Fostering the industry’s next generation

Fostering the industry’s next generation is an important goal of the leading industry association, The Landscape Association (TLA). TLA welcomes new and potential landscapers to the industry with support and the sharing of knowledge.

With a bright future and a need for more people to join the industry, The Landscape Association (TLA) has stepped up its campaign to support apprentices and new industry participants, fostering the industry’s next generation.

With experienced professionals across all segments of the industry – designers, landscape contractors and maintenance specialists – TLA members throughout NSW and the ACT are in the perfect position to role model high standards in workmanship, communication, creativity, and business acumen.

TLA CEO Jodie Dean said the organisation believes in educating and mentoring the next generation of landscapers, which is why it is so committed to supporting apprentices. “TLA members provide a breadth of experience throughout the industry, across both residential and commercial projects,” she said. “The organisation is also committed to raising and maintaining industry standards and supporting the industry overall through its work with advocacy and representation.

Free student memberships

As part of this commitment to fostering the industry’s next generation, TLA is now offering students free membership to the association. This offer is available to all students studying relevant qualifications including, but not limited to, construction, horticulture, design, and architecture – both vocational and tertiary – throughout the duration of their course.

Valued at over $750 per year, TLA membership allows students to meet with industry leaders, hear about best-practice industry developments and attend training and networking events.

Benefits of the free student membership include:
• Free resources and industry news
• Discounts on TLA member events/training
• Connect with industry leaders for career growth, and
• Access to supplier discounts via the TLA Member Rewards program.

The TLA has stepped up its campaign to suppport apprentices and new industry participants. Image: TLA

Apprentice of the Year Award

The Apprentice of the Year Award is one of the highlights of the annual TLA Landscape Excellence Awards.

The 2023 winning apprentices, Oliver Olsen of Green Options (Parks & Gardens) and Jakub Podworski of Sharp Landscaping (Landscape Construction) have just returned from a four-day study tour, undertaken with TLA’s Jodie Dean, a new prize component added just this year.

The tour prize was generously funded by two long-standing members and past presidents of the association – Robert Stanton from Regal Innovations and Steve Simpson from Simpson Landscapes – and included a visit to the Melbourne’s famous International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) as well as wholesale nurseries and the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

Jodie said it was rewarding to be part of the education of the two young apprentices, who enjoyed their trip to MIFGS and were inspired by what they saw. She hopes the new prize component will boost future entries and contuse the process of fostering the industry’s next generation.

“It’s a great opportunity to inspire dedicated apprentices and expose them to the work of some of the industry’s biggest names,” said Jodie. “It reflects the commitment of the TLA to our industry’s future.”

Oliver said the trip helped him realise how much people love the industry. “I loved meeting many designers, including Jason Hodges, who shared valuable knowledge and information about his display garden, his choices and design,” he said. “The private events after the show ended each day helped me gain knowledge from some of the best creative designers I’ve seen. Being able to talk with them and see their point of view about things has helped me gain confidence in going about my own garden designs.”

Jakub added that the trip gave him lots of ideas and inspiration. “It was very interesting to see how things were done in Melbourne as well,” he said.

The 2023 winning apprentices, Oliver Olsen (left) of Green Options (Parks & Gardens) and Jakub Podworski of Sharp Landscaping (Landscape Construction) were sponsored to a study tour. Image: TLA

Access to resources

As TLA members, students can access many resources, including industry updates, networking events and continued training. TLA events are unique, often delivered by industry leaders and provide an opportunity for members to share knowledge and experiences, improving the industry across the board.

Members of the association also have access to a wide range of discounts on products and services for the landscaping industry through access to leading suppliers who sponsor the association and its events. The TLA Member Rewards Program can offer thousands of dollars in commercial discounts annually.

2024 Landscape Expo Trade Show

The Expo is returning for 2024 and the date is set for Tuesday, September 3. The Expo is the only event of its kind in NSW/ ACT, offering an unrivalled opportunity to network and build relationships across all levels of the industry. It’s an opportunity to educate landscape students as well as industry professionals, and due to this and its success in 2023, the event is returning to the TAFE NSW Ryde Campus. Designed by the TLA’s members, there’s something for everyone across the trade and associated businesses.

Practical and inspiring, TLA will grow its trade event with a plan to eclipse the 50 exhibitors and 850 attendees from 2023. Along with incredible specials and offers from a range of suppliers, the educational speakers’ program and productdemonstrations offering will be expanded, a further training opportunity for apprentices and those new to the industry.

Attendees can benefit from:
• Networking: meet and mingle with industry leaders, peers, and potential collaborators. Attendees can build lasting relationships that can further their careers
• Cutting-edge education: gain insights from top experts in landscaping. Discover the latest trends, techniques, and technologies that can help the industry stay ahead in this ever-evolving field
• Inspiring exhibits: explore a wide range of exhibits showcasing innovative products, tools, and solutions. See firsthand what’s shaping the future of landscaping
• Speakers and demonstrations: view product demonstrations to gain practical skills that can make a real impact on landscaping
• Fun and community: be part of a thriving landscape community, share experiences, and celebrate passion with like-minded individuals!

The Expo is returning to the TAFE NSW Ryde Campus. Designed by the TLA’s members, there’s something for everyone across the trade and associated businesses.. Image: TLA

Interested in learning more?

Follow TLA members and their work via its social media channels: Facebook @ thelandscapeassociation; Instagram @ the_landscape_association.

Visit The Landscape Association’s website at to learn more about the association and all the programs offered to apprentices and those considering a career in the industry.

Image: TLA


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