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Our Melbourne Parks and Gardens colleagues who delivered positive social outcomes in exceptional circumstances

On behalf of the City of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, we manage and maintain Melbourne’s parks and gardens, contributing to the city’s economic and social vitality. Several members of our Melbourne Parks and Gardens team were awarded Pulse Awards in 2018, for their care for the park-using public.

Michael Edwards is Head Gardener for the Melbourne Docklands district. In late 2017, Michael was covering duties for colleagues committed elsewhere when he discovered a man overdosed and dying in a public toilet. Michael carried him into the open and worked with his colleague Mark to resuscitate the man, contact emergency services and manage the growing crowd. As the paramedics later confirmed, Michael’s actions saved the man’s life.

In June 2018, after a shocking and highly publicised murder in Princes Park, a significant memorial site developed near the scene and a commemorative public vigil was planned, drawing over 30,000 people on the day. However, in the early morning before the vigil, an adjacent area was extensively and offensively vandalised.

On learning of the incident, our Incident Response Team quickly determined that rapid clean-up and graffiti removal would not be possible given the limited time. Instead, they worked in the pre-dawn dark to cover all traces of the vandalism. As a result, no sign of the vandalism was visible or captured by media coverage of the event. Throughout the day, the team continued to ensure the sanctity of the memorial was never compromised. Friends and family of the murder victim were spared any additional trauma, and the reverence of the memorial was maintained.