Posted by & filed under Floristry, Uncategorized.

WorldSkills 2016

Gold Medal Success



Melbourne is celebrated for holding memorable and impressive events throughout history and this October was certainly no different. The iconic Melbourne Show Grounds was privileged to be the venue of the 2016 Worldskills Competition.

Worldskills is an annual competition that enables employees and apprentices from across the country the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents in an array of industries. The creative trades’ portion of the competition remains a highlight for us here at Marjorie Milner College which offers quality apprenticeships in four different creative pursuits, Floristry, Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy.

Having had previous success at the competition the College was ecstatic to have three of its talented apprentices compete. All from the Floristry department of the college Chevonne Nicholas, Kathleen Horton and Elizabeth Lilburn worked diligently in preparation to represent Victoria in this world renowned event. In fact this group of three women were the only apprentices to represent Victoria this year, an honour for each of them individually as well as the teachers and staff here at the College.  Greg Milner the principal of the college expressed that “it was, as always, an honour and pleasure to support these students in refining their talents and supporting them in this endeavor.” Over the three day event it was clear the work and commitment that these students had to their chosen fields and they performed with great enthusiasm, presenting some incredible floral arrangements throughout the three day event.

It was with great excitement that at the conclusion of the competition we were informed that our very own Elizabeth Lilburn was the recipient of the Worldskills Gold Medal in Floristry. “It was an absolute thrill to hear that she had won as it was clearly deserved, she is an excellent florist” said James Milner of the college.



The other Gold Medal winners in related creative fields were Gaby Ware from the NSW Tafe North Coast Institute for her work in the Hairdressing segment of the competition and Kaylee Howlett from the NSW Tafe Western Sydney Institute in the discipline of Beauty Therapy.

At Marjorie Milner College we pride ourselves on being a leader in quality training within Victoria and in fact nationally and the Worldskills Competition is a platform for both students and their respective training organisations to demonstrate their skills, expertise and knowledge within the vocational educational space and as such the event is one that we are delighted to support.

As a sponsor of the 2016 Worldskills Competition we take this opportunity to congratulate all this year’s competitors and especially acknowledge those who train with us here at Marjorie Milner College. We thoroughly enjoy being an educator in this space and are always thrilled to support any of our apprentices with their goals and career aspirations.


Posted by & filed under Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Uncategorized.

Hairdressing Apprenticeship Fees & Beauty Therapy Fee Scholarships

AMR Hair and Beauty Scholarship 2016/2017

AMR Hair and Beauty Scholarship

Marjorie Milner College is happy to announce that there are some scholarships that students can apply for. This can cover up to $1000.00 towards their training in 2017. If you are studying a hairdressing apprenticeship or Beauty Therapy you can apply. We are not sure if you study Certificate III in Barbering if you eligible but you can only ask. We have some more details from their website below.

AMR Hairdressing Picture

The AMR, with ten years experience, strongly believe that professionals working in hair and beauty industry can make our world a better place! That’s why we are very pleased to announce that now AMR offers a unique scholarship to all hair and beauty students including but not limited to hairdressers, beauty therapists, make-up artists, nail technicians, beauticians (cosmetologists), spa therapists etc. AMR scholarship are designed to give current hair and beauty students partial financial support to become next superstars in the industry.

Two lucky winners, $1000.00 per recipient will be paid directly to the school of the student’s choice. Winners will be announced on 10th of January. Selection of the winners will be done by the AMR Hair and Beauty management based on the scholarship requirements outlined below.

How do you apply?

AMR Hair and Beauty is Australia’s favourite hair and beauty supplier with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. At AMR we are all about hair and beauty. We strongly believe that professionals working in hair and beauty industry can make our world a better place! That’s why we are very pleased to announce that now AMR offers a unique scholarship to all hair and beauty students including but not limited to hairdressers, beauty therapists, make-up artists, nail technicians, beauticians (cosmetologists), spa therapists etc. AMR scholarship is designed to give current hair and beauty students partial financial support to become next superstars in the industry.

Two lucky winners, $1000.00 per recipient will be paid directly to the school of the student’s choice. Winners will be announced on 10th of January. Selection of the winners will be done by the AMR Hair and Beauty management based on the scholarship requirements outlined below.

When do I need to apply?

AMR Hair and Beauty scholarship will be open from 10th of October 2016. All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm AEST on 1st of January 2017.


Terms and Conditions of the Hair and Beauty Scholarship

In 2016, two scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded to students/future students who demonstrate commitment and motivation to succeed in their course and develop a career in the hair and beauty industry.

Selection criteria: Applicants must:

  • Be enrolled OR are applying to study in hair and beauty course
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian resident

Administration of scholarship:

  • Applications for the AMR Hair and Beauty scholarship will open on the AMR website on 10th of October 2016 and close January 1st 2016.
  • A selection committee comprising the CEO and managers of AMR Hair and Beauty will be responsible for selecting the suitable Scholarship recipient
  • All information supplied to the AMR selection committee will be treated as confidential and won’t be disclosed.
  • In the event of insufficient suitable applicants, the selection committee has discretion to not award a scholarship in any given year

Conditions of award:

  • The scholarship will be paid on January 2017
  • Scholarship funds will be paid directly into an institution’s account mentioned by a recipient
  • A scholarship is not transferable to another Institute

How to I apply for a hairdressing or Beauty scholarship?

  • Fill in the application form – download the electronic form here
  • Write a minimum 350-word essay on the topic: “Why do you want to be a part of hair and beauty industry and why you deserve to win the scholarship?”
  • If you have professional images from your previous work in hair and beauty industry send them along with your essay
  • Send your application form  and images (optional) to email address

Email your application for a Hairdressing or Beauty Therapy scholarship to:

For more information about our Hairdressing courses please click on the link. Please note that school-based hairdressing apprentices and hairdressing apprentices can also apply for this scholarship.
School-based traineeships in Beauty can also apply for more information about this course please click on the link.

All images from ARM website.

Posted by & filed under Barbering.

Barbering Apprenticeship Enrolment Day and Non-Apprenticeship. 

Enrolment Day Thursday 20th October 2016. 
Barbering Apprenticeship Now Available 
SHB30516 Certificate III in Barbering
Barbering MMCollege

MMCollege: 401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, 3127   Ph: 98807257


Hello Future Barberings & Barbering Apprentices!

Barbering Apprenticeship Now Available in Victoria.


Thank-you for enquiring about barbering or visiting the College at either our Barbering Information Evening or Open Day in September! It was great to put faces to names and see your enthusiasm for joining this brilliant industry.

We are all geared up to start Barbering in October and have pushed enrolments to Thursday 20th October onwards so that we are able to be inclusive of the Year 12 students who are wanting to start and apprentices.

