Tamworth Regional Council apprentice, Nathan Watson, has been recognised by the Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) as the 2022 Student of the Year.
Nathan, who is now a fourth year horticulture apprentice – said he was “over the moon” to receive the award.
“When it was first suggested to me that I apply for an apprenticeship, all I knew is I loved being outside and immersed in nature, and horticulture ticked the boxes. Four years later I’m over the moon to receive this award in an industry I love,” he said
Currently working in the arborist team at Tamworth’s Regional Botanic Garden, Nathan thanked his family, TAFE teachers, managers and colleagues for their support in these early stages of his career.
Also recognised at the ceremony was Tamworth Regional Council’s Urban Street Advisory Group for its efforts to increase the street tree canopy in the region by 40% by 2040. The group produced the Urban Street Tree Management plan which takes into consideration the benefit of planting for future generations, including increasing the appeal and liveability of urban spaces while colling and providing habitat, health and wellbeing for all.
The group was awarded the AIH Award of Excellence, and Chair of the Advisory Group Councillor, Helen Tickle said the committee was thrilled to be recognised for their efforts.
“We are well on our way to achieving our goal and have made some great steps forward in species selection for our climate. Community involvement, education in planting and maintenance is going to be a major focus for the group as we look ahead,” said Cr Tickle.
AIH find green spaces around Australia that need professional input, and work with First Nations people on cultural and heritage green spaces, with local councils, state governments, and corporate Australia as horticultural and green space advisors.
“We recognise groups and individuals for the work they do to contribute to the betterment and understanding of the green habitat that we all share,” said AIH President, Alan Burnell.
“We do this by being part of events like this, inviting the media, videoing these projects as they progress, and showcasing the achievements in magazines, interviews, and podcasts to spread the message far and wide.”