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The Anita Boucher Young Achiever’s Award was established in 2006 in recognition of the valuable services to the Australian horticultural media by Anita Boucher, whose life was cut short by cancer in 2006 at the age of just 43.
This award is in future to be renamed The Anita Boucher Outstanding Achievement Laurel.
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It will be awarded to an HMAA member who has, through his or her professionalism and talent, raised the standards of horticultural journalism – a fitting tribute indeed with those same attributes for which Anita is remembered.
Anita was a valued member of the Horticultural Media Association and was elected to the Victorian Committee at the Foundation Meeting in September 1994. She contributed actively on the committee for five years through to 1999.
Anita had a real passion for plants and gardens and completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) course at Burnley College, Victoria.
She subsequently worked in nursery retailing, garden design, floristry and as a horticulturist for MacBird Floraprint before joining Rural Press as editor of the magazine ‘Australian Horticulture’ in 1993. She capably held this position for 12 years until she was forced to retire in 2005, due to her failing health.
Anita’s passion and enthusiasm, together with her sense of design and the use of colour shone through her editorship of the magazine.
She also had a real concern for the environment and was an early promoter of the issue of invasive plants. Her family had lived in Western Australia during her early years and she was passionate about Western Australian native plants. She had a love of plants from all over the world, and the way they were able to be combined in garden plantings.
While at ‘Australian Horticulture’, Anita was instrumental in the magazine being a sponsor of many conferences, seminars and trade displays. She regularly attended conferences, trade fairs and other industry functions and travelled widely throughout Australia.
Anita made many close friends within the horticultural industry with her beaming smile, friendly disposition and generous personality.
She was an enthusiastic contributor to the Australian Institute of Horticulture and received the Award of Merit from the Nursery Industry Association Australia in 2004.
She was actively involved in committees of the Ornamental Plant Conservation Association of Australia now known as Plant Trust GPCAA and also the International Plant Propagators’ Society.
All who knew and worked with Anita feel very privileged to have known her, and she is fondly remembered as a highly valued member of the Horticultural Media Association Victoria.
by Gwen & Rodger Elliot, Life Members of HMA Victoria