Celebrating a resident’s creativity

Congratulations to Emerald Zin Htun who was awarded the 2023 Creative Minds Award! This award recognises a City West Housing resident who has used their creativity for the benefit of others. It’s one of the four categories in our annual Community Impact Awards.

Emerald created a beautiful rooftop garden at her apartment building, transforming an underused space into a lush green oasis. It not only adds beauty to the roof area, but also provides a serene retreat for other residents to enjoy.

Leonie, Emerald and Kylie

Left to right: Leonie King (City West Housing CEO), Emerald Zin Htun, Kylie Fulton (2022 Community Impact Award winner)

Growing up on a farm Emerald helped her family tend to their fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs. This was when her love of gardening began. Seven years ago, she started growing a few plants in pots on the roof of her building.

City West Housing heard about Emerald’s initiative and wanted to support her to build the green space, so staff helped by building garden beds and installing a compost tumbler mulch maker. The garden then began to take shape after this.

Over the next couple of years Emerald tried to grow many different plants with varying success. “There isn’t enough shelter for delicate plants up there. It’s windy and can get very hot or cold. Many plants don’t like those conditions.”

After some trial and error, eventually Emerald found some hardy plants able to survive the sometimes harsh environment on the roof and now there are around 300 plants thriving in the garden, which can take many hours a week to maintain.

When asked how she felt about receiving the Creative Minds Award, Emerald replied, “I was so grateful to City West for just letting me grow the garden on the roof. And now they’ve given me a prize for it! For that I’m very thankful.”

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