In discussions with Steph Ryan, Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships, about the Certificate III in Barbering Apprenticeship has been successful. We NOW have a barbering apprenticeship available.

Enrolments are scheduled for the 20th October onwards so that we can start training before the end of the month. To ensure we have your paperwork ready to go please email to let us know you will attend the enrolment day. If you are unable to attend the enrolment day on Thursday 20th October, please confirm another date and time with James by email or phone.

We will go through the list on of tools and equipment you will require for 2016 on enrolment day– you don’t buy the whole list! We have asked Adam from Excellent Edges to speak about all things Scissors

If you have not visited the College before please email or call on 98807257 as you will need to fill in the pre-training review first. Students that attended the Open Day and Information Night have already filled in one of these forms.

Classes will be Thursday and Friday 9am – 4pm at 401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, 3127. We expect this course to take students about one year. It is possible to finish faster.

School-Based Barbering Apprenticeship are also now open.

Looking forward to seeing you at enrolment day!



Posted by & filed under Barbering, Hairdressing, Uncategorized.

SHB30416 Certificate III in Hairdressing Apprenticeship 


Higher Education Skills Group Released this update on the 14th September in regard to Hairdressing Apprenticeship Funding. 


Update on qualifications Certificate III in Hairdressing (SHB30416)) & Certificate III in Barbering (SHB30516)


Funding Arrangements regarding the Certificate III in Hairdressing 
Published: 14 Sep 2016

This notice clarifies funding arrangements regarding the Certificate III in Hairdressing, which has been included in the Funded Course List (FCL) 2017 for funding as both an apprenticeship and a non-apprenticeship, since its release on 26 August 2016.

The FCL 2017 seeks to include only the most recent versions of courses, to ensure it reflects current industry needs. Where courses have been approved by the Victorian Regulation and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to be delivered as an apprenticeship, in addition to a non-apprenticeship, this is reflected in the Funded Course List 2017.

The period between the release of a newer version of a course and its approval by the VRQA as an apprenticeship course does not preclude the newer version from being delivered immediately as a non-apprenticeship course. This was the case for Certificate III in Hairdressing. Up until today, the older version of this course (SIH30111) was originally included on the 2017 FCL, for apprenticeship delivery. The newer version of this course (SHB30416) was also originally included on the 2017 FCL, only as a non-apprenticeship, pending VRQA approval for SHB30416 to be delivered as an apprenticeship.

The VRQA has now determined that SHB30416 – Certificate III in Hairdressing is approved to also be delivered as an apprenticeship.

Therefore, from today, SIH30111 will be removed from the 2017 FCL and SHB30416 will  be offered for government-subsidised training for both apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship delivery.

Please note that existing students enrolled in SIH30111 will be able to complete their apprenticeship course in this superseded version of the Certificate III in Hairdressing, and the 2017 subsidy will apply as of 1 January 2017. However, from 1 January 2017, new students should be enrolled in the latest version of this course (SHB30416).

The FCL for 2017 can be found on the Skills First website at

Please note that existing students enrolled in SIH30111 will be able to complete their apprenticeship course in this superseded version of the Certificate III in Hairdressing, and the 2017 subsidy will apply as of 1 January 2017. However, from 1 January 2017, new students should be enrolled in the latest version of this course (SHB30416).


The FCL for 2017 can be found on the Skills First website at


Marjorie Milner College will be delivering SHB30416 Certificate III in Hairdressing for apprenticeship from 2017. On the 14 September 2016 we have asked HESG to clarify when the SHB30516 Certificate III in Barbering will become an apprenticeship. We are hopeful to start Apprenticeship classes in October 2016 for Certificate III in Barbering. The Barbering qualification was endorsed by the VRQA as an apprenticeship on the 26th August as well.


Barbering Cert III

Posted by & filed under Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing, Uncategorized.

Quality Training in VET 


Lynne Kosky Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination

by James Milner & Sarah Bond

Melbourne Flower Show 2012
Winner of the 2012 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this display is one of Greg’s favourite.


Section A


It is difficult to write a short overview that will encompass a lifetime of outstanding achievements. I am nominating my father, whom I work with, for the Lynne Kosky Award as I believe he is by far one of the most outstanding VET teachers in Australia. His broad experience, ongoing passion and enthusiasm for his students and their future is very inspiring to me as I am a qualified teacher myself. I have interviewed my father in order to properly summarise his contribution to the VET sector. The questions asked and his answers are stated under the subsequent headings below.

Greg has been involved in vocational education since 1969. He is the current principal of Marjorie Milner College, which was founded by his late mother in 1946 (registered in 1995). The college is the largest provider of floristry apprenticeship training in the country. Greg is on the teaching floor four days a week as well as a Monday evening.  Teaching is his passion and he values and respects all students with his main aim being to provide them with the best possible education to meet the industry’s needs. His students are actively involved in all industry competitions and their success reads like a ‘who’s who’ in floristry.

Greg was educated at Trinity Grammar School in Kew and he holds two educational degrees, including a Master in Education (University of Melbourne), five Diplomas and seven certificates. He is, without doubt, the most respected floristry teacher in Australia. His five educational floristry books span thirty-one years and have sold over four hundred thousand copies. Greg is currently a Worldskills judge (and was a judge in its predecessor, Workskills) and is the most senior Interflora National judge of thirty-nine years. In his training, he is presently recognised by Service Skills Australia as a Right Way Accredited Trainer and Assessor. He has made thirty-one educational training DVD’s which have been used in floristry teaching across the world. Greg was honoured and recognised by the Australian Florists’ Association in 1999, being inducted into the Floristry Hall of Fame.

Greg is a past Chairman of Interflora Victoria/Tasmania and he served voluntarily as the Educational Convenor for many years. Greg has taught and lectured, by invitation, in Japan, America, England, India and New Zealand. He has been presented to the Imperial Prince of Japan as a guest judge of floristry for Japan’s largest flower show. Greg was also honoured in 2006 to be invited to lecture in India on the benefits of competency-based training to eight hundred school principals.

Greg has worked for RMIT to broaden his educational experience. He particularly chose to work with students who had different forms of learning disabilities so that he could broaden his teaching skills and best learn how to assist them. He has been employed by TAFE Tasmania, in addition to working with North Melbourne Institute of Technology (NMIT), teaching floristry in Tasmania. Greg is an expert on competency-based training, having moved away from lock-step training in 1998. He has written several papers regarding his experience and positon on workplace based training which are discussed further in this submission.

His greatest joy is the success of his students whose achievements are outstanding. His training success in Worldskills has led to International representation by students on several occasions. The college has four student representatives competing in the national finals this year alone. Nearly all industry competitions are won by his students who participate throughout the year.

