“What’s really alive in our hearts right now? How can we live in these times with grief in one hand and gratitude in the other?”

Stellar Violets isn’t just a thing. It is a sense of being, a regional presence, a safe place for people to find inner peace. Understanding, and perhaps even gleaning some wisdom, when they peel back the layers and connect with the Earth. Connecting with what the South West truly has to offer.

Lucinda Giblett is the woman behind Stellar Violets. Travelling and living abroad for most of her 20s, exploring and wandering the world to immerse herself in everything life had to offer she, “was trying to find my place”. As she reached her 30’s, her sister was moving home to Manjimup with her own little family, and Lucinda felt called to return to where she grew up. Having now spent over a decade at home, it has been a journey.

Lucinda started to work back on the families’ horticultural property and understood the big concerns and issues constantly being amplified across the industry, including climate change, seasonal farming, and sustainable farming practices. Lucinda started to understand, “People didn’t know what time of year we were picking an apple off a tree”. Realising that there were a lot of people who had little to no understanding of the production of where their food came from, it highlighted to Lucinda that what she wanted to do was facilitate a deeper feeling and connection to the land for others. Of which, she states, is a privilege of having been brought up in the industry and on a horticultural property.

Stellar Violets is named after Lucinda’s grandmothers, Stella and Violet. Based on Pibelmun Noongar Boodja country, it is the idyllic and picturesque place that you could only imagine, with old train carriages and gardens sprawling around the house that have been cultivated over the last ten years. The charity is set up as an arts and cultural centre to address the global “whole health” crisis. It also seems to have a mysterious purpose, of which Lucinda says, “all those drawn here find their own thread and reason for being here”.

Some people visit to wander the gardens and gain guidance, messages, and inner peace to proceed with clarity for the rest of their journey. “After a visit, a friend messaged a few months later saying when she was in my garden, she received a notion that she was meant to go on a spiritual trip to India. She followed that hunch,  and it was the guidance she felt she needed at that time in her life“.

Lucinda’s dear friend from her high school days, Vive Oldham, moved to Stellar Violets’ cottage with her partner and two young girls, just as the pandemic began. Vive is a self-professed city slicker, having lived all her 40 years in Perth. On the property, composting is a normal part of life. “We give some scraps to the chickens, the rest to the compost for the garden,” Lucinda said. Vive arrived at Stellar Violets and enthusiastically took on her friend’s existing waste renewal systems.  Reflecting to Lucinda a few weeks later, Vive said, “I was just walking out with the compost bucket, and realised I felt so good, engaging in this simple, generative act. It’s such a different way of living.” In Perth, everything had been put in the bin without a second thought. Travelling back to the city occasionally now, Vive finds she feels troubled about finding a ‘one bin’ system in place. It no longer feels right.

Living a holistic life in response to looking after the Earth is a way of life, and is often done unintentionally, or taken for granted on properties in the regions. “There is a beautiful opportunity for Rural Women throughout Western Australia who all have this knowledge and this embedded way of living, to share it”. Lucinda suggests that so many women from the city feel they don’t have the access or opportunity to be able to experience these simple things. She is creating experiential opportunities to expand people’s thought processes, and mindsets around how we can live well, in these times.

A week in the life of Lucinda is described as a dance. “I live a slow, reasonably quiet, simplistic lifestyle”. Admitting that her life is soulfully what she needed and deeply nourishing. Daily, Lucinda primes herself to serve in whatever she sees fit for the charity’s evolution. Being a highly sensitive person, she has learnt she needs to devote her mornings to a practice of some kind, from a reflective bushwalk to garden wander or a dance routine which helps with emotional release. “I like to be guided by what my body is feeling and cultivating that equilibrium”.

Working from a strategic plan with Stellar Violets, they are questing for sponsors, grant and donor funding, having almost completed a 4-year land rezoning process. This will allow them to become an official venue, with meeting spaces, accommodation, a member’s library, and other expansion opportunities. “We are ready and hopeful to meet with people who believe in the project, and can give it some financial backing”.

Organically growing a community is an inner heart calling Lucinda is responding to. “I think it is essential to weave a very tight fabric in all of these places if we’re to live well into these times. I want to listen to what each woman is feeling from the heart. Someone has to be willing to put the invitation forth, and others need to be willing to take it up, for anything to be possible” This is how Lucinda feels she can be of service, and nurture opportunities to thrive as a community. “What else is beneath that first cm of topsoil? If we went deeper, what would we find?”

Whilst Stellar Violet’s programs came to a distributive halt during the pandemic; they will be relaunching in the coming week for International Rural Women’s Day. On International Women’s Day next week, Lucinda is excited to be welcoming back people to the gardens to come together in celebration. She wants each woman to connect and hear one another, with the question around what together they could seed for the future. Stellar Violets plans to convert a 1950s trolleybus, and heritage train carriages into accommodation, to provide opportunities for immersive weekends on the property, for those who might not have the chance, or desire to permanently move to the countryside.