first time as part of a new open garden program.

The home of a famous bluebell display along a driveway lined by Dutch elms, the heritage garden at Duneira will be opened up to a limited number of groups from this spring.

Despite no fees being charged, the program is expected to help groups rake in many thousands of dollars for charitable causes.

Duneira director Jacqueline Ogeil said the ‘‘exciting’’ program was spurred by a desire to help the Macedon Ranges’ many community groups.

Dr Ogeil said community groups would keep 100 per cent of profits collected during fundraisers held in the gardens.

‘‘We’ve got such a robust community that is always working to raise money for worthy causes,’’ Dr Ogeil said. ‘‘We thought, we’ve got these amazing manicured gardens … what better way to make use of them? It doesn’t matter if it’s a football club or the Red Cross. All we ask is that they are well organised and have public liability insurance.’’

Dr Ogeil said incorporated groups taking part in the program would have access to the property’s facilities and equipment, including chairs and toilets.

She expected there to be considerable interest, but fewer than 20 bookings were available.

‘‘We put the information out last Tuesday and on Wednesday morning we already had emails expressing interest,’’ she said.

For more details or an information pack, phone 5426 1490 or visit