have started 2003 rather perilously, though the Gardens has
not been directly affected. However, closures have occurred
on some days and there has been restricted access on total fire
ban days. The Gardens suffered damage in September when high
winds and falling branches caused a potential danger to staff
activities have fulfilled our objectives in supporting the Gardens,
but Council needed to make some changes to the Friends' Constitution
and this need became more immediate when we received a generous
offer by Friends to finance a special project in the Gardens.
We have no power to receive tax-deductible gifts and so we have
been working through the process to set up a Public Fund as
required by Environment Australia and the Australian Taxation
Office to obtain this status.
sources of revenue for the Friends continued to be derived from
membership fees and from summer concerts, Grazing in the Gardens,
plant sales and an art exhibition. Again the concerts have drawn
large audiences, though concerts on two weekends had to be cancelled
because of the bushfire situation. In spite of various competing
musical events at other venues around Canberra we attracted
good crowds. Friends and staff have given their time and enthusiasm
generously in running the concerts and collecting donations
at each performance.
in the Gardens was another successful evening with over 320
participants. Again the food and music was well received and
the new rockery lawn development was a pleasant space for the
pre-dinner gathering. Council wishes to thank Bev Fisher and
the volunteers and staff who assisted for the smooth running
of the evening.
Competition for High Schools and Secondary Colleges was held
again in 2002. There were 200 entries and $2900 in prizes was
awarded at the well-attended presentation. We thank Barry Brown
and Denise Ferris who had the difficult task of judging the
entries. Details of the competition, as well as photos, are
on the Friends' website.
projects we fund come from a twice-yearly call to staff and
members of the Friends to put forward suggestions which must
then be approved by the Director. Funding in the last year was
given for the design work for the extension of the Rock Garden
and redevelopment of the adjoining lawn area. Planting was carried
out last spring and an official launch of the garden took place
on 27 October.
were : the purchase of tree ferns for the Rainforest Gully;
photographs chosen from the ANBG collection, to be enlarged
and framed for public exhibition; additional palms for the Rainforest
Gully; renovation of section 131, the garden in front of the
Ellis Rowan building.
so many other societies we have been faced with the dilemma
of how to deal with the public liability insurance cost increases.
We are fortunate that Parks Australia insurance covers Friends'
Activities on site, excluding medical expenses. Volunteers are
deemed to be staff for insurance purposes and so are covered
for medical expense. However, the extent of cover is limited
after age 65. Off-site activities have required separate cover
for a stated number of walks and tours beyond the Gardens' boundaries.
A new Guides
training course was held through the year with 26 successful
applicants. The Guides training program won the ACT Adult Learners
Week Award in August. During the year Guides gave 849 walks
with 3500 visitors shown around the Gardens. From February to
March an extra daily walk at 10am has been offered as well as
twilight walks on Wednesday evenings.
issues of the Newsletter have been produced, each one with a
superb cover picture and interesting and varied content. Between
issues the Occasional Newsletter keeps us in touch with other
planned activities. We now have to arrange our own mailing of
the newsletter because of changes to the ANBG system. This has
added a substantial cost to the Friends.
Activities sub-committee arranged an interesting and varied
program this year with talks, bush walks, bird walks, a weekend
enjoying the spring treasures of the Bundanoon area and special
evenings for new members. We hope members are finding these
events stimulating. The Friends acknowedge the Gardens' assistance
in publicising events and activities and in providing signage
for Friends' events.
Friends had a successful year with propagation activities and
subsequent sales. Two plant sales were held during the year
and members of the group assisted Gardens' staff with propagation
workshops for schools and the public during Science Week.
had a pleasing increase in memberships - 1254 at 1 February,
compared with 1062 in 2002. Council at its last meeting passed
a resolution that membership fees will need to be increased
in our next financial year, due to increased costs.
were approached by the royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, on behalf
of Botanic Gardens Conservation Interntional, to ask if we would
sponsor a delegate from a neighbouring country to attend the
5th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens.
We agreed to sponsor Mrs Endo Guof, Education Officer of Department
of Forests at Lae, PNG.
agreed to host the conference of the Association of Friends
of Botanic Gardens in April 2004. Originally a Victorian association,
it has now been expanded nationally and we are the first Friends
group outside Victoria to host the conference since it became
a national association.
Council reviewed the Strategic Plan to see that we reached our
goals for 2002 and to set those for 2003. This year we expect
to achieve a more integrated promotion of the Friends' activities
with the appointment of Cheryl Martin as Communications Officer.
The roles of Council members are to be reviewed, as is the method
of funding projects. We will also launch the Public Fund as
soon as it is finally approved.
our year we acknowledge the great amount of support we receive
from the Director, Robin Nielsen, and all the staff, both in
the information they share and by active involvement in Friends'
As I complete
my term as President I would like to say how much I have appreciated
working with the Council, the Members and the staff in the achievements
made over these years. The Friends have become a very visible
part of the Gardens, especially the Guides, who project the
special nature of its collection. I am sure our relationship
will long sustain the importance of this Australian garden.