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2021 Annual General Meeting - update and papers

A reminder to all members of the Friends that our 33rd Annual General Meeting is fast approaching.

Friday 29 October 2021 at 3.15 pm for 3.30pm at the Ian Wark Theatre, Shine Dome, 15 Gordon Street, ACTON

The Ian Wark Theatre is now accessible through the front entrance of the Shine Dome, and Friends may use the main car park.

Masks must be worn. Participants are required to use the Check In CBR app and show a printed or digital copy of your vaccination record when entering.

Dr Judy West, ANBG Executive Director, will be our guest speaker.

The agenda and meeting papers can be downloaded from these links. Please ensure that you check these, as we will not be providing hard copies to everyone at the meeting.

2021 Annual General Meeting - change of date

The 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the ANBG will be held on 29 October 2021, at 3.15 pm for 3.30pm.

Ian Wark Theatre at the Shine Dome, 15 Gordon Street, Acton ACT OR via Zoom, if COVID restrictions prevent assembly.

Should a Zoom meeting be required, details will be published on the Friends’ website and in the Friends’ e-newsletter.


2021 Schools Photographic Competition – cancelled

The 2021 Schools Photographic Competition has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Sadly, the extended ACT lockdown and the closure of the Gardens have made it impossible for young photographers to visit the ANBG, and for the competition organisers to arrange for the judging, awards and exhibition of prizewinners.

The Friends understand how disappointing this decision will be for students, schools, and the wider community of photographers and supporters of the Gardens. We remain determined to hold the competition as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

ANBG Library - online-only until further notice

As there is no separation between the office and library areas of the Botany Building at the ANBG, the Gardens has made the decision to close the ANBG Library to external users until further notice. This will be revisited in line with health advice from the ACT Government. Friends can still access library materials via the "click and collect" service: please contact the Librarian to discuss your requirements. Please be aware that the Library is currently staffed part-time (usually Wednesday–Friday).

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Eucalypt 56, May 2021

The latest issue of Eucalypt, the magazine of the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens (AAFBG), includes articles on the recent AGM, reports from associate members far and wide, Handbury Awards recipients, and many other interesting contributions.

Celebrating Botanic Art; the artists, Susan Spiller and Marjorie Roche, with other BAG members (Jann Ollerenshaw, Wendy Antoniak, Kate Ramsey), Dr Judy West and Neville Page

Botanic Art Group presentation to the Gardens

The Friends Botanic Art Groups exhibition in April to May this year featured plants from the sea to the desert, along with other native species. Two works were chosen by the Executive Director, Dr Judy West, and purchased by the Friends for the ANBG collection. On Thursday 3 June the works were presented to Dr West by the President, Neville Page.

Susan Spiller's Wahlenbergia species is a delightful painting of the floral emblem of the ACT. Judy selected Marjorie Roche's Arid because it shows the intricacies of a root, perhaps an unusual subject but an appealing painting in its own right.

Both Susan and Marjorie have been members of the Botanic Art Group for several years, and we congratulate them on their work being chosen from this exhibition for the ANBG’s collection.

Access to the Café during Stage 1 of the East Core Precinct works

Construction works and temporary access changes

Work has begun on several construction projects that will affect access to various sections of the Gardens:

  • Stage 1 of the East Core Precinct works (Café deck, lawn and new section of the Main Path) is scheduled for 17 May to 25 June. A fence has been erected around the Café deck worksite, and the rainforest bridge is closed. Access to the Café has changed (see yellow dotted line on map) - pedestrian access to the take-away window and toilets is now through the laneway between the Ellis Rowan building and the Horticulture Depot.
  • The Ian Potter Conservatory site has been fenced off, and an alternative route will be in place for visitors to access the main path past the construction site.
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Growing Friends receive AAFBG Handbury Award

The Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens( AAFBG)'s annual Handbury Awards recognise exceptional contributions to an Australian Botanic Garden, Arboretum or Park, by an AAFBG member group or an individual from a member group.

This year our Growing Friends were nominated in recognition of the group's exceptional effort to recover from the damage inflicted during the 2020 hailstorm; and to go on throughout the COVID-19 shutdown period caring for their plants, and then organising several limited COVID-safe sales events.

We are proud that the Growing Friends have been announced as 2021 Handbury Award recipients.

ANBG Library reopening to Friends and ANBG Volunteers

The ANBG Library will reopen to external users, including the Friends of the ANBG and ANBG Volunteers, on Wednesday 31 March 2021 in line with Government COVID-19 directives.

Janine Chandler will continue as interim ANBG Librarian until 30 June 2021, while Jane Black is engaged in projects to improve knowledge services across the Department. Janine's standard workdays are Wednesday to Friday. Self-service browsing and loans are available to those who are already registered borrowers on Monday and Tuesday.

John Blay with Acacia blayana specimen in the ANBG

John Blay walks the talk

John Blay, writer and naturalist, filled the Theatrette at the Thursday Talk on 18 March with his talk about 'Some Special Places of the South East Forests’. He spoke about the challenges of conservation in the region’s forests, along with its peoples and natural history, and the rediscovery of an important shared history pathway, the Bundian Way.

After the talk, John signed copies of his books, and then led a group on a walk up to the plantings of Acacia blayana in the Gardens. John discovered this species of wattle in 1982 in the Brogo wilderness, and it was named in his honour.