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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).

Dr Karen Ford and Koala

Thursday Talks are back!

Thursday Talks re-commenced on Thursday 18 February 2021 when Dr Karen Ford & Dr Kara Youngentob spoke about monitoring resident and rehabilitated koalas in the Monaro region to guide decisions about the management and conservation of koalas after fire. This first talk was held in the Telstra Tower Theatrette on the ground floor of Telstra Tower.

Bookings for all Thursday Talks are now essential because of the COVID-19 guidelines and limited seating.

Cover of Eucalypt newsletter no. 55, October 2020

Eucalypt Newsletter No. 55, November 2020

The November edition of Eucalypt, the newsletter of the Australian Association of Friends of Botanical Gardens, has been published and is available online on the AAFBG website.

Detail of ANBG Library screen

Library borrowing for the Friends - new system

Things have been busy behind the scenes in the ANBG Library this year with a major upgrade to a new library computer system. The new system offers significant improvements to the previous ten-year-old system, and will enable you to keep track of your loans and renew items online. With the transition completed, borrowing for the Friends is now available. Thank you for your patience and understanding while this major project was taking place.

Plaque marking the opening of the Banksia Garden

Opening of the Banksia Garden

The new Banksia Garden was officially opened by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, on Wednesday 21 October.

The opening took place on the day after the actual 50th anniversary of the opening of the Gardens by then-Prime Minister John Gorton. The Friends of the ANBG contributed $130,000 towards the cost of the Banksia Garden, as our 50th birthday present to the ANBG. 

Incoming President Neville Page with outgoing Max Bourke (Photo: Brian Moir)

2020 Annual General Meeting report

The 32nd AGM of the Friends was held on Thursday 15 October 2020 at the Shine Dome, Acton.
Friends Council members for 2020-2021 are: 

President: Neville Page
Vice President: Linda Beveridge
Secretary: Lynden Ayliffe
Treasurer: Helen Elliot
Non-executive members: Wendy Antoniak, Wanda Filsell, Alan Henderson, Lesley King, David More


Friends Lounge re-opening

The Friends Lounge will re-open from 31 August, with COVID safe conditions; including a maximum capacity of 6 people, social distancing, and sanitation.

Signs will be placed on the front door and inside the Friends Lounge indicating capacity and COVID-safe practices i.e. physical distancing and sanitation. A QR code sign will also be put in the Friends Lounge to record any person for contact tracing purposes.