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Sustainable Gardening Australia’s ‘Climate Resilient Gardening’ forum is an opportunity to consider the effects climate change will have on our gardens and gardening practices. Hosted by Dr Greg Moore OAM, attendees will gain practical knowledge to help their gardens adapt to climate change.

Speakers include award-winning landscape designer Emmaline Bowman, University of Melbourne plant scientist A/Prof. Claire Farrell and urban soil expert Declan McDonald.

Join us to:
. Learn from industry experts
. Explore practical strategies for soil management, plant selection and sustainable garden design.
. Network with like-minded gardeners.

Event Details

Wednesday 14 August 2024 1:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Manningham Function Centre
1/699 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster Victoria 3108

Tickets include in-person attendance at the forum, afternoon tea and free parking at the venue.

Note: SGA is currently exploring livestream options for this event.

About the Speakers

Greg Moore OAM (MC)

Greg was the Principal of Burnley College, University of Melbourne, from 1988 to 2007 and has been a member of the National Trust of Victoria’s Register of Significant Trees since 1988, chairing the committee since 1996. He has also sat on the boards of Greening Australia (Victoria), TREENET and Sustainable Gardening Australia. Greg is a practiced speaker and a regular guest on Melbourne radio stations ABC774 and 3AW. 

Emmaline Bowman

Emmaline is a multi-award winning designer and the Director of STEM Landscape Architecture & Design, where she is committed to crafting environmentally respectful designs. Specialising in Australian flora and fauna, Emmaline’s mission is to design sustainable gardens that not only enhance beauty but also support wildlife and contribute to the well-being of the planet. She strives to reconnect people with the environment, fostering exploration and understanding of nature for both children and adults. Emmaline’s passion for wildlife preservation began on her family farm, where she embraces all animals and enjoys being in nature. 

Declan McDonald

Declan is a soil scientist with qualifications and experience in nursery management, urban horticulture, sustainable agriculture and climate change. He has more than 30 years’ experience in soil horticultural management in a variety of roles in both the public and private sectors. Declan established the Victorian office of SESL Australia and is now the principal soil scientist at ReGen Soils. Notably, Declan has a rare talent for communicating the fascinating world of soils to everyone from school children to highly technical audiences. 

A/Prof Claire Farrell

Claire is an Associate Professor of green infrastructure and the Principal of Burnley campus at the University of Melbourne. Her research involves using plants to make cities more liveable through urban greening. As a plant scientist, Claire’s focus is on plant selection for survival and high performance landscapes. Currently, Claire leads the ARC linkage Woody Meadow Project which is transforming low maintenance plantings in Australian cities.


1:30-1:45pm Welcome

1:45-2:25pm ‘Resilience Starts in the Soil’  Declan McDonald, Principal Soil Scientist, Regen Soils

Soil is of fundamental importance to sustain life on Earth. Declan’s talk will explore how soils, resilient yet ever-evolving, are coming under increasing pressure from human impact and climate change. He will discuss how soils function with examples of the amazing intelligence below ground, and how nurturing soil is so essential for a sustainable future.

2:25-2:35pm WiseGardening

2:35-3:15pm “Adaptable and Resilient Urban Landscapes: Low Input Woody Meadows”  Assoc. Prof. Claire Farrell, University of Melbourne

Woody Meadows are transforming railway easements, roadside verges, parks and gardens across Australia. Their low water use and maintenance requirements, coupled with high visual appeal and adaptability make Woody Meadows an attractive, cost-effective solution for councils and urban land managers in the face of climate change and often limited green space funding. In this presentation Claire will explain how Woody Meadows work and give examples of their implementation for climate resilient gardening.

3:15-3:45pm Afternoon tea

3:45-4:25pm “Holistic Design: Designing for People, Plants and Wildlife”  Emmaline Bowman, Director, STEM Landscape Architecture & Design

A conversation on designing habitat gardens using a holistic approach to meet the needs of plants, animals and people. Emmaline will discuss the importance of using indigenous species to create habitat for wildlife. Her presentation is packed with examples of habitat-friendly designs for different types and sizes of gardens, from balconies and courtyards to larger suburban gardens.

4:25-5:00pm Panel discussion

5:00-5:15pm Close

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Event Sponsors

This event is supported by SPARK North East Link, Ford Australia and Bulleen Art & Garden.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this event, contact us at

Donations over $2 are tax deductible.