About

our vision and mission

Our vision is to be a leading representative organisation for Australian Therapeutic Horticulture.

Our mission is to foster and support evidence-based, ethical and person-centred therapeutic horticulture in Australia and develop a robust, professional and ethical industry that is widely recognised, valued and utilised.

THA National Committee

Tara Graham-Cochrane

President

Tara is an internationally award-winning Landscape Architect who specialises in the design of healing and therapeutic landscapes for the healthcare, aged care, disability and education sectors across Australia. Tara is a strong believer that physical environments can be designed to reduce stress, improve health and to support people’s wellbeing.

Residing in Adelaide, SA, Tara is the Director of DesignWELL Landscape Architects, a landscape architecture firm that specialises in therapeutic landscapes. She has a passion for enabling people to connect with nature through therapeutic horticulture and is a founding member of THA. Prior to THA forming, Tara was President of Horticultural Therapy S.A and has been strongly active in bringing together the therapeutic horticulture community in South Australia.  Tara understands the importance of the physical environment in the lives of older Australians and is the S.A. Environmental Design Consultant for Dementia Training Australia. A government funded organisation who educates aged care providers on enabling and supportive care of people living with dementia. Tara is also the author of ‘Gardens that Care: Planning Outdoor Environments for People with Dementia’ and is well know around the aged care conference circuits as a speaker on dementia enabling landscapes.

Leigh McGaghey

Vice President

Leigh lives and works in Sydney where she designs restorative gardens for private clients, together with consulting for horticultural therapy services in aged care, multi-residential dwellings and across the community.  Leigh and her psychologist husband established Wired for Nature in 2018 to complement traditional psychological counselling strategies with horticultural therapy practices and other nature engagement activities.

The strategies they design are neurologically evidence-based, stemming from an understanding of the way our brains are ‘wired’ to respond to nature. With qualifications in landscape architecture, adult education and recreational therapy, Leigh has been able to combine these disciplines to underpin the work she does and is particularly interested in promoting therapeutic horticulture as an identified profession, together with fostering education and training pathways for practitioners. A love of science, gardens, ecology and getting lost in her own messy garden means life is constantly evolving and the people she meets through her work and voluntary roles are inspiring [and fun!].

Doug Twentyman

Secretary

Doug lives in Lake Macquarie, NSW and has been involved in horticulture for over 40 years as a partner in a wholesale propagation nursery, horticulture teacher, garden maintenance, design and horticultural consultant.  The inclusion of horticulture into therapeutic applications over the last 4 or 5 years has provided an avenue of great interest and enthusiasm. 

Particular areas of interest in horticulture and nature-based activities include training of allied health workers into sustainable outdoor activity practises across all sectors. Of particular interest is aged care, mental health and community gardens with the inclusivity these settings bring to enhancing people’s lives.

Tanya Bearup

Committee

Tanya is a social worker and horticultural therapist and is the founder of “My Garden Space” a social and therapeutic gardening service based in Melbourne, Australia.

Carol has participated in and is enthusiastic about therapeutic horticulture research and application.  She has delivered therapeutic horticulture workshops and social garden activities in the Lake Macquarie/Newcastle region as well as volunteering at a day respite centre for people with dementia. Carol has a particular interest in working with seniors, aged care and the aged care with dementia sectors. 

amy Baker

Committee

Dr Amy Baker is a researcher and lecturer based within the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of South Australia. Her research explores people’s experiences, perceived benefits and challenges of engaging in nature and gardening. Other areas of research that Amy undertakes include: creative arts for wellbeing, the health of veterans and first responders, as well as the use of sensory approaches to promote mental health and well being.

Amy mainly undertakes qualitative research, in particular participatory action research and the use of creative methods, but also some mixed methods research. Previous research projects Amy has undertaken or supervised in relation to therapeutic horticulture and nature-based activities include: horticulture therapy in a hospital setting, nature play for young people and the meanings and benefits of community gardening. Amy is a gardener, nature lover, conservationist and certified forest bathing and nature therapy guide.

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Robyn Wing

Committee

Robyn is a passionate horticulturist of over thirty years who has lived and worked with plants and people across northern Australia. Robyn teaches horticulture at Charles Darwin University in Darwin and across the Northern Territory, often into remote communities for First Nations people.

Robyn starting gardening from a very early age, food security was a driving force behind vegetable gardening experiences when growing up on a sheep station where food security was vital to survival and started horticultural record keeping through “Brownies of the Air” as part of remote learning through the School of The Air education system. 

With qualifications in Sustainable Landscape Design and Adult Education, Robyn has recognised when adult learners were engaged with nature are more relaxed and open to learning new skills, and experience increased health and wellbeing. Robyn is principally interested in promoting Therapeutic Horticulture qualifications through a nationally accredited training package to lead into Therapeutic Horticulture as a recognized and valued profession in Australia.

Robyn is a tropical horticulturist, naturalist, horticultural consultant with a passion and commitment to biophilia and nature-based learning. Robyn is constantly making the most of opportunities, who loves camping and adventuring with her husband in remote Australia.

Liz Herbert

Committee

Our 2022 Committee

We welcome our new 2022-2023 committee members, Robyn Wing and Liz Herbert

Sponsors

THA Sponsorship opportunities allow organisations and businesses with an interest in therapeutic horticulture the opportunity to connect with those working in the field and promote their offerings to an Australian and growing International audience. To register to receive our sponsorship prospectus, please email: secretary@tha.org.au

Foundational GOLD Sponsors

THA acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

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