“I worked for 25 years in insurance and marketing and got a sideways move. The woman my wife was working for wanted to sell this business so I went back to TAFE to study floristry. Halfway through the course we bought the business. Learning the basic core designs was the best part of the course.”
A prominent and successful florist, Bernie worked for 25 years in the insurance and marketing industry before attending TAFE. Bernie first graduated from Ultimo College in 1996 with a Floristry Certificate and then returned to study Advanced Design in 1997. He won the inaugural TAFE New South Wales State Medal for Floristry in 1997 and the Sydney Institute Medal in 1998 both for excellent performance in his course and for supporting Sydney Institute and industry by offering his fellow students work experience in his floral design business.
He is now a highly sought-after florist, and his designs have featured in Floral Design magazine (New Zealand) and Fusion Flowers magazine (UK). Bernie represented New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory Interflora District 3 in the Australian Finals for Florist of Distinction in 2002, 2005 and 2007. He has also demonstrated for Interflora, the Professional Florists Association of New South Wales Inc., the Royal Horticultural Society of New South Wales and New South Wales Floral Art Societies.
Bernie owns and operates Champagne & Roses florist in Manly with his wife Cathy. Champagne & Roses is now in its 16th year. Bernie has maintained his relationship with TAFE, working as a casual floristry teacher and acting as a coach and mentor for trainee florists.