The Consortium

Our governance group is transitioning from the original Consortium implementing a grant agreement with the NSW Environmental Trust, to a broader group of stakeholders from greenlife and horticulture associations, environment groups and regulatory bodies forming a new not for profit company limited by guarantee.

Aimee Freimanis

Aimee is the Program Manager for the Gardening Responsibly Initiative and Gardening Responsibly Scheme. Her role involves facilitating and coordinating both the initiative and the program in consultation with industry, government and community stakeholders.

Aimee has a multi-disciplinary background with a strong grounding in science and management, community engagement and building corporate partnership programs. Her expertise is in brokering sustainable solutions.

Lynn Morris

Anita Campbell, CEO, Nursery & Garden Industry NSW & ACT (NGINA)

Annie Lane, Citizen Science Association

Annie is chair of the Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA). ACSA is Australia’s national representative membership association for citizen science. It is a volunteer-led, member-based, incorporated association that seeks to advance and support citizen science. Annie has worked on all sides of the environment spectrum – policy, research and operations, for governments as well as private industry. She is a lapsed ecologist, citizen scientist and local landcarer.

Ben Stockwin, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Brian Merrick, Garden Centres Australia

Brian began his retail horticultural career in New Zealand, during the early 70s. He moved to Australia in 1981 where after three years of managing a video production and distribution company he returned to retail horticulture, where he worked for the next 20 years as General Manager of Gardens R Us. After a short period of working for Flower Power as a buyer, he took up the position of Operations Manager for the Eden Gardens group of garden centres.

Brian has twice served as an international judge for the Nursery & Garden Industry of New Zealand. He has also been a director on the Garden Centres of Australia Board where he served several terms as president. He has also served as a director in the NSW nursery industry.

Brian now mentors and consultants on retail horticulture.

Even after forty years, Brian’s passion for retail horticulture has not diminished.

Chris Poulton, Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH)

Chris Poulton is a horticulturist, garden designer and horticultural consultant.

Chris has been a past NSW President and national Vice President of AIH. He has also lectured in amenity horticulture for over 15 years. Chris was awarded AIH’s prestigious award of Fellow in 2016. Chris has also just stepped down as the Sydney Convenor for the AIH, receiving an award of recognition for his long-standing work and service to the Institute and its members. On behalf of AIH Chris has been an active member of the Gardening Responsibly Consortium over the past two years.

David Priem, TAFE

Graham Ross AM VMM, Australian Garden Council

An Australian horticulturalist, author, radio broadcaster and television gardening presenter, Graham Ross, has educated, entertained and inspired Australia’s gardening community and aspiring green thumbs during a career that has spanned more than 50 years.

He is only the fourth Australian to receive the prestigious Gold Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in London since Queen Victoria created the award in 1870. It was presented to Graham in 2011 by HRH Princess Alexandra on behalf of HM Queen Elizabeth II. He received the medal for his lifelong “contribution to the advancement of the art, science and practice of horticulture”.

Graham has been involved with several professional and industry associations including Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens Trust, the Nursery & Garden Industry, and the Horticultural Media Association. He is also the Founder and Chair of the not-for-profit, Australian Garden Council registered garden charity.

Hillary with Sally the weed detector dog
Hillary Cherry, National Parks & Wildlife Service

Hillary Cherry is a Weed Management Coordinator, working with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. She coordinates state-wide weed strategy, policy and planning for biodiversity conservation. From 2005–2013, she coordinated the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) programs for bitou bush, boneseed and asparagus weeds.

She is originally from Florida, where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Botany from the University of Florida. She worked in terrestrial weed research, applied management and weed risk assessment before moving to Australia in 2002. She is an executive member of the NSW Weeds Society and the Council of Australasian Weeds Societies.

John Siemon, Royal Botanic Gardens

Judy Horton OAM, Garden Clubs Australia

Judy is a horticulturist who in 2015 retired after working for 22 years for Yates where she was responsible for updating six editions of Yates Garden Guide, the best-selling Australian gardening book.

Judy is one of the weekend regulars who answers garden questions on ABC 702 “Weekends with Simon Marnie” program. In 2009 Judy was awarded a Hall of Fame Gold Laurel by the Horticultural Media Association of Australia for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of gardening. She has also been presented with the Golden Wattle Award, the Australian Institute of Horticulture’s highest accolade, for her assistance to the industry.

In the Australia Day Honours list in 2018 Judy was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her contribution to the promotion of gardening.

Since her retirement, Judy has taken on the role of editor of Our Gardens, the Garden Clubs of Australia quarterly magazine. She also travels as a botanical guide for Botanica World Discoveries and is a popular guest speaker.

Kirsty McIntyre, Local Government NSW (LGNSW)

Maddy Humphries, Local Land Services
Matt Carroll, Horticultural Media Association

Michelle Leishman, Distinguished Professor of Biology, Macquarie University

Michelle’s current research focuses on understanding the success of invasive plants, plant and vegetation responses to climate change, plant conservation and adaptation under climate change, and urban green space. Michelle also leads the Green Cities Which Plant Where project at Macquarie University in collaboration with Western Sydney University and NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, and is Director of MQ’s Smart Green Cities.

In addition she is a Board Member of Bush Heritage, Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, and Council member of the Australian Flora Foundation.

Nigel van Reyk GAICD, Voluntary Non-Executive Director Consortium

Pete Turner, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Wayne Van Balen, Australian Institute of Horticulture

Wayne joined the Consortium at the beginning of the project as a representative of the Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH). He served as National President from 2014–2018 and currently acts as one of the two Gardening Responsibly ambassadors appointed by AIH.

Wayne is the director of a gardening and horticultural consulting business based in Sydney. He has qualifications in land economics, farm management and horticulture, and also served as the Extension Officer for the NSW nursery industry in the mid 1980s.