ODS spoke to Michael Walker about his new role as CEO of Landscaping Victoria and his extensive career to date.
As newly appointed CEO of Landscaping Victoria Inc, Michael Walker oversees the operational control of Landscaping Victoria including finance, corporate governance, sales, marketing and advertising. He is also responsible for the development of the strategic direction and vision for Landscaping Victoria, as well as the development of policy and procedures including IR, HR and risk management. Michael is also charged with facilitating training sessions for landscape members, as well as negotiating with major stakeholders including industry and Government and developing corporate partnerships.
Michael Walker is qualified in Business Marketing, Horticulture and Corporate Governance. With over 30 years’ experience in the agriculture and horticultural industry, he specialises in both the retail and commercial sectors with a passionate interest in Australian owned production and industry training.
He has been involved with Biological Farmers of Australia since 2004. His current role as Education Reference member involved endorsement of the new training package: Organic Production: AHC10 Continuous Improvement Project – Industry Validation which develops competency in organic production for Certificate IV and Diploma courses.
As CEO of the Biogreen Group, Michael oversaw the environmental charter which mandates returning the site to natural wetlands. This land restoration program delivers improved environmental outcomes through:
- Planting of trees
- Converting refuse areas to active farmland
- Creation of new wetlands to attract thriving fauna and flora populations
- Consultation with government bodies; and
- Major stakeholder involvement
Biogreen’s site is a rural farming and peat processing operation. Biogreen supplies organic soil conditioner for potato and other vegetable industries with sandy soils. Biogreen is the largest supplier of turf wicket soil in the state via a turf distributor.
Michael is also Chair of the Horticultural Training Council (HTC), which represents arboriculture, floriculture, landscape, turf and nursery industries. It develops training from Certificate 2 to Advanced Diploma to industry specifications.
Michael is also currently Chair of the Primary Skills Victoria Board. This represents seven peak industry bodies: Horticulture; Conservation Land Management; Seafood Industry of Victoria; Victorian Farmers’ Federation; Animal Care and Management; Australian Workers Union; and the Australian Services Union.
As Sports Turf Association (STA) of Victoria Vice President, Michael is involved in providing sector leadership and technical expertise. STA represents turf managers, growers, suppliers, local government and educational institutions.
He is an Accredited Nursery Specialist, Certified Nursery Professional, Professional Turf Manager, Fellow of AIM, Executive Member Marketing Association of Australia & New Zealand, Member of CSA and VECCI.
Michael’s comprehensive networking has also involved media liaison on radio and television and at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
His community participation includes membership of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Group which involved a comprehensive feasibility study and construction of educational Wetlands Discovery Centre for schools in the south east of Melbourne.
Michael is also committee member of the newly formed Victorian Urban Green Industry Alliance (VUGIA) formed in September 2012.
He is also actively involved in local junior sport as Grounds Marshall for the Edithvale-Aspendale Junior Football Club and Mordialloc Redbacks Cricket Team.
Extensive technical and management experience supported by horticultural, marketing and governance qualifications demonstrates his excellent background for management positions. His lifelong passion for horticulture and agribusiness has spanned three decades and provided opportunities to advance the industry through training, innovation and sustainability.
Landscaping Victoria – The FutureOur mission is to promote, support and inspire our members to reach their full potential. We strive to provide a solid foundation for a dynamic, ethical and sustainable landscape industry in Victoria.
Over the last 45 years, Landscaping Victoria has become a strong force with a growing member base and public profile.
We now have the strength to effectively influence industry trends and standards.