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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 Geoffrey Hope ‘How have our mountain peatlands withstood fire over time?’ Thursday, 4 May 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Geoffrey, Visiting Fellow in the Fenner School, ANU, will discuss the vulnerability of peatlands in the Australian Alps.

Bogs and fens in Namadgi are a startling contrast to the water-limited slope vegetation of our region, staying green and luxuriant when grasslands and woodlands brown off each summer. Carbon dating shows that some bogs have been around for more than 15,000 years and during that time there have been changes in vegetation and fire regime that reflect changing climates and perhaps human use. Although threatened by climate change, the swamps have shown high resilience in the face of changing environments and large fires.

John Blay ‘Engaging with wilderness of the coastal ranges; strange plants, yowies and the old ways’ Thursday, 11 May 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

In 1981 John Blay was awarded the Parks Writers Award to spend 12 months by himself in the wild country between Araluen and Bemboka. It confirmed ongoing researches into south-eastern Australia's forests, settlers and Aboriginal people that have resulted in projects such as the Bundian Way, an ancient pathway between Kosciuszko and Twofold Bay.

John is a writer, naturalist and walker. The author of ‘On Track’ and ‘Back Country’ reflects on how walking changes your relationship to the countryside.

Doug Laing “A Stroll on Table Mountain” Thursday, 18 May 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Doug will take the audience for a sunny January morning stroll on the slopes of Table Mountain in summer bloom. This special place, part of the wider Cape Floral Kingdom, has  fascinating parallels and equally fascinating differences with  the Australian flora, particularly that of southwestern Australia. Some of these will be discussed in this talk, especially as they relate to the interaction between birds and plants in the two regions”.

Dr Brian Cooke ‘Galapagos: the continuing battle against invaders’ Thursday, 25 May 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Brian, retired CSIRO scientist, recalls his time as resident scientist at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the island of Santa Cruz.

Dr Brian Hawkins ‘Birds and plants in subtropical NSW’ Thursday, 1 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Brian, now a scientist with Bush Blitz in Canberra, describes his earlier work as an ecologist in Northern NSW studying the relationship between birds and their food plants in the forests of the Dorrigo-Bellingen-Coffs Harbour area.

Dr Brett Howland ‘Recent results of the effects of fire on grassland plants and animals’ Thursday, 8 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Brett will describe his work within the ACT Conservation Research Unit. Over the last seven years he has been involved in the implementation of a kangaroo monitoring program using pellet counts; the creation of an ACT vegetation map; and the establishment of a research monitoring program looking at the effects of kangaroo grazing on reptiles and grass.

Ben Walcott ‘A walk through some great gardens’ Thursday, 15 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Ben will walk us through some gardens in Britain, Europe and other countries, with differing styles and plant choices.

Dr Rolf Oberprieler and Dr Thomas Wallenius ‘A necessary weevil: the pollination biology and evolution of cycads’ Thursday, 22 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Of the seven groups of weevils associated with cycads in the world, four have evolved exclusive pollination mutualisms with their hosts, depending on cycad cones for breeding while the cycads depend on them for pollination. The physiology of the cycad cones is tightly correlated with the behaviour of the weevils, in that the cones release specific odours and heat up in the evening to both attract and repel the weevils.

Rolf will talk to the broad evolutionary relationship between weevils and cycads, and Thomas will place this in the Australian context.

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 Sue Serjeantson AO ‘Charles Darwin in Galapagos and Australia’ Thursday, 6 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Sue, Chair of the Thursday Talks committee, explores Darwin’s diaries from the ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ that revealed Nature’s Grand Plan.