Manager (Gardens Operations)
School of Study
University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Environments
Learning and Living Abroad
This scholarship provided me with a platform to acquire and apply knowledge at a broader cross-cultural level, and to be exposed to the international standards and benchmarks that I should aspire towards. I had the privilege of being exposed to overseas’ lecture and teaching styles, which is largely hands-on and practicum based. I feel that for subject matters like plants and horticulture, this out-of-classroom practice is necessary and largely beneficial to students, in terms of expanding their field knowledge and expertise.
Studying overseas has also allowed me to gain exposure to global horticultural networks, library and journal archives, which is really good for students writing papers or working on projects. The educational support from the university campus, in terms of material or lecture guidance is immense, and very conducive for budding horticulturists looking into this field as a serious career choice.
The various field trips facilitated by the school allowed us learning and applications beyond the classrooms. This hands-on experience allowed us to better relate to environmental issues at large – such as improvement on species abundance and appreciation of the richness of gardens. In addition, I also learned about human behavioral theories and how people react to different landscape designs. This has greatly enhanced my understanding in customising the landscape design and setup to drive certain behavioral outcomes for the Gardens.
Apart from professional development, studying abroad has also given me the opportunity for personal growth. Being away for 1.5 years has taught me independence and resilience.
Working in the Gardens
I am a Manager in Gardens Operations. My daily work includes the overseeing of general maintenance of the gardens (e.g. Kingfisher Forest, Bay East Gardens) and to beautify the landscape with plantings for any upgrading or improvement projects. I am in charge of the end-to-end process; from plant and landscape material procurement, overseeing the arrival of plant shipment, to tagging and identification of the plants and tree inspection once they are planted. I am also involved in the plant and floral decorations for special events or occasions, e.g. private functions, Christmas Wonderland, Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival etc.
I like being able to work in the gardens, especially since I was here from its budding developmental phase to the horticulture wonder it is today. We also have a great team of colleagues who are passionate in this field, and working with them brings me much joy and drive in my daily work. Seeing our visitors marvel at the beauty of the floral displays and gardens, and having some of them personally thank us for the hard work put in to maintain this world-class tourist attraction, also gives me great satisfaction and the fortitude leap forward to strive and do better.