The stories she inevitably tells make people connect to the subject, whether it is about botanical gardens or backyard vegetable patches. You name it, she has a story about it, and these stories keep her audiences enthralled to the very end. Ask any of her students, community members or colleagues and they'll vouch for this.
Donna's work experiences at the start of her horticulture career, when chemicals and disregard for the natural environment prevailed, led her to believe there had to be more-sustainable alternatives. A fi rm believer in common sense and practical solutions to everyday garden problems, Donna has been a leading light of the sustainability movement since the early 1980s.
She is a horticulture teacher at South West Institute of TAFE in Warrnambool, Victoria, a sustainable garden consultant, a garden designer, a writer for newspapers and a speaker to community and professional groups.
She works with Sustainable Gardening Australia, delivering seminars on sustainable management of parks and gardens in metropolitan Melbourne, and with Greening Australia, developing and delivering community workshops on backyard biodiversity throughout western Victoria. In addition to her usual teaching, Donna also develops and delivers sustainable horticulture training programs at TAFE to Special Developmental Schools, a labour of love.
She is a member of a number of organisations and networks, including Sustainable Gardening Australia, the Australian Garden History Society and the Friends of Warrnambool Botanic Gardens. She is a past president of the Friends of Hamilton Botanic Gardens and was a founding committee member of Encouraging Women in Horticulture Australia.