School Report: McQueens and Pearsons Collaborate Down Under

We’d like to share a throw-back moment to a very exciting opportunity for McQueens Flower School – our recent trip to Australia to collaborate with Pearsons School of Floristry. McQueens stalwarts Emily Mathison and Duncan McCabe valiantly stepped up to the mark when a five-day teaching assignment in Australia was first suggested. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it – and what an adventure it was! It made sense to combine a week holiday with a week teaching to enable enough time to recover from the 22-hour journey and the rigours of jet lag, particularly since the Australian winter forecast was akin to the summer weather predicted at home. We spoke to McQueens tutor Emily Mathison and social media manager Duncan McCabe to find out about the experience.

The perfect group. We had so much fun meeting our Australian students
The perfect group. McQueens Flower School heads Down Under and meets our Australian students

‘The story started in January this year,’ explains Emily. ‘We had a Skype call with the team at Pearsons, an long-established florist based in Sydney. The weather here was bitterly cold then, as you can imagine, and the prospect of a trip to Australia seemed rather inviting. It was exciting collaborating with another school with this project and we had lots in common with the team in Australia. The trip has been an amazing experience and combining the visit with some holiday made a lot of sense! We packed loads of tourist activities from Bondi Beach to the Sydney Opera House and a day trip to the Blue Mountains for a week before the course. The Pearsons team were very helpful with the coordination of the class; it was such a pleasure to meet all the students. We had a fantastic group o students and the week was a magnificent success.’

Hard at work creating a hanging installation
Hard at work creating a hanging installation

‘I particularly enjoyed a trip to the flower market,’ says Duncan. ‘It was incredible to see the locally-produced flowers and foliages. I enjoyed meeting all the students who had a range of skill levels – many had extensive experience –  and the students enjoyed sharing their skills. The highlight of the week was demonstrating for an exclusive evening for past and present students. The enrichment evening is regularly fixed into the calendar and features a demonstration from leading florists. It was an honour and a pleasure to share McQueens style and philosophy with an audience from the other side of the world and incredible to see the passion and enthusiasm from a new generation of florists.’

tulips and Hyacinth in August!
Tulips and hyacinth in August can only mean one thing – we’re in Australia!


A table installation of oncidium orchid and magnolia foliage
A table installation of oncidium orchid and magnolia foliage for a demonstration at the enrichment evening