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An international conference with the world’s finest landscape and garden designers

Melbourne, 19 – 22 March 2021

Registration now open!

Since it began in 2002 the biennial Australian Landscape Conference has operated at the cutting edge of international landscape and garden design.  Perhaps the most important word is ‘international’, because very few conferences worldwide have consistently presented such a genuinely global digest of contemporary work and thought.  The conference consistently strives to seek out the most interesting work in every continent and culture, taking the audience out of what may be described as the ‘comfort zone’ of gardens made in the Anglo-sphere.


Conference Speakers 2021

Tom Stuart-Smith Tom Stuart-Smith (UK) is a landscape architect whose work combines naturalism with modernity and built forms with romantic planting. He has designed gardens, parks and landscapes throughout the world for clients including the Royal Horticultural Society, the Royal Academy of Arts and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Current projects include a garden square at King’s Cross, several projects at Chatsworth, a garden for Scottish Aldourie Castle, and masterplan for RHS Garden Bridgewater the largest garden project in the UK. He has designed eight award winning gardens for Chelsea Flower Show, all gold medals and three ‘Best in Show’.
Sue Stuart-Smith Sue Stuart-Smith (UK) is a psychiatrist and author of ‘The Well Gardened Mind’, a Sunday Times Bestseller which analyses the relationship between gardening and mental health. She studied English Literature at Cambridge before qualifying as a doctor and working in the NHS, becoming the clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently teaches, consults to DocHealth and works on the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire with Tom.
Andrew Laidlaw Andrew Laidlaw has been the Landscape Architect at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne) since 1997 where he is responsible for the design and implementation of an extensive range of landscape projects. His achievements include the award winning Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden (2004), Guilfoyle’s Volcano Project (2010) and the rejuvenation of the Fern Gully (2013).
Bill Gammage Bill Gammage AM, FASSA is an Australian academic historian, Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University. He researched and wrote the book ‘The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia’, released in October 2011.
Charles Massy Charles Massy (Aust) was struck by desertification processes throughout history and by his own drought-stricken farm in 1979-83.  So, he devoted his life to understanding how European and industrial agriculture has wrought such havoc.  His soil biology research includes dramatic results internationally and provides exciting hope for achieving nutrient rich properties through regenerative farming.
Claudia West Lively and passionate, Claudia West is a vital voice in ecological planting design.
…We harness biodiverse plant systems to create resilient, emotionally-resonant landscapes. … that are functional, beautiful, and diverse.  Our projects span many scales and sectors … green roofs, green infrastructure, urban plazas, rural estates, campuses to small gardens.
Claudia left Germany through her love for USA native plants.
Fiona Brockhoff Fiona Brockhoff may be Australia’s most successful designer for achieving an Australian sense of place with elements and plants which are sometimes native, sometimes not, but somehow, always feel Australian, like her own garden, with its topiary Casuarina’s and skillful use of natural materials.
It works and it’s brilliant!
James Hitchmough James Hitchmough’s (UK) principal interest has been the ecology, design and management of attractive, sustainable and traditional herbaceous plantings.  He is a world leader, with international experience, including restoration of Australian native grasslands.  He is now part of a $1 billion Melbourne greening project.
Midori Shintani Midori Shintani (Japan), Head Gardener at Hokkaido’s huge Tokachi Millennium Forest where she worked with Dan Pearson and others.  Her passion for the Forest is deeply rooted in Japanese animistic and spiritual bases which reinforce the beautiful and sacred nature of the plants and landscapes.  Her insights into ecological and management issues are deeply moving.
Paul Bangay Paul Bangay’s (Aust) timeless, elegant, formal gardens are legendary.  But his artistic flair continues to emerge and evolve based upon his experience, European training and scientific background. Recent experimentation is now allowing this garden artist to more fully emerge.
Philip Cox Philip Cox, AO acclaimed Australian architect says … As the world becomes more global, maintaining indigenous Australian landscapes and gardens becomes important.  His book, ‘An Australian Garden : Reimagining a Native Landscape’ … captures the vision of an Australian garden resting in a wild landscape.
Simon Rickard Simon Rickard (Aust) is a man of many aspects. His career has included time as head gardener at Diggers, growing bespoke restaurant produce, giving lectures and masterclasses for a host of organisations, leading garden tours, writing and many appearances on television.
Tim Richardson Tim Richardson (UK) is a brilliant writer, poet, historian and critic specialising in gardens and art.  Internationally recognised as a leading authority on landscape design and history, his knowledge of designers is unsurpassed.  His reflections on gardens and designers are surprising, arresting and entertaining.
Trisha Dixon Trisha Dixon (Aust) photographs, writes, reads and leads garden tours to gardens worldwide.  She has a dozen books to her name and embraces gardens that respond to their climate, are quirky and reflect the owners’ passions and follies.  She will lead two ‘In Conversations’ at the conference.
Ulf Nordfjell Ulf Nordfjell (Sweden) an award-winning contemporary landscape architect and biologist works with city development in various climate zones and private gardens in Sweden and southern France.  Ulf is known for some beautiful work in his ‘romantic minimalistic’ style, his focus on sustainable plants and highly disciplined maintenance support.


Light on Landscape is proud to be the major sponsor of the Australian Landscape Conference 2021.

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