This year our annual event was held in the Members Lounge of Arts Centre Melbourne.
Women from all sectors of the industry came together to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. We were entertained by lyrics and vocals of Brooke Russell and guitarist Grant Taylor from the Mean Reds. Delicious canapes and refreshments were provided by the Arts Centre Melbourne caterers.
It was a pleasure to welcome our patron and founding member Dawn Fleming. Dawn presented Ashleigh Holmes with her certificate for being the recipient of the Dawn Fleming Student Scholarship for 2017. Ashleigh is an apprentice at the Diggers Club’s first home, Heronswood, in Dromana. 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.
Our guest speaker was Bonnie-Marie Hibbs, a qualified and avid horticulturist, who was awarded Apprentice of the Year by the NGIV in 2012. Bonnie-Marie has also appeared on 3AW’s Big Backyard radio program, and in television advertisements, is a published writer, having written articles for GardenGurus and garden websites. She is also a keen photographer and has contributed to garden magazines. She is the author of The Gardener’s Notebook blog where she shares gardening tips, tricks and easy to do garden DIYs. Bonnie-Marie shared her story and passion for gardening with us.
Both young women inspired us with their enthusiasm and passion and their thoughts on the future of Women in Horticulture.
The evening was completed with all attendees going home with a “goodie” bag, once again kindly donated by Seasol.
We wish to thank our major sponsors: Fitzpracticks, Seasol and Ausflora. And also our raffle donors: Warren Glen Café & Nursery, Scotts, Flemings, Kate Herd, Lisa Ellis, Felco, Green Hip, BAAG and Hills Physiotherapy.