AIH 2018 Annual Awards

Every year, the Institute celebrates excellence in horticulture with diverse projects, experiences and people acknowledged and recognised for their achievements. In a year that has delivered major disruption across the world, it is timely that the Australian Institute of Horticulture celebrates these superb people and their projects.

October 27, 2018

Acknowledgment of Country

We acknowledge and pay respects to the Yugambeh people of the Gold Coast and all their descendants both past and present. We also acknowledge the many Aboriginal people from other regions as well as Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who now live in the local area and have made an important contribution to the community.

Golden Wattle Award

Annette McFarlane

Presented by Michael Casey and sponsors Annette Irish and Wayne Van Balen.

The Golden Wattle Award goes to Annette McFarlane. The award was accepted on her behalf by Kim Woods Rabbidge, President Horticulture Media Association Qld.

Annette is a broadcaster on ABC Brisbane with a large and enthusiastic audience tuning in to her gardening talk back program each weekend. She is a regular Garden Columnist for the Sunday Mail newspaper that is distributed throughout Queensland.

Presented by Neville Passmore FAIH RH

Silver Gum Award

Sponsored By Cameron Tree from Horticultural Training

Major General, The Honourable Michael Jeffery


General Jeffery has served the Australian nation at its highest level as its 24th Governor General, as a decorated soldier of great courage from his beginnings as a native Western Australian.

Horticulturist of the Year

Sponsored by Fitzpatrick Insurance

Jan Allen


Presented by Daniel Holmes from Fitzpatricks & Co. Insurance Brokers

Jan has long been a member of AIH and has worked in the profession in the public and private sectors for almost 30 years.


Stuart Pittendrigh


The members thank you and believe it is high time you joined our group of Fellows.


Neville Passmore


Wayne Van Balen MAIH RH and Chris Poulton FAIH RH (the most recently appointed Fellow) presented two Fellowships of the AIH.

The Members wish to acknowledge your ongoing contribution and honour you with a Fellowship.

Student of the Year

Sponsored by AIH National Council

Sonny Morrison

Presented by David Thompson on behalf of The AIH National Council and Sponsor Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

The Australian Institute of Horticulture Student of the Year for 2018 is Sonny Morrisson, nominated by Tom Lantry and Sponsored by Western Sydney University.

BBM Youth Support Horticulture Scholarship

Sponsored by BBM Youth Support

Katanah Jas

Katanah Jas is one of the winners of the 2018 BBM Youth Support Award for Horticulture and is off to Europe thanks to sponsorship from Mayfield Garden in conjunction with the Australian Garden Council. Katanah was recommended by AIH member John Mason FAIH.

Rural Green Space Award

Noosa Shire Council - Noosa Heads Boardwalk Upgrade

Nominated and Presented by Alan Burnell
The walkway from Hastings St in Noosa out to the Noosa National Park showcases an iconic part of the Australian coastline. It passes through remnant native bushland located upon the hills and cliffs overlooking Laguna Bay. It provides tourists and locals with an accessible experience of the impressive coastline.

Urban Green Space Award

Optus Stadium Chevron Parkland, Burswood, WA

Jaiden Culpin and Julian Rose from Deep Green Corporation accepted the award.

The creation of the Optus Stadium Perth was a controversial project at the outset. It is now a source of great pride to West Australians and is particularly so in 2018 since the Optus Stadium home team, the West Coast Eagles took out the AFL premiership. Creating a park for the people beside this icon, presented a unique canvas from which to show off something of Perth’s green history.

Urban Green Space Award

Junglefy Australia’s Largest Breathing Wall

Presented and accepted by Michael Casey MAIH RH

Jock Gammon, Managing Director of Junglefy, is unable to attend and Michael Casey as nominator accepted the award on his behalf.

Following the success of the first Breathing Wall installed at Lendlease’s Sydney head office, Junglefy were tasked to create an even bigger Breathing Wall for Lendlease in Melbourne. At 88sqm, it is currently Australia’s largest Breathing Wall and provides clean air and a beautiful backdrop for this foyer and collaborative work space.

Award of Excellence

MJC Horticulture

Presented by Jackie Warburton MAIH

The benefits of Green Walls which are being installed inside buildings, homes and even classrooms in urban environments have been well documented in recent years. There is significant proof that Green Walls can also have a positive impact on children’s mental health, especially those within secondary schools.

Award of Excellence

Ben French

Presented by Matt Mitchley MAIH RH

A recipient of an Award of Excellence has been a Member of the Institute for a continuous period of not less than four years; and has demonstrated consistent achievement in a horticultural field.

Ben French was nominated by Matt Mitchley and recognised for the Bulimba Garden. Ben has been a long term AIH member.

Award of Merit

Dr Kate Neale

Presented by Andrew Prowse MAIH RH and Matt Carroll MAIH RH

Dr Kate Neale was nominated by Patrick Regnault MAIH RH for her contribution to “Inclusive therapeutic horticulture programs”.

Dr Kate Neale PhD is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University. She is an avid gardener who has combined her passion for gardening along with her expertise in Childhood Studies, research methodologies and ethics.

Award of Merit

Phillip Vaughan

Phillip Vaughan of Vaughan’s Native Plants Teesdale, Victoria has helped make precious Australian native plants available for home gardens. Phil Vaughan has made the best of the Western Australian Wildflowers available as grafted plants to home gardeners. Previously, the best of WA’s spectacularly colourful wildflowers simply could never be grown over in the Eastern states due to fungal diseases etc.

Award of Merit

Sid Dyer

Presented by Andrew Prowse MAIH RH

An Award of Merit is granted for a specific horticultural project or activity. The recipient need not necessarily be a Member of the Institute.

The Institute recognised Sid Dyer for his services to Horticulture, development of the irrigation industry and the Nerang Community Garden Project.

Certificates of Appreciation

Wayne Van Balen + Kim Morris

Recognising The Leadership of President and Secretary.

Wayne Van Balen has led the Institute as President since 2015 and has dedicated enormous time, energy and commitment to a large number of strategic initiatives that have strengthened the place of the AIH in the national and international region.

AIH Fellow

Glenice Batchelor


Glenice Batchelor FAIH RH

The Members wish to acknowledge your ongoing contribution and honour you with a Fellowship.

Award of Appreciation

Paul Plant


Chair of Fellows Group

Award of Appreciation

Neville Passmore


Neville Passmore FAIH RH, Jackie Warburton MAIH

Convenor of the 2019 AIH Conference

Lifetime Achievement Award

Marion Blackwell

Presented prior to the conference by Neville Passmore FAIH RH.

Marion Blackwell is a National Treasure and was awarded an Order of Australia in 2018. She is recognised for her work as an environmental Scientist, landscape architect and conservationist. Given the theme of our conference she is a very fitting recipient of this award. Her publications and reports cover a wide field of W.A. interests, especially local gardening and landscape projects as well as for major mining companies such as NBHP and Woodside Offshore Petroleum.

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