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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.

See all lunchtime talks | See all the recent events

Event title Date Details
Dr John Turnbull, ‘Bunya pine and other Araucarias’ Thursday, 30 July 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

John will discuss the lifestyles of these iconic trees and their impact on our lives.

Dr John Turnbull is a former CSIRO scientist who researched the use of Australian native trees and exotic introductions. Later, as Chief Scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research in Indonesia, he managed an international research program on tropical rainforest conservation and rehabilitation. He has been a volunteer guide at ANBG since 1999.

Plant Science Group Technical Talk: Dr Rob Godfey-The Fitness of Kangaroo Grass Monday, 3 August 2015 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Date & Time: Monday 3rd August at 10.30 am

Place: Theatrette, ANBG

Topic: The fitness of Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis) populations under experimentally simulated drought and climate change.

Speaker: Dr Bob Godfree, CSIRO Scientist with the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR) in Canberra.

Chris Davey & Kathy Eyles, ‘The gang-gang special survey’ Thursday, 6 August 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

The Gang-gang cockatoo survey is an ambitious citizen science project initiated by the Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG) in 2014. Surprisingly little is known about this much-loved bird. Survey Project manager, Chris Davey, and Communications officer, Kathy Eyles, will discuss what we have learned about the Gang-gang population and its habitat from the survey and from local community engagement. Implications for habitat management and the potential for further research will also be explored.

Lori Gould,‘Re-greening the Capital Region: Engaging the Community in Bushfire Recovery and Sustainable Farming’ Thursday, 13 August 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Lori, scientist with Greening Australia, will talk about community and land-holder engagement in Boorowa River recovery and Canberra's recovery from bush-fire.

Dr Brian Cooke ‘A rabbit’s progress: from the Crusades to Barwon Park’ Thursday, 20 August 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm


 Brian will describe his research at CSIRO into control and management of wild rabbits in Australia’s arid zone and on sub-Antarctic islands. His recent book “Australia’s War Against Rabbits: The Story of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease” uses rabbit haemorrhagic disease as an important case study in understanding how animal populations adapt to diseases.

Meredith Cosgrove ‘Oh the humanity: rarity in plants, with examples from the ACT flora’ Thursday, 27 August 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm


Many things can make plants rare. In this talk Meredith will give an overview of the process that threaten plants, give concrete examples from the local flora, and explain what is being done to save them. Meredith, author of ‘Photographic Guide to the Native Plants of ACT, will illustrate her talk with photographs of some of the 327 native species featured in her book. Many things can make plants rare.

Catriona Anderson ‘What a lot about Wattles: Wattles in the Pictures Collection of the National Library of Australia’ Thursday, 3 September 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Catriona will talk about images of wattle that are in the Picture Collection of the National Library of Australia by different artists and for different purposes, in recognition of Wattle Day.

Dr Matt Colloff ‘Flooded forest and desert creek: the fascination of the River Red Gum’ Thursday, 10 September 2015 - 12:45pm to 1:45pm

Matt will talk about the ecology and history of the River Red Gum, Australia’s most widely-distributed eucalypt species.

Third Alison McKenzie Memorial Lecture: Geoffrey Dabb-Ten Birds of Canberra Thursday, 17 September 2015 - 12:45pm to 1:45pm

Ten bird species, some common, some rare, have been chosen for this presentation because each (a) has been recorded in ANBG and (b) has something of interest to be said about it. The talk is about why they are interesting, with some comments about local occurrence and movements of each species. Taking the ten species as examples, this graphic presentation also looks at bird art and photography.

Geoffrey Dabb has been a life-long bird watcher and an observer and photographer in ANBG for over 35 years.


Dr Ken Hodgkinson ‘Restoring Canberra’s native grasslands by fire: the science and people issues’ Thursday, 24 September 2015 - 12:45pm to 1:45pm

The Temperate Natural Grasslands, on which Canberra is built, are the most endangered ecosystems in Australia. Their original extent in SE Australia was 2 million ha. Only 0.5% remains. In the ACT there were 20,000 ha and 10% remains. The Canberra remnants (38 in number) are highly fragmented. Six species of the grassland animals and plants are declared endangered or vulnerable in the ACT.