A ‘green’ warrior’s determination to get people to reconnect with the land has earned her the title of Australia’s Young Leader of the Year at the NGIA National Awards.
Australia’s nursery and garden industry has honoured Chantal Tenace of Direct Plants for planting a host of radical ideas to get the community eating more fresh produce by naming her the Heather Rumsey Young Leader of the Year at the prestigious national awards held in Melbourne.
Presented by Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA), the awards, now in their 21st year, recognise and honour excellence in business, products and services and acknowledge industry leaders as they strive to achieve best business practice within the nursery and garden community.
As well as managing her family’s nursery, Direct Plants in Greenvale, with her father and brother, and running her own horticultural consultancy, Garden Soiree, Chantal designed and established a 15m2 community garden at her apartment block in Maribyrnong, converting a dull, lifeless space into an outdoor oasis to give residents space to grow their own food, and create a sense of community within the building.
Passionate about creating urban gardens, Chantal went on to launch a series of unique community garden classes and workshops for adults and children in February, with approval from Hume Council, to boost sustainability and foster an understanding of the importance of green life.
Her next goal is to start up a farmers’ market which could cater for the entire region and, in the longer term, a community garden and the revitalisation of gardening programs in schools across Victoria to inspire future generations of kids to become green thumbs.
Chantal’s passion comes from her grandparents who taught her how to grow fruits, herbs and every vegetable imaginable at a young age. She is a qualified horticulturalist with 15 years’ experience in the industry. This major accolade recognises her outstanding dedication and impact in the horticulture community.
CEO of Nursery and Garden Industry, Robert Prince, said Chantal scored highly among a pool of outstanding candidates across the country, and her initiative to help people reconnect to the land has made her a worthy recipient of this award.
“Chantal has demonstrated exceptional environmental and business leadership. Her fresh, unique perspective and friendly personality is capturing the attention of the younger generation. It’s fantastic to see passionate young professionals taking our industry to the next level through innovative work. We are truly proud of Chantal for this excellent achievement,” Mr Prince said.
Australians can look forward to more trees, plants and turf thanks to a campaign by the Nursery and Garden Industry with support from over 200 partners encouraging councils, developers and landscapers to help improve green life in urban areas by 20 per cent before 2020. More than 8.7 million square metres of new green space has already been planted in cities across the country.
To take part in the vision or for more information, visit www.202020vision.com.au