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Australian Landscape Conference
18-22 September 2015. Melbourne.




WE WISH YOU ALL A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY and sincerely thank all those 621 people, speakers and sponsors who attended our conference and other activities.

Your support and enthusiasm was the vital ingredient making it possible to stage those events.  Perhaps that normally sober Rapporteur Peter Watts best summed up the exciting ambience of the conference –

Peter Watts The conference was a triumph. Congratulations. There was such a charge in the air and it just kept building. Whether by accident or good planning, bookending it with Martin was brilliant. He gave such energy and insight - at beginning and end.
And Philosopher Thomas and Creative Xavier added wonderful icing. Diana injected a beautiful social conscience… Helen and James were good...  
You do the most marvellous thing in bringing all these people together. It is far removed from any other professional conferences …. It is, instead, full of humanity and ordinary people (as opposed to egocentric professionals talking to their own!) and this year the speakers responded brilliantly to it.  The camaraderie that developed between them really gave the conference a great energy.
It’s a great privilege to be involved...
- Peter Watts, Sydney
Raymon Basha wrote –

What an incredible weekend.
Martin Rein-Cano put me into ‘take off’ position and from there I travelled all around the world in 2 days, seeing and hearing about some of the most beautiful landscapes from their creators.
Pond SculptureI loved the ’turbulence’ that their ideas created.
Thomas Doxiadas turned the problems of the GFC around and created incredible landscapes for desperate communities.
Diana Wiesner elected to work for those less fortunate and enriched her community.
Martin Rein-Cano created a public space that gave those alienated a place to call home and a place where diversity was welcome.
Xavier Perrot - his work was incredible, amazing art.  
James and Helen Basson seeking to work with their environment rather than change it.
Viesturs Cielens sharing the influences of people he has come across.
WaterfallI found this conference not so much about ‘conflict’ but more about resolution. The word possible was used quite often.
We had poetry, we had music.
The Rapporteur Peter Watts asking the questions we wanted to ask.
I posted on my face book page on Friday I’m going to Melbourne to recharge my batteries … they are fully charged.
Thank you so much to you and your team. Special mention to Jenny Wade. The hard work has paid off.

I look forward to 2017.

And there were so many other lovely responses from regular attendees like Jill Wran, Rose Thodey and Margaret Barker from New Zealand and speaker Xavier Perrot (Brittany), Fiona Brockhoff and so many more.

Antiparos GreeceThe enthusiasm of the speakers was infectious and Thomas Doxiadis (Athens) spoke with great warmth –

We have a lot to thank you for, but mostly on my part for bringing such a warm and fulfilling group of people together, and yes, treating us like family.  I am sure it was your and Sue’s and Jenny’s and Peter’s warmth that softened our metal and made it stick.  
I look forward to more chances to be with all of you, enjoying the beauty and intellectual stimulation of the things we all love.


Catherine StewartWe were also delighted with some thoughtful critical comment – especially from Catherine Stewart of Garden Drum fame -
My thoughts on this and for future conferences:
1. ..the conference would be better if the presentation style was more varied.  I find sustaining concentration through a 55-minute session impossible. I like shorter sessions - more like Ted [Presentations] where speakers have 20 minutes to get their ideas … across. What’s said in 20 minutes is usually better delivered and punchier and therefore much more memorable. …
2. …Instead of a second long presentation, I’d like to hear and watch the [international speakers] in conversation, with an interviewer and with each other, perhaps with the addition of some locals to the panel.
3. I was disappointed that we didn’t have questions from the audience. There were hundreds of knowledgeable, experienced and very clever people there… there could be a question box with paper and pencils for people to put their questions to a presenter... You [only need] …a selection of the best.
4. The presenters were very much focused on designing for a climate and vegetation that’s an integral part of Melbourne, but nothing like where I live, so I’d like more variety… 
5. More women presenters!
6. In the eating area outside, have some visual presentation boards, like designs from current landscape students, so those who don’t know anyone can walk around and look at them without feeling awkward. I spoke to a couple of people who didn’t know anyone there and they mentioned that idea.
7. The catering was excellent although the spring rolls always seemed to disappear too fast.
 - Catherine Stewart

So thank you all for your enthusiasm and support which will encourage us to plan for yet another conference.

And thank you too for all your comments which we read avidly.  And we would certainly welcome any further constructive comments please!  Catherine has certainly got us thinking!

There have also been interesting reviews on the conference including one by Megan Backhouse published in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age:
For further comments on our conference and for any changes you would like to see, we would love to hear from you. SO PLEASE WRITE TO ME -

Warwick Forge
Conference Director

Best wishes for a happy Xmas and a wonderful 2016!

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