Executive Committee 2020-04-29T03:53:33+10:00

IPA Executive Committee

Karen Smith
Karen SmithPresident
(+61) 0425 349 137

Karen Smith is an award-winning horticulturist who has worked in the broader horticultural industry for almost 30 years. Her broad experience started from the ground up working in nursery, landscape, design, consultant, technical support and trainer.
Karen is the Senior Editor of Hort Journal Australia magazine and the NSW trainer for Yates Australia. She has been a selector for Australia’s Open Garden Scheme, an author and columnist for community newspapers, a guest on Sydney talkback radio and regular co-host on community radio. Karen has also been a facilitator, presenter and MC at various industry functions and conferences both nationally and internationally. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, the Horticultural Media Association, the International Plant Propagators Society and Interior Planstcape Association.
Melissa J Scott
Melissa J ScottVice President
Divine Creative Agency
0408 602 181

For over 20 years, through Divine Creative Agency, Melissa has worked with a diverse range of small to medium sized businesses, government agencies and large organisations such as Rheem Australia, Riverwood Community Centre, St George Hospital, AMP, Diabetes NSW, Catering HQ, Jandson Homes, Axis Services and MDC Camper Trailers.

Melissa is a highly personable and motivating business owner, designer and passionate content creator. She also regularly speaks at marketing and business events as a keynote speaker, runs online webinars and hosts marketing workshops and is currently working on her own online course targeted to help struggling small businesses, a YouTube TV Channel and podcast!

She is passionate about educating business owners to have a better understanding around how marketing will assist their businesses for growth, how to identify their niche target markets, and how to position their brand and business as a leader in their industry.

“We are committed to sharing our knowledge with our clients. There are no complex sales funnels or expensive marketing strategies. Just honest content that makes genuine connections with your audience.”

Gabrielle Stannus
Gabrielle StannusBoard Member
Inwardout Studio
(+61) 0400 431 277

Gabrielle joined Interior Plantscape Association, after volunteering at the 2017 conference in Melbourne. Gabrielle received a Master of Urban Horticulture from the University of Melbourne that same year, after completing her research project: ‘Leaf trait plasticity of common indoor green wall species in response to light’. During her studies, Gabrielle gained practical experience in the horticultural sector, working in garden maintenance, a retail nursery and with a green infrastructure start-up. Gabrielle also completed an internship with one of Australia’s leading green roof and wall specialists.

Since completing her studies, Gabrielle has returned to Tasmania where she runs Inwardout Studio with her partner Ludovic. Inwardout Studio is a design and consultancy firm specialising in services for the horticultural and the architectural sectors. Their work includes landscape designs, freelance writing, graphic/website design, 3D renders and event management.

In her spare time, Gabrielle enjoys researching and writing about plants. Gabrielle is also a member of the Horticultural Media Association of Australia (HMAA).

Sylvia Troccoli
Sylvia TroccoliBoard Member
Accountant & Business Advisor
0414 880320

Sylvia is a public accountant, a Fellow member of the Institute of Public Accountants and a registered Tax agent with more than 30 years’ experience. She is also a member of the National Tax and Accountants Association and an External Examiner for the Law Society.
Sylvia has helped individuals, small to medium businesses and non- profit organizations with their accounting, taxation and business needs. She has her own practice and has earned awards such as: 2010 Business Person of the Year and Outstanding Professional Services Awards for three consecutive years by the St George Business Awards.
She has a love for plants and looks forward to offering her support to the Association.

Helen Lynch
Helen LynchBoard Member
McRae & Lynch Interior Design
0412 585 450

Helen, originally with a background in education and an interest in the arts, further developed her creative talents by studying full time at the Design Centre Enmore & graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Arts/Interior Design & Drafting. Since then Helen has been working in the design industry, constantly liaising with architects, builders, trades people & suppliers.

Working in the industry for the past 15 years, Helen has found that when it comes to designing, attitude is very important. Helens ability to listen and communicate along with her relaxed, down to earth manner, relates well with her clients’ and this has proven to be a great asset throughout the design process. When facing design challenges’, her attention to detail compliments her creativity in designing spaces tailored to suit the clients’ individual needs & tastes.

Karyn McRae
Karyn McRaeBoard Member
McRae & Lunch Interior Design
0412 468 217

Karyn’s 15 year background is all design based. After working 2 years full-time for a large Architectural and Interior Design firm on the North side (whilst studying Architectural drafting part-time) pursued her goal of becoming an Interior designer and took up full-time studies at the ‘Design Centre Enmore’, graduating with an advanced Diploma of Fine Arts (Interior Design).

On graduation Karyn worked with another Sydney based Architectural firm completing projects for Drummoyne RSL Club, Gosford RSL Club, various McDonalds stores and large residential projects giving her a great skill set to then start her own design firm with Helen Lynch. As a design duo McRae + Lynch have worked on a variety of projects, from Cruise ship fit outs to new home builds, large scale renovations to medical, dental and hospitality fit outs.

Johan Hodgson
Johan HodgsonGeneral Manager for Ambius Australia
(+61) 0410 606 692

22+ years experience in the Interior Plantscaping Industry working in all facets of a business from the ground up. Commenced his career in Interior Plantscaping in the UK in 1996 where he was a Plantscape technician. He co-owned an interior plantscaping business in Sth Africa prior to relocating to Australia. Johan has worked for Ambius Australia for 15 years in various roles. Most recently business manager, Perth and Brisbane, National Operations Manager and has been in his current role of Operations Director since May 2013.

Johan was nominated in 2015 as Executive Board member and has supported the Executive Management Committee in 2016-2018 and is looking forward to continuing his support in 2019.


Elaine Tunn
Elaine TunnExecutive Officer/Secretary
(+61) 0452 590 255

IPA Executive Officer Elaine Tunn, has been employed by IPA for 9 years & brings with her a wealth of knowledge & experience from owing a small business for many years. She is also a qualified Trainer & Assessor & Lifestyle Coach. Elaine has many roles & knowledge about IPA & welcomes any enquiry.

Paul Plant
Paul PlantConsultant & Accreditation Assessor
Sub Tropical Media
(+61) 0452 590 255

IPA Accreditation officer Paul Plant, a Registered Horticulturist, is responsible for overseeing the accreditation process for Interior Plantscape Association members. Paul has worked in the landscape, nursery and interior plantscape sectors, as well as education, media and industry development. He is also the editor of Subtropical Gardening Magazine and does weekly segments on three radio stations in South East Queensland.