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John L. Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Sup'n Cert., FIOH, FPLA, FAIH, MACHPER, MASA 

Mr Mason has had over 41 years’ experience in the fields of Horticulture, Recreation, Education and Journalism. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. He has held positions ranging from Director of Parks and Recreation (City of Essendon) to magazine editor.   John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over thirty five books and of over two thousand magazine articles. Even today, John continues to write books for various publishers including Simon and Shuster, and Landlinks Press (CSIRO Publishing). Amongst other bodies, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture (UK), Member of the Garden Media Guild and of the Institute of Training & Occupational Learning (ITOL), Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia and of Institute of Horticulture (Australia).

Tutors & Academic Staff

Maggi BrownMaggi Brown Cert.Ed.(Environment)
Maggi is regarded as an expert in Organic Growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic).

She has been honoured as a life member, by Garden Organic. Maggi has been active in professional writing, education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more them three decades.

Dr Robert Browne  B.Sc., PhD
Dr Browne is an internationally renowned expert across many areas of biological science who has worked in both universities, public and private organisations from Australia to the Netherlands. More recently he spent three years working on amphibian conservation at Antwerp Zoo. He currently manages a sustainability project based in Belize.

Diana Cole B.A. (Joint Hons), RHS Dip.Hort., BTEC Higher Dip. Gdn Des., PDC, NPTC (PA1 & PA6), Dip.Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS
Diana continues to run her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens) which she set up in 2005. Arbella Gardens covers all aspects of landscaping, gardening and garden maintenance. Particular projects have included for example, planning applications; garden & permaculture design; construction drawings; planting plans; installation of water features, patios, walls, driveways; garden rejuvenation; planting and turfing; & erosion control. She teaches the Royal Horticultural Society qualifications (Levels 2 and 3) at her local college and is an active member of the Permaculture Association.

Diana also leads a group of volunteers who have been rejuvenating a council run war memorial and gardens since 2000. She was a volunteer leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers for many years.

Prior to setting up Arbella Gardens Diana worked 14 years for the National Health Service as a Personnel Manager and has also worked as a Medical Secretary.

Jacinda Cole B.Sc., Psych.Cert., Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Rosemary Davies  B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others.

David Crothers, FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons),Cert IV TAA
David is a graduate of Queens University Belfast, and a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years working experience in corporate and financial roles, both in Australia and other parts of the world. He is currently working as Chief Financial Officer at a diversified business in Sydney where his responsibilities include fiscal and managerial leadership, internal and external reporting, cash management, budgeting, debt funding and productivity improving. While David has worked at several multinational organisations, his current focus is family business management and he is an active participant in international family business conferences. He is also a passionate advocate of education, and currently tutors in a range of business and accounting subjects.

Peter DouglasPeter Douglas Dip Animal Husbandry
Peter has over 45 years of experience in Agriculture and resources management. He is a former lecturer with the University of Queensland (Gatton), and manager of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. He also established and managed the wildlife park for Dreamworld, one of Australia's largest theme parks. Peter has both wide ranging experience in farming and wildlife management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and helping his adult children who have pursued careers of their own in similar areas.

Sarah Redman B.Bus (Marketing), Cert Bus.Admin
Over 15 years industry experience covering marketing, PR, administration, event management and training, both in private enterprise and government; in Australia and the UK. Sarah has travelled extensively and enjoys cooking and outdoor pursuits.

Marius Erasmus  B.Sc.Agric., B.Sc.(Wildlife), M.Sc.Agric.
Subsequent to completing a BSc (agric) degree in animal science, he completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa; in wildlife Dr management, dairy, beef and poultry farming. 

Dr Maria L. Schmitz Fontes PhD (Marine Science), MSc (Environmental Engineering), BA Hons  (Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biochemistry)
Maria has extensive experience in Environmental Science working in the private and public sectors. She has 6 years of experience teaching graduate and post-graduate students subjects as Marine Pollution, Microbial Ecology, Geochemistry, Oceanography, Methods in Aquatic Science and Benthic Ecology. She has published over 20 scientific articles and book chapters and has participated in several international meetings in aquatic sciences.

During her PhD in Marine Science she studied the microbial community structure in one of the seasonal global coastal dead zones, and reporting the importance of carbon dioxide fixation by anoxygenic phototrophs and production of significant biomass. She has also coordinated an innovative project in bioenergy production using simple-cheap methods to isolate microbes in laboratory. She has collaborated with scientists of Climate Change Cluster Group from University of Technology Sydney and has current interests in areas such as: sustainability and clean energy. 

Kate Gibson B.Soc.Sc, PostGrad Dip Organisation
Kate has over 20 years experience in marketing, and has worked as a project manager. Kate has travelled and worked in a variety of locations including London, N.Z and Australia.

Denise Hodges Adv.Dip.Bus., Dip Clothing Design, Adv.Dip.Naturopathy (completing)
Formerly Promotions Manager ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint).  After trying out a number of career directions Denise studied Marketing, and honed her skills by working in promotions for the ABC for 10 years. However, Naturopathy studies has allowed her to share and further indulge her real passion, which lies in health and wellness. Denise continues to enjoy learning and sharing her interests with others.

Bob JamesBob James M.Env.Sc., Dip.Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC 
50 years experience in industry, having held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob's experience and knowledge is diverse, encompassing fields of Horticulture, Agriculture, Environmental Management, Business and professional writing.

