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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.

The Gardens will be closed temporarily due to COVID-19 lockdown

The ANBG has announced that the Gardens closed from 5 pm, Thursday 12 August, in accordance with the ACT Government’s COVID-19 lockdown requirements.

All Volunteer and Friends activities are suspended until at least Friday, October 15, and Friends members will not be permitted to enter the Gardens during the lockdown. 

Sundial at the Gardens (Photo: Pam Rooney)

Telling the Time by the Sun, An Enlightening Afternoon

On Friday 8 October, there will be a special event exploring the sundials of the ANBG and Mt Stromlo. We will start  at 1.30 pm in the ANBG Theatrette and finish at about 5.15 pm at the Mt Stromlo Observatory. This is a self-drive event. Tickets are $25 including afternoon tea (plus booking fee). Bookings are essential as places are limited. Bookings open on Friday 6 August 2021 and can be made at Preferential bookings for Friends of the ANBG and Australian Garden History Society members from 6 to 21 August. General bookings from 22 August.

Enquiries: or phone Christianna on 0410 577 677.

2021 Annual General Meeting - save the date

The Annual General Meeting this year will be held at 5.30pm on Thursday, 21 October, 2021.

The venue will be advised closer to the date, depending on what is available subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Awarding prizes for the 2018 competition

2021 Schools Photographic Competition now open

The annual Schools Photographic Competition is back for 2021!

Download the primary schools entry form and secondary schools entry form here; the closing date for entries is Friday 24 September.

Photos must feature some aspect of the Gardens, such as its plants, wildlife, scenery or its community. There are prizes in several categories, commendations, prizes for schools, and a Peoples' Choice award. Prizes will be awarded in early November, followed by an exhibition of the winning entries in the Visitor Centre gallery.

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.