Our Gardening Experts

In 2018 some of Australia's leading experts took part in three days of lectures, demonstrations and workshops and we are currently working on putting together another great program jammed pack with gardening ideas for you to enjoy. We have experts on site each and every day to offer the best advice around. Practical, useful information abounds at the Expo on 8 Live Stages. We offer a fantastic range of gardening topics covered with more than 20 speakers presenting free talks and demos each day.


  Paul West is a cook, food grower who loves to celebrate the power of food to transform our lives, environment and communities for the better. Paul is best known for his role as the host of “River Cottage Australia” and also contributes to Gardening Australia, Backroads and Catalyst on the ABC. CLICK HERE FOR PAUL'S RECIPES FROM THE EVENT

Costa Georgiadis is a landscape architect who has an all-consuming passion for plants and people. Now the very popular host of ABC Gardening Australia, Costa believes in embracing and celebrating mother nature's cycles and seasons and nurturing her balance, beauty and bounty organically. 
Jerry Coleby-Williams is a curator, author, Director of the Seed Saver’s Network, and Patron of Householder’s Options for Protecting the Environment. Jerry has been a presenter on ABC TV’s ‘Gardening Australia’ show since 2000 and is a well-known gardening presenter

Annette McFarlane is a teacher, sustainability educator, garden writer, author and broadcaster. She is the garden feature writer for the Sunday Mail and has been the very popular host of Gardening Talkback on ABC 612 radio for the past 25 years. She is also the author of a series of best-selling gardening books. 

Sophie Thomson, ABC television’s Gardening Australia South Australian presenter, is a captivating and engaging speaker, author, broadcaster, horticulturalist and trained naturopath. Sophie is a strong advocate for sustainable gardening practices, growing organic food, cooking from the home garden and creating backyards where kids can play freely.

Phil Dudman is the Horticultural Editor of ABC Gardening Australia Magazine, a gardening talkback host on ABC Local Radio, TV presenter and author of three books for ABC Books and Harper Collins. He’s well-known for his fun and informative presentations and loves nothing more than helping people to create their dream garden and sharing his passion for organic gardening.

Claire Bickle is a qualified Brisbane based horticulturalist and a regular on ABC radio for gardening and chook talkback. She is also a regular contributor to many sustainable and horticultural publications and delivers many workshops and presentations on the benefits of all aspects of gardening and backyard poultry keeping.

Noel Burdette is an advocate of naturalistic style gardens that uphold and support healthy ecologies. Noel is a regular contributor to several inspiring gardening publications including Gardening Australia, Garden Gurus and About the Garden. He has done Gardening talkback radio for many years including 4BC Gardening talkback and 612 ABC Gardening.

Tim Adams
A well known barista, Tim has claimed victory in the AustralAsian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) Queensland Barista and the AASCA 2009 Australian Barista Championship. As a dedicated ambassador of the specialty coffee industry, Tim regularly shares his knowledge with budding baristas, offering hands-on barista training.

Linsey Pollak is an Australian musician, instrument maker, composer, musical director and community music facilitator. He has toured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia as well as performing at most major festivals around Australia. Linsey creates musical instruments from unlikely objects such as vegetables, see his Carrott Man performance at the Expo on Sunday.


Darryl Baptie is the owner of Camellia Glen Nursery on the Sunshine Coast. Darryl has been a member of the Camellia Association for many years and a judge at numerous shows.

Linda Brennan is The Greenthumb Goddess, a prominent Queensland author and eco and horticultural educator. 

Matthew Carroll (aka Hortiman) is a regular at national gardening events where he shares his passion for all things plants, gardening technologies and innovation.  Matthew also works with the Nursery & Garden Industry of Australia where he spreads the message of the benefits of a good Plant/Life Balance. Matthew is the current President of the Horticultural Media Association of NSW. 

Joan Dillon is a horticulturist with a passion for native flora. Joan is a member of Native Plants Sunshine Coast.

Pia Dowling (MBA) is a presenter and author of six books, including four on Organic Gardening that focus on chemical free, water saving, time saving, cost saving and sustainable techniques.

