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Emma’s winning garden design will be built and installed by an all-female trade team.

This is a first in the history of MIFGS!



Emma Sheppard-Simms

Emma Sheppard-Simms is a landscape architect living and working on Wadawarrung Country (Ballarat). She is a graduate student in horticulture at the University of Melbourne (Burnley) and has recently established Plantery Landscape Architecture — a small business specialising in ethical and sustainable landscape design.


Emma combines her design practice with teaching, writing and research and is currently teaching in the Diploma of Sustainable Design at the University of Tasmania. Emma also enjoys writing about urban design and has a particular fascination with the history and design of cemeteries and other 'forgotten' urban spaces. Her writing can be found in various publications, including The Planthunter, Landscape Architecture Australia and Kerb Journal.


When Emma is not designing, she can usually be found hanging out in her veggie patch or exploring Melbourne’s amazing array of playgrounds with her daughter.

Contact Emma:





Nicole Davis

Apprentice - Landscape Construction with Maroondah Landscapes

After completing her VCE high school diploma, Nikki went to university and completed a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sport Science. However, after completing that she felt a bit lost for where to go from there. Nikki has always loved building and working with her hands so she decided to give a trade a go. She landed on landscape construction because she thought it would give her a lot of variety and a wide range of skills, giving her the opportunity to learn and practice multiple trades skills.


'I love being on the tools and the creativity that comes along with landscaping and building outdoor spaces for people to enjoy."
Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “The opportunity presented itself through Landscaping Victoria. It is always fun to try something new and it is an awesome opportunity to represent and support women in trades, especially in the construction industry.”


Nikki is up for Landscaping Victoria's award for Apprentice of the Year - Construction. 
Contact Nikki:


Landscaping Victoria:

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La Muxlow

Garden Designer, Owner of La Muxlow Gardens


La is a self-confessed plant nerd and passionate garden designer. Having worked across varying  design disciplines, from digital to interiors, she comes to horticulture with a strong focus on style and creating cohesive spaces that illicit emotion. La's style is naturalistic, informal and elegant with a focus on creating timeless spaces that reflect the unique character of its owners. 

Originally from South Africa and the UK, La has a passion pairing hardy exotics with stunning Australian natives to build precious wildlife havens.

She lives on 10 acres of beautiful Aussie bush, rolling paddocks and informal country gardens - the perfect test tube to trial her (endless) ideas.

"I love helping people see the potential of their outdoor spaces and watching them fall in love with their new gardens. There are so many problems we can solve with plants, from a small scale like privacy or a boggy area, right up to the massive-change-the-world level.  I love being part of that change every day”.

Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “I’m so darn excited to be part of the first ever female team to build at MIFGS. Emma’s garden is filled with fun ideas to support wildlife - a topic very close to my own heart. I hope some of those ideas will inspire visitors at the show.

Contact La:

La is also affiliated with:



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Sarah Pioch

Landscape Architect & Horticulturalist Owner of Terra Flora Eco Design


Sarah has studied landscape architecture, horticulture, agriculture and event installations & floristry. Originally a “farm kid”, Sarah has a love of nature, animals, art and design. She always takes a sensitive approach to the landscape, which was an essential part of her upbringing.


“I love to create wherever it takes me, a self-confessed hoarder of all things shiny and reusable, I like to find a creative space in my every day. Having spent many years working in urban environments, I've found a passion in designing, implementing and maintaining spaces for my clients, with a sense of community and connection, even when you’re viewing it from afar. I've been very mindful of what comes in and out of our environments and the impact of these. Always pet and kid friendly, I've always been determined to minimise any impact and create and an environment not only for ourselves but every living creature.


I have been running my own small business, which I have found to be the best job ever. I now have my own little apprentice, Finn who is a bubbly, beautiful and crazy little guy. Has made me a determined mum who hopes to create something different.

Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “I have found a great wave of ladies in the trade who are fresh thinkers and inspire myself to be better & do better. Taking up space in the industry has always been a determining force for myself and others and I am appreciative to have the opportunity to be part of the team.”

Contact Sarah:



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Jaclyn Rose

Horticulturalist & Apprentice – Parks and Gardens at City of Ballarat


Jaclyn is passionate about sustainable and environmentally friendly horticulture and floriculture practices being incorporated into garden design, display garden design and botanical art. Based in Ballarat, she is a mum of two and loves creating garden spaces that inspire and nurture connections to nature.


Jaclyn studied a Certificate III in Horticulture at Federation TAFE in Ballarat and now works with the City of Ballarat at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and Victoria Street Garden among many other botanical features in the regional city . She juggles work/study commitments with family life but loves working in the horticulture industry.


Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “I was interested in working on Emma’s design. I’m proud to be representing female trades as a 2nd year Parks and Gardens Apprentice.”


Jaclyn is also affiliated with:



Kirsteen Macleod



Kirsteen works for Bulleen Art and Garden in the nursery and loves helping customers find the right plant for their needs and giving out dog treats/pats to canine visitors.

