Our Patron is His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce AM AE
His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce, AM AE accepted the role of Patron of the Friends in May 2011.
Mr Bryce is an architect and designer acknowledged in Australia and overseas for his distinguished work in graphic, urban and environmental design.
Originally from Brisbane, he began his career as an architect. His interest in graphic design led him to develop one of Australia’s foremost design practices, and ultimately to become part of the global Minale Tattersfield Design Strategy Group with offices in London and Paris and major clients worldwide. Mr Bryce became the principal design adviser to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Mr Bryce has long been involved in design education at Australian universities, and is presently Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Design at the University of Canberra.
The achievements of Michael Bryce have been recognised through many honours and awards. In 2006 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service as an architect to the development of industrial, graphic and commercial design reflecting Australian heritage and the environment, to education and to the community. He retired from his practice in 2008 when his wife Ms Quentin Bryce became Governor-General of Australia.
His commitment to the Australian National Botanic Gardens is of great value in continuing to grow and strengthen this vital national institution.
A more detailed profile of Mr Bryce's career is available on the Governor-General’s website at http://www.gg.gov.au/their-excellencies-ms-quentin-bryce-ac-cvo-and-mr-michael-bryce-am-ae#mr_bryce.
Our Vice Patron is Mrs Marlena Jeffery
Mrs Jeffery was our Patron from 2007 to 2011, and we are delighted that she continues her close association with the Friends as Vice-Patron.
Mrs Jeffery has often spoken of her great affection for the Botanic Gardens and the Australian flora. She is an active member of the Friends botanical art group, attends many Friends events and has been an enthusiastic volunteer at summer concerts.
Marlena Jeffery was born and raised in Sydney, before moving to Western Australia where she studied at the Western Australian Secondary Teachers College. After her marriage to Michael Jeffery, an Army officer, she moved with him to various postings in Australia, England and Papua New Guinea. She successfully lobbied for better housing and conditions for army families, and established pre-school centres at Holsworthy and Enoggera barracks.
Marlena was made a 'Citizen of Western Australia' for her work with charities during the years 1993-2000 when Michael was Governor of Western Australia. She was also appointed as Dame of Grace (DStJ) in the Order of St John.
She came to Canberra when her husband was appointed Governor-General of Australia in 2003.
A more detailed profile of the careers of both Michael and Marlena Jeffery is on the Governor-General’s website at http://www.gg.gov.au/former-governors-general/major-general-jeffery-and-mrs-jeffery.