AIH 2022 Annual Awards

The Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) recognises the commitment, professionalism and excellence of those who have made a significant contribution to the horticultural industry.

October 28, 2022

This year we received a great number of nominations with many coming from outside of our membership base which highlights to us the many projects going on around Australia and Singapore that people feel should be acknowledged and recognised. The AIH wishes to congratulate all nominees and recipients of awards for 2022 and wish everyone the best for their projects and future endeavours.


Golden Wattle Award

Sponsored By AIH Gold Sponsors Fitzpatrick Insurance

Christian Jenkins


For Commitment, Versatility & Dedication to Horticulture

Christian was delighted to receive the Golden Wattle in 2022.

Silver Gum Award

Sponsored by AIH Silver Sponsor Altum Property Group

Michael Casey

MAIH RH – AIH President 2018 to 2022

For Promotion and Contribution to the Australian Horticultural Industry.

Michael is an award-winning Registered Horticulturist with a passion for sustainable urban horticulture, urban greening, green infrastructure and therapeutic horticulture. His professional standing through peak industry bodies is also a testament to his influence in the industry and the future of Australian and International horticulture with expert contributions to Guidelines documents and Best practices in Green Infrastructure and Therapeutic Horticulture.



Michael has served as the President of the Australian Institute of Horticulture since 2018 and was previously Victorian Regional Convener. He has also served on the National Councils for Therapeutic Horticulture Australia, the Interior Plantscape Association and recently as the 2022 Technical  Panellist for the World Green Cities Awards


Wayne Van Balen

FAIH – AIH President 2014 to 2018

Wayne Van Balen, in his various roles with the AIH over the last 2 decades, has held the positions of Treasurer, National Council member, Sydney regional Convenor, President and  Registered Horticulturist Registrar.

Wayne held the position of National President for 4 years. He worked tirelessly in this position travelling to Singapore and many regional locations to meet our members. Wayne has shown strong ethics and always has put the Institute ahead of his personal time.

Horticulturist of the Year

Daniel Austin

Daniel Austin’s horticultural roots stem from work on a family orchard as a teenager in South Australia’s Riverland and his interest in plants has since snowballed into a diverse range of experience.

He has worked in the industry for over twenty years in Australia and abroad including the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Islands. Dan is an active member of several industry bodies aside from IPPS, such as the Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) and the Horticultural Media Association of Australia (HMAA), Mediterranean Garden Society, South Australian Herb Society, Protected Cropping Australiana and Therapeutic Horticulture Australia.

Dan’s commitment to the horticultural industry is unwavering. He is a quiet and humble person that gives back to the industry.

Horticultural Student of the Year

Nathan Watson


Costa announcing Nathans award (Nathan was not present on the evening)

Nathan has been a student at Tamworth TAFE for the past few years completing a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens and a Certificate III in Horticulture.

He has always shown a keen interest in plants and gardens and is looking forward to a long career within the industry. He is genuinely enjoying his work and study and looks forward to a successful career in this industry.

Kim Morris Student Award of Merit

Jasmine Gunnoo

Jasmine Gunnoo MAIH (L) with TAFE NSW’s Kate Low

Completing group activities in her Horticulture Certificate 3 class, Jasmine was always supportive of other students, offering well founded and relevant advice and direction where needed (especially in the area of plant identification).

Jasmine has impressed her lecturers with her positive attitude, enthusiasm and support of other students. She has also achieved excellent results in her studies.

Green Space Urban Award

Melbourne Sky Farm Project

Kate Pospisil (L) with AIH Councillor Coralie Stuart MAIH

Melbourne Sky Farm has transformed a 2000 square meter former carpark into a thriving community space, producing large volumes of fresh produce for charity, hosting education, a café, bar, events space, and a rooftop nursery. The farm is a great example of integrated sustainability – taking a disused rooftop carpark, and transforming it into a community space that incorporates urban cooling, urban biodiversity, community access, urban farming and much more

Green Space Events Award

Gardens for Wildlife Victoria

Lee Harrison (Gardens for Wildlife Victoria Board – Committee member). Nadine Gaskell (Gardens for Wildlife Victoria Board – Chair). Helen Corney (Gardens for Wildlife Victoria Board – Committee member)

Gardens for Wildlife are a network of community members and council/shire officers from across Victoria supporting each other to involve local residents, schools and businesses to join us in caring for the native plants and animals of our communities. 

They promote community/local government partnerships as hubs to develop wildlife gardening programs that meet their social and ecological needs and aspirations, along with fostering collaboration, connections and wellbeing alongside environmental objectives.

