David Berger – Floristry Teacher at TAFE NSW
Posted October 17, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Inspired by his childhood garden and a horticultural upbringing, David now has 35 years experience creating floral masterpieces, has competed in four floristry World Cups, and is an Interflora judge – judging the cream of the flower crop! For the past three years, David had shared his craft as a Floristry Teacher at TAFE NSW and says that "teaching is a natural extension of my passion".
What did you study to become a florist?
I studied at TAFE and also attend any demonstrations that are held by organisations like Interflora and the Professional Florists Association of NSW.
What steps did you take to become a floristry teacher?
I started at TAFE as a guest industry demonstrator and this led to a part-time teaching position. I was then offered a full-time teaching role. I completed a training and assessment Certificate IV and Diploma.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
My first job was in a nursery I developed a passion for the flowering plants which lead to floristry. My entire career has been in floristry.
When did you first know you wanted to become a florist inspired you to teach it?
I grew up surrounded by my Grandparent’s garden. My earliest memories are of my Grandfather cutting flowers and arranging them in the house. You could say I was born into a love of nature. Teaching was a natural extension of my passion to share my knowledge and experiences.
What do you think it takes to be a great florist?
A good understanding of design, colour and a real flair – anyone can go to art school, but something really needs to come from within when you look at the flowers and put them together.
Explain a typical day at work?
Each day is different. Classes cover all aspects of floristry. One lesson I can be teaching how to wire delicate flowers for a bridal bouquet, the next using wildflowers to construct a large-scale corporate installation.
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?
I competed in Floristry competitions and represented Australia at four World Cups of Floristry. I travelled the world and was first runner-up in France this was an amazing experience.
What are the different career opportunities for florists?
There are basically two types of florists – there are the more customer-related jobs where you work in a shop environment, taking orders and producing them. Then there are workroom florists, that the bigger florists have, who just work to produce the orders. You still liaise with the customers for special requests, and weddings and other important events. A lot of florists have specialities whether it’s wedding work, function work or general orders.
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?
The most important advice I have received is to stay focused on the task at hand. Being systematic and ordered is a way to success.
What do you wish someone had told you before starting in floristry?
I wish someone had told me the joy of giving flowers brings. Florists have the unique gift of bringing a smile to everyone who receives their creations.
Name a career highlight
Traveling around the world and judging for floristry as the International Expert for WorldSkills Australia.
What’s next for you?
My next adventure is to be part of an industry demonstration of five designers from Australia. It will be a showcase of the latest in design and all things floral.
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.