Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

About us


The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust values volunteers in building links with the community and developing community involvement in an important public organisation. Volunteers contribute actively to our mission, helping us to inspire the appreciation and conservation of plants. They assist us in achieving our scientific, horticultural and conservation work and promote this in the wider community. Volunteerism also provides skill development for both staff and volunteers.

Who can volunteer?

For over 30 years, volunteers have worked with visitors and staff to enrich the programs and service provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. Currently there are over 250 volunteers working in Trust program areas and approximately 300 volunteers working for the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens organisation. The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust has a comprehensive volunteer policy which outlines recruitment and training procedures, the range of opportunities volunteers can be involved in, and codes of conduct relating to safety, equity and insurance. All volunteers are issued with a volunteer reference manual.

We also invite you to consider volunteering at MCSL (Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living). MSCL is a non-profit, community-driven organisation, with the aim of promoting sustainable homes and gardens. The community is in partnership with the Australian Botanic Garden and the Centre is located at the corner of Mount Annan Drive and Narellan Rd. If you visit their website at and click on 'Get Involved' it will take you directly to volunteering opportunities.



Range of volunteering opportunities 

Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens volunteers

Volunteers enable the Foundation & Friends to raise funds for special projects in the three Botanic Gardens, Herbarium and Domain. They cater for functions, assist Foundation & Friends’ administrative staff in the office, staff exhibitions, and promote membership of the Foundation & Friends throughout the three Gardens. The Growing Friends propagate plants for sales Monday to Friday and selected Saturdays each month.

Find out more about Foundation & Friends members volunteers

Vacancies at all Gardens

  • Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
  • Australian Botanic Garden
  • Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Send completed Volunteer Application Form to Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, Cottage 6, Mrs Macquaries Rd Sydney NSW 2000 or

Trust Volunteer Programs

General enquiries

Due to the popularity of our volunteer programs we have limited vacancies at this present time. Vacancies are listed below.

Bush regeneration volunteers

Vacancies at the Australian Botanic Garden - email

Bush regeneration volunteers assist with the restoration of natural areas, mainly Cumberland Plain Woodland (now critically endangered bushland). Their work involves removing environmental weed species, and assisting with other practices which will promote native plant growth and regeneration, as well as habitat for native fauna.

Fauna monitoring volunteers

No vacancies

Fauna monitoring occurs at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

Science: Herbarium specimen mounting volunteers

No vacancies

Specimen Mounting Volunteers mount pressed and dried plant specimens onto archival board using dental floss. Outgoing loans and incoming fragile or vulnerable groups within the herbarium collection of pressed plants are given priority. To help preserve the specimens, all the materials such as floss, glue, bags, papers and boards used in the mounting process are acid-free. After stitching the specimens onto the boards, volunteers then bag any loose fragments such as seeds or fruits and attach to the board using pins. They also glue the specimen label onto the board and annotate the enclosing folder with the specimen’s region code and plant family number. Approximately 20 per cent of the Herbarium collection is now mounted on archival paper. Volunteers also assist in mounting seaweeds, lichens and mosses and determining the geographic coordinates of collected specimens. Volunteers mount a wide range of plant families and may stitch anything from fragile orchids to bulky banksias.

Science: Library volunteers

No vacancies

Library Volunteers provide assistance to the Library staff by helping to shelve materials, covering and end-processing books, scanning, stocktaking journals and other smaller discrete projects. There are also bigger projects like the Oral History Project. The Library is undergoing an ongoing major overhaul as well as having a demanding daily workload. Experience is very useful.

Find out more about Library volunteers

Science: Plant pathology volunteers

No vacancies 

Plant Pathology volunteers assist in routine plant pathology laboratory work within the Plant Disease Diagnostic Unit (PDDU) and assist in laboratory/field/greenhouse work associated with research projects within the Plant Pathology Section.

Science: Special projects assisting scientists

No vacancies

Volunteers assist in special projects under the direction of Trust staff such as Public Reference Collection and special project work for botanists. Some volunteers assist with the compilation of information for research projects in systematics and ecology. Others work with our Botanical Information Service staff to prepare specimens for inclusion into the reference collection and to check the accuracy of plant names. They may also assist with field work.

Visitor Services

Vacancies - phone Wendy Symonds on 9231 8090 or email

Assist visitors during their time in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Duties may include meet and greet, Garden information, visitor surveying and directional assistance at Trust planned special events.

Volunteer Guides

No vacancies

Volunteer Guides provide visitors with general orientation and on-site interpretation as well as take visitors on informative guided walks - providing them with a personal, structured and informative experience. Guides also assist with other educational and administrative activities related to enhancing people’s enjoyment of the Gardens.

Volunteer Guides enhance visitors’ enjoyment and knowledge, generate goodwill and increase community support for the Gardens.

Australasian Conference of Volunteer Guides in Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust will host the 2015 Australasian Conference of Volunteer Guides in Botanic Gardens in Sydney 21-25 September 2015. Called '200 Years by the Harbour - Guiding in a Changing Climate' Sydney, and set against the spectacular backdrop of Sydney Harbour, this conference will highlight the extensive plant collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust; discuss current botanical research; explore issues of climate change; and provide opportunities for an exchange of ideas between volunteer guides in botanic gardens. Click here to find out more.

Contact Donna Osland: phone 02 9231 8304 or email