Category: President's Report

President’s Report January 2022

President’s Report January 2022

Dear Council and Members,

I hope you all had a restful Christmas period and had the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. I would like to welcome Coralie to the council and as we mentioned at the AGM please feel to reach out to any of the national council members for assistance in navigating our agenda and meetings. I would also like to officially welcome Sam Hawthorne who has now started with AIH as of last week as our Events Coordinator and has been preparing works alongside myself, Andrew and Alan.

As I welcome you all back for another big year of AIH events I don’t welcome the return of uncertainty and possible disruption that this current pandemic continues to deliver. Having said that I feel that even though we have a busy year ahead I’m sure we will be kept even busier as we swap dates and make changes to our busy schedule of events.

AIH closed the 2021 year with several successful networking events held in most states to celebrate a great year and to welcome in the Christmas period. I thank the regional convenors and the AIH national council for their assistance with these events. All the feedback I received was very positive.

Over the last two weeks the council have been working on the postponement of the Sunshine Coast event, the national convenors meeting and the national council meetings. The Sunshine Coast event is now locked in for  3rd June. I want to thank Alan Burnell for his time organising this and for his work with Nina from Flight Centre. Nina’s work has been fantastic and very professional and I thank her for her commitment to our changing needs.

Andrew Prowse is also in the process of contacting the events team at Merivale to organise a more suitable date later in the year to ensure we do not incur any losses from an event that we feel people may not attend during this current unstable time.

The Queensland Bush Foods Conference is continuing and late last year myself and their team met to continue finalising the event and dates. We are running with a national approach and have dropped the Queensland title now opting for Australian Bush Foods Conference 2022 (inc. 8th Queensland Bushfoods Conference). The theme will be Design and Development of Urban Landscapes for Bush Food  Production and held on the 19th – 22nd May 2022. The location of the event will be 4808 – 4822 Mt Lindesay North Maclean 4280.

Sub themes:

  1. Design of urban landscapes for bush food production
    -Design (Parks garden rooftops etc)
    -Plant selection
  2. Development and management of Bush foods in the urban environment
  3. Application and use of bush foods; Including traditional uses and management
  4. The culinary uses of bush foods

Again a big welcome back to you all and as always I thoroughly enjoy working with you all. Let’s get a big start on this year and as always lets ensure we enjoy the work we do. We have a great group of national councillors and what’s recently come to light, a brand new group of members that wish to be involved in a bigger way than they have previously. What a year we have in front of us.


Michael Casey

President’s Report October 2021

President’s Report October 2021

Dear AIH council, thank you all for another great month with your continuing support and work with AIH. As we make our way to the end of the year and our upcoming AGM we can all reflect on how busy we have all been and more importantly how productive we have been as a council.

The awards have now been decided with our Secretary Matt Mitchley sending all nominees a personalised email and letter informing them of their nomination. The council have worked well together discussing the projects and achievements and have appointed all winners of each sector. The winners will now be notified with a letter from the President affirming their success. Thanks to Alan Burnell for organising the trophies and liaising with the company to ensure we get the products before the end of the year.

I would also like to announce that the Registered Horticulturist Manager’s position has now been made redundant. Current manager Wayne Van Balen was informed on the 18th October that the position would be made redundant with the council working on a new role encompassing an administration role along with a RH Managers role. This role will be advertised in the new year. I would like to on behalf of the council thank Wayne for his time in the position and his hard work in organising webinars, events and convenors around Australia.

This month I met with Arch Media to sign our organisation onto another year as the Houses magazine sponsor. I believe this will again open us up to a new audience and with some careful marketing we should be able to further capitalise on our exposure to this audience.

I have met with David Priem from TAFE NSW to  start a conversation around the future collaboration of our two organisations. David is very keen to see their TAFE’s involved more with AIH and that their students receive more exposure to our organisation. I look forward to further discussions with David and his team.

Our support of the upcoming Bush Foods Conference will start in the next week or two with a meeting to map out the involvement of AIH. I will be looking for someone from council to nominate themselves in helping with this role working alongside the council at Bush Foods and being the nominated representative of AIH.

