President’s Report October 2018

Dear Members

This will be my last President’s report after four years at the helm. In a very genuine sense, it has been an honour.

For those that wonder, “why be a member?” albeit at some expense, personally I have regularly travelled to most regions, made great friends in Western Australia, South Australia, even Tasmania and Cairns – as well as the diverse regions in Victoria and New South Wales. I have represented the institute in Singapore, Jakarta, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. I have met the International Presidents of organisations such as the Institute of Landscape Architects, Horticultural Scientists and Production Horticulturists, and these have been wonderful opportunities resulting from belonging to my professional organisation. I have been privileged to work with many dedicated Regional Conveners and Councillors who are passionate about our association and profession. I can assure you that they are committed to the membership.

In recent years, Kim Morris has served tirelessly even through recent periods of ill health. We owe him a great deal. My wife Jane has made it possible through her technical support in the office and her counsel in relation to tricky situations.

I can report that there are ever increasing wonderful career opportunities for people entering our profession with issues like organic food production, food security, biosecurity and the benefits of green space in our urban environment. Horticultural therapy and understanding alternative pest and disease management systems are other realms that have been developing. Industrial contracts are increasingly calling for qualified horticulturists and in fact, contracts are beginning to require registered horticulturists on construction and management assignments. More recently, I have been involved in government initiatives that realise the benefits of our registered horticulturist scheme in communicating developing horticultural standards and methods. The Australian Garden Council does a large amount of work on identifying and discussing with Government the importance of Horticulture and gardens in relation to our tourism sector and this needs to be a continuing and growing focus.

I congratulate our Gold Sponsors Botanica Nurseries Pty Ltd and Fitzpatricks Insurance, who have joined with us to support our endeavours to improve skills and professionalism. We look forward to honouring their commitment. The regions have been rallying for us to provide more clarity to the public as to why they should use professional horticulturists. I thank Tom Lantry and the NSW Hunter/Central Coast group which is going national

Recently I attended the Botanical Bazaar on the Gold Coast where we had an AIH tent and answered questions to the public. We signed up many new members and took registrations for our awards night. The success was similar to that achieved at the Plant Collectors Fair in Sydney and the wonderful networking that took place at the Perth Garden Festival.

We have recently been receiving nominations for the new National Council. I encourage nominations for those who are yet to submit.

Awards Night

While on the Gold Coast I stayed a night at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, which is the venue of our next Awards Night on 27th October. I am very pleased to advise that the venue is great! In a golf course setting with a very green outlook, excellent pool area, regal staircase, plenty of space and great rooms. So, I encourage you to attend and enjoy a night or two if you can book (quickly!). If you are not already aware, there is a Bus Tour arranged on Saturday 27th (leaving from the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, 64 Palm Meadows Drive, Carrara at 9am) before the Awards night. Many of us are attending and supporting the Horticulture Therapy Conference being held on Friday 26th. Details of these events on 26th and 27th October have been provided later in this newsletter and are on the website. If you have any problems booking, please contact David Thompson or myself or the Secretary to assist.

I should not forget to thank David Thompson and his partner Anna who together make a brilliant website and membership team. Thank you David and Anna for the high standards which you have always adhered to.

Singapore Delegation

This coming week we are hosting a delegation of officials and contractors from Singapore who will spend one day in Brisbane, one day in Sydney and one day in Melbourne (they will visit Perth next year). They will be visiting some iconic developments and we will be sharing industry challenges and learning from each other as part of our Memorandum of Collaboration. A number of senior educators will be accompanying us. Thank you to the Vice President, Michael Casey, Paul Hoffmann in Brisbane and Stuart Pittendrigh, Nic Rivett and Annette Irish who will be assisting. We hope that this will lead to good reciprocal opportunities for our own students and professionals in Singapore.

I wish you all a great spring and hope to see you at the Awards Night – and as many events and workshops as possible.

Best wishes

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