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


…. and the Golden Wattle 2022 goes to Christian Jenkins MAIH

The Golden Wattle is presented to an horticulturist for their commitment, dedication & promotion of Horticulture. The Golden Wattle is a significant achievement and is the highest award of AIH recognition to be given to a horticulturist whose practice has advanced the profession of horticulture in Australia. 

The AIH presented the Golden Wattle 2022 to Christian Jenkins for his work as a professional horticulturist and landscape designer. Christian’s work embraces design that celebrates space, function, texture, colour, and movement. Christian and his team provide sought after expertise in not only recognising the needs of the client but translating these ideas into grand designs. His passion and commitment to produce only the best gardens for his clients has developed an award-winning business.

For nearly 20 years Christian has worked on his Show Gardens where he has excelled in designing and installing these competitive spaces. His landscapes at these garden festivals demonstrate his love and passion for all plants. Christian produces calming and relaxing effects within these show landscapes, recognising the effect design, combined with plants, can have on people within and outside the garden space.

His love of creating show gardens has resulted in 20 show gardens in total now with GOLD in Singapore, China, New Zealand x 2, Melbourne x 2; the latest being In 2022 when Christian took out Gold and Best in Show at the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show along with Gold at the Singapore Garden Festival. He feels blessed that his occupation allows him to create something beautiful and share with our amazing industry.

Congratulations Christian, we look forward to future show gardens to keep the industry and public enthralled. 

Silver Gum Award

Sponsored by AIH Silver Sponsor Altum Property Group

For Promotion and Contribution to the Australian Horticultural Industry.

Michael Casey

MAIH RH – AIH President 2018 to 2022

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.

AIH Fellowships

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.

AIH 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.

AIH Horticulture 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.

AIH Kim Morris Student Merit Award

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.