Transition Team

Meet the Team responsible for advancing the reinvention of NGIA

This Team will work to produce an Information Memorandum that articulates the proposed model and provide a basis for members to make a decision in June this year.

Russ Higginbotham, Transition Team Chairperson

“As one of the originators, over 20 years ago, of the current changes, I look forward to playing a role in the reinvention of this organisation, giving it strength and stability to support our extraordinary Industry in the future.”

Russ is a Horticultural Consultant with his firm Asset Horticultural Consultants which provides a range of services to Australia’s major landscape architectural firms and developers as well as several production nurseries.

Russ graduated from Dookie College, Melbourne University, in 1969 and then spent over a decade involved in pesticide R&D and marketing before purchasing Jindalee Nursery and Florist in Brisbane’s western suburbs, with his late wife, Peta. In 1984 they established Harlequin Nurseries. In 1989 they expanded with the purchase of Clifton Park Nursery and in 1995 established Australian Nursery Network with other growers, exporting tubestock into Europe and elsewhere. In 2000 they established Asset Horticultural Consultants.

Russ joined NGIQ in 1981 where he has served as both Board Member and President. He joined the NGIA board in 1990 serving as a Director and President. He also chaired the Industry Advisory Committee to the then HRDC and Horticulture Australia.

Russ is a NGIA Life Member and Award of Honour recipient and Life Member of NGIQ.

Glenn Fenton (VIC)

“A hybrid association where both businesses and State Associations are direct Members is a very good option for a reinvented National body. I look forward to helping frame a strong national organisation with the capacity and resources required to capitalise on opportunities for Members.”

Glenn is Managing Director of Nationwide Trees Pty Ltd in Piedmont Victoria. Nationwide Trees supplies a broad range of deciduous and broadleaf seedlings, rootstocks and some conifers to the nursery industry, orchardists, landscapers, local authorities, farm foresters, planting contractors and consultants

Glenn has a Bachelor of Social Science (Human Resource Development) and aGraduate Diploma in Strategic Management Studies. Before joining the Industry he spent 26 years as an Army Officer in the Australian Army.In 2003, Glenn and his wife Jennifer, purchased Nationwide Trees where they continue to advance the business.

Glenn served on Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria (NGIV) Board including as President from 2010 to 2012. From 2010 to 2013 he served time as a Director and Vice President for the NGIA Board and also sat as the Board representative on the Nursery Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) with Horticulture Australia. Glenn has represented the industry as a Board Member of Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show since 2010, where he currently sits as the Chairman.

Glenn has sat on the all three review committees since 2016 and is a strong advocate for the need to change.

Colin Groom (WA)

“This is our opportunity to maximise the collective resources of our network and establish a robust nationally representative body. I believe a single organisation will be able to deliver a clear national direction with improved member engagement and benefits across the country along with stronger representation of our industry.”

Colin is the Manager at Domus Nursery in Hacketts Gully, WA. Domus Nursery grows a large range of Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, Climbers, Conifers, Perennials and Ground Covers for WA retailers and landscapers.

Colin has Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, is a Certified Nursery Professional and a second generation nurseryman. He spent a short time working as an Auditor and in 1998 began full time work at Domus Nursery, committing his next 20 years to the nursery and garden industry. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Horticulture Australia, Young Leader Award.

He served on the Nursery and Garden Industry WA (NGIWA) Board from 2001 to 2010 including three years as President. He was again appointed to the NGIWA Board in September 2011 were he served as Vice President and again as President from September 2012 to August 2015. He was appointed to the NGIA Board where he served as a Director from 2011 to 2017. Colin is a current member of the Biosecurity National Governance Committee.

Andy Cameron (NSW)

“In the 27 years of my Membership, I’ve seen business practices, government policy and Member needs change significantly. Our multi-billion dollarIndustry deserves a progressive national body that can tackle the business, policy and climate challenges of the future. “

Andy is afirst generationnurseryman and the owner Agnov8 Pty Ltd . Agnov8 is a supplier of techn ology to the a gricultural and h orticulture sectors, assisting businesses to adopt new and innovative advances.

Andy began his nursery and garden career as an apprentice with ARV . Once this was completed Andy worked with Hargraves Nursery, before moving full time in to his own business in 1989. In 1992, Andy and his wife Sonja opened Cameron’s Nursery , a multi-award winning, intensive production operation which specialises in perennials for independent garden centres , hardware chains and the landscape sector.

In 2015, Andy moved into a full-time role as a Director of Agnov8 , where he supports growers through nursery management software and cloud-based environmental sensors which give growers an insight into their local weather and growing conditions.  

Andy has been a Member since 1992 . He c haired the NSW Shrub and Tree group during the early 2000 ’s and has represented growers on the S tate Technical C ommittee. He is a currently a Committee Member of the NSW National G overnance C ommittee and the G rower a nd S uppliers Group.

Robin McLay (QLD)

“It was an honour to be asked to join the transition team. The Nursery and Garden industry is well placed to take advantage of the global recognition and importance of green life. The proposed hybrid model will give the industry the ability to regroup, re-energise and raise the profile of the industry to benefit all of its members.”

Robin is the owner of Brookfield Garden Centre in Brisbane and Greenglades production nursery in Cootharaba , Queensland. Brookfield Garden Centre is a multi- award w inning independent retailer, with a production nursery onsite,as well as producing a wide variety of stockat Greenglades .

Robin ha s extensive business experience in agriculture, tourism, floristry and hospitality before joining the nursery and garden industry 10 years ago.

Robin is a co-opted Board Member of Garden Centres of Australia and has also been a Royal Queensland Show (RNA) Councillor for the past 4 years and is the current Chair of the Flower and Garden Committee.

Chris Simon (SA)

“My future is in this Industry. I look forward to helping shape an organisation that is responsive to Member’s needs; provides support and benefits locally; is proactive and has a strong voice with government.”

Chris is co-owner and Manager at Morgan Park Garden Centre in Victor Harbor South Australia. Morgan Park Garden Centre is a multi-award winning, family owned, independent garden centre which stocks an extensive and everchanging range of quality plants.

Chris is a second generation nurseryperson with a Diploma in Horticulture who has worked in the horticulture industry since 1999 and works in partnership with his Brother.

Chris has been an active member since joining Nursery & Garden Industry South Australia (NGISA) in 2008 including on the NextGen Committee since 2016 and as a Director to the NGISA Board since his appointment in 2018.

Statement from Symone Mansfield (VIC) 25 February 2019