Australian Plants Awards 2013

At the 2013 ANPSA Conference in Queensland, Australian Plants Awards were conferred upon Angus Stewart (Professional award) and Hazel Dempster (Amateur award). Citations are reproduced below.

Angus Stewart and Hazel Dempster
Angus and Hazel with their awards
Photo: Photographer not known

Angus Stewart

Angus Stewart has made an outstanding contribution to the knowledge of Australian plants through his professional career as a plant breeder and as a media presenter, writer and author.

Angus has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Agriculture from the University of Sydney and is Managing Director of New World Plants, where he breeds Australian plant cultivars including many Bush Gem kangaroo paws as well as various other genera. He has contributed to the development of popular and reliable garden plants for the eastern states.

He has contributed significantly to public knowledge of Australian plants in television and print media. He has been a presenter on ABC Television's Gardening Australia program since 2005, and has been a broadcaster with ABC radio 702 since 1992. He regularly writes articles about Australian plants for Gardening Australia magazine and for many other publications. Since 1995 he has published six books on gardening and propagation starting with Gardening on the Wild Side: the New Australian Bush Garden in 1995 and more recently 500 Plants - Great Australian Favourites for your Garden in 2012. He has encouraged Australian gardeners to experiment with a range of propagation techniques through his book Let's Propagate: A Plant Propagation Manual for Australia.

He has been a member of the Australian Plants Society NSW for over 25 years and during this time has presented talks to their groups and conferences and to many other gardening and community groups. He willingly makes himself available to support APS groups in local activities.

Angus' contributions to community education have been recognized with several awards, including Outstanding Contribution to Horticulture award (2005) and the Allan Seale Award for services to Horticultural media (2008) from the NSW Nursery and Garden Industry Association, and joint winner of Horticultural Media Association of Australia Book Laurel for Best General Gardening Book (2011) for Creating an Australian Garden.

The generous contribution Angus has made to communicating knowledge about Australian plants to the wider community makes him a very worthy recipient of an Australian Plants Award.

Hazel Dempster

Hazel Dempster has made an outstanding contribution to the knowledge of Australian plants, in a voluntary capacity during her membership of the Wildflower Society of WA for over 40 years. She is an Honorary Life Member of that Society.

She is an expert in West Australian native plants and an educator on native plant propagation. Her vast knowledge, based on experience, of horticulture and nursery practice is generously shared. She is frequently sought as a guest speaker or to give practical demonstrations on propagating, pruning and growing Australian plants, not only for Wildflower Society meetings, but for other community groups and for public events.

Since 1996 she has been actively involved in the Environmental Weeds Action Network and was president from 1999 to 2002. She has been closely involved at a national level with a successful application for Federal funding for the National Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems. She has served for a long time on management committees, participates in the State conference each year and has been a delegate to many national ASGAP and ANPSA conferences. She is also a long-time supporter of the Australian Flora Foundation.

Each week, Hazel attends the State Herbarium to help mount and identify plant species. She had an active role in the progress and development of the new breed of leschenaultias recently released by Kings Park and is a voluntary associate consultant with her daughter Sue in her firm Dempster Local Plant Strategies, dedicated with working with native plants in commercial and modified landscapes.

Hazel has produced a large and wide variety of publications, papers, fact sheets and articles as well as contributing to works by others. These include an 8 page Fact Sheet for the Environmental Weed Action Network, articles for West Australian Gardener, Ecoplan News, Wildwatch Australia and numerous articles for the WA Wildflower Society and other publications. She has also contributed to submissions for local government planning and sustainability strategies.

As well as presentations and written articles Hazel plays an important role at the Northern Suburbs' Branch nursery. She is instrumental in the ongoing success of the nursery, providing advice to volunteers on propagation and successfully propagating many species herself. Her knowledge and commitment to the nursery has contributed to the success that the nursery has had in encouraging members and the general public to grow local native species in their home gardens.

Hazel's lifetime of consistent and continuing dedication to the knowledge and promotion of Australian plants makes her a worthy recipient of an Australian Plants Award.

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