Guest Speakers 2024

Speakers – 2024

16 January – Frances Scarano and Anne Rickwood – Blue Mountains Wildplant Rescue Service ... read more

20 February  – Alexandre Feliz,  All about Mushrooms ... read more

19 March – Bryn Hutchinson – Flower Meadows: Why Grow Them & How to Ensure Their Success ... read more

16 April – Rhiannon Phillips, Market Gardening in the Mountains  ... read more

21 May – Robert Trinajtic – Water Features ... read more

18 June – Robin Johnson – Winter Propagation Workshop... read more

16 July – Lis Bastion  – The Big Fix

Lis Bastian was recognized as the Environmental Citizen of the Year for her dedication to sustainability and community well-being. Lis co-founded The Big Fix Inc, a not-for-profit organization that started as a climate action group in Blackheath. Their mission is to “Change the story” by fostering a collaborative, solutions-focused culture. They achieve this through projects like the Blackheath Community Farm and media services such as The Big Fix magazine and Global Solutions Digests1. The project has:

  • initiated the Blackheath Community Market and organized bulk buys for hazelnut trees and solar panels.
  • attracted nearly $100,000 in funding, employing local storytellers (including youth) and supporting the Community Farm.
  • strengthened the local community by sharing stories and providing an alternative to mainstream media.

Lis is currently involved in Grounded, a project offering free Permaculture Design Course for young people aged 16-24. The course includes training on land design and social enterprise, empowering youth in the Blue Mountains.

July is a bill chilly for a ramble but join us for lunch after the talk at the Alexander Hotel in Leura.

20 August – Rhiannon Phillips – Keeping Poultry
Rhiannon runs Mountain gourmet/organic edible vegetables but she is equally knowledgeable about her chucks. Rhiannon has a degree in Animal and Veterinary Bioscience from the University of Sydney with honours in Livestock Production Systems.

Her range of experience has lead her all over Eastern and Central Australia working on a number of farms. From pumpkins in Mareeba to Santa Gertrudis cattle in Alice Springs and 500 cell grazed chickens in Lower Portland. She has been working and studying in the agricultural industry for 10 years

Her business is now two years old and focuses on growing a diverse selection of seasonal crops organically, to supply local restaurants and to serve as a demonstration site for my workshops and educational courses. 

Join us afterwards fir a ramble at Marian Haire’s garden followed by lunch at the Katoomba Family Hotel.

17 September – Sue Carney – Bees in your Garden
Sue is an Association executive member of the Australian Beekeepers Association. She said since 2019 membership had risen from about 3000 to just over 4000 with lots of people taking up the hobby.  Her talk will cover the types of bees you find in the mountains, What beneficial flowers and habitat to establish in your garden if you want to attract bees. Learn about which gardening actions help or harm bees and finally why bees so important to our backyards.

Past Years Speakers


17 January – Sharon Baldwin, Author, The Gardeneers, Kids Permaculture 

21 February – Robin Johnson, Propagation and Grafting

21 March – Brenda Lyon – All about Daffodils 

18 April – Robert Trinajiscic from Hedge and Arbour

16 May – Robyn Bible – All about Geraniums and Pelargoniums

20 June – Michael Barnes – Irises

18 July – Matt Stephens – Tree Hollows 

15 August – Bryn Hutchinson – Firdaus Gardens 

19 September – Sue Cunningham – Protecting our Bushland 

17 October – Graham Jurd – In Defence of Ferns

12 December – Christmas Lunch – The Bunker, Leura


bluebell flower
Purple bluebell flower

15 February – Liz Benson, Pollination

15 March – Lis Bastian, About Permaculture 

19 April –  Duncan Leys, My garden

17 May – Oliver Kelly, Frog Habitats 

21 June – Neville Burns, Snakes of the Blue Mountains 

19 July – Peter Green, Pyrolysis and Biochar 

16 August – David White and Bridget Moseley, Leura Garden Festival plus Queens Platinum Morning Tea 

20 September – Vicky Austin, Citizen Science

18 October – Robin Johnson, The gardener through history

15 November – Lyndall Crompton,  Saving the Shipley Apple 

13 December – Grandview Hotel Wentworth Falls