During the first semester of 2011 at the University of Canberra, twenty seven final year landscape architecture students, as part of their course work, completed a design project with a focus on the National Rock Garden site. The students included four scholarship students from Canada. The students were given a GSA design brief, and GSA also offered prizes for the top three designs.

On 24 February Doug Finlayson led a field excursion around four sites in Canberra; 1) Geoscience Australia, 2) Acton Peninsula at National Museum of Australia, 3) Australian National Botanical Gardens, and 4) National Rock Garden site.

On two days in early May, Doug Finlayson and John Bain, with UC Staff, viewed twenty seven student poster presentations. The standard of presentations was most impressive. Students had injected a considerable effort into their projects. The poster preparation and construction was made through an impressive set of state-of-the-art design software and drafting tools available at UC.

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The student award winners were: 1st – Renae Palmer, joint 2nd – Jared Phillips and Mandy Sullivan, highly commended David Duham and Marina Signer.

GSA and the University of Canberra are planning a “show-and-tell” for students to present their designs to a wider audience of GSA members and guests. In the not too distant future the GSA will call for expressions of interest from professional landscape architects for the preparation of a design that can be passed on to a project manager for construction.