Moondani Balluk's Marcus Brooke; Iramoo Nursery's Megan O’Shea and Jeremy McNally; VUG students Isabelle Day and Mirella Botros.

Victoria University is helping revive native wildflowers in Melbourne’s west by planting more than 2000 seedlings at its St Albans Campus – one for every Year 12 student accepted into its early-entry VU Guaranteed program.

Launched in 2018, VU Guaranteed allows Year 11 and 12 students at more than 130 partner schools in Melbourne’s west and regional Victoria to obtain a guaranteed place at VU or VU Polytechnic before they complete their final Year 12 exams.

The project brings together VU’s Future Students team with the Iramoo Grassland Centre and Nursery, based at VU’s St Albans Campus, and VU’s Moondani Balluk centre for Indigenous staff and students.

A seed library, also part of the project, will assist Iramoo Nursery to propagate and preserve these native wildflower species that go by an array of charming common names including Gold Billy Buttons, Lemon Beauty-heads and Drumsticks.

Program celebrates VU's environmental commitment

The wildflowers grow in grasslands that once covered vast amounts of Victoria’s basalt plains until the destructive forces of urbanisation reduced their coverage to less than 1% their original size.

Ecologist and VU Honourary Research Fellow Megan O’Shea said the native flora have many benefits, including helping to stabilise soils, increase water infiltration, provide habitat for fauna, and inhibit weed growth.

VU Future Students Program Manager Emily Bodey said the project celebrates VU’s commitment to planetary health and caring for country while acknowledging the contribution VU Guaranteed students make to the wider VU community.

We are excited to continue to collaborate with our partner schools and their students through the VU Guaranteed program, while supporting the preservation and growth of our native grasslands. 

Isabelle Day, 18, will be joining VU next year after graduating from Penleigh and Essendon Grammar, probably to study psychology or speech pathology.

“Like many other students, this project feels personal.

"Being able to see your University encapsulate a shared vision for change in our climate condition and promote a better future for my generation of students and the world is inspiring.”