Besides writing books, Greg has written for many industry magazines over the last thirty years including educational articles for the Australian Florist Industry Magazine over the last five. He has been recognised for this effort in various ways. In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers Certified Floral Designers Certificate. He has also won numerous industry competitions across the years with his most recent win being at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2015. Greg has given his time freely to the industry over the past forty years to judge state and national competitions as well as demonstrating and running hundreds of teaching workshops for the industry.

In summary, Greg has been teaching in the VET sector for forty-seven years and his passion is as strong as it ever was. He is considered the expert of the industry (ask any florist). His dedication to the highest level of training recommends him for success in this outstanding award.



Greg Milner with Natahlia Brandt after her Silver win at the 2014 Worldskills Competition. Natahlia studied her Certificate III in Floristry as a school-based apprentice and then went on to study the Certificate IV in Floristry followed by the Diploma of Floristry. She is now working as a Florist in London and will fly back as a Worldskills ambassador for the competitions in October.



Victoria Premier Flower Show 2015

Myself (James Milner), Daniel Andrews (Victorian Premier) and my father, Greg, at the 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in front of Greg’s winning display.


Section B

Criterion 1: History of service

It is necessary to this section to refer to the early background leading to the foundation of Greg’s huge experience base.

Early background

Gregory Milner was born in 1952 into a family with very successful retail experience in the fields of floristry and hairdressing. His mother, Marjorie Milner, was passionate with regards to education and she saw a need for good industry training in floristry. In response to this need, she commenced formal training in 1946. His parents were foundation members of Interflora, running one of the largest florist businesses in Australia as well as training florists in the industry. Greg’s mother was the Educational Convenor for Interflora. This meant that she ran many workshops to educate the industry over the two states of Victoria and Tasmania. Greg was involved with these, as a helper, from a young age and later, holding the same convenorship, he ran numerous training workshops for the industry across the country. This was always unpaid and done for the benefit of the industry.

This short background is vital as it highlights what has shaped Greg’s passion and future in the education of florists and hairdressing (his paternal grandmother ran six hairdressing salons and his parents always ran a salon). Greg first competed in floristry in 1966 at fourteen years of age whilst still at school and he first demonstrated at the same age. I view this as quite an achievement given I was not doing anything of the sort at that age!

First Florist Shop Bourke Street Melbourne

Greg’s first florist shop at 112 Bourke Street Melbourne. This photo shows half of the shop which had seven staff.


Greg entered the family business in 1969. He toured the world for five months, observing different floristry methods and on his return opened a florist shop in Bourke Street Melbourne (aged seventeen). He wore two hats, one being the family business of floristry which he worked in during the day and the second hat being a student teacher of floristry training the industry. This was of an evening (three nights per week) at the school founded by his mother. By 1971 Greg was taking classes as the sole teacher and he has taught continuously since 1969. All the records of every student and class is recorded at the college (the change from school to college took place in 2000).

Greg was involved in the early registration of Private Providers. The family school was recognised with great respect by the floral industry but not registered by the government. Marjorie Milner School of Floristry was registered in 1995 and from 1997 Greg was able to train apprentices. This is his passion above all other aspects of VET training. The success of his apprentices is absolutely outstanding.

Teacher Training

Greg was teaching at Marjorie Milner School of Floristry when the apprenticeship for floristry was proclaimed in 1976 (he and his mother were involved in this process). Teachers were to be formally trained through the Education Department. Greg loved fusing his industry background and knowledge into training and wanted to learn to be better at his craft. Box Hill TAFE (as it was called at the time) was selected for the training venue of the new floristry apprentices and given Greg was the only floristry teacher training the industry at that time he approached Gordon Bail, principal of The State College of Victoria, at Hawthorn to undertake teacher training. He was accepted and interestingly, he was the only student not employed by the Education Department. He also trained alongside three prospective teachers for Box Hill. Greg obtained a Trained Trade Instructor’s Certificate (1979) followed by a Diploma of Technical Teaching (1983).

Being married with a young family, running three shops, teaching night classes and attending the early markets to buy flowers, this was a very busy time of Greg’s life. Despite this, he continued to study and obtained a Degree in Education Technical (1986) and later he returned again to study a Master Degree in Education at Melbourne University (2002). Remarkably, the first floristry head of department for Box Hill TAFE was requested to attend Marjorie Milner School of Floristry to be taught by Greg and the tuition was paid for by the State Government.

Greg also holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment as well as and a Diploma in Training and Assessment.

Industry Judging, Lecturing and Teaching 

Teaching Floristry, Barbering

Greg after finishing his Diploma of Technical Teaching in 1983


In 1977, the first Interflora judges examination was held in Canberra by the floristry industry. The examination spanned three days and thirteen florists from across Australia sat through the process. Greg was twenty-five at the time and passed amply, obtaining the highest marks of all entrants. Five of the thirteen passed the examination. Greg has since been on subsequent judging boards examining industry experts for this qualification. Judging in the floristry industry was an extension of training. Often the industry workshops were associated with competitions and Greg often demonstrated to industry, organised workshops and taught for industry associations. This was always done voluntarily for the betterment of the industry. In 1978 Greg was first invited to judge the state heats of floristry for Workskills (the forerunner of Worldskills) which took place at Box Hill TAFE. Greg has since judged and demonstrated many times for World Skills and its predecessor Workskills. His most recent judging for Worldskills was last year.

Greg was asked by Teleflora (the largest relay company in the World at that time) to judge their first National competition in 1978 and he has judged state and National finals continuously from 1977 to the current day all over the country. If the past forty odd years were to be examined, there would be a consistent pattern of travel around the country to present a demonstration, judge a competition, give a verbal commentary and the following day teach the florists new and emerging techniques and then return home. Airfares and accommodation were paid for but time and expertise was given to the industry at no charge, up until more recent times.

Greg has been a chief examiner for subsequent industry judge’s qualifications. He has been invited to judge internationally which, as was mentioned earlier, usually involved teaching. Greg taught floristry in Japan each September from 1996 to 2005 moving from one city to another. This teaching took place when term break was in place in Melbourne. In 2001 Greg was presented to the Imperial Prince and Princess of Japan as he was a guest International judge at the Nagoya Dome Flower Show. As part of this event, numerous teaching sessions were organised across Japan training floristry employers and staff and on one occasion an excerpt from one of the demonstrations was shown on TV. Also in 2001, Greg was invited to demonstrate, lecture and teach in San Francisco, California, U.S.A, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.


Imperial Prince of Japan

The Imperial Prince of Japan addressing those who were presented to the Prince and Princess (seated behind). The judges from the Show were seated in the front row and were individually introduced to, and questioned by, the imperial couple.


