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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.

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Event title Date Details
Professor Margo Neale ‘Alive with the songlines! Following in the footsteps of the Seven Sisters’ Thursday, 29 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Margo, Senior Indigenous Curator, National Museum of Australia, will background the next major exhibition of NMA on the Seven Sisters’ rock art, opening in September. This presentation will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how this exhibition was put together by the curatorial team in collaboration with Aboriginal communities, and why it is considered a pioneering model where communities work with Museums rather than how Museums work with communities.

Professor Neale is an internationally renowned curator of major exhibitions, and the author, co-author or editor of 12 books, including the Oxford Companion to Aboriginal art and culture, and a co-recipient of 12 Australia Research Council Grants.

Dr Laura Rayner 'Returning lost property: threatened birds need room to breed' Thursday, 6 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

In this talk, Laura will examine the perilous population status of the Regent Honeyeater and Superb Parrot, and canvass conservation challenges and opportunities for their recovery. Both species continue to bedevil conservation efforts because of their dependence on human-modified landscapes.

Dr Laura Rayner works on long-term ecological monitoring for the protection of threatened species and restoration of degraded habitats with the ACT Government's Conservation and Research department. She is also a visiting fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society (ANU). 

Note: The talk by Sue Serjeantson that had been scheduled for 6 July has been postponed to 28 September.

Dr Janet Gardner ‘How are Australian birds affected by climate change?’ Thursday, 13 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Janet, Research Fellow at ANU, has made novel use of time-series available through museum collections and bird-banding, to explore the dynamics of natural bird populations. This talk will focus on how Australian birds are affected by our changing climate and will provide insights into the mechanisms that are driving change.

Dr Philip Spradbery ‘To breed or not to breed? How the European wasp queen suppresses her daughters’ reproduction' Thursday, 20 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

For the past 30 years Philip, a research entomologist, has been studying the European wasp to determine how the single queen, in a nest that can contain up to 5,000 adult worker wasps, prevents them from developing their ovaries and laying eggs. If the queen dies or is lost, within a week, many of the workers start laying eggs. Clearly, the queen has a potent method of keeping her workers sterile.

Dr John Turnbull ‘Australian trees and their botanists’ Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

John, retired CSIRO scientist and volunteer guide at ANBG, will discuss the association of Australian trees with overseas botanists and relate their amazing stories encompassing adventure, mystery, sex and even murder.

Angus Stewart ‘History of Australian Plant Breeding’ Thursday, 3 August 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Angus, an expert in Australian native plants and media personality, will talk about the history of Australian plant breeding and share his personal experience in breeding iconic kangaroo paws.

Dr Lydia Guja ‘News from the National Seedbank: from coast to desert’ Thursday, 10 August 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Lydia, manager of the National Seedbank at ANBG, will outline her work with Parks Australia, from Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands in the west to Norfolk Island in the east, to Uluru-Kata Tjuta in between.

Max Bourke AM ‘Out of the Woods’ Thursday, 17 August 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Max, agricultural scientist and inveterate volunteer, will be talking about the early history of tree planting in Canberra and the planters themselves: Charles Weston, Max Jacobs and Lindsay Prior.

Dr Liz Truswell ‘The woman who mapped the oceans’ Thursday, 24 August 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Liz, Visiting Fellow at ANU and practising artist, will describe how geologist/cartographer Marie Tharp, working with the artist Heinrich Berann, produced maps of the global sea floor that contributed significantly to the development of plate tectonics.

Geoffrey Kay ‘How the marbled gecko helps science reconnect fragmented farm landscapes' Thursday, 31 August 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Geoff, research ecologist at the Fenner School, ANU, examines how the quality of farming landscapes influence the movements of small ground-dwelling fauna, like reptiles.