2013 Volunteer Guide Intake
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Volunteer Guide Intake
This information was prepared for the training course held in July 2013, but the information provided here will be relevant for future Guide intakes.
Volunteer Guides at the Australian National Botanic Gardens share their enthusiasm for Australia’s flora and the Gardens with members of the public. Guides are interested in a wide variety of things such as the beauty of Australian plants and watching the seasons unfold in the Gardens. Many are fascinated by the way our plants have evolved and others by the Aboriginal uses of plants for food, shelter and tools. The list goes on. While some of our guides are professional botanists, most are not. You don’t need to be an expert.
Training will cover not only information about the Gardens and Australian native plants, but also how to guide. You will have plenty of opportunity to practise your guiding skills in a safe environment with your colleagues as ‘visitors’ and experienced guides accompanying you. Guiding is an on-going learning experience.
You will soon become familiar with the many paths in the Gardens that you have probably not explored yet. You will have the pleasure of introducing visitors to our magnificent and unique flora. You will also have the freedom to take your visitors to those parts of the Gardens which you think they will appreciate most and to adapt your discussions to their background and interests. As a guide, you will be part of a welcoming and friendly cohort. You will also, over time, come to feel part of the wider ANBG community including the welcoming and professional ANBG staff.
The Guides are a friendly group. We help each other out; we bring our lunch and have a chat before the monthly meetings. As Guides we are also keen to extend our knowledge. Each monthly meeting includes a professional development session and an update from ANBG staff about the latest happenings around the Gardens. We have a Wiki so that we can share knowledge.
- The Guides lead walks at 11 am and 2 pm every day except Christmas Day. These are free to the public and attract people from all over Australia and other parts of the world. Each guide leads about two of these walks each month.
- Guides sometimes lead booked walks for groups of six or more people and for which a fee is charged. For example, special interest groups, organised bus tours, and visitors from the tertiary institutions or embassies may book a walk.
- Flora Explorer tours are conducted by members of the Friends, but most of the tours are taken by guides. Visitors travel in the electric vehicle to far-flung parts of the Gardens which are seldom accessed. The tours are run every weekend and also during school holidays. They are popular with families with small children, and visitors with limited mobility who would otherwise not have the opportunity to see the Gardens.
- Guides have the opportunity to develop special themed walks, either for special interest groups or to complement events in Canberra such as exhibitions held at the Australian National Gallery.
- The ANBG’s stunning Red Centre Garden opened to the public at the end of 2013. Roving guides are stationed in the area to interact with visitors.
- Guides are sometimes called upon to represent the ANBG at public events such as Floriade.
To be a guide you must be a member of the Friends of the ANBG. Being a Friend allows you access to the ANBG library, the Thursday lunchtime talks, Friends social functions and a car parking permit. If you are not already a Friend, you can join at the time of applying to be a guide.