Mentor Spotlight: David Berger, Floristry

WorldSkills Australia mentors play a vital role in fostering the next generation of skilled tradespeople. One of the organisation’s highly valued mentors is David Berger, an award winning florist and TAFE instructor from Sydney.

David was always destined to become a florist. “I grew up surrounded by flowers and gardens. My grandparents had an award-winning garden. My first after school job was in the local nursery which had a florist within the business.” Tending to the nursery’s plants soon led to him to working in the florist section of the business.

Despite sometimes being mistaken for a courier by confused clients, David has helped change perceptions of floristry being a female-dominated career path in Australia and has become a powerhouse in the industry. His career has been enviable – he has won four gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal throughout his career and has represented Australia at four Floristry World Cups. David’s amazing talents were further recognised when he was invited to be an International Guest Judge at the 2014 Asia Cup of Floristry.

David’s enthusiasm and passion for the florist industry is clearly evident.  “Everywhere I look there is inspiration and beauty – from the simplest line in a single blade of grass to the complex form of a fully bloomed peony. When I need to recharge my creativity, a walk around outside brings wondrous sights and shapes to draw on when styling flowers.”

Far from a stranger to WorldSkills Australia, David has also donned several hats since 2010 including Judge, Convenor and Project Writer at both Regional and National Competitions and most recently as the Compatriot Support Expert in Floristry for the 2015 Skills Squad.

The 2015 WorldSkills Oceania Competition was held from 14-17 April in Hamilton, New Zealand. It was David’s first international event with WorldSkills Australia, and he was proud to watch Jessica take the gold medal.

“Jessica’s journey in WorldSkills Australia thus far has been quite incredible. Jess’s work has just grown in its creativity and also in her understanding of the marking criteria that’s she working toward. Jess does some wonderful work in researching lots of different ideas and trends from floristry from around the world, and I can really see her putting those into her work of late. I’ve worked with training Jess over the last 18 months and she just keeps improving all the time, especially with her finish and the use of different techniques.”

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