“I have always been passionate about plants and gardening and love sharing my knowledge with an audience. I regularly volunteer with NGIV because I love chatting with people about plants and gardens. I volunteer with The Cactus and Succulent Society of Australia, Bellfield and Fairfield community gardens and Zero Waste Victoria because I am passionate about environmental sustainability and I love gardening. I am the person that gives away produce to my neighbours and saves seeds, puts them in envelopes and donates them to my local seed library.

During the lockdown, I grew about 1000 tomato plants and donated them to a local primary school because I was going insane being alone inside all day. I know that the more time I spend in the garden it helps my mental health.”

Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “I am a crazy plant lady and MIFGS addict, it's my favourite time of the year, and I look forward to it every year.  I have volunteered to help other garden designers in the past and thought it would be fun to be the first all-female construction and design crew because it is very typically a male-dominated field.”

Contact Kirsteen:

Kirsteen is also affiliated with:


Shannon Williams


Shannon has hopped onboard the 'a place for us train' as general assist during the installation of the display. She's a scientist by trade and she is currently working as a Stay-at-Home-Mum for her son. There is nothing Shannon likes more than working for free!

Shannon's generosity and enthusiasm for this project is greatly appreciated, particularly as she became a member of the team on Day 1 of installation! An accomplished scientist with University of Melbourne, she is certainly over qualified for the role she is fulfilling but she is also a woman of many talents. We are so pleased to have Shannon's support for this project!

Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “Anna has been talking about this project for months and I offered to pitch in. It sounded like a bit fun and I have a few hours available in my schedule. I called her on the first day to see if she wanted me to come in and lend a hand and she said, "How do you look in hi-vis?" And the rest, as they say, is history.


Contact Shannon


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Polly Pinnell

Landscape Architect - Graduate of Landscape Architecture

Polly is a post graduate designer with degrees in Architecture (Bach., University of Adelaide) and Landscape Architecture (M., RMIT) with a particular interest in the design of small spaces, both inside and out! While she is helping the team out with graphic design and presentation, she is keen to learn more about garden construction and is absolutely thrilled to be a part of MIFGS' first all-female team. 
Growing up in rural Tasmania, Polly has an unwavering appreciation for landscape. Moving to various cities has made her appreciate that even the smallest pockets of greenspace can have the biggest impact on the community and culture of a place. 
“I'm eager to learn more about the physical construction side of landscape design - I love getting my hands dirty in my garden and working with my hands, so I'll be helping out in any way I can!"
Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “The idea of being a part of MIFGS' first all-female trade team is super exciting, how could I say no! Emma has been such an incredible source of wisdom and inspiration both while tutoring me at RMIT and supporting me beyond my studies. So, I'm thrilled to be able to help her out with this project in any way I can.”
Contact Polly:


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Kate Ashton

Landscaper, Owner of Kate Ashton Landscape Design


Kate has completed a Diploma of Landscape Horticulture and a Diploma of Landscape Design at NMIT (now Melbourne Polytechnic). Kate has been self-employed for the past 21 years in both Perth and Melbourne. Kate’s business designs, constructs and maintains both domestic and commercial gardens.


 “To start my career I did a short stint in a retail nursery and commercial garden maintenance. I then moved on to work for council in W.A. designing parks and playgrounds. I really enjoy the mix of creative design and the physical work of construction.”


Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “I am keen help and support the promotion of females in the industry. I love my work. I stumbled into the industry after purchasing my 1st home and finding a love for gardening. It’s not something that I was ever encouraged to do or would have thought to do as a job until I stumbled across a course at an open day at TAFE. I have never looked back! I still get a great sense of achievement and satisfaction on completion of every garden we create. It is such a rewarding career.”


Contact Kate:

Kate is also affiliated with:


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Anna Beddoe

Landscape Designer & Horticulturalist, Owner of Jane Elizabeth Landscaping


Anna completed her Diploma of Horticulture (Landscape Design) at Federation TAFE in Ballarat. After a decade in transport, working as a bus and truck driver (Anna was the first woman garbage truck driver for Premier Waste), supervising operations and running a small skip bin business, she decided it was time to pursue something she was more passionate about. Anna started a landscape apprenticeship but struggled to juggle the hours and family commitments. Instead, she studied horticulture and design.


“I always wanted to do a trade, but when I finished my VCE in 2001 I couldn’t get a foot in the door to start a carpentry apprenticeship. I’ve been lucky with lots of other great opportunities and I am really proud of what I have achieved in the transport industry, but the hours were challenging – particularly with young children. I still wished I had learned a trade. As a mum to two daughters, it seemed more important then ever to demonstrate for them that women can work in trades.”


Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “This was such an exciting opportunity, to work with an amazing group of women at MIFGS and represent women in horticulture and landscaping. I also love working with native Australian plants and Emma’s design beautifully showcases their diversity and how natives fit into modern landscape designs.”


Contact Anna:

Anna is also affiliated with:



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Marcelle Bagu

Registered Master Builder and Qualified Carpenter. Owner of Marcelle’s Building & Carpentry Pty Ltd
(DB-U 75399).