I have also been in discussions with the council at Therapeutic Horticulture Australia to discuss their thoughts on joining us in Melbourne next year. They are very open to this concept with a suggestion that they run their conference on the Friday with their cocktail night on the Friday evening. They wanted to have their event separate to us to ensure their members could attend the AIH  event. Continuing our chat I suggested we could run our conference and awards night on the Saturday so THA members could also attend. A discussion was also had around a joint AIH/THA award that could see our award nominations taken up by members and practitioners in the TH field.

This month AIH and Interior Plantscape Association ran their first joint webinar that was well attended. This collaborative approach alongside other organisations really does work well and opens us up for greater exposure amongst other professionals in our industry.

Thanks again to you all for the last months work.

Michael Casey

President’s Report September 2021

President’s Report September 2021

Dear AIH members,

A lot has been happening in the world of late and the interruption to our lives and livelihoods has been in a lot of cases very difficult to deal with. As we appear to be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, I thought it was timely to keep you up to date on what the council have been working hard on over the last month and more importantly what they are planning as the year comes to a completion.

Our council have been working extremely hard on our current constitution and bringing it into line with how the organisation now operates. I would like to personally acknowledge and highlight the hard work carried out by all members of the council and especially our councillor Jackie Warburton. The work in editing, reviewing, and discussing this new version amongst the council, past senior councillors and the relevant government departments has ensured we will move forward with a new constitution that reflects current day standards and is in line with the pathways AIH is moving.

Our recent support for Therapeutic Horticulture Australia’s (THA) conference has provided us with great exposure. I addressed the delegates on the morning of the conference where I spoke of our commitment to horticulture and our years of working alongside THA. Our exposure through their marketing campaign and on the day of the conference was fantastic and I will be thanking them on behalf of the council. We should see some memberships and further exposure come about from this day.

AIH were also very proud to this year sponsor the Landscape and Garden Award for Houses Magazine. We were provided with great exposure throughout the industry and have benefitted greatly from this. AIH has just recently thrown our support behind the 2022 Awards and have signed up again with Houses Magazine.

Early next year the Bush foods conference hosted by Australian Technology and Agricultural College will be located in Queensland and AIH will be thrilled to support this event.

The sponsoring of events for other organisations displays how our organisation is committed to promoting horticulture in and around our networks.

I also wish to welcome our newest Corporate member, Edible Garden City – Singapore,  who have been communicating a lot with myself and our Registered Horticulturist manager.

Registered Horticulturist manager Wayne Van Balen and I recently presented an hour long online session with their senior staff highlighting the benefits of being a member of AIH and what our organisation can do to promote and elevate their careers in horticulture.

While on Singapore myself and John Tan continue to discuss possibilities with promoting AIH into the Singapore landscape and Horticulture industry with our ongoing discussions with NParks and LIAS. We thank him for his work in Singapore and look forward to seeing him and our Singapore colleagues soon.

Thanks again to every council member for the works carried out over the last few months. In trying times, we have still been able to ensure we get things done for the institute to make it a better organisation for the profession and our members.

Michael Casey

President’s Report February 2020

President’s Report February 2020

Dear Members,

I hope your start to the year has been smooth and not affected by either extreme heat, fires or flooding rains?

It does make you think more about the current condition our climate is in and what impact it not only has on us but our industry. Last year’s conference highlighted the hard work being accomplished by members of our industry but it also highlighted the amount of work we still need to do and how we need to continue to push our industry and learn more about how horticulture can assist in a changing climate.

This year the institute celebrates its 60th year as the peak industry body representing horticulturists in Australia and Southeast Asia. We will be hosting our awards night in Sydney this October along with our national conference that was very well received last year in Perth. The conference will follow on with a similar theme to last year highlighting the works of horticulturists in our changing climate. Please keep an eye out for the communications regarding these events.

We have also worked alongside our industry colleagues at Interior Plantscape Association to organise a three-day tour of Singapore gardens to coincide with this year’s Singapore Garden Festival. This event has been such a success we have nearly sold out of the limited seats we had available. This will be a great event and we thank both IPA and NParks for their assistance in organising this event.

The National Council and myself will be attending MIFGS this year in Melbourne and invite anyone wishing to catch up to contact myself or AIH directly to organise a catch up.

I look forward to a big year ahead and welcome all our new members that have joined our organisation at the start of this year.

