Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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Meet the team

Meet the Save a Species walk team and learn a little more about why they have decided to initiate this fundraising walk.

Please support the team to reach their fundraising goal by making a donation today


Fundraising walk team: Back, left to right: Dylan Morrissey, Michael Elgey, Trevor Wilson and Joel Cohen; Front, left to right: David Laughlin, Juan Sepulveda, Simon Callaghan and Oliver McNally.

Dr Trevor Wilson - Scientific Officer, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

'My motivation for doing this walk coincides with my central research goals, which include improving the world’s understanding about plants (especially poorly known Australian plants) and communicating the importance of biodiversity. In this case I can expand my efforts beyond the plants I normally work on, all-the-while tackling a personal fitness challenge that represents the endurance and courage that were essential for early botanists to collect poorly known flora in the wilds of Australia.'

Juan Sepulveda - Gardener, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

'I have been concerned about the health of the environment since I was a young man.  For many decades we have known that the diversity of flora and fauna has gradually been decreasing in terrestrial ecosystems. Today, almost 20 years after my first visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney I cannot miss this extraordinary opportunity to join the walk team. I hope you are with us in this opportunity to preserve these three species of Australian flora.'

Michael Elgey - Herbarium Support Officer in the National Herbarium of NSW, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

'I have decided to take part in the fundraising walk to enable us to protect our native flora for current and future generations to enjoy. I am very passionate about native plant conservation and as we live in a rapidly changing world in terms of climate, population growth, cultural shifts and urban expansion there are more and more pressures on plant species, therefore we need to work together for their protection.'

Dylan Morrissey - 3rd year Apprentice, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

'As an apprentice I have the rare opportunity to work in all sections of the Garden and it is this wide diversity of learning that has developed my passion for plants. I have joined the walk team as I feel a moral obligation to contribute towards plant conservation. Plants have given me not only a career but a passion and a way of life. The walk is also giving me an excuse to get out into the bush and do some walking!'

Simon Callaghan - Labourer/Maintenance Man, Domain Depot Infrastructure Team, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. 

'I have chosen to join the walk team as I believe the preservation of seeds from threatened and endangered Australian native plants is an important cause to support and fundraise for. We have a great team of walkers and support crew who are all really enjoying getting fit in preparation for the two and half days walk from Mangrove Mountain to Mount Tomah.'

David Laughlin - Supervisor of the Lower Gardens, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

'I have a keen interest in the natural world and environmental issues therefore I am involved in this fundraising walk to raise awareness of the importance of saving threatened plant species (and I also am enjoying getting fitter).'

Joel Cohen - Field and Laboratory Technical Officer, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

'As my title suggests, I spend most of my time in the field or in the lab. My main focus at the moment is collecting tissue samples from a diverse range of plant species for DNA extraction. Outside of work I enjoy bushwalking and have been interested in plants and animals since I was a kid. Science and conservation are very important to me therefore I will be assisting the walkers by being a member of the support crew.'

Oliver McNally - 2nd year Apprentice, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. 

'I found my passion for horticulture while spending a gap year in London and love working at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. I was lucky enough to over hear a couple of the walk team discussing their initial plans for the fundraising walk. As soon as I saw who was involved I knew it was a great cause and offered my help. I am very happy to be assisting the walkers by being a member of the support crew.'