Geetha Wijewickrema - Floristry
I first came to CIT to study disability support to enable me to work as a special needs assistant for young people with disabilities.
I was inspired to get experience in the industry as my beautiful daughter, Gayana, has Down syndrome. As she grew older, I started to worry about what she would do after school. I wanted her to be a strong, independent woman, despite her disability. The idea of setting up a business for her to run would ensure she was well looked after, had a purpose and most importantly, was happy. That's how GG's Flowers was born.
Flowers have always been something I've loved. The idea of bringing my dreams together and setting up my own florist whilst also employing my daughter is a dream come true.
I studied a Certificate II and III in Floristry at CIT, which was a remarkable experience. The guidance, passion and experiences I received were world class and I'll be forever grateful for the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry.
One of the highlights of the course was preparing two large floral arrangements for a display in the Canberra Centre and making fairies out of botanical material. There's something surreal about seeing the end product, after you've worked on it for hours. It's also an added bonus to have Canberrans admire and compliment your work on a daily basis.
My florist, GG's Flowers, is Canberra's socially sustainable florist. Our motto is to provide Canberra with flowers that have a special purpose. The flowers provide the receiver with joy and happiness, however the whole process of taking the order, making the arrangement and delivering the flowers provides Gayana and her fellow special needs friends with an incredible feeling of self-satisfaction and pride in their work.
The opportunity for special kids to work in an environment where they are appreciated for who they are is my biggest wish and dream coming true. I can't believe how accepting and generous people are to Gayana when she turns up to deliver flowers. I often have to pinch myself at the success of the business. Customers love it when my daughter comes for the delivery. We currently have a waitlist for Gayana's special delivery cuddle and her favourite flowers, rainbow roses.
My two loves, flowers and family, have come together to make 'flowers with a purpose' and I couldn't be happier