IT'S not every day that local kids get to spend time with one of the nation's favourite TV personalities, but that was just the case on Friday morning as Costa Georgiadis visited the area as part of Earth-Fest.
The gardener and landscape architect won the Logie for Most Popular Presenter this year for his work on Get Grubby TV and Gardening Australia on the ABC.
The instantly recognisable cultural icon gave a presentation to children at Aberdeen Public School, and went on a tour of the facilities to speak to a select group of pupils about how they could improve their gardens and environmental projects.
Retiring back to the Segenhoe Inn ahead of his planned trip to St Joseph's High School and workshop later in the day, he spoke to The Chronicle about why he'd made the journey to the Upper Hunter.
"That's what wakes me up in the morning, to be able to interact with our youth," he said.
"They're the real caretakers of the planet, so to be able to talk to them and to listen to them and hear not only what they're doing but what they're thinking, what they're fearing, what they're seeing, what they're wishing and hoping for - and to be able to just be around them is for me really uplifting."
His presence was greatly appreciated by students, and two of them shared just how much his visit and the topic meant to them.
"[I've enjoyed] him teaching us all about plants and that some plants can have seeds in them," eight-year-old Bridie said.
"I really like gardening quite a lot and I do gardening with my mum at home sometimes at home."
Another young environmentally-conscious pupil, Natasha, stated the experience was "great fun" and that she enjoyed gardening "one billion per cent".
Costa said he received a lot of energy from seeing how interested the younger generations were in sustainable living, and praised the school for having "environment minister" roles.
"I love the vocabulary, the fact the say it's an environment minister gives it weight, it gives it importance and a level of respect in the position," said the eccentric Gold Logie nominee.
"It creates aspiration and it builds a sense of role model, so they think 'I want to be like that', so the kindergarten kids and year ones look up at not just their buddies but to the environment minister.
"And, that way they have to think, act and be responsible, you couldn't think of a better way to build connection."
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