Our history

A brief history of the VFAA Inc. 1965-2015


It was in 1965 when Marj. Cullen, May Pask and Charlotte Stevens were returning from a South Australian Floral Art Judges’ School that they started to discuss the formation of a Judges’ School for Victoria.

Certain aims were set out in a press report to the Judges’ steering committee of the RHSV and a meeting was convened to discuss these aims.  It was decided that a Judges’ school for the training of students in judging of floral art be implemented and May 1966 was suggested for the first school.

A committee was formed and arrangements were bought to a meeting to discuss the best methods of point judging. Each member of this committee paid ten shillings to cover costs, which is how the finances of the organisation began.

The seven member committee consisted of Mesdames Cullen, Kitchener, Muir, Pask, Stevens, Walsh and Worth.  The South Australian handbook and Esther Hamel’s book of exhibiting and judging were used until the Victorian Handbook was completed.  1200 copies were ordered with updated reprints over several years.  Monthly meeting by this committee ensured the ongoing progress of the Association and the preparation of a formal Constitution.

At the 4th school in 1971 the first official Judges’ examination was held for 28 applicants.  ‘New Creative Designs’ were demonstrated. Schools were set to be conducted every 18 months with two workshops per year, which gradually increased.  Now workshops are held bi-monthly.

The first Newsletter was issued in November 1974 and in 1995 the current format was introduced with colour pictures featuring from 2000.

At the close of the 7th School in 1976 a meeting with interstate representatives was held to launch the Australian Floral Art Association.  Each official state body would hold the Executive for 3 years.

In 1986 plans were set in motion for Incorporation but it was not until 1989 that the formalities were completed.  In 1994/1995 Judges training workshops were held in Mildura, Murtoa, Bendigo, Echuca and Warrnambool with an exam held in 1995.

The first residential School took place at Ballarat University in 1995.  This was a popular decision and has continued for each successive Seminar.

In 1998 the Judges Association staged a ‘Sculptural Fantasy’ at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and two silver medals were won for Floral and General Design.  Again in 2000 we won a ruby and silver medal.  in 2002 we requested a section for Floral Art Clubs and this took place in 2003 and has proved very successful and is ongoing.

In 2002/03 an Education programme was set in place to be run in two parts and successful candidates were then able to sit for their Judges badges at a venue instead of a Seminar.

A significant change took place on 1st January 2006 when the new Australian Manual superseded all State Manuals after 3 years of hard work by Norma Gordon of Tasmania and Dianne Buckles of Western Australia.

2013/14- The Victorian Floral Art Judges Committee (VFAJA) voted to take out the “Judges” name in their title and we became the Victorian Floral Art Association Inc. (VFAA) agreeing to continue with the original aims of the organisation.  We still hold Bi-monthly Workshops and hold regular Seminars and currently have some judges training.

Seminars were held in 2008 and 2011 at “The Quest” in wantirna.

In 2013 VFAA held an Australian Seminar at Geelong inviting an International Demonstrator from Taiwan, Eli Lin.

The AFAA AGM was held at Geelong.  Victorian Representatives have just attended the 2015 AFAA Meeting at the Australian Flower Show at Bunbury WA.

AFAA meetings during the year are held by teleconferencing, and each State has a representative.  Technology has opened up the world for the Floral Designers.

May the VFAA continue to encourage the love of flowers and Floral Design and Friendship through flowers.