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Nursing home residents experience sights and scents of Carnival

Toowoomba-based health student, Poppy Metzroth, presented one of the floral arrangements, showcased in the award-winning TAFE Queensland Carnival of Flowers Float, to the residents at the Clifton Nursing Home, where she is undertaking vocational placement for her Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015).

Students from a range of industries contributed to the build and float procession, including English Language, Health, Floristry and Fashion students, in addition to staff from Brisbane, Kingaroy and surrounds, as TAFE Queensland entered the Grand Central Floral Parade, to coincide with their 140th anniversary of providing training to Queenslanders.

“Being involved in the float build was a fantastic experience, and I knew the residents at Clifton would be thrilled to hear about it.

“So many people were taking photos of the floral displays after the parade, and it was awesome to be able to tell them that our Brisbane-based floristry students made them,” Poppy said.

Half-way through her vocational placement, as part of her TAFE at School studies, putting the theory into practice, Poppy was able to secure a place with the facility in her local community.

When asked about her typical day, Poppy remarked “I absolutely love supporting the dementia residents as an Assistant in Nursing, in-training. I start at 6.30am and I get to share the residents’ days with them, as they undertake diversional therapy or choose to do a puzzle; being able to support them with reassurance, is so rewarding.

“It was great to bring a piece of the Carnival to the residents, who have their own memories of the parade, and seeing the joy the flowers brought, made the whole experience so worthwhile,” Poppy explained.

400 pots of colour, including daisies, petunias, pansies and over 500 Red Velvet roses grown in Ipswich, formed part of the display, and wowed tens of thousands of visitors that descended upon Toowoomba for the Saturday event.

Proceeds from the potted colour sold on the day, will go toward next year’s float where horticultural students will be involved in the plant production from seedling to display, as part of their studies.

Commercial category garden winner and Horticulture educator, Matthew Simmonds, indicated that edible plants may be a main feature of next year’s parade entry.

“TAFE Queensland is all about sustainability. If we can cultivate an appreciation for edible plants and herbs, next year’s float may inspire a rejuvenation and re-imagination of the average herb garden,” Matthew said.