01 Feb 2010
One-on-one with the new National President of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, Kim Morris.
One-on-one with Kim Morris, National President of the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Raised and educated in Sydney. Later employed as a Marketing Cadet by Unilever’s Rosella Foods Group in Sydney and then the first exposure to production horticulture at the extensive Tatura (Vic) tomato growing region.
Later employed by the Berri Co-Op to set up the new ‘chilled’ orange juice distribution system in NSW. And at one stage marketed the Co-Op’s high grade orange esters to the perfumery industry and Coco Chanel in particular.
As National President
I have been a member of AIH since 1995 and decided over the last couple of years to get involved after a round of other industry jobs and roles with AQIS Exports Advisory, Chair of the national nursery industry marketing forum and other industry related work.
I stood for election as National Treasurer and was encouraged to stand for National President late in 2008.
As a smaller to medium enterprise, I have always diversified in order to survive - based in Cairns, Queensland. Training qualifications, design and horticulture qualifications under the National Leaders project in 1999, and garden writing have each been extremely helpful in gathering a wide base within the cross sectors of horticulture.
Training and developing outback solar hydroponic vegetable production units for remote Australian communities is one of the great career rewards.
The design highlight is the unique opportunity as part of a two-man Australian team working with the Chinese in Zhanjiang (Southern China) over the last five years to create one of the largest (37ha) overseas Australian gardens in the world. This has required the application of just about every horticulture, business and personal skill to see the tropical Sino Australian Friendship Garden become a reality.
Plans, Climate and Water
AIH has a massive wealth of information, experience and human horticulture collateral in Australia. The mantra ‘AIH - Promoting Horticulture - The profession of the 21st Century’ could not be truer at this point of time.
AIH turns 50 in 2010 and as part of its journey is now crossing roads with the ambitions of politicians, scientists and fellow professionals to seek and apply horticulture solutions to the massive climate agenda. AIH professional horticulturists from just about every sector of the industry in Australia have the significant capacity to mobilise as one of the most effective combined solutions to climate change.
Policies to address what happens now (after a long time of drought and water issues that affect horticulture) are being designed as the next generation of thinking about where we go next with or without water. Other policy developments by leading AIH Fellows on Climate and Carbon management will engage senior government ministers and start offering solutions that will effectively utilise members at any level to participate on an environmental and business level.
AIH has already signed a collaborative agreement with the Singapore Government’s Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) in 2008 to endorse their Certified Professional Horticulturist program (designed by AIH members). Bilateral business opportunities, exchanges of professionals and new members from Asia are all about creating strategic alliances with other professional horticulturists here and around the world.