Australian First - Horticulture Graduation at Botanical Gardens Mon 9 July 2012 Brian Wightman Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman today congratulated students receiving some of Australia's first nationally-recognised training certificates in horticulture. Students of the 30-week course studied in one of the best garden environments at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. "Tasmania's strengths lay in our wondrous natural environment, and the skills and resourcefulness of our community. This new course perfectly combines the two," Mr Wightman said. "The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden is the first Australian garden to offer nationally-recognised horticulture training courses. "Students got a unique opportunity to study in Tasmania's best horticulture classrooms - on site at the Gardens, alongside its own horticulturalists. "The Gardens' wide variety of gardening types offered a big hands-on advantage. "As someone who loves both education and Tasmania's natural environment, I want to congratulate the Gardens for bringing this unique educational opportunity to our shores," he said. The Gardens partnered with the GlobalNet Academy to offer Certificates 1, 2 and 3 in horticulture. They provided a 30-week course giving students a practical working knowledge of horticulture and associated industries, supervised by professional teachers, horticulturists, botanists and other specialists. Thanks to its popularity, the course will be offered again in future. It's ideal for anyone who is: · A keen gardener and wants to gain professional skills; · Interested in horticulture as a career; · Seeking a career change; · Developing or starting a business, and wants to formalise their horticultural skills; · Loves plants and gardens, and wants to learn how to do it properly. The Director of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Lesley Kirby, said it's exciting to see the success of the program for both students and the Gardens. "Yet again, the Gardens are leading the way by looking outside the square and successfully developing new and innovative approaches to engage with, and meeting the needs of, the Tasmanian community," Ms Kirby said. "These students bring enthusiasm, vibrancy and diversity to our workplace and that has a very positive flow on benefit to our existing staff - in effect we are nurturing students who may well become the next generation of horticultural professionals to care for these gardens," she said. For Gardens media, please contact Ben Davidson on 0418 301051.