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Floristry students take out MIFGS Trifecta

23 Mar 2013

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) Floristry students are used to creating arrangements and bouquets to celebrate the success of others but now it's their turn to receive the flowers and take a bow after success at this year's Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS).

Three NMIT Certificate III in Floristry students made a clean sweep of the MIFGS Student Floral Design Competition (Intermediate), taking out 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

NMIT student, Naomi Paterson, took out first place followed by Celestine James (2nd) and Jennifer Mentiplay (3rd). The three Fairfield campus students were the best of a field of approximately 40 competitors made up of floristry students from TAFEs and other institutions throughout Victoria. Also in the placings was NMIT Certificate III in Floristry student, Hien Huynh, who did exceptionally well to achieve 2nd place in the
Advanced section of the Student Floral Design Competition with her Chinese Year of the Dragon themed display.

“Naomi's piece had a very organic, natural look inspired by the bowerbird. She really achieved all the principals of design that we teach in our program,” said NMIT Floristry Teacher, Jan Williams, who along with fellow teacher, Renae Monument, trained the students and assisted them in their preparation for MIFGS. “The student's display work at the MIFGS event goes toward their overall course assessment,” added Ms Williams.

Naomi and her fellow students were under pressure during the competition as they had a strict time limit of 90 minutes in which to construct their floral displays under the scrutiny of industry judges. “It's quite stressful for the competitors because they're working to a time limit with the public watching them all the way,” said Ms Williams.

The judging panel included Richard Go from Sydney and well-known Melbourne florist, Greg Block.

The awards kept coming for the NMIT florists with the NMIT Floristry stand in the Great Hall of the Royal Exhibition Building winning a MIFGS bronze medal for its Australian desert/beach theme. The stand, constructed by NMIT Certificate II in Floristry students and teachers featured native spear grasses and banksias. “The flowers for the stand came from an ex-NMIT student's Banksia farm so it was a thrill to have that connection,” said Ms Williams.

The NMIT floristry students will receive their awards at a presentation at the MIFGS today.

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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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