Guest Speakers

GGExpo program_2019

GGExpo program1_2019

Guest Speakers 2019



Saturday April 28, Guest speaker room (betting ring)

9.30am The simplicity of growing subtropical edible plants

Paul knows the right varieties that thrive in the sub-tropics. Take a look at the ginger family: ginger, turmeric, galangal and torch ginger all offer depth of flavour and great health benefits.  There are many easy-to-grow Asian vegies suited to the climate of Gympie. Have you tried betel leaf, curry leaf, sweet leaf, perilla, Thai basil, chillies or mouse melons? Then of course there’s the huge variety of tropical fruits! 

Let Paul teach you how to grow from plot to pot, while Matt Golinksi gives tips on how to make it taste even better!

1pm How to find a GOOD BUY when plant shopping

What are you looking for when you purchase that particular plant? Where do you intend to plant it, or pot it for indoors? There are easy to follow considerations to assist your plants to thrive. Starting with a good purchase!

Paul Plant is well known as editor of popular subTropical Gardening magazine. You can regularly hear him talk on ABC Sunshine Coast 90.3FM and Noosa 101.3FM radio. As a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, he is an avid gardener and plant collector. Find out more at:

Paul Plant Horticulture:
Instagram: @PaulPlantHorticulture



Saturday April 27, Guest speaker room (betting ring)

10.30am Simple ways to cook seasonal produce.

Entertaining and educational for the whole family, acclaimed chef Matt Golinski will explore tropical fruit and vegetables that grow in our region and how to tantalise your tastebuds.

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded, professional chef with a passion for creating cuisine using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.
Well known as one of the original team members of the popular ‘Ready Steady Cook’ television series, Matt has worked as executive chef at some of Queensland’s leading restaurants and founded his own catering company.
Based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Matt now enjoys working as a consulting chef to restaurants, being a regular guest chef at festivals and events and writing his popular food columns and blog.  He is also an active member of the Slow Food movement and a motivational speaker.
Since 2015 Matt has been helping the Gympie Region promote itself as a world-class food destination in his role as their Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador. He uses his knowledge of the area and it’s producers to showcase the region through cooking demonstrations and his blog “Matt Eats Gympie”.

In March 2018, Matt joined the Peppers Noosa Resort team as their Consultant Executive Chef, developing menus that consolidate his knowledge and love of the producers of his region.




Sunday April 28 – Guest Speaker room (betting ring)

9.30am Australian Native Bee Diversity and Conservation

There are over 1650 known bee species in Australia, and based on the rate of new discovery it is estimated that the true number may be between 2000 and 2500. While the charismatic, highly eusocial stingless bees have become the rock stars of the bee world, and a handful of solitary bees like blue banded bees and teddy bear bees have become popular B-grade celebrities, most of our bee species get paid very little, or no attention. The forgotten are often broadly lumped together as ‘the solitary bees’. But Australia’s bees are not simply highly eusocial stingless bees or solitary bees. Sociality in bees is a scale, and there are various important social categories between the two extremes of solitary and highly eusocial. This includes communal behaviour, and various forms of semi-sociality. In addition to having diverse forms of sociality, Australia’s bees also have a range of different nesting behaviours. In this talk Tobias will take us on a journey beyond the stingless bees and the bee-hotel-bubble, to introduce the full glory of the five bee families represented in Australia. At the same time, Tobias will give an overview of bee sociality, and show the diverse nesting strategies displayed by bee species around SEQ and beyond.

11.30am Stingless bees, their biology and keeping
While Australia has over 1650 native bee species, species from one small group, the stingless bees, have captivated people throughout topical and subtropical regions. Like European honey bees, native stingless live in colonies of thousands, make honey, and can be kept in hives. An industry exists around these bees, their production, and their use in crop pollination, and interest is growing every year. In this talk Tobias will introduces the biology and management of native stingless bees, and will give an overview of the industry as it stands today. Native stingless bees make ideal additions to gardens and farms in subtropical and tropical Australia, and are increasingly sought after by farms and schools given their positive impacts on pollination, harmlessness and easy management.

Tobias Smith is a bee researcher, educator and stingless bee keeper based on the Gold Coast. As a researcher Tobias is based part-time at the University of Queensland, and collaborates with researchers from a range of other institutions. Tobias’s research interests focus on wild bees in agricultural landscapes, crop pollination by native bee species, and native bee diversity and ecology. As an educator Tobias presents native bee and pollination workshops to community groups and schools, primarily through his business Bee Aware Kids. In addition, Tobias teaches full-day stingless beekeeping training workshops on behalf of Sugarbag Bees. As a beekeeper Tobias keeps stingless native bee hives around south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, and helps to manage many more as a stingless beekeeping consultant.
Sugarbag Bees and Bee Aware Kids. Tobias tweets as @EcologyToby and @BeeAwareAus



Sunday April 28

10.30pm and 12.30pm Cooking with Native bush foods

Would you like to be a more resourceful cook? Keen to use local and seasonal foods? Cast your eyes over the display of bush foods and learn to identify and use native foods. The versatile Bunya Nut can be used in pesto. hummus and sweet dishes or try an easy green substitute- warrigal greens. 

Zela is self sufficient in her Permaculture garden where she experiments with fibres and also seed saving. She continues to exhibit, educating on environmental issues using the scoby from kombucha fermentation, felt work and also paper making. I feel really lucky. It’s like I’ve had a blessed life. I was awarded Scholarships to help me get an education and break out of the cycle of poverty. I experienced the heady camaraderie of political activism in Queensland as a student. I sold my hand-thrown and painted pottery when appreciation for handcrafts was at its peak. I found loving people to teach me Indigenous culture and values. I lived through the counter-culture era of alternative lifestyles and high environmental ideals. While my children were young we lived out those ideals in an incredibly lush, beautiful region with horses to ride, organic vegetables and fruit on the trees. The Mary River Valley with its subtropical rainforest, creeks and waterfalls inspired my visual art. All these experiences have given me unique philosophy and values that I bring to bear in my workshops, events and artworks.


workshops will be held in the Green room (betting ring adjacent to the Pavilion)

Faye Dobson

The delicate art of Bonsai and helping them thrive. Saturday 2pm, and Sunday 8.30am

Kevin and Daphne Hamment

Fancy foliage plants