The team


The SFN is an independent education organisation for florists, based in Australia. We look at the science of sustainability and floristry, consult with our team of independent experts and seek out solutions for creating a more sustainable industry.


Our team

Rita Feldmann

Rita is a second-generation florist, science writer and founder of the No Floral Foam movement. The SFN was born out of her frustration with a system that has lost connection with its roots in celebrating nature, beauty and seasonality.

Ginger Briggs

A researcher, writer and editor, Ginger brings decades of experience in communications within professional training and tertiary education sectors to the SFN. Ginger joined the team as a means of using her experience to support the UNSDGs.

Sandy Coull
Membership manager

With a background in events and business management, Sandy experienced first-hand the extraordinary volume of waste produced in events. She sees her involvement in SFN as a way to make a difference for a more sustainable future.


Our independent advisors are experts in their respective fields.  We refer to our experts to ensure SFN content is accurate, truthful and current.


Expert advisors

Prof. Ian Rae

Ian Rae is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. His experience spans university research, reviews, and industry consulting and advising government agencies in Australia and the United Nations Environment Program.

Dr Charlene Trestrail

Charlene is a Water Pollution Researcher, University of Technology Sydney. In 2019 Charlene’s study into the environmental impacts of floral foam showed that it harms aquatic animals. Charlene has won awards for her science communication and is passionate about environmental sustainability.

Prof. David Bek

Co-lead of the Sustainable Cut Flowers Project and a Professor of Sustainable Economies at Coventry University, UK. David specialises in undertaking research into practices of ethical and environmental sustainability within horticultural supply chains.

Dr Jill Timms

Co-lead of the Sustainable Cut Flowers Project and a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Surrey University, UK. Jill is a sociologist of work and organisations, with a longstanding interest in how notions of responsibility are understood within globalising capitalism.

Dr Matthew Parnell

A sustainability practitioner with over forty years’ experience in industry, government, community and academic sectors in Australia. Matthew’s interests include the Circular Economy, design in the manufactured environment and transforming organisational cultures through Living Systems Designs.

Dr Raymond Trevorah

Ray is a resource recovery and waste management practitioner. He has worked with many communities to drive advanced organic waste recovery, improve community resource recovery planning, reduce contamination of recycling systems and foster sustainable community engagement and behaviour change.

Dr Elisa Raulings

Elisa is a biodiversity and climate change expert and specialises in the onground restoration of degraded places for people and nature.  When she’s not in the field or working on threatened species projects, she loves to study garden design and floral sculpture.

Jo Thompson

Jo is a third-generation flower farmer, with a 25-year career teaching sustainability education at university. This includes creating Pedagogies of Hope – communities of learning through positive action. Jo has been running floristry workshops for the last decade on the Welsh borders and launched her flower farm in 2020, based on sustainable principles.

Dr Angela Coulton

Angela grew up in her family’s floristry business and was a senior policy maker in the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, leading programmes on Greening Government and Sustainable Consumption and Production. For the last 15 years she has combined her floristry and policy experience to pursue sustainability in the cut-flower industry.


Industry advisors

Anne Maree Montague, Renae Monument & Myhanh Rutledge

The teaching team at Melbourne Polytechnic are passionate advocates for sustainable floristry principles and practices to be embedded into vocational education. They want to ensure that floristry students have the skills and knowledge to become industry leaders and contribute toward a sustainable future.


Shane Connolly

One of the UK’s most highly regarded florists and a leading voice in the #nofloralfoam movement. Shane is a practising florist and educator, holds a Royal Warrant of Appointment and serves as a florist advisor to the Royal Horticultural society.

Julie Collins

Julie is a qualified teacher and British Master Florist who is passionate about connecting and educating people in the floristry world. She is currently the British Floristry Association (BFA) Sustainability Officer and was recently sponsored by Smithers Oasis to complete a Cambridge University Business Sustainability Management course.


Hitomi Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese Canadian Flower Artist who began her floral career as a farmer/florist. She has guest-designed, lectured and taught extensively around the world and is an Education Specialist for Teleflora, and founder of the ‘FREESIA Summit’ – Florists Recognizing Environmental and Eco Sustainable Ideas and Applications’.

Melanie Stapleton

Melanie has been immersed in floristry for over 30 years. From sweeping shop floors as a teenager, she went on to become one of Australia’s most influential event florists with Cecilia Fox.  Now based in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Melanie is passionate about exploring new possibilities for sustainable floral design.

Shayne Broekhof

Shanye is a third-generation farmer, who runs a busy wholesale/retail/farming business in the Dandenong Ranges, east of Melbourne in Australia. Shayne played a critical role in the development of the course a Foundation in Sustainable Floristry.


Linda D’Arco

Linda is a farmer-florist in Jay, New York, with a strong interest in sustainable farming techniques and sharing knowledge through educational programs with other growers and designers.

Cel Robertson

Cel is the founder of artisan flower farm Forever Green Flower Company based in Norfolk, UK. She is passionate about growing seasonal cut flowers in a sustainable way and has been working in the industry for over 20 years, originally training in horticulture and garden design at Capel Manor College.

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and leading advocate for domestic floral agriculture and sustainable design. She is the founder of the Slow Flowers Movement, host of the Slow Flowers Podcast, and editorial director of BLOOM Imprint and Slow Flowers Journal.

Catalina Padovani

Catalina is Colombian florist based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, who focuses on sustainable techniques for a wide range of clientele. She is committed to seeing a shift towards sustainability in the floral industry and is addressing the industry’s education gaps by developing and leading workshops on sustainable practices across Latin America.

Ellen Douglas

Ellen built Botany from the ground up after ten years in the industry. The online florist launched in 2020 with sustainable floristry practices embedded in its business ethos and is leading the way in Australia with a commitment to circularity, low-waste and sourcing local and seasonal flowers.