Green Space Regional Award

Sawtell Catholic Care

Assets & Maintenance Support Officer – Shaun Hammond. Sawtell Catholic Care’s Assets & Property Manager – Steve Laidley Sawtell Catholic Care’s CEO – Michael Darragh

The Link is a physical expression of Sawtell Catholic Care’s mission in action. It has been designed to provide our community with an inclusive and intergenerational space where people can connect with nature and each other to support their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

The journey to develop The Link site has focussed on creating a natural environment which demonstrates high horticultural values by featuring the best modern garden and landscape design principles to provide our community with a unique and immersive experience.

Green Space Residential Award

Scapex Landscapes

AIH President Alan Burnell MAIH and Councillor Gabrielle Stannus MAIH with Paul Lynam – Senior Estimator Tim Stafford – Managing Director

Primrose Terrace Project – Red Hill QLD

The standard has been set for landscape design and execution with this award-winning Red Hill property. With plant stock hand-picked for its quality and form, depth of colour, and strong affinity for Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate, the carefully designed gardens offer a sensory escape at every turn.

Green Space International Award

Siura Studio

Yazid Ninsalam receiving the award on behalf of Siura Studio

Tebet Eco Park – South Jakarta

The Tebet Eco is a 7-hectare pilot public park project, located in South Jakarta in a densely populated area, focuses on an active restoration of the site’s ecology with tree conservation and planting, reduces the risk of flooding.

With river re-naturalisation and cultivates an inclusive environment that facilitates access to a wide offering of educational programming and recreational activities in order to provide maximum benefits for park users and the surrounding natural habitats and species. New active and passive park zones will also be incorporated into the space to complement the ecologically restored waterway and lush vegetation, with different connections inside and along the periphery of the park.

Award of Excellence

Stephen Whitteridge


Stephen Whitteridge MAIH (R) with Michael Bates MAIH

Stephen is an early adopter of the negative effects of climate change, biodiversity and wildlife habitat losses and storm water management as it pertains to water quality for waterways. His concerns on all matters relating to the environment generally including the biodiversity gains and general health of the environment are paramount to his beliefs.

He put his beliefs into practice with storm water management in the early 1990’s collaborating with Wal Hader and Willoughby Council to put into place the largest bed-control structures ever implemented by local government using natural systems of bedrock structures and plants to create water quality ponds and bioretention systems that filter stormwater, improving environmental flows into Sydney Harbour on an unprecedented scale. He converted a tip site at Flatrock Gully into a world class bio-filtration system and cleaned up Smiths Creek in Chatswood, dedicating years of his life to these projects.

Award of Excellence

Prestigious Gardens

Green Space Residential Award – The Greenwall Company (Image The Greenwall Company)

Clifton Street Project – Malvern SA

What started out as a very artificial space consisting mostly of artificial turf and overrun with ‘climate inappropriate’ plants, the plan was to create a space that was inviting and usable, environmentally friendly and to complement the clients beautiful original Sands tone Cottage.

Award of Merit

Denis Crawford

Denis Crawford (R) and Costa

Denis Crawford has studied, photographed, and written about insects for over 35 years. His skills are based on a decade in formal entomological research, and many years collaborating with an integrated pest management consultancy. His 35 years of dedicated work has combined his loves of research, writing, photography, and consulting as a pest management adviser.

Award of Merit

Melbourne Bushfoods

Xuan Peng accepting the award on behalf of Melbourne Bushfoods

Learning first hand from Aboriginal Communities and hearing their stories, director of Melbourne Bushfoods Hayden Marks realized there was a big problem in the native food industry. Low quality, corporate food manufacturers were preying on consumers by offering a bushfood flavoured product than contained 0.01% of native ingredients.
He decided to form partnerships instead. That’s where he found a vast network of Aboriginal Enterprises, wild harvesters, and small farmers who had the same passion and love for native ingredients he had.

Award of Merit

Charlie Albone


Charlie was not able to accept his award on the evening.

Charles Albone, landscape designer and television presenter known for co-hosting Selling Houses Australia (2008–20). He has also hosted other shows including The Party Garden, Charlie and the Flower Show and Chelsea’s Greatest Garden, which he won a silver-gilt medal. In 2020, Charlie joined the cast of Better Homes and Gardens.

The architecture and landscape design went against the traditional industrial look of preceding desalination plants, featuring a 20,000 sqm open green space atop an oval rooftop that serves as an observation deck for the underground treatment facilities. 

The green roof reduces energy costs by absorbing heat and providing natural insulation for buildings. Not only that, it can reduce and slow down stormwater runoff while filtering pollutants from rainfall. As the rooftop is designed to safely accommodate up to 500 people, citizens are welcome to use the space for recreational activities such as weekend picnics or indulging in panoramic sunset views.

Past Awards


AIH Anual Awards


AIH Anual Awards


AIH Anual Awards


AIH Anual Awards


AIH Anual Awards


AIH Anual Awards


AIH Anual Awards