Australian flora conference chatrooms on YouTube

By Heather Miles

At the recent Australian flora conference, we had a series of chatrooms.

Chatrooms are designed to give people a broad cross section of information and insights, in an informal and inclusive setting. We had a 12 chatrooms running simultaneously, with a number of them video’d. 

Because chatrooms are informal and in an open setting, sometimes the sound is affected – for which we apologise in advance. 

Patsy Nagle, Models of plant conservation, from bush care to private land conservation

Patsy covers the critical question of ‘What is conservation? And what small to large scale models exist to match the degree of involvement, threats imposed, or time someone has to assist Australian plants be valued and sustained?’ She will layout the physical and societal threats which exist for building and sustaining local flora projects as well as how to sustain commitment over time. Models of conservation on public land, private land, and mixtures of the two will be discussed.

Ben Coddington and Jennifer Owens – lessons learnt in regenerating Five Islands

Ben Coddington and Jennifer Owens share the lessons learnt in restoring the islands and the future directions for Big Island. Five Islands are just off the Illawarra coast, east of Port Kembla. In the last Ice Age, these islands were connected to the mainland. Cats and rabbits were introduced to the islands before 1861 and decimated the ecology which hosted a range of species including penguins, mutton birds, the crested tern, silver gull and white faced storm petrel.

Bruce Usher – Looking and seeing – in  your garden, the national park or wilderness

Bruce shares with us his insights gleaned from 40 years of experience of taking stunning photographs and explore with us: What would I like to achieve…Am I prepared to step outside my comfort zone…Do I want to spend some money on equipment…Post production – it can be basic…Seeing your photos in your photobook…Or a large framed photo on your wall?

Catriona Bate and Phil Trickett – how to get grafted natives into your garden

What’s the big deal about grafting natives and is it really so difficult? Catriona and Phil look at the reasons why grafting is so important for growing and conserving many native plants. Discussion focuses on why the practice of grafting natives continues to be so limited and how we can address barriers so that grafted native plants can be widely used in cultivation and conservation.


Chris Larkin – plant selection and management in garden design

Gardens that are inviting, visually attractive and contribute positively to a home lifestyle do not just happen, they are carefully planned and designed. It’s complex but very rewarding! Ideally the garden design comes first – so prepare a layout plan (or mud map!) that shows the physical and functional components of the garden design! Plant selection is primarily determined by the layout, and by the suitability of the specimen for the planned garden use, location, microclimate and growing conditions. It’s also important to imagine the desired future garden appearance to be sure the selected species achieve the ‘look’ you want. There are many other garden attributes that need to be considered to ensure optimum plant selection, we will chat about the most important of the design principles and some that you may not have even considered.


Bruce Maynard – Granaries in the Grasslands – producing food with Australian Plants

Bruce Maynard takes us for a walk on the wild side of Australian Grasslands where innovative farming and grazing techniques are increasing the diversity of native plant species while providing a more nutrient-rich end product and improved support for local communities. Local provenance at its best- with Aussie plants at its heart! Join Bruce as he takes you to his farm and the Outback for a walk in the wild!


Luke Maitland -How to start a native nursery during Covid – grace under pressure

Luke shares the challenges of starting a native nursery, one committed to sustainable sourcing, during the pandemic – the issues and opportunities it presented while holding to his and Catheryn’s commitment to supporting indigenous, local and sustainable products.