Staff Profile | Melinda Bargwanna

Environmental specialist Melinda Bargwanna has arrived at Trinity to share the fruits of everything she has learned from the “ultimate landscape architect” – God.

She regards her newly-created role as the perfect combination of all of her skills – as a university lecturer in Landscape Architecture, the director of a landscape design business, a lover of nature and children, and a Christian.

“I feel so privileged to be in a school where you can share your love of God through nature,” she said.

“One of my favourite Bible quotes is from Job: speak to the earth and it will teach you.

“I have learned so much about the environment from God. He is the ultimate landscape architect.

“I enjoy Him teaching me things through nature; strolling through the bush and observing the details of his hand, the way water runs across the landscape, the combination of the trees, the soil patterns. He just puts things together perfectly. It’s a real inspiration to me as a designer.

“I want to show students the intricacies of it all and how perfectly he has designed things.”

Her students will see the natural world unfold before their very eyes as they help design and build their own mini Garden of Eden along the Junior School’s frontage with Seaview St.

Mrs Bargwanna will oversee The Green Patch Initiative in which each Year group from Kindergarten to Year 6 will “own” their own space and ideas, and be responsible for all of the Ps: planning, preparing, planting, protecting, picking and plating the patch.

It’s practical as well as aesthetic – the boys will grow, and ultimately eat, their own vegetables.

Mrs Bargwanna completed a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at UNSW, where she has since lectured for 27 years.

She also studied and taught at Ryde TAFE School of Horticulture for 23 years, teaching TAFE Digital Natural Environment for the past four years, and runs her own landscape design business based at Carlingford.

She volunteered as a scripture teacher for nine years at Burnside Public School in North Parramatta, where her sons, now aged 19 and 17, attended, and loved the interaction with children and parents.

She has been surprised by how anxious young people feel about the future of the planet, global warming and environmental degradation.

“I want to teach the boys skills and concepts to give them hope that they can make a difference, and be able to change the world,” she said.

“By starting them early we can give them a great head start in learning to live sustainably. I hope that will have a ripple effect on families and communities, and we’ll see some great things come out of this program.

“I am optimistic our younger generation will find sustainable solutions not yet thought of and our Green Patch Initiative will be a legacy that impacts their lives in so many ways.”


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