As was mentioned earlier, Greg was invited in 2006 to lecture to eight hundred college principals from across India on competency based training. The conference was opened by the Governor of Punjab, India and Greg was privileged to be the first guest speaker. As part of the trip he was invited to speak at a number of venues across India including at a number of press interviews.

Inteflora Demonstration 1979

Educational Publications

The experience of formal teacher training brought Greg a discipline of research and he started to formulate his teacher research into a solid training document. He approached Currey O’Neill Publishers and in 1984 “The Art of Flower Arrangement”, a complete guide to Floristry was published. Twenty-five thousand copies were printed for the first run and distributed across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. A national campaign was launched with television interviews, demonstrations on live television and radio interviews in all states of Australia (over one hundred interviews to date). A three-page spread was featured in Woman’s Day. The book sold out in three months. Subsequent editions followed and a re-write was published in 1987. This was followed by another national advertising campaign across the country. During the 80’s Greg was also writing for the horticultural publication ‘GreenWorld’ as well as for the Interflora Unit News in both Australia and Great Britain and the Funeral Industry Magazine.

Womens Day Spread

Two pages of the three-page spread feature from the Women’s Day magazine which highlighted some sections of Greg’s first book published in 1984.


In 1990 Greg produced and made seven floristry training videos. This media form was well ahead of its time and Greg used these resources in his own teaching as well as at educational industry workshops. This helped to balloon the distribution of the recorded demonstrations across the world. Greg continued making videos and then DVD’s when they came into mainstream production. Thirty-one educational DVD’s, each an hour in length were made by Greg. In 1993 two more books were published by Viking O’Neil (Penguin Books). These were titled “The Complete Book of Flower Arrangement” and “Wedding Flowers”. These both had a national and international distribution run and are both still highly sought after today.

In 2010 Greg launched another book titled “Fresh Cut Flowers”. This was written to assist students in floristry research as there was not enough relevant information available on the uses of flowers specific to floristry, their lifespan and the correct cool-room temperatures for different flower varieties. It is currently a recommended text in many training institutes involved with floristry.

Greg has always written the training and assessment guides for his students and he is very proud of these. He is currently finishing the guides and assessments for the new floristry training package released in 2015. Box Hill Institute, Gordon Institute and Challenger TAFE Western Australia have requested to purchase the guides Greg has created.

I asked Greg about his books and why he wrote them. His response was:

“If someone had asked me if I would ever write a book when I was at school I would have said, not possible. Teacher training opened this opportunity to me. I gained more confidence using my industry knowledge and guided by fantastic, dedicated teachers such as Ern Bastow, Ian Rankin, Blair Edgar and Gordon Bail (the principal). I was encouraged to write about my area of expertise. At teacher’s college they really asked you to do the maximum you could do and with their support I started writing to assist my students with more detailed information. My first book, published in 1984, greatly assisted so many students, not only mine, but all over the country, and employers called it their ‘Floristry Bible’. I continued writing and a new edition, with considerable rewrites and a new chapter, was published in 1988. As trends changed I continued writing. Two more books came out of this in 1993. Teacher training makes you analyse every step you teach and there were very few support materials available at the time. That is another reason why I wrote Fresh Cut Flowers (2009). This was a different book to assist learners with more relevant shop handling procedures with flowers. Again it is referred to as the florist’s bible. Looking at the experiences with the demonstration videos, and then DVD’s, I think these have also been great teaching aids that help stimulate different learning styles”.


The cover of Greg’s book ‘Fresh Cut Flowers’ published in 2010 was intended to address information from the training package that was difficult for students to research.



In 1990 the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs invited Greg to speak about floristry training. Greg had, on a previous occasion, been requested to present a paper on the ‘Post-Harvest Care of Cut Flowers’. Greg’s information, from the paper, was published by the department. Also in 1990 Greg was invited by the Royal Society of Western Australia Floral Art Society to demonstrate, judge and lecture at South Perth Town Hall. Greg has been requested to do the same by the Royal Australian Floral Art Society. Again in 1990, Greg was requested by Grandifora, Australia’s largest rose grower and importer, to present a demonstration of their new varieties of roses to the industry. Two hundred florists attended. Greg has demonstrated in all Myer state city stores across Australia. Furthermore, he has demonstrated for Apack, the largest sundry supplier in the country, at all the major industry events.


Demonstrating at the MIFGS mainstage

Greg demonstrating on the mainstage at the Melbourne International Flower Show in 2003 with Kiyoko Hagiwara, from Japan.


Two years in a row, 1998 & 1999, Greg was asked by “The Friends of the Institute for Child Health Research” to demonstrate for charity in Western Australia with all proceeds going to the Child Health Research. This was at the ballroom of the Novotel Langley Plaza Hotel attended by two hundred and fifty guests.

Going back in time, Greg has been asked by Adult Education Tasmania to take classes from 1977. Many workshops continued across the years in Burnie, Launceston and Hobart. Greg was also invited to demonstrate and teach by the Association of Tasmanian Florists. Today, the college is the only trainer of floristry apprentices for Tasmania.

Melbourne Flower Show 2015

Greg’s winning entry into the 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.


Criterion 2: Significant contribution and positive influence on the VET sector

I refer to a paper in this section which was submitted by Andrea Bateman titled “Demonstrating quality” This research features an article where Greg and the college were a case study and it was published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) 2006 on behalf of the Australian Government and the State and Territory governments. It is titled “Helping students flower” and sums up the methodology of the college and Greg’s leadership at that time. Excerpts of this report are pictured below.

Helping Student Flower NCVER Marjorie Milner College

The title of the report which was developed as part of the Consortium Research Program: ‘Supporting vocational education and training providers in building capability for the future’.


To further explain how my father has contributed significantly to the VET sector, in a positive way, I have asked him a series of questions so he can explain his methods, experiences and teaching methodology.

Question one: Are you proud of the achievements of the apprentices you have trained?

Immensely, I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to make a positive lifetime mark on an apprentice’s future. There is a great fusion between experiencing all facets of industry being a major decorator, wedding florist and experiencing all aspects of the industry blending all these experiences with teaching experience and sharing this with the students. I enjoy the challenge different learners present. Our apprentices, for twenty years, have won nearly all industry competitions. This is great for the high achievers and we are very proud of their achievements but it is the opportunity to help a student who is struggling or misdirected that is the most satisfying. Let me explain – I can think of many examples across the years of students who want to obtain a qualification but feel it may never happen as they doubt themselves. Many factors come into play.