Michael Casey

President’s Report November 2019

President’s Report November 2019

Dear Members,

We have just recently had our Annual General Meeting in Sydney and I would like to thank the hard work
put in over the last 12 months by our National executives, councilors and paid contractors:

Vice President Alan Burnell
Secretary Matt Mitchley
Treasurer Andrew Prowse
Council Neville Passmore, Patrick Regnault, Jackie Warburton and Kris Pearce
Website and Membership Manager David Thompson
Editor Tempe Macgowan
Past President and Registered Horticulturist Manager Wayne Van Balen
Auditors AME Accountants
Bookkeepers Notch Above

We have had a couple of changes after the AGM with the election of our new Vice President Andrew Prowse stepping up from Treasurer and we welcome back Andrew Price to the position of Treasurer.

I would also like to personally thank our parting committee members Alan Burnell and Neville Passmore for their committed and hard work over the last 12 months and wish them all the very best with their works outside the AIH council. We will also be welcoming onto the committee as ‘nonvoting’ member our new Student Ambassador Coralie Stuart. Coralie received the 2019 Horticultural Student of the Year award and will be promoting the benefits of our industry to the many students studying around Australia. Again congratulations on receiving this award Coralie.

As we get closer to Christmas and the end of the year we would ask that all members keep an eye out for communications on Christmas events happening in each state. Our membership manager David will be sending out information on these end of year dinners. The committee has also been working hard on next year’s awards night and conference and will be able to release dates and location details very shortly.

I wish you all the best in the lead up to Christmas.

Michael Casey

President’s Report September 2019

President’s Report September 2019

Welcome to the start of spring and the lead into the busy run to Christmas.

Over the last three months, the AIH Committee have been tirelessly working to organize a fantastic line-up of speakers for our upcoming conference. We are also preparing the annual awards night which looks set to be a great night of networking and social engagement.

The conference, for which you have no doubt received plenty of information about, is going to be an informative day that will give an insight into how horticulture is assisting with ameliorating the changing climate. I thank our national councillor and conference Convenor, Neville Passmore, FAIH RH, for his assistance with setting up this event.

A big thank you also goes to our hard-working and extremely committed members I have working with me at AIH. Their work on the conference and awards night will ensure that the two events will be enjoyed by all who attend. Therapeutic Horticulture Australia, where I sit on their council, is also delivering an impressive line-up of speakers for their conference. It is a must for anyone wanting to gather information on what’s happening in this emerging sector of our industry.

With only a couple of weeks to go, I recommend to anyone wishing to network with like-minded professionals and hear what both Therapeutic Horticulture and horticulturists are doing about climate change, to come along and have a look at what’s on offer in Perth from 19th – 22nd September 2019.

Hope to see you in Perth.

Michael Casey

President’s Report July 2019

President’s Report July 2019

Dear Councillors and Members,


Welcome to the middle of the year and the countdown to our 2019 Conference and Awards night to be held in Perth, Western Australia.


The National Council have now received all the nominations for the upcoming awards and I send out a big thank you to all that sent through their nominations as there have been some fantastic projects and colleagues nominated. I must say the large amount of nominations that came in this year was great to see. Our Conference Convenor Neville Passmore has been working hard to ensure that this year’s conference will not disappoint.


The line up can be seen on the AIH webpage as can the online booking form so ensure you make the most of the discount offered for the conference early bird tickets. The wildflower and garden tour is open for all AIH members and the public so please make the most of booking early as numbers are limited. It will be held on Sunday 22nd September following the awards and can be seen on the website.


Therapeutic Horticulture Australia is also having their annual conference on the 20th September and this will be full of accomplished presenters discussing innovation, practice and research in the field of therapeutic horticulture. Please ensure you take a look at the THA website for more details or you can book online at our Trybooking site.


I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our membership team who have been working hard over the last 2 months ensuring all members have their current memberships processed and replying to messages of both support and inquiries from prospective members. We have had a great number of new members join in recent months and I welcome them to the AIH on behalf of the National Council and myself. To all renewing members please ensure you head to the website of ACS Distance Education to receive your $30 eBook voucher. Thanks again to John Mason FAIH for this kind gift to our members.


