Australian Garden Council Backs Australian Youth in Horticulture

Australian Garden Council
November 7, 2017

In 2016 the Australian Garden Council nominated Jack Hutchinson (18), a young horticulturist working at the multi-award winning Honeysuckle Garden Centre, Mosman NSW, for the BBM Award. Jack was a qualified horticulturist and a high achieving employee who also had the backing of his nursery owner/manager Peter Thorburn.  Jack was successful in his application last year and the AGC was very proud their nominee received the award. The prize includes an $8,000 travel scholarship to the UK to further studies and work experiences in ones chosen field.

The AGC Chair and Founder, Graham Ross VMM, assisted Jack to fulfil his dreams in the UK by arranging work at RHS Chelsea, RHS Chatsworth House, RHS Hampton Court and RHS Tatton Park Flower Shows. All the show gardens that Jack worked on amazingly won gold medals. These events are the pinnacle of global horticulture and enabled Jack to work with the best garden designers, landscapers and horticulturists.

In association with Graham’s English colleague, renowned garden designer, Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Jack also studied in Andrew’s London School of Garden Design, worked at RHS Wisley Gardens, The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and also at Warren House Gardens and Jacksons Wholesale Nursery. Truly a triumphant collection of the world’s best horticultural venues.

In March 2017 nominees were requested for the BBM Youth Support Awards. Announcements were broadcast on Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and regional radio stations and printed in industry publications.

At the BBM Youth Support Awards presentation in the NSW Parliament House in Sydney on the 6th November 2017 the winners were announced for the 2017-18 travel scholarships.  The AGC had once again nominated a young horticulturist, this time Jessica Smith, an employee of Ryde City Council Parks and Gardens team and the 2016 winner of the LNA ‘s Apprentice of the Year. She won the BBM award and announced on the night that she hopes to “learn new skills and understanding to boost my performance when I return to Australia. I would be honoured to use my success story to encourage future students to enrol in apprenticeships and horticultural courses to further themselves and create a stronger, smarter horticultural community.”

Funding for Jess’s award was provided by the Australian institute of Horticulture Trust Fund as arranged by Graham Ross in consultation with Trustee Ros Andrews.

This was the first time two young Australian horticulturists were nominated for BBM Awards and both received travel scholarships.

The second winner was Joel Smith, no relation, who received the award in honour of Sir John Pagan one on the early heroes of the BBM.

Joel is a Parks and Gardens horticulture apprentice at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and Conservation Society. Joel plans to immerse himself in many aspects of horticulture while in the UK hoping to work at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, visiting a number of heritage gardens in the UK and learning more about horticultural therapy and the charity Thrive.

Graham, through the AGC, is again helping both 2017-18 awardees with their travel programs in the UK. 

Jess and Joel come from an increasing line of successful young nominees for the BBM awards, all of whom have become Ambassadors of YoungHorts Australia including Kate Grace,( YHA Founder-2013-14), Tristan Krepp (2012-13), Caitlin Sawyer (2014-15), and Grace Scott (2015-16). Other Young Horticulturists of the Year have also joined YoungHorts Australia to raise the profile and professionalism of the industry to young enthusiastic horticulturists.

The Australian Garden Council are working with the BBM CEO Melanie Stray to expand the awards in 2018.

To read Jack Hutchinson’s 2017 BBM application, click here.

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