I shall use two case studies, the first being a country female apprentice who worked in Geelong. I will not name her but she came into training with a very negative attitude. I know her employer and we liaised as we do with all our employers. I felt drugs were in play and her self- esteem was very low but we encouraged and supported her and in time her skills continued to grow. In the early stages the employer had had enough but I could see potential and asked for more perseverance. The employer did persevere and that student went on to win the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show Advanced competition, the Interflora Florist of the Future and she won the national Worldskills competition and although she was just over the age limit for the international competition her marks were so high that Worldskills awarded her a scholarship to England to advance her floristry. I can honestly say our training and encouragement changed her life and its future course. I received a letter from her parents thanking us so much as they thought they had lost their daughter to drugs and how her life now was all positive. She is a very well respected florist today. Opportunities like this are why I teach. But you have to try so many different approaches and be the master of patience to succeed.


Hairjamm & Louise Apprenticeship

Top 1st Year Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year Award with Hairjamm in 2015.

Victorian Training Awards 2009

This is one of the many certificates awarded to Marjorie Milner College.


The second example is quite recent and is about one of the most disruptive students you could possibly teach. In time, as confidences were won over, I found out this girl had been sexually abused as a child. She completed her apprenticeship (at times I had to convince her and her employer to keep going) and she said to me once she had finished “this is the first thing I have ever completed and I never thought I would”. I didn’t think she would finish at times either but we kept trying. Surely this is what good teaching is all about. There are many, many more stories to tell.

On a sidenote, I am equally proud of the success our hairdressing apprentices are enjoying in industry competitions as well as the top Hairdressing, Beauty Industry Association (HBIA) award for Beauty Therapy. Congratulations to our dedicated teachers.

Question two: Are you sorry you were unable to teach during the day prior to registration rather than taking night classes.

The answer is really yes and no. Running the largest wedding business in floristry and handling so many corporate accounts gave me a wealth of industry experience to pass onto my students. Being able to teach students about handling large accounts, like the one I held for a number of years with the Labour State Government to decorate Parliament House, and with other major corporations such as Mietta’s, Athenaeum Club, Head offices of Westpac, National and ANZ banks and numerous high profile firms, you could pass on many practical experiences that students might otherwise miss if only working in a small shop. Furthermore, when you can show your work on the front page of Vogue or tell them you made table centres for several dinners where the Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, was the guest you inspire confidence that you, as their teacher, have vast industry experience. I was able to pass my knowledge to employers and staff outside apprenticeship before registration but what I wanted most was to train apprentices. Having extensive industry experience allows a VET teacher to teach any industry aspect required. There are some teachers in the field who have not experienced vast corporate decorating work or large scale wedding work and this can limit their teaching skills. My experience of everything to do with these events is very well known and reinforces the respect of my position as an expert in the industry. I have been asked by a student “do you think so” and I usually respond with “I know so”. I do not regret the thirty odd years of night classes and in some years it was Saturday afternoon class as well. You know James, I could not run the businesses and teach during the day so when the decision was made to sell the shops so that I could teach apprentices each day, the timing was right. That was in 1999.

Question three: What are your thoughts on competency-based training?

I was trained as a lock-step teacher. In 1997, after twenty-eight years of lock step teaching, I moved to the challenge of competency based teaching. I found it very difficult in the first year as you are so used to explaining, and demonstrating, to a group. The skill was to clearly break the knowledge down to individual learners. With competency based learning, regarding students at different levels, the challenge was “have I missed telling them something or observing something” as there was so much information directed to each individual learner rather than a group of learners and about different levels of learning. This lead to the development of better learning guides. Having written books helped and having now developed over a period of time, I firmly believe our resources in floristry are by far the best in the country. To teach competency-based learning I feel one teacher can only adequately cover a class of over twelve as a maximum. If a student needs a demonstration or role play what happens to the rest of the class? Teacher management skills must be constantly improved. For a class of twenty we implemented two teachers per class. We trialled this back in 2003 and as you know I team teach. It works brilliantly in this method of training. My co-teacher in floristry studied with our college and now holds a Master of Adult Global Education and in 2012 she, Nicole Gibson, was awarded the VET teacher of the Year by ACPET. Our system benefits the students and no-one is held back as is the potential downfall of lock-step. In conclusion, I think that competency based, like any method, has faults but it is a better learning method than lock-step.


Greg is one of three Right-Way approved floristry trainers in Australia. Another is Nicole Gibson who also works at Marjorie Milner College.


Question four: What are your thoughts on work-place based training?

I decided to embrace work-place based training from 2004. My non- teaching day is Friday. My wife and I became the Milner travelling road show. We would do runs to florists such as Seymour to Benalla, to Wangaratta to Wodonga. This would be Friday and Saturday. We had apprentices in each town. The positives were seeing the apprentice in the workplace, talking with the employer and gaining more respect of our teaching and knowledge within the industry.

The downside was that all too often we could not be able to train in the required area. Often the shop was busy, sometimes short staffed and flowers ordered did not arrive or were needed for orders. I often ended up taking and making orders to help the business. We gained more apprentices across the state but you need to see the apprentice a minimum of monthly and keeping them on track with their work was difficult. The workplace based system only works well out-of-work hours for bench training so that time is not lost in constant interruptions. I speak specifically for the floristry industry. The facilities at the college are better equipped than many shops so we now offer alternatives to regional students in place of workplace based training. We still make visits to shops across Victoria and Tasmania on a regular basis and have visited many shops so far his year. It is great a great opportunity to liaise with employers. Our visits raise the perception of VET training by the industry as personal communication is always the best form of communication.

AIFD Greg Milner

Greg has been a Certified Floral Designer with the AIFD since 2009. He is still currently certified with them.


Question five: After forty-seven years of training do you intend to retire soon?

My wife and I travel overseas each year. Last year we met with the President of Florint (the largest organization in floristry worldwide) to discuss floristry training. We have visited schools all over the world. I was invited to teach at the Constance Spry School of Floristry, England, in 2007. This school is famous across the world. We see what is going on internationally and whilst I feel I am on top of everything going on in the industry I will keep teaching. We meet well known designers in their shops and it continues to broaden our horizons. This is in turn passed to the students. Personal integrity is so important and exuding professionalism within your teaching skills at all times. I still feel I have so much to offer and I still feel the thrill of students achieving great success with their work and learning. If my passion wanes, then it is time to go.

Question six: How do you succeed with apprenticeship training?

The industry makes this choice. We need to ensure we are that choice. What you put back into the industry by way of standards either makes or breaks you. Our success is liaison with employers and quality training. As you know we ring if an apprentice is late or away. Employers learn to trust you. If an apprentice has a really positive day we let the employer know and often send a photo. If there are problems again it is a phone call. Communication is the key. I despise the concept of a ‘four day a week’ course. Would I employ that person? Most unlikely, as they must be able to produce quality work within a set timeframe. I take the view with all apprentices – “would I employ them? If not, why and how can I assist the learner to reach that objective?” Our method and view is identical in each department. If you are training for industry, you must talk with industry.

