At the final HMASA dinner meeting for 2021 members shared stories of their successes and news of events for 2022 starting with guest speaker Dan Austin. June Taylor reports…
Dan Austin said his journey through the world of horticulture all began when, as a horticulture apprentice, he was awarded a Playford Trust Scholarship.
“After winning the award I immediately benefitted from the networks and the prestige associated with the Trust and my career has snowballed with opportunities,” Dan said.
He spoke about his apprenticeship, which earned him the title of SA Apprentice of the Year. His career took him to four continents including South Africa where he studied the nursery industry. He also set up training programs on the Solomon Islands for AusAID.
He said his life has taken a full circle as he now coordinates training programs for more than 100 apprentices from across the state.
“It’s been a whirlwind journey that all began after receiving that award. I am a gardener of humble beginnings who has taken the field of horticulture and stamped a firm mark on the industry,” he said. Dan Austin captivated the audience with a presentation about his new book titled Off the Garden Path, which charts his world travels through words and pictures.
During the evening other members updated everyone on their project with a ‘Show and Tell’ segment. Michael Keelan introduced Jacqui Harbison, who has been appointed as Project Manager for HMASA’s new website for the Australian Garden Calender, which will be launched at Carrick Hill on February 25, 2022.
Neville Sloss reported that he has been busy with the quarterly Australian Nutgrower journal, which is a 60-page glossy quarterly publication for the nut industry.
Kelvin Trimper reminded everyone of the World Federation of Rose Societies 19th World Rose Convention will be held in Adelaide October 27-November 3, 2022.
Other members who spoke during the ‘Show and Tell’ presentation included Rebecca Mumford, who has recently launched a set of 4 Seasonal Garden signs, which have created conversation starters in preschool and primary schools to link learning in the garden.
Dr Leonie Scriven advised members that work has commenced at the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens to upgrade many of the walking trails as well as replacing toilet blocks and increasing the number of carparks and updating signage at the gardens.
Peter Wadewitz announced that Peats Soils & Garden Supplies has recently installed a weighbridge at its Brinkley depot and is trialling a new system that allows trucks to drive under a freestanding camera as it automatically calculates the cubic metres of mulch on board.
Melanie Trimper talked of a new Australian-bred rose, ‘Lady of Australia’, which celebrates the wives of the Governors-General of Australia. It is a yellow Floribunda-style rose bred by Australian breeder Bruce Brundrett that won many awards at National Rose Trial Garden in 2018.
Other members added their news to what was deemed as an exciting and energetic meeting. At the close of the evening President of HMA (SA) Trevor Nottle wished all in attendance the compliments of the season.