2017 Winner

We are very pleased to announce that the 2017 Dawn Fleming Student Scholarship winner is Ashleigh Holmes.

Ashleigh is based on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and is studying a Certificate III in Parks & Gardens at Advanced Community College in Hastings.  From a young age, the outdoors and environmental studies have been of great interest to Ashleigh.  This has developed into a passion for plants and their habits.  Ashleigh is an apprentice at The Diggers Club first home, Heronswood.  This is the perfect environment to grow her plant knowledge, nurture her passion and share this with Heronswood visitors.

Ashleigh speaks fluent Spanish and volunteered as a translator in Peru at the Tapiche Jungle Reserve, in the Amazon basin.   The indigenous locals there harvest fruit from the acai and date palm plantations.  In this role Ashleigh was involved in educating students and researchers from around the world on different types of native flora there and how they are used.

“Encouraging the use of sustainable gardening techniques for a level of environmental preservation that future generations may enjoy” is a goal that Ashleigh has along with promoting the connection between people and plants.

“I was absolutely delighted to find out that I had received the 2017 Dawn Fleming Scholarship. It will provide me with the means to access workshops and seminars that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to attend. I plan to finish my certificate 3 in parks and gardens, along with an RHS certificate through correspondence. With the aid of the scholarship I will be able to develop my knowledge in horticulture to my full potential and beyond, and for that I would like to thank all the people involved in awarding the scholarship to me.”

Here are a few photos of some of the projects I have been involved in at Heronswood. I am particularly proud of my efforts in drystone walling as I curated each stone wall as a project of my own. But I also really enjoy pottering about in our amazing gardens, weeding, pruning and propagating heirloom varieties for the garden.”