Wild Grasses of Victoria course details

Over three days, the course will train participants to identify almost all Victoria's wild species of grass, plus some species in related families such as sedges and rushes. It covers the ecology, management, propagation, horticulture and growth requirements of grasses. It also explains how to read the landscape and manage vegetation well through an understanding of the grass species present and their relationships with other flora and fauna.

There will be two identical streams, each with up to 16 students - few enough to allow individual attention for novices through to botanists. One stream meets on Tuesdays, December 4, 11 & 18; the other stream on Wednesdays, December 5, 12 & 19. The hours are 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Half of each day is spent indoors, tutorial-style, and the other half is outdoors. In the first week, we meet at Melton Library in the morning and a native grassland at Toolern Vale in the afternoon. The following week, the morning will be outdoors in the Dandenongs (Montrose) and the afternoon will be at Arrabri Community House in Bayswater North. Half of the last day will be outdoors at Bungalook Conservation Reserves in Kilsyth South and the other half at Arrabi Community House again. There will be a break during 1–2 pm to have lunch and make your way between venues.


Course fees are not due until your application is successful. Then, the cost will be:

  • $580 + $58 GST = $638 total, or
  • $495 including GST for Austudy students and holders of Health Care cards.
  • This includes 21 contact hours, extensive course notes, identification keys and snacks.

    Funds raised will support botanical research into Australian grasses.

    How to apply

    These courses always book out but it is not a 'first come - first served' process. Those who missed out last year are given priority this year. Other applicants will go into a random ballot for remaining positions. If you're unlucky this year, you will have a priority position next year.

    The outcome of the ballot will be announced by 19th October 2018.

    Please apply online, or if that's not possible, ring (03) 9876 6415 or send us an e-mail to request a form.

    More Testimonials

    'I found Graeme's hands-on course helped me enormously with grass identification, and the skills have been put to much use on and off the job. While the sessions felt relaxed, I learnt more than I hoped. I'd recommend the course to anyone with an interest in natural vegetation or grass family.'

    — Scott Watson, Manager Environmental Practice, VicRoads

    'I really want to thank you most sincerely for the wonderful course I have just completed. In a way I feel I am just starting - a wonderful window has been opened for me. I have learnt so much, and although I do not come from the scientific and practical background of most people doing this course, the information I have gleaned for my work as a landscape designer has been immensely helpful to me. I do hope that at some stage I shall have the privilege of benefitting again from your amazing knowledge and wonderful professionalism.'

    — Sandra McMahon, Gardenscape Design

    'I enjoyed the combination of spending time in the lecture room, keying out species and being out in the field, looking at diverse grass communities. I think the great thing is that no matter what level you are at, you are sure to learn something.'

    — Dr Andrea Kodym, University of Melbourne (at the time)

    'As a council Bushland Officer, the 'Wild Grasses of Victoria' course not only continues my learning and development, but assists me in passing on knowledge to Friends and School groups. The learning encourages practical participation, where sharing with peers encourages conversation and develops networks.'

    — Adam Loy, Knox City Council

    'The course was enjoyable - meeting like-minded people and studying in a great environment through a dedicated teacher who had a passion to share his knowledge. The course gave me confidence in keying out grasses through the classroom lectures by learning to identify the components of the grass from roots to seeds and using lenses to see the more intricate parts.'

    — Angela Whiffin, Newport Lakes Native Nursery