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Sian's career is blooming

A Calrossy graduate will be the only Australian working on a special project at this year’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.

Sian Thomasson, from the Calrossy Class of 2016 and a recent graduate from TAFE NSW with a Diploma of Landscape Design, has been announced as a recipient of the Global Footprints Scholarship. Global connections and the dollars from that scholarship will see the talented designer work with leading industry figures at the 2024 Chelsea Flower Show in the United Kingdom.

While in the UK, Miss Thomasson will work with designers and contractors from different organisations to create a show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. The experience will cover the whole process from start to finish, including working on designs, sourcing plants and materials, and building the display.

“I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to travel to the UK and France and learn from some of the world’s top designers,” Miss Thomasson said.

“I wouldn’t have this opportunity without TAFE NSW and the practical, hands-on skills my course provided me with.”

“I look forward to using what I learn from the leading global designers at the Chelsea Flower Show to implement new skills and ideas in my job here at home.”

Head Teacher of Landscape Design at TAFE NSW’s Ryde campus, Andrew Hewitt, said “I congratulate Sian on being awarded this scholarship, and l look forward to following her journey and seeing how she builds upon the education she received at TAFE NSW to further develop in the landscape design industry.”

Miss Thomasson was a day student at Calrossy from Year 7 to 12 where Biology was one of her favourite subjects.

“I moved to Sydney after graduating and completed a Bachelor of Science at Sydney University (majoring in Biology). I have always loved plants, animals and nature, but I also valued creativity and working with people.”

In the search of a “more practical career” she discovered the world of landscape design.

“I wanted to work in a hands-on role that had an impact and connected with people. I really wanted to make a tangible difference to people’s lives,” Miss Thomasson said.

“My experience of studying through TAFE NSW was a really valuable one, and through my studies I had the realisation that I had found my niche."

Since finishing her studies, Miss Thomasson has joined a landscape design company in Sydney’s south.

“A career in landscape design can empower you to influence positive outcomes that benefit your client, biodiversity, and future generations,” she said.

“I’m excited to be working in the industry that I’ve studied hard to be a part of. I hope to make a difference to people’s lives and work with clients to get the results they want and create gardens that aren’t just beautiful, but provide habitat to animals and boost biodiversity at a local scale.”

She will be able to pursue her combined interests in sustainability and landscaping in the special project which will see her assist in creating a charity garden. Sian is also very excited to explore the UK’s many other horticultural hotspots.

“I am most inspired about the potential of gardens to be more sustainable through biodiversity. I was inspired to learn that Great Dixter Gardens in the UK has the third highest biodiversity of any natural area in the UK.”

“The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is also of great interest to me as it combines science (seed bank) with a focus on plant biodiversity,” Sian says.

“I aim to bring the knowledge and connections gained overseas and share them through education and application as a landscape designer in Australia.”