Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Learning at the Australian PlantBank

The Australian PlantBank is not only a working science facility, but a learning centre for everyone.

  • Panels on the building introduce visitors to the incredible world of plants, and how the important conservation work of PlantBank staff relates to everyone.
  • Signage throughout the Living Laboratory garden beds helps visitors explore relationships between plants and fauna, people, science and the environment. 
  • Inside the building, images, text and multimedia demystify the work done by Trust scientists in the laboratories and seedbank.
  • The interactive Diversity Wall exhibition engages visitors through stunning images, historical scientific and cultural objects and text that bring stories and facts about plants to life.

Tours and workshops

  • A self-guided trail smartphone app is available to give visitors insight into three sections of the PlantBank facility.
  • School holiday programs are offered at the Australian Botanic Garden in summer around the themes of seeds and plant conservation, for children aged 6-12 years.
  • Volunteer-lead guided tours.
  • Workshops to train citizen scientists in the collection and recording of scientific data for the national ClimateWatch program, with a new ClimateWatch Trail for the Australian Botanic Garden launched on 29 November.
  • Training in bush regeneration of Cumberland Plain Woodland at the Australian Botanic Garden to protect the endangered ecosystem in the region.
  • PlantBank interpretation (Diversity Wall) to provide an engaging educational experience for students and general visitors utilising new media and other resources.

Environmental Trust Grant funding

  • A grant for $74,000 from the Environmental Trust has funding the development of the self-guided trail smartphone app, the new PlantBank website, plant models for the teaching lab and the Connected Classroom hardware.
  • Through Connected Classroom virtual excursions, school students gain an insight into plant conservation, biology, seed collection, preservation and propagation. Connected Classroom facilities enable virtual excursions for schools which might otherwise be unable to experience PlantBank and greatly expand Trust education program reach.
  • A new dedicated PlantBank website offers pre- and post-visit activities and resources for students and teachers.

HSBC sponsorship for interactive learning

The Trust is the recipient of sponsorship by HSBC that will support ongoing digital education delivery over three years. The project, entitled ‘Interactive Learning’, will commence with a pilot program at PlantBank.

The interactive learning project has:

  • Developed a suite of online interactive learning programs and extension activities for school students using Connected Classroom technology on the themes of plant sciences, plant conservation, sustainability and the environment.
  • Facilitated the development and delivery project components of Connected Classrooms by the Community and Education Programs team to ensure the successful delivery of virtual excursions across three Botanic Gardens.
  • Enabled training and technical support for the Community and Education Programs team in Interactive Learning tools to support the development and delivery of a wide range of online syllabus-linked interactive programs for schools and other educational audiences.
  • Established connections with NSW schools and liaise with relevant government bodies such as the Department of Education and Communities, the Office of Environment and Heritage, DART and Virtual Excursions Australia, to expand the reach of Trust education programs.


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Foundation & Friends