01 Feb 2010
ODS E-News goes one-on-one with President of Green Roofs Australia, Sidonie Carpenter.
One-on-one with President of Green Roofs Australia, Sidonie Carpenter.
How long have you been President of Green Roofs Australia?
This is my 3rd year. Prior to that I was Vice President for 1 year.
How did you get into the industry?
I have been in the landscape design/horticultural industry for 16 years. In 2006 I applied for a fellowship to look at the skill base required for the design and installation of green roofs and walls – the fellowship has opened many doors and given me a great opportunity to gain extensive knowledge and training in green roofs and walls.
Can you tell us a bit about your background – education/employment?
After completing a BA with a major in Architecture and Town Planning I completed a Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture and a Certificate 3 in Urban Horticulture. I have also done all the Nth American Green Roof and Wall design and Construction accreditation courses.
I have run my own design and construction business (Green Canopy Design Pty Ltd) in Sydney and Brisbane for the last 16 years, with a focus on residential and small commercial projects. I now specialise and consult on green roof and wall design, and construction and maintenance, specifically for Australia, our unique climate and plant species.
What is the aim of Green Roofs Australia?
We are a not-for-profit organisation that provides a platform for the sharing of knowledge and information in regards to the design, construction and maintenance of green roofs and walls. We host an annual conference and are currently setting up a very concise website in a bid to support the future of this industry in Australia and potentially the Pacific region. New Zealand has just joined us.
What are some of the activities Green Roofs Australia is involved in?
We do a large number of public speaking events each year at expos and conferences, speaking about the specifics of green roofs and walls and why the design and construction industries should be embracing them. We host an annual conference and education courses and bring international speakers to Australia for lecture series. Our website is in the process of being updated, and this will provide a wealth of information, especially for our members.
What are your plans (both short-term and long-term) for the association?
To see Green Roofs Australia grow to be the peak body for the Asia Pacific region; and to develop guidelines and education programs specific for our region, which is challenging as we cover so many different climatic zones so the planting palettes are going to be very specific - this research work has already begun in some cities with very interesting results. We would like to see our sponsorship and membership base grow, as a not-for-profit that is currently run 100 per cent by volunteers, it’s this support that will enable us to keep supporting and growing with the industry.
What has been your career highlight to date?
Being awarded the 2006 ISSI Pratt Foundation Fellowship – I travelled for 12 weeks through South East Asia, North America and Canada looking specifically at green roofs and walls. It was an amazing opportunity allowing me to complete all the North American Green Roof and Wall design and construction education courses plus attend a couple of conferences and meet some very interesting people.