Peta Jinnath Abdul  B.Sc., Grad.Dip.Ed., M.Creative Writing
Peta is a writer with interests in education, science education, and literary theory. She's worked as a writer, editor and teacher, and is currently pursuing her research interests, while working as a writer, tutor and academic officer at ACS.

Tracey Jones - Academic Officer & Tutor (U.K.) B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies)
Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and eBooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. Tracey has also been involved in creative writing since she was a child and has had several short stories and a novella published. 

Josiane Joubran B.Eng., Grad.Dip. I.T., Master Info.Tech., MCP, MCSE
Eight years of experience as an I.T professional in Lebanon and Australia. Extensive experience with computer hardware and engineering, CSC consultant with IBM, Software QA Engineer, Course Writer and Tutor.

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay PhD (University  of Tasmania),  Graduate Certificate in Maritime Safety (AMC) LLM (Environmental Law ANU), GDLP (ANU), LLB (SCU), BL&JS (SCU), MAppSc (Hawkesbury), Graduate Diploma Agriculture (Hawkesbury),  Certificate IV Training & Assessment, Certificate IV Frontline Management.
Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practising environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture). 

Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.

Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW. As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.


Sarah Partridge  B.Sc.Zool(Hons)
Sarah has worked for over a decade in both environmental and medical sciences. She has been an Environmental Officer, conducting and reporting on botanical surveys.She has also worked in research across fields as diverse as Animal Biology, Fertility and Childhood Allergies. Sarah has also co authored a number of books including Ungulate Animals, Animal Health - 2nd edition and Rodents, Rabbits & Relatives.

Alison Pearce - PG Cert Ed (Primary), M.Ecotourism, PGCert Ed., BSc (Hon) Animal Science.
Alison is a former ACS student and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS Agriculture, Wildlife and Ecotourism students. he has worked as a University Lecturer, a Quality Assurance Manager, a Research technician, and has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures.  She has extensive experience of handling, husbandry, and management of a wide range of both small and large animals.

Dr. Lynette Morgan B. Hort. Tech., Ph.D. in Horticultural Science
Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Gareth Pearce BSc(Hons), BVSc, MA, MVetS, PhD, GradCertEd(HE), PGCertAqVetS, PGCertWLBio&Cons, DiplECPHM, MRCVS.
Gareth has over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in a variety of colleges and universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon at the Universities of Melbourne and Bristol, having previously graduated in Agricultural Science and gained a PhD in Livestock Behaviour and Production. He also has post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.

Jade Sciascia, B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert Food Hygiene
Current International Business Manager, IARC, former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. Secondary School teacher (Biology) and Sexual Health and Relationship Program Developer, Senior Administrator (Human Resources & Recruitment), Assistant Coordinator (Youth Welfare) and Dog Boarding Facility Manager.

Lyn Quirk M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Lyn has 25 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Queensland's Gold Coast, including the Marriot. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has amongst her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

Barbara Seguel  B.Sc., M. Aquaculture Eng.
Barbara has worked around the world from Hawaii to Mexico, Chile and New Zealand, and now in Australia. She has more than a decade of experience in industry, covering tourism and hospitality to aquaculture and poultry egg production.

Parita Shah  B.Hort.(Hons), M.Hort.
Parita has worked for ten years in horticulture, in both Australia and Asia, in research, consulting and nursery production

Yvonne Sharpe RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. MNSALG
Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

 Timothy Walker  B.A.(Botany),  RHS.M. Hort., Post.Grad.Dip.Ed.

Botanist, Horticulturist and Gardener. Author and lecturer at Somerville College, Oxford. After training at a number of gardens  including Windsor Great Park, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew commenced work at Oxford Botanic Gardens in 1986. Appointed as Horti Praefectus (ie. superintendent/director) there in 1988, and held that position till 2014. Under Timothy's watch the garden wonfour gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show; and created 67 acres of MG5 wild flower meadow at the Harcourt Arboretum; a UK threatened habitat. Timothy remains an active practical gardener as well as a highly respected international academic in the fields of horticulture and plant botany.

Andrew Williams B.Sc.(Hons)
Having graduated with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Astrophysics and Mathematics, He has worked in the role of a design engineer for refrigeration systems for the past seven years.  Alongside work commitments, he has been studying towards a Masters in Engineering, providing a path to becoming a chartered engineer.

Cheryl Wilson  B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert
Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Formerly: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager at Warwickshire College.


Kara Wight - BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging)
Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology.  She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles.  Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital.  She also managed an animal care training facility for a college.  At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels.

Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector.  She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events.  Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year. 

Jan Kelly - Dip. Hort (Burnley) - Cert IV Assessment & Training
Jan has around 50 years experience in Horticulture, including over 20 years as owner/manager of a wholesale / retail nursery. She has worked in both Australia and Papua New Guinea in many different capacities, including as a Horticultural Consultant and Landscape Designer for domestic and development projects with considerable experience in Conservation and Land Management. Jan has been a trainer of Amenity Horticulture and Landscape Design for 10 years. 


Leonie Mason - Administration Director

Kerri Smith - General Administration

Amy Priestner - General Administration

Sandy Plaza - General Administration

Nicholas Mason - I.T. and Marketing

Robert Plaza - Video Production and Management

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