Keyton | Celebrating Lexington Garden’s migrant past

Celebrating Lexington Garden’s migrant past

Thursday, 27 July 2023

A group of Salvadoran artists visited our Springvale retirement village to celebrate the site’s unique past with a Smoking Ceremony.

Lexington Gardens used to be the Springvale Migrant Hostel

Before Lexington Gardens was home to a vibrant retiree community, the site was known as the Springvale Migrant Hostel. The hostel was the first stop and temporary accommodation for migrant families determined to make Australia their forever home.

And interestingly, a number of the former hostel residents have returned to their “Australian” roots and chose to make the Keyton village their retirement home.

Archiving the Present

Visitors browsing through Lexington Gardens migrant past Residents and visitors explored the villages rich history

As part of the multi-site digital community project called Archiving the Present, a group of artists from El Salvador developed creative works that draw from their experiences at the former Springvale Migrant Hostel. 

This included visual artists Susana Rivas and Ernesto Tomás Vaquero as well as poet Luis González Serrano - who all once lived at the Lexington Gardens migrant hostel.

The project is part of Archiving the Present, a multi-site digital community archive project of "remembering as insurgent practice" and memory as creative practice. It has a Central Americanista perspective and was made possible by Bunjil Place New Ground Commissions. The fruits of their labour will be shown at Bunjil Place in September 2023.

Celebrating Lexington Garden’s rich history

Performing a smoking ceremony at Lexington Gardens The artists performed a smoking ceremony

Curator and coordinator of this project, Dr Tania Cañas says the majority of the artists involved in the project have a link to the former hostel site. She says the event as well as the site visit is sure to provoke uniquely Central American intergenerational memories for all involved.

The ceremony took place on Sunday, July 16 2023 and involved a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, followed by morning tea and a comprehensive presentation of the project. The day concluded with a personal walking tour of the village for former residents.

Learn more about Lexington Gardens.

Photo Credit: PhotoBy Chege

For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550

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