Flower Industry Careers Guide
Training and qualifications
Where could a career in the Australian flower
and foliage industry take you?
Welcome to your new career!
Flowers – everyone loves them. They are an essential part of our environment, adding bursts of colour to the world around us. We rely on a beautiful bunch of flowers to express our emotions, send a message of thanks, or make our homes brighter. Few products in our lives can communicate so much and offer so much beauty, while also bringing us back to a fundamental appreciation of nature.
There are many career opportunities associated with the Australian cut flower and foliage industry, which involves a number of connected components, from growing the plants all the way through to selling the final products to the customer. In this industry, you can choose from a diverse range of working environments, from the farm to the laboratory, classroom or retail business, and become a part of a professional chain that is committed to the delivery of quality floral products.
Natasha Hattersley—floristry teacher
Teachers should also have a reasonable amount of experience in a range of enterprises or have owned a business, as this knowledge that comes from experience is invaluable and a source of great learning for those new to the industry.
Kathleen Heuvel—industry development officer
I act as a conduit of information between researchers or association staff and the growers on the ground, making sure that they stay up-to-date on knowledge that could influence and benefit their businesses.
Nick Christensen—wholesaler and auctioneer
My business fits within the centre of the flower supply chain, in that it is one of the links between the growers of the product and the retailers who sell it.
Malcolm Durham—pest management specialist
I work as an agricultural and horticultural adviser on the management of crop pests, with a focus on integrated pest management, or IPM for short. Since flowers must be perfect to sell, even low levels of pest damage are unsatisfactory.
Nick Blyth—flower grower
I am a third-generation flower grower. My day-to-day duties can include marketing, customer relations, sales planning, staff supervising, emergency equipment repair, equipment manufacture, forklift driving, truck driving and tractor driving.
There are many facets to floristry including weddings, corporate work, large-scale functions, and day-to-day floristry. Each day at work is different and it is a very demanding yet rewarding job, providing it is your passion.
I specialise in weddings, events, shop window installations and florals for photo shoots. I also do the occasional retail and corporate flower delivery, but I don’t have flowers on site with me the way a retail florist does.
Adrian Parsons—exporter and importer
The export and import aspects of the industry work hand in hand with the local growing and selling of product, because both play their roles in servicing the demands of the customers.
I propagate young starter plants, also known as plugs, for sale on to growers who then grow the plants to maturity. The production chain is becoming more specialised, with businesses either propagating or growing but not both.
My passion is for Australian natives and my company specialises in Australian native foliages. Artificial cultivation of this native fern has never been achieved before now, and for me that’s very exciting.
Charles Reynolds—flower grower
I grow liliums on my farm in Western Australia. About 80 per cent of the crop is oriental liliums and about 20 per cent is LA hybrid lilies. We grow our entire crop in plastic tunnel houses that are heated in winter.
© FAQI 2013