The continuing workshops and ‘walk and talks’ around the country are bringing both fantastic and insightful topics and sites for our members but more importantly, they are attracting large amounts of participants ensuring that members can network with like-minded industry colleagues. The appointment of Wayne Van Balen as our Registered Horticulturist Manager will also ensure that these events be run around the country and with the best topics and presenters we can find. For all RH members, we will be starting our auditing of members CPD points so please ensure your records are up to date.


Thank you again to all members and if there is anything myself or the National Council can help you with then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.


Michael Casey

President’s Report June 2019

President’s Report June 2019

Dear Councillors and Members,


I have enjoyed the last month both working alongside the National Council and fellow members in various activities that are either associated with AIH or the broader industry. This has included working with the hard-working conference team, led by Neville Passmore, as they put together a fantastic program of speakers and topics. The conference will be highlighting the role of horticulturists in a changing world and environment. My role on the national council with Therapeutic Horticulture Australia (THA) has allowed me to work with their President, Steven Wells, and their conference team as we all put the THA conference together, which has a growing line-up of fantastic speakers.


On another front, my chats with Interior Plantscape Association President, Karen Smith, has seen the two of us work on some very exciting ideas that we will both release very soon. The more we chat to our colleagues and friends in the industry, the more we open our eyes to the many professions that this great field of work we are in associates us with. The word collaboration gets used a lot, but I’m actually seeing it play out more and more as it now becomes a fundamental way in which we network within our professional community.


My recent trip to Singapore was a wonderful one that allowed myself, Vice president, Alan Burnell, Singapore Convenor, John Tan, and AIH member, Dr Kate Neale, to attend the opening of the first Singapore Horticultural Show. This show highlighted everything great in horticulture and was targeted at professionals, families, students and anyone with an interest in horticulture. The amount of educational demonstrations held during this event made an outing to this show a must for people wanting to understand more about our profession. Myself, Alan, John and Kate would also like to acknowledge and thank NParks for their kind invitation to speak on behalf of the AIH on various topics from our professional fields.


At the time of compiling this newsletter, the AIH award nominations have closed and the national council will be busy discussing the various projects, members and associated colleagues who have nominated themselves or have been nominated. The awards night, which will be held in Perth following the conference will be a fantastic night to both highlight some of the wonderful work in horticulture as well as a worthy networking event. Tickets will be on sale very shortly for both our AIH conference and awards night as well as the Therapeutic Horticulture conference.


AIH workshops continue to be presented around the country with some fantastic events facilitated by our convenors and horticultural experts. These events are always being added to the calendar and can be viewed online. The Walk ‘N’ Talks will also continue with some new ones being added to the Victorian calendar very shortly. Thanks to our Registered Horticulturist Manager, Wayne Van Balen and all the regional convenors. I am looking forward to some great events over the next few months.


And on a final note, you will have received your annual renewals for membership. The national council thanks you for your ongoing support as a member and we look forward to assisting and promoting you and the industry throughout the next 12 months and beyond. A big thank you goes out to John Mason from ACS Distance Education for their kind donation of a $30 voucher that goes to all members on renewal of their membership. Let’s all get behind them as a valued sponsor.


Michael Casey

President’s Report May 2019

President’s Report May 2019

Dear Councillors and Members,


What a great first quarter to 2019 with so many events and networking opportunities as well as new initiatives being continually added to the many benefits of being an AIH member.


Promoting Horticulture

In the last 3 months, the Institute has represented members and promoted horticulture at the Perth Garden Festival, Melbourne International Garden Show, Plant Collectors Fair, Brisbane Garden and Plant Expo and the Singapore Horticulture Show just to name a few.


‘Walk and Talks’

Our ‘Walk and Talks’ are extremely popular and providing members, friends and colleagues an opportunity to catch up with likeminded people while walking around a beautiful garden.


Taxonomy Workshop in All States Around Australia

Our workshops are held around Australia with great success and I thank all the convenors for their hard work in both organising and running these events. Very shortly we will be running our popular Taxonomy workshop in all states around Australia so please look out for news of these dates and locations.


Singapore Horticulture Show 

I have recently returned from Singapore where I attended the Singapore Horticulture Show alongside fellow members Alan Burnell MAIH (Vice President) and Dr Kate Neale AAIH where we all presented talks on the main stage at the Horticulture show alongside AIH Singapore Convenor John Tan MAIH. A big thanks goes to John for making this happen and for NParks for hosting us over the opening weekend. The show was a great success and one that should be placed in your calendars if you ever wish to visit Singapore.