I am really excited about the new training packages that have just come out. Working through all sections of the package and checking compliance I have adapted our approach and I look forward to trialling the new formats. These guides and assessments are a work in progress. It is the same as writing several books but we are extremely proud of the guides’ quality and they are completely adaptable to part on-line learning.

Alan Randall, Greg Milner and ... inducted into the hall of fame Induction into the Hall of Fame

The left photo shows Greg being inducted into the Floristry Hall of Fame in 1999. The photo on the right shows Greg with Alan Randall-Smith and Barbara Hawkins (WRAPS) who was inducted into the Allied Award of Honour, also in 1999.

Criterion 3: Leadership

Greg served on the Interflora state (Victoria and Tasmania) committee for fifteen years. This was a voluntary position. During this time, he was Education convenor, Social convenor, Vice-chairman and Chairman from 1988 to 1990.

He has been involved with Service skills in many meetings and tele-conferences regarding floristry training. He also liaises regularly with Flowers Victoria. The president meets with Greg each year to discuss the Melbourne International Flower Show and its direction (Flowers Victoria part owns the show). Greg is the current president of the Australian Association of Floral Designers. This is a non-for-profit industry organisation. Greg is and has been involved with TAFE meetings regarding industry training. We meet a minimum of four times a year.

The college is looked upon as the industry leader rather than the other way around due to Greg’s vast experience and industry respect.

Greg is very involved in training packages and enjoys the respect of telephone calls to verify and comment on content. He has attended numerous meetings since training packages were introduced.

Greg firmly believes that the college has a valued reputation for quality practice within the Education Department. Again he has attended many meetings in relation to training within the department.

In 2016 Greg met with Kangan-Batman TAFE to discuss training issues. He also has meetings with Norman Grey, the CEO of Box Hill Institute.

In his capacity as President of The Australian Association of Floral Designers Greg organises and presents industry events across the year.

AAFD Melbourne Function MMCollege

As the most experienced and longest serving industry qualified judge Greg is still active in industry competitions and industry events. Interflora and The American Institute of Floral Designers require their judges to present industry currency before acting as a judge. As mentioned earlier his articles are read nationally and his books are treated as major industry resources. The Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain, based at Kew Gardens, England, reviewed Fresh Cut Flowers, and gave Greg’s book a five-star rating.

Greg has attended many meetings regarding education in the VET sector including meetings with the late Lynne Kosky. On one occasion Lynne Kosky presented one of our national Worldskills winners at The Palladium Ballroom, Melbourne.

Through these wonderful opportunities we have made a difference to many lives, but the focus is not just the high achievers. You make a difference if a learner reaches their individual best and these levels will vary. The goal is the same.


Gregory Milner was fortunate to have grown up in a family environment of retail, business and education. In short his maternal great-grandparents were flower growers followed by his maternal grandfather who was a flower grower and his maternal grandmother was a teacher. They both ventured into retail floristry before the Second World War and then Greg’s parents ran one of the largest florist businesses in Australia. Greg’s mother was passionate about education and commenced training florists in 1946. His paternal grandmother was a very successful business woman who ran six hairdressing salons and barber shops. His father is a trained hairdresser / barber and florist and his sister is also a trained hairdresser and florist. His uncle and aunt ran florist businesses and currently he has cousins running florist stores and hairdressing salons / barber shop.

Marjorie Milner College trains in Floristry, Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Barbering. The floristry and hairdressing departments specialise in training apprentices. All hairdressing students are apprentices. The head of Beauty Therapy has one extra year of training up on Greg and Beverley would be another exceptional candidate for this award. We are very proud of our college, its facilities and the high standards we maintain. We are gratified at the opportunity to shape lives.


Quality Training in VET by James and Sarah.

Barbering Coming Soon Hairdressing ApprenticeshipsQuattro_Hairdressing_2015 Hairdressing Melbourne Small Make Up and Beauty Services in Melbourne

The College today offers pathways Diploma of Beauty Therapy, Certificate II – IV in Floristry and Diploma of Floristry Design, Certificate III in Hairdressing (Apprenticeship), and Certificate III in Barbering (Apprenticeship) 


Posted by & filed under Barbering, Hairdressing, Uncategorized.

Free Blow Wave Workshop (Hairdressing)


Free_Blow_Wave_Workshop Hairdressing apprenticeship

Blow Wave Workshop

Wednesday 21st September
10 am to 3 pm


Free to any hairdressing apprentices in Victoria
Limited Numbers Book Today
Call the College and speak with James

401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, 3127
Ph: 98807257


If your apprentice needs some extra assistance with blow waving then please send them to our free school holiday workshop. This is open to any apprentice in training, regardless of where they train.



This workshop is run by our Head Trainer Natalie Miller

Tools needed:

  • Clips
  • pin curl clips
  • hair dryer
  • hot tongs/wands
  • round brushes
  • Velcro rollers
  • Denman brushes
  • GHD straighteners/curling irons
  • paddle brushes
long hair mannequin head and short hair required. 

What you need to know about
Hairdressing @ Marjorie Milner College:

  • Enrolments are ongoing so start any time during the year
  • Every Student is a hairdressing apprentice and works in a Hairdressing Salon!!! 
  • Training is competency based
  • Classes are held at our Head Office – 401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, VIC
  • The College is directly next to Chatham Station on the Belgrave/Lilydale Line
  • You have the opportunity to learn from well respected industry experts
  • You can enjoy personalised learning with small class sizes
  • Concession Card Holders may be eligible for a discount on fees
  • Government Funding may be available for eligible individuals
  • Fees are currently available on our website:


Barbering Cert III

Barbering Certificate III Starting in October 2016
Certificate III in Barbering Apprenticeship Starting in Melbourne Soon.

Posted by & filed under Floristry.

Floristry Business Update by Gregory Milner

Profitable Trade in non-peak times

Floristry business


Mother’s day was traditionally seen as the peak trading time in floristry. Over the last thirty-five years, it has arguably been surpassed by Valentine’s Day, although some country traders will disagree. These periods of trade are a boost if the business has strategised how to maximise these peak days for maximum profit. However, once these two periods have passed, we are into the lull time of winter, when flower prices rise and profits fall. What can be done through this period?

Some florists who have experienced a profitable trading period up until May feel they can ‘ride through’ the winter months and recoup trading profits when the season starts again in September. But good organisational skills for peak periods are vital to maximise their benefit; otherwise, a florist can over-buy and actually lose money. This year, Valentine’s Day was on the weekend, which can halve the amount of trade compared to a weekday. Mother’s Day this year was successful for most, but those profits will not sustain three to four months of continuing trade.

