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Dr Sophie Lewis, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment

Thursday Talks start again in February 2022

COVID-19 restrictions have caused postponement of so many interesting talks this year. The ANBG Theatrette is not available for Thursday Talks this month, and neither is Telstra Tower. Thursday Talks that were scheduled for November are being re-scheduled for dates next year.

Group photo of attendees at November meeting

The Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Group is meeting again

The Nature Journaling and Field Sketching group meets once a month on the first Monday of each month. It is a relaxed group activity for members of the Friends of ANBG. Activities include drawing, painting, journal writing and sharing of information with other Group members.  It takes place in outdoor locations within the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Contact persons: Lesley Page (Activities) and Neville Page (Administration and Compliance)

Contact number: 02 6238 0053

Contact email:

ANBG Library - online-only until further notice

As there is no separation between the office and library areas of the Botany Building at the ANBG, the Gardens has made the decision to close the ANBG Library to external users until further notice. This will be revisited in line with health advice from the ACT Government. Friends can still access library materials via the "click and collect" service: please contact the Librarian to discuss your requirements. Please be aware that the Library is currently staffed part-time (usually Wednesday–Friday).

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Eucalypt 56, May 2021

The latest issue of Eucalypt, the magazine of the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens (AAFBG), includes articles on the recent AGM, reports from associate members far and wide, Handbury Awards recipients, and many other interesting contributions.

Celebrating Botanic Art; the artists, Susan Spiller and Marjorie Roche, with other BAG members (Jann Ollerenshaw, Wendy Antoniak, Kate Ramsey), Dr Judy West and Neville Page

Botanic Art Group presentation to the Gardens

The Friends Botanic Art Groups exhibition in April to May this year featured plants from the sea to the desert, along with other native species. Two works were chosen by the Executive Director, Dr Judy West, and purchased by the Friends for the ANBG collection. On Thursday 3 June the works were presented to Dr West by the President, Neville Page.

Susan Spiller's Wahlenbergia species is a delightful painting of the floral emblem of the ACT. Judy selected Marjorie Roche's Arid because it shows the intricacies of a root, perhaps an unusual subject but an appealing painting in its own right.

Both Susan and Marjorie have been members of the Botanic Art Group for several years, and we congratulate them on their work being chosen from this exhibition for the ANBG’s collection.

Access to the Café during Stage 1 of the East Core Precinct works

Construction works and temporary access changes

Work has begun on several construction projects that will affect access to various sections of the Gardens:

  • Stage 1 of the East Core Precinct works (Café deck, lawn and new section of the Main Path) is scheduled for 17 May to 25 June. A fence has been erected around the Café deck worksite, and the rainforest bridge is closed. Access to the Café has changed (see yellow dotted line on map) - pedestrian access to the take-away window and toilets is now through the laneway between the Ellis Rowan building and the Horticulture Depot.
  • The Ian Potter Conservatory site has been fenced off, and an alternative route will be in place for visitors to access the main path past the construction site.
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Growing Friends receive AAFBG Handbury Award

The Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens( AAFBG)'s annual Handbury Awards recognise exceptional contributions to an Australian Botanic Garden, Arboretum or Park, by an AAFBG member group or an individual from a member group.

This year our Growing Friends were nominated in recognition of the group's exceptional effort to recover from the damage inflicted during the 2020 hailstorm; and to go on throughout the COVID-19 shutdown period caring for their plants, and then organising several limited COVID-safe sales events.

We are proud that the Growing Friends have been announced as 2021 Handbury Award recipients.

ANBG Library reopening to Friends and ANBG Volunteers

The ANBG Library will reopen to external users, including the Friends of the ANBG and ANBG Volunteers, on Wednesday 31 March 2021 in line with Government COVID-19 directives.

Janine Chandler will continue as interim ANBG Librarian until 30 June 2021, while Jane Black is engaged in projects to improve knowledge services across the Department. Janine's standard workdays are Wednesday to Friday. Self-service browsing and loans are available to those who are already registered borrowers on Monday and Tuesday.

John Blay with Acacia blayana specimen in the ANBG

John Blay walks the talk

John Blay, writer and naturalist, filled the Theatrette at the Thursday Talk on 18 March with his talk about 'Some Special Places of the South East Forests’. He spoke about the challenges of conservation in the region’s forests, along with its peoples and natural history, and the rediscovery of an important shared history pathway, the Bundian Way.

After the talk, John signed copies of his books, and then led a group on a walk up to the plantings of Acacia blayana in the Gardens. John discovered this species of wattle in 1982 in the Brogo wilderness, and it was named in his honour.

Cover of updated Eucalypt Discovery Walk self-guide brochure

Updated ANBG Eucalypt Discovery Walk

The Eucalypt Discovery Walk, a self-guided tour that takes in 22 iconic Eucalypts in the Gardens, has been updated with a new guide brochure and new signage. The updated walk has been readied in time to celebrate National Eucalypt Day on 23 March 2021.

The new brochure is available from the Visitor Information Centre and can also be downloaded in PDF format (1.95 MB).