Membership Renewal Notices for 2019/20

By now you will be receiving your membership renewal notices and you may notice that Australian Distance Education has kindly donated a $30 voucher to be used at their online bookstore. This promotion is for full membership renewals and is a very generous offer from John Mason and his team. I would like to thank John personally on behalf of all renewing AIH members and direct our members to John’s business if they are interested in any online courses. Thanks John.

New Connections

AIH are continuing to make great connections with other horticultural companies and we hope to be able to offer our members some great incentives and deals with these new contacts.


Award Nominations

The Council are now starting to receive nominations for the upcoming awards night to be held in Perth. Let’s continue to send through nominations for jobs of our own or colleagues or maybe nominate someone who has excelled in horticulture in other ways.


AIH Conference

The upcoming conference is taking shape and I have been lucky enough to see the current line-up for the speakers at the event and am quite excited about what will be showcased on the day. Our National Council led by Neville Passmore are working hard on this event and I thank them all for their work to date. Check out the website for more details and look out for emails detailing the line-up and other announcements.


New AIH Quarterly Journal

And last of all our new AIH quarterly journal will be out soon and is full of horticultural stories, interviews and other relevant information. A big thanks to our Communications Manager, Tempe Macgowan, for her hard work.


I look forward to our National Council releasing more information over the next month regarding new events, networking opportunities and other horticultural news.


Michael Casey

President’s Report February – March 2019

President’s Report February – March 2019

Dear councillors and members,


the start of the year is bringing together some fantastic work done by our National Council. We started back in early January and have been busy at getting ideas and projects underway to ensure that 2019 is a successful year for the institute.


I would like to acknowledge our friend, colleague and mentor Kim Morris FAIH who sadly passed away at the start of the year. As I have mentioned in previous communications. Kim was a very important part of AIH and mentored many of us, including myself as I am extremely grateful for his assistance and commitment with assisting me reaching this position within the institute.


Over the last 2 months, I have received notifications from Web and Membership Manager David Thompson about the many new members who have joined us. I welcome them and hope they start to benefit professionally from being a part of our institute.


We have implemented 2 new paid positions at AIH:

1. Communications Manager Tempe Macgowan and

2. Wayne Van Balen Registered Horticulturist Coordinator.


These positions are all important roles within the institute and they will assist the National Council with delivering the many new changes we wish to implement over the next few months. On behalf of the National Council, I welcome them and we will be hearing more from them in the future.


Our workshops and networking events have started for the year and you may all see some changes over the next few months in how we deliver these events. Wayne and the National Council will be working hard at structuring events to ensure maximum participation and delivery of information. Our new ‘Walk and Talk’ events are gathering momentum with 2 completed this year on the mid and north coasts of NSW. Our regional convenors have recorded great numbers and the feedback has been positive.


Our new newsletter and monthly articles have started rolling out and will be a monthly feature for our members. I welcome any stories from members about any projects or events they are involved in and would like to share with our organisation.


This coming April, Singapore will host their first biennial Horticultural Festival. Our Singapore Regional Convenor, John Tan, has organised for some of us to attend the event and present workshops at this festival. This will be another way we continue to strengthen our association with Singapore and their garden and horticultural events.


Our conference planning is well and truly underway with the location booked and the theme and topics being finalised. Very soon our call for papers will go out and planning will continue to organise a program. I thank Neville for his work to date and encourage anyone who can assist the conference committee to get in contact with us to ensure we can pass on your details to Neville.


The award nominations are almost ready to be sent out in March and we expect to see some fantastic projects and people nominated for the various awards being offered. The Greenspace Awards are becoming very popular amongst developers and councils who are all keen to display their green spaces in the new developments popping up around the country.


Start thinking about some projects or people you know about who would be worthy of being nominated for one of the many awards.


To finish I would like to also remind you all about the many garden festivals that will be appearing over the next few months. Keep an eye out on the AIH calendar to ensure you don’t miss the next event in your state.


Look forward to chatting with you all and attending the many events on throughout Autumn.



Michael Casey