Jenece Drake is a highly qualified horticulturist with many years experience in the nursery and gardening industry.  She has a great passion for sharing her skills and knowledge with others and also opening her own organic garden with friends and family. 

Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener, is a writer, author and urban garden community educator. Anne shares organic gardening tips and tutorials on her popular website www.themicrogardener.com.

Paul Hains is the Author of “Growing Roses in Subtropical Climates”. He is President of the Queensland Rose Society, Past President of the National Rose Society, and Vice President of the World Federation of Rose Societies. Paul is a rose breeder with many roses now available on the market in Australia.

Bill Hazsard is an educator and presenter and the owner of Willina worms. Bill is passionate about worm farming and is looking forward to sharing his expert information regarding getting the most from your warm farm.

Peter Heaton is the man to ask about ferns and indoor plants. Heaton’s Fern Nursery is well known throughout Australia for their quality ferns and anthuriums.

Carol Kerkin is enthusiastic gardener who has learnt through trial and experimentation over the years. Having been mentored through contacts made within the Perennial Poppies Group and Australia’s Open Garden Scheme. Carol’s main interests being cottage garden plants, particularly salvias and roses.

Arno King is a registered Landscape Architect, registered Horticulturist and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture with over 30 years of industry experience.

Angela Lewis - South African born migrated to Atherton in North Queensland, Angela Is a very talented floral artist and is also an accredited floral art judge. Angela has attended and competed in local, national and international flower shows.

Dominique Liv Kamal runs her own business in herbal medicine manufacture. The Medicineroom Naturopathic Herbal Dispensary is Dom’s passion and she spends most of her working time there enjoying the alchemy of developing beautiful aromatherapeutic and herbal medicines and body products.

Judith Little is a qualified Florist and highly regarded Floral Art Judge.

Bob Luttrell otherwise known as Bob the Bee Man is passionate about bees and has a wealth of knowledge about the nearly 2000 species of bees in Australia

Sandra Nanka from Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm has been growing and using herbs for 30 years. She is a qualified naturopath and herbalist accredited with ANTA.

Heather Prior has been a floral artist for nearly 40 years, she is the current president of the Qld floral art society and well as being an accredited judge. Heather has attended and competed in local, national and international flower shows. 

Dr Kevin Redd grows a wide range of edible plants at his boutique nursery and demonstration gardens on the Sunshine Coast. Equally passionate about harvesting and using these amazing culinary ingredients, he will share some recipes and techniques for cooking and enjoying the seasonal abundance.

Nigel Thompson is the owner of Dandaloo Valley Nursery and an expert on all things Bromeliads. Nigel will be speaking daily at the Birdwood Lecture Marquee. 

Rick Warwick is the owner of Bamboo Down Under, the leading supplier of bamboo in Retail and wholesale within Australia. The nursery Bamboo Down Under has been proudly awarded the “Best Specialist Garden Centre in Queensland” at the Nursery & Garden Industry Awards.

Barbara Wickes is passionate about herb and cottage gardens and enthusiastically promotes this style of gardening in South East Queensland. Some years ago she established a cottage garden group in the region which currently has 170 members. Barb has also coordinated the Giant Kitchen Garden feature area at the Expo for several years.

Adam Woodhams Life-long gardener, horticulturist by trade and communicator by profession Adam is passionate about taking the message on garden & home lifestyle, sustainability and achievable DIY to the broadest audience.

Peter Young is an internationally renowned fruit tree expert and will be giving daily talks on the Banksia Stage. Peter can tell you everything you need to know about pests, diseases and fertilising your fruit trees.

Sunshine Coast Council  - A host of experts from Sunshine Coast council with a wide range of specialities share their knowledge with gardeners.  Speakers in this feature include: Julie O’Connor, Fuschia Collard, Helen Schwenke, Sean Morrow, Sandie Johnston, Michelle Gleeson, Raeleen Draper, Spencer Shaw, Steve Popple, Roslyn Leslie, Tyron DeKauwe and Veronica Cougan.