Marcelle started her carpentry apprenticeship at the age of 32 having previously forged a career
working in State and Federal politics and accruing three university qualifications along the way. Even
though no-one in her family had ever done a trade, building structures and working outdoors suited her
personality and enabled her to develop an array of skills and abilities for life. Marcelle was the first
female apprentice hired by Multiplex Constructions and spent the first two years of her time working on
landmark projects in inner Melbourne. She gained a placement with a residential builder to complete
the final two years of her apprenticeship in order to learn how to build a house. Marcelle started her
own carpentry business in 2009 focussing on the restoration of older homes. She now is a registered
builder and specialises in renovations and extensions across Melbourne.  “I really enjoy the creative aspect of building and renovating. There is so much history and emotion in clients’ homes. It is a privilege being trusted to create more liveable spaces that reflect the heritage of the building and also the personal story of its residents. I also really like the continuous learning aspect of residential building. Laws and regulations are often updated so it is important to keep abreast of
changes and prospective developments.”

Contact Marcelle


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Shannon Blackbourn

Horticulturalist & Landscape Designer, Owner of Panacea Landscapes


Shannon’s qualifications are in Horticulture and Landscape Design. She has worked in the industry for over 15 years and she specialises in Garden Maintenance Planning and Management. Based in the Australian Capital Territory, Shannon’s clients are located across the east coast of Australia. Her business is currently working on small projects around Canberra.


Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “My passion is plants, but I love the whole industry. I never stop learning and I love seeing new and existing ideas that other people come up with. That is why I’m full of excitement and gratitude to have the privilege of working alongside the lovely Emma Sheppard-Simms and helping her bring her amazing design to life.

Contact Shannon:

Shannon is also affiliated with:



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Clare James

Artist/Owner of Clare James Art


Clare is based in Yarra Valley and creates sculptures of varying scale, paintings and is installing works as part of Emma’s design for Open Gardens Victoria at MIFGS 2023.


“I’m creating a series of circular paintings based loosely on petri dishes. Each circular painting sits inside a metal frame, which I have recycled from old wine barrels which rotted in my garden. I’m painting and sculpting colourful mold, fungi, moss, lichen and plants to create ecosystem ‘planets’. Across the wall will also be an installation of sculpted leopard slugs, a bit of a signature of my work and to celebrate and encourage biodiversity in all gardens.”


Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “Emma approached me, asking if I would be interested in working with her on this project after following me on social media for some time. She had a series of artworks I had previously made as inspiration for my contribution to the garden. We met for the first time a couple of weeks ago and came up with a rough plan for the works I am creating in my studio and over several chats and emails. From the moment we first chatted it was clear to me that I wanted to work with Emma on her project.”

Contact Clare:

Clare is also affiliated with:




Lisa Gormley

Horticulturalist - Garden Supervisor at Great Stupa of Universal Compassion


Lisa has a degree in Natural Resource Management, her minor in Horticulture. She has studied at the University of Tasmania and CERES, where she studied Gardening & Therapeutic Horticulture.


"I have loved plants since I can remember, especially native plants, though I do love all plants (except Yuccas!). My first foray into Horticulture was in year 10 (over 30 years ago) but the love of plants, gardening and growing has always being with me. However, it really has only been the last 2 years that I have focused on working in the industry, starting out as a gardener in private gardens, quitting my work in Landcare to commence a Cert III in Horticulture and work as a Nursery Propagation and Sales Assistant with Grow Locals, a bespoke native nursery in central Victoria.

Recently I started as a Garden Supervisor for a Work for the Dole program at the The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion near Bendigo. You could say I planted the seed in 2022 and it has grown, and that led me to volunteering on this garden install.

Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: MIFGS is a highlight of the year for me and I have always found shows and show gardens fascinating - I simply wanted to be part of this amazing team, learn from everyone, and continue my Horticulture journey and see what other paths I could and might follow."

Contact Lisa:

Lisa is also affiliated with:

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Sarah Monaghan

Project Virtual Assistant & Online Media Manager,

Owner of The Creative Assistant Co.


Sarah is a People & Culture specialist who works with a broad range of businesses helping source the right people for various positions at any level. Sarah enjoys flexing her creative muscles, working with digital media platforms to create an online presence with a strong brand message, particularly for female-lead businesses and organisations and her own online e-commerce businesses.

“I love finding new tools which I can apply to a project, bringing a story to life and illuminating a brand or project in online spaces is what I’m passionate about. I hope to work with more women business owners to help them reach their audience and their full potential.


Reason for being involved in ‘a place for us’: “Anna Beddoe asked if I could help to create an online campaign for this project and she stressed it was volunteer based, so not to commit if it was too much to ask. I could not resist!  Encouraging women to engage in industries where they are underrepresented is what I live for! The environmental and social values of this project and Emma’s design are important messages and I want to help spread the word.  I'm thrilled to be able to participate in this project and bring the project to an online platform.”


Contact Sarah:



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