Ideas for mid-year trade

In the mid-year period, look at associated ancillary or add-on items that the buying public will want to buy with flowers. I know some florists with a wide range of quality chocolates and a good percentage of their daily takings is drawn from these sales. These products are not as perishable as flowers, so stock can remain on the shelves for a longer period. Many customers would find it easier to call into a florist than queue up at a supermarket to purchase these products. The trick is to stock a wide range of good quality. Would you say no to a client who wanted to buy chocolates and not flowers? I think not. Also remember the opportunities to sell a combination of both. Your website should reflect these options.

One florist told me of their reluctance when  a chocolate company needed a minimum order of eight hundred dollars. I responded with: how much do you spend on flowers each week? Investment is necessary to return profit. Some florists find that stocking a range of gift lines is very profitable. Look at competition around you to see if this is viable. Attend gift fares to see the wide range of goods you could incorporate into your stock lines. There can be so many add-on suggestions for flowers, such as birth of a baby, birthdays or even impulse buying for the purchaser themself.

Containers and gifts

Promote a wide range of containers. A vase is a delightful gift in itself. Show how it can be gift presented. By all means, promote flowers as well, but you wouldn’t say no to selling a vase as a gift, would you? Show me a florist who promotes vase and container purchases on their website; it is a rarity among Australian florists. Why is this? Often florists have a vase selection that is unpriced and looks like turnover is infrequent. If, however, you make the offer to sell or combine a vase with flowers as a part of your marketing strategy, you will have a higher turnover. You must have a wide range available and you may need to source outside of floral industry suppliers.

Monitor your website

In researching for this article, I reviewed fifteen florist websites from around the country, and seven of them were advertising Valentine’s Day in May! I would strongly suggest you take the time to surf the web at look at various florists’ sites. You will learn such a lot about possible competitors and how the industry is marketing itself. Some sites are great, and clearly, some are not. Some are almost impossible to navigate. Make sure yours is a great one. Be wise and use your site as you would want to promote in store.

Check your running procedures

It is also a good time to check your costs across the year and look at your systems to make sure the margin your business is working on is sufficient. Check your policy and procedural direction for all staff. These will need to be updated to ensure everyone knows what the business expects of them. Make sure you have clear costings in your database. If a client asks how much for a bouquet of forty roses and lisianthus would be, you should have this pre-calculated. It is easy to update to fifty roses or down to thirty. Have matching bouquets made up to show the size and look to match your costings; your clients will be impressed with your professionalism.

Finally, the down period during the year should be seen as a time to promote your business. You want people to need your product. It is a very competitive world. Make sure your product and possible accessories are unique. Clients like to see the product. Plan your profit margin. Put all your heads together in your workplace and share ideas. Sometimes it will be trial and error, but you will find a market share if you are smart.


Gregory Milner M.Ed is an award-winning third generation florist. He is the principal of Marjorie Milner College, a national judge, floristry author, international demonstrator and President of the Australian Association of Floral Designers. Greg teaches apprentices at Marjorie Milner College full time. This article was also published by the Australian Flower Industry Magazine  in June 2016. Issue 52.

Posted by & filed under Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing.

The Happiest Jobs #GetCreative

Start your Creative Career with Marjorie Milner College in 2016 and #GetHappy
Floristry, Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty made the list. 


It is official become a florists, hairdressers, barber or beauty therapists and you probably are the happiness people in the workforce. A report published in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday confirms this.

Barbering Course Melbourne Enrol Now   Floristry Classroom

Gardeners and florists are the happiest of all the professions and nearly twice as happy as people in more prestigious and better paid jobs, says a new book by a UK economist and behavioural scientist Professor Paul Dolan. Nearly nine out of 10 florists and gardeners say they are happy, he writes in his book, Happiness by Design, which has been described  by some as one that may make you quit your job. The next happiest of the professions are those who spend their time making others more beautiful. Hairdressers and beauticians are happy 79 per cent of the time. In contrast, only 44 per cent of bankers said they were happy.

Professor Dolan of the London School of Economics and Political Science said more research was needed to find out why some professions were happier or unhappier than others. He will appear on a range of panels, discussing how to have a better life and be happier, at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, which opens on Monday 18 May. Often people may choose jobs that they think will provide happiness because they have status or are well paid, only to discover that these things aren’t what makes them happy.  “Remember that future happiness cannot really compensate for misery now: Lost happiness is lost forever.” “So you need to be pretty confident that any current sacrifices of happiness you make in order to fulfil some ambition or other will actually be worth it in the long run.” “We do know people are happier with their lives over time if they are satisfied with aspects of their jobs like their boss, pay and daily tasks, which suggests it is most important that the job is a good fit for the individual type rather than the type of job per see,” he writes.

“This might explain why the happiest workers in the UK are florists and the least happy are bankers.”

Of course, he points out, florists could have started out happier than the bankers before they started work. With happy people choosing that profession, rather than the profession making them happy. Even without additional research, Professor Dolan said he was willing to bet that his children would be happier as builders as bankers as “they would more directly see their tangible fruits of their labour.” “I would much rather that they be builders than bankers,” he said. He added that banking could become a happier profession if it was redesigned . “If you are a florist, you have social interaction, you are seeing the fruits of your labour, and getting it quickly.  That’s in contrast to banking and lawyers, where it is unclear where you can get that feedback, and people are not probably very thankful for what you do.” Only 48 per cent of IT and telecom workers say they are happy (must be all those people who don’t know how to find the “on” switch,) while only 54 per cent of HR and personnel staff.

The happiest workers are:

  • Florists and gardeners, 87 per cent say they are happy
  • Hairdressers (Barbers) and beauticians, 79
  • Plumbers, 76
  • Marketers and PR people, 75
  • Scientists and researchers, 69
  • Leisure and tourism workers, 67
  • Construction workers, 66
  • Doctors and dentists, 65
  • Lawyers, 64
  • Nurses, 62
  • Architects, 62
  • Child care and youth workers, 60
  • Teachers, 59
  • Accountants, 58
  • Car workers and mechanics, 57
  • Electricians, 55
  • Caterers, 55
  • HR and personnel staff, 54
  • IT and telecommunications workers, 48
  • Bankers, 44.

Read more:

Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing.

Barbering, Hairdressing & WorldSkills April Update 2016


Marjorie Milner College has already had a busy start to the year. The new Hairdressing and Barbering Training Package has been endorsed late March (SHB16). We are excited and working hard on the new barbering qualification to have it ready once the hours are released. The new SHB30516 Certificate III in Barbering should be ready for delivery mid-year or maybe a touch earlier. Please visit the barbering page for more information about the new barbering course.


