Gabrielle Stannus, GIA’s new Communications Coordinator
Many of you have already met me either at an industry event or being interviewed for one of almost 150 articles I have written for the GIA eNews as a freelancer over the last four years. Now it is time for me to be on the receiving end of the questions for a change, and to let you know a little bit more about myself and how I can help you as GIA’s new Communications Coordinator.
I graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Social Science (Environment), specialising in environmental policy and planning. I have over ten years’ experience designing, delivering, and evaluating behaviour change and community engagement programs and events targeting sustainability outcomes at the municipal level.
Whilst working in local government, I completed a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management, initiating environment programs in my own community in inner-city Melbourne. As the inaugural convenor of Friends of Royal Park, I developed community-led bird surveys, planting days and a water quality monitoring program in Royal Park to help others connect with nature in the city.
I had a hankering to learn more about plants and their role in our cities, so I enrolled in a Master of Urban Horticulture at the University of Melbourne, focussing on green roof and wall design. I conducted a short research project into ‘Leaf trait plasticity of common indoor green wall species in response to light’. During that time, I was variously employed in a retail nursery, green infrastructure startup and a garden maintenance business. I have even since enjoyed a very brief stint in a small production nursery that specialises in native plants. However, my eyesight is not the best and so my pricking out career did not last very long!
After completing my Masters in 2017, I returned to Tasmania with my partner where we started our own integrated building and landscape design business. It was only a few months later that GIA's predecessor, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) had its national conference in Hobart. I wanted to attend this conference, so to establish my industry credentials I sent a copy of an article I had written about the interior plantscaping scene in France for Hort Journal Australia to Kobie Keenan, GIA's former Communications Manager. Kobie gave me a gig writing articles about that conference, which grew into a regular role supplying content for the GIA eNews. In the meantime, I also became involved in the national Interior Plantscape Association, helping to shape its communications and engagement activities through my role on that organisation's board, whilst writing the monthly Interior Plantscaping feature for Hort Journal.
One thing that many people find surprising about me is learning that I used to be a Tupperware lady (of sorts). My first full time job after leaving high school was as an apprentice fitter and turner for a plastic injection moulding company producing dies (moulds) for Tupperware. So technically I guess I was a Tupperware lady, although I have never sold any of those products at a party!
Like many of you I find it difficult to single out my favourite plant. Which plant? Which context? My favourite ornamental plant would have to be my Alocasia wentii which I affectionately call ‘Terry the Taro’. I am not exactly a crazy house plant parent. However like I said in an earlier paragraph, I did write the Interior Plantscaping feature for Hort Journal for four years until recently (I continue to write its monthly Landscape article). My other current favourite plant is the humble beetroot because it is such a great plant in the vegie garden. You can eat all parts of a beetroot including its stalk and leaves. What is not to like about that?
How can I help you?
As GIA’s new Communications Coordinator, I am responsible for coordinating GIA’s fortnightly e-news, social media, website, and project-related communications.