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Here you will find a calendar of Friends’ activities in the Gardens including lunchtime talks, social events, exhibitions and the ever-popular spring and autumn plant sales. In addition to events arranged by the Friends, we include some events arranged by the Gardens and by other organisations. A full list of events arranged by the Gardens is in their What's On webpage.

Lunchtime talks are held at 12.30pm every Thursday from February to November in the Gardens’ Theatrette. Talks last for 1 hour. Admission is by gold coin donation. There is no need to book. Some other events do require booking – please see individual items.

The ANBG Theatrette has a capacity of 90 seats. To avoid a breach of fire regulations, event organisers will monitor numbers and decline entry once all seats have been filled. We recommend that audience members arrive early to secure a seat.

See all lunchtime talks | See all the recent events

Event title Date Details
Botanic Art Groups' 11th Annual Exhibition Saturday, 17 March 2018 (All day) to Sunday, 15 April 2018 (All day)

The 11th annual art exhibition will be held from 17 March – 15 April 2018 at the Visitor Centre, Australian National Botanic Gardens.  All artworks will be original paintings, drawings and other related works of Australian native flora, focussing on Threatened and Endangered species.  All works will be by artists from the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens Botanic Art Groups.  All works will be for sale.

Dr Mike Bourke ‘The role of staple food crops in food security in Papua New Guinea’ Thursday, 22 March 2018 - 12:30pm

Mike will briefly cover population distribution and food consumption and then more comprehensively many aspects of food security in PNG.

ANBG Friends Photographic Group - March meeting Friday, 23 March 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm


Will Tatnell, Retail Sales Manager of Teds in Canberra, together with a representative of Nikon cameras, will demonstrate the current Nikon range of cameras and lenses, discuss the difference between lenses etc., and talk about some of the latest trends in camera technology.

Weather permitting, they will lead a photo walk in the gardens following the meeting.


Gardens Theatrette


Roger Farrow ‘Wild Madagascar: from Baobabs to an Aye-aye’ Thursday, 29 March 2018 - 12:30pm

Roger is a field naturalist who observes how plants and animals interact in their natural environment.  After a career in entomology, Roger joined Australian Native Plants Society to further his identification skills of native plants.

Further details to be advised.

Lynne Bean ‘What is to be found in the Talbragar Fossil Fish Bed?’ Thursday, 5 April 2018 - 12:30pm

Lynne will concentrate on the fossil fish and plants from the Talbragar Fossil Fish Bed, NSW, which date from the Upper Jurassic.

Growing Friends 2018 Autumn Plant Sale Saturday, 7 April 2018 - 8:30am to 11:00am

Plants are propagated and tended by the Growing Friends from material sourced from the Gardens. All proceeds go to support the Gardens. Be early for the best selection.  information about some of the plants that are for sale can be found here. A plant list will be available on this website closer to the sale date.

Dr Rosemary Purdie ‘Immersed in the Larapinta’ (repeat) Thursday, 12 April 2018 - 12:30pm

Rosemary will talk about her Larapinta Trail walk – end to end - in July 1917, and the plants and stunning landscape en route.

This is a repeat presentation - Rosemary's talk on 8 February attracted many more people than the Theatrette could hold, and she has kindly agreed to speak again for those who missed out.

Dr Leo Joseph ‘News from the Front: An update on bird research at the Australian National Wildlife Collection (ANWC) and around the world’ Thursday, 19 April 2018 - 12:30pm

Leo will talk about thorny taxonomic problems in our birds, such as the Chestnut Quail-thrush, White-eared Honeyeater, and natural selection starring the Eastern Yellow Robin.

'Cultivating Friends' - AAFBG Members Biennial Conference, Benalla Friday, 20 April 2018 (All day) to Sunday, 22 April 2018 (All day)

The Biennial Conference of Members of the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens (AAFBG) will be held at Benalla, VIC

The conference will be hosted by Friends of the Benalla Botanic Gardens and Riverine Parklands Inc. and will include the 2018 AGM of the AAFBG.

Dr John Bradshaw ‘Rocks, climate changes and trees’ Thursday, 26 April 2018 - 12:30pm

John will assemble an eclectic mix of his recent adventures, including working on technical climate change solutions associated with his profession as a geologist, mixed with his passion for the natural environment, native plants and trees.