Well done to Lani, a hairdressing apprentice from Catal Hair Concepts, who competed in the “HBIA Mentor and Apprentice Competition” at the start of April. Lani is only five months into her training and was against 3rd Year Hairdressing Apprentices.

FullSizeRender (2)

WorldSkills Australia has written a blog about the College and the success at the Melbourne Flower Show 2016.

Please visit





The 2016 Melbourne International Flower & Garden (MIFG) Show was a busy event for some of WorldSkills Australia’s resident florists.

National competitors Chevonne Nicholas and Elizabeth Lilburn presented on stage with fellow student Ellie Feery and their training provider, Marjorie Milner on the Saturday afternoon as part of the school’s 70th year celebrations, wowing the audience by creating unique displays live on stage.

“I thought l would be really nervous, but l found that l wasn’t at all – I just enjoyed the opportunity to show my designs with two other great florists to the general public,” says Chevonne.

“I created two designs: My first being a freestyle design based on a natural wooden base, using cymbidium orchids, billy buttons, spear grass, James Storie orchids, hypericum berries, artificial old man’s beard, artificial anthurium leaves with dried lotus pods completing the design.  My second design featured a hand-held wire structure which l designed and created prior to the show, using Sweet Panache roses, pink sedum, white carnations, hypericum berries with copper wire balls as an embellishment.”

The demonstration wasn’t Marjorie Milner’s only work at the MIFG Show.  Elizabeth also participated in the Advanced Student Competition, where she earned the silver medal for her stunning display that suited the theme ‘International Day of Forests’.

“The biggest challenge was the time limit and creating my piece with the potential of a large crowd of people around,” says Elizabeth.  “These turned out to be the biggest driving forces to present my design, as they were encouraging and turned my nerves into a positive energy.”



WorldSkills Australia judge for Floristry, Nicole Gibson was also hard at work at the show, creating a stunning large-scale floral display in just two days as part of the Australian Association of Floral Designers.  “I always start thinking about next year’s flower show design as soon as the show finishes,” says Nicole.

“This year’s particular design started at Bunnings when I was looking for inspiration for an upcoming demonstration I was doing.  Orange and grey scourers were on the clearance table, and I looked at them and thought, ‘I could do something with these!’  I made a wedding bouquet and a wall hanging, and the wall hanging was the inspiration for the MIFG Show design.”

“Chevonne, Liz and Ellie gave a fabulous demonstration of floristry designs to the great enjoyment of the audience,” says Greg Milner of Marjorie Milner College.

“It is the 70th year of training for Marjorie Milner College whose students have previously represented Australia at the WorldSkills International Competitions.  The opportunities WorldSkills Australia presents to our students is fantastic.  We wish them every success.”

In just a few short months, Chevonne and Elizabeth will face their next big challenge, the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.  They join a long list of previous WorldSkills Australia competitors, judges and volunteers that have benefit from the experience of industry events like the MIFG Show.

“Experiences like the MIFG Show are very important in a students and apprentices development for the WorldSkills Australia National Competition,” says Nicole.  “It helps to develop their organisational skills and it also increases their confidence in their abilities.  The feedback from the judges when competing is also invaluable to their development.  Demonstrating on stage also helps with their confidence.”


Nicole also received two write-ups for her fantastic design at the Melbourne Flower Show.

Page 14 of the “South Gippsland Sentinel-Times” (Tuesday 5th April 2016)
Page 16 “The Star” (Wednesday, 30th March 2016)

Nicole_Flower Take Gold    FlowerShowArticle2016

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Melbourne Flower Show Winners 2016

mmc_flower_show_2016-0001 mmc_flower_show_2016-0004
Kaitlyn_That's Melbourne Winners Melbourne Flower Show 2016


Photos: Marjorie Milner College Display at the Melbourne Flower Show by Hayden Golder Photographer. AAFD Display at the Melbourne Flower Show by Hayden Golder Photographer. Tweet from “That’s Melbourne” with Kaitlyn, the winner of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show Advanced Competition. (#MIFGS). Photo with Greg and Nicole with the Winners of the Advanced and Intermediate Competitions. 


The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, at the World Heritage Listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, returned in 2016 with an explosion of colour and design. After 20 years it still remains the biggest annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere!

This years Flower Show set the stage for the flow of creativity and passion from Australia’s top florists and floral artists which was delivered in stunning displays as well as through a strong environmental gardening message.

In 2016 Marjorie Milner College’s students geared up for the intermediate and advanced competitions. These competitions are open to all TAFE Colleges including Box Hill Institute, Melbourne Polytechnic, Holmesglen Institute and Marjorie Milner College. For the last four consecutive years Marjorie Milner College has won both of these competitions.

This year was particularly special as Marjorie Milner College is celebrating 70 years of training in 2016. The students did not disappoint and Marjorie Milner College students took out both 1st and 2nd places in each student competition. Their displays for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (#MIFGS) turned out beautifully and all the winning pieces can be seen in the gallery below.

Marjorie Milner College also had great success with their main stands in the great hall. Nicole Gibson, Head Floristry Teacher of Marjorie Milner College, was asked to create a main display for the Australian Association of Floral Designers. Nicole and Greg were well received on stage, demonstrating their skills to a captive audience. Marjorie Milner College students, who will represent their state regions in the National Finals of WorldSkills, also demonstrated on stage at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) showing their creativity, much to the enjoyment of the audience. The main stage design by Nicole received sponsorship from Sabco and was awarded the Gold medal. We asked Hayden Golder (Photographer) to come and shoot all the amazing designs shown in the gallery.

Please have a look through all the students and teachers work below.


  • Nicole on stage with Greg receiving award at #MIFGS
  • Winners with Greg and Nicole
  • Twitter Feed from "That's Melbourne"
  • 2nd Place Intermediate Competition, Melbourne Flower Show
  • 2nd Place Intermediate Competition, Melbourne Flower Show
  • Intermediate Comp (Melbourne Flower Show)
  • Intermediate Comp (Melbourne Flower Show)
  • Intermediate Comp (Melbourne Flower Show)
  • Intermediate Comp (Melbourne Flower Show)
  • Intermediate Comp
  • Intermediate Comp (Melbourne Flower Show)
  • Intermediate Comp (Melbourne Flower Show)
  • 2nd Place Advance Competition
  • Advance Competition
  • Main Stand (#MIFGS)
  • 1st Place Intermediate Competition
  • 1st Place Advanced Competition
  • AAFD Gold Award Winner by Nicole
  • 1st Place Advanced Competition
  • Melbourne Flower Show 2016