Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Gardens' awards

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

The opening event for the Trust’s autumn festival, Autumn Vibes achieved national recognition as runner-up and finalist for Best Community Event at the Australian Event Awards in September. Ultimately pipped at the post by ‘The Light in Winter - Federation Square Pty Ltd’, a multi-million dollar light show in Melbourne CBD, the Autumn Vibes organising group was delighted with the result, particularly given the event’s small budget.

Through music, dance, food and art, Autumn Vibes celebrated the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney’s plant collections from China, Japan, India, the Pacific and Indonesia - as well as Australia’s own native plants. Launched by Robyn Parker, Minister for the Environment, the day included the wonderful plant sale organised by Growing Friends along with over 30 musical performances, exhibitions, guided walks, talks, cultural and children’s activities held in locations nearby relevant plant collections. Program highlights included performances by concert pianist Gerard Willems, Conservatorium students, Shakuhachi Grand Master Riley Lee, South Pacific dancers and the spectacular Japanese drumming of TaikOz.

The national acknowledgement of Autumn Vibes can be credited to the commitment of not only staff, but also of the Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens and volunteers. Planning is well underway for next year’s event which will be held on Sunday 10 March 2013 - make sure you set the date aside now! It promises to be just as exciting as this year’s event.

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan

Staff of the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan were justifiably proud to receive a ‘Commended Award’ in the Tourist Attractions category of the 2012 Greater Sydney Tourism Awards. This award was presented at Doltone House in Sylvania Waters on 19 July 2012 and was attended by more than 200 tourism industry representatives.

Only the first time the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, has entered these awards, their detailed entry submission was created from scratch and profiled the contribution the Garden has made to the Greater Sydney tourism industry through its commitment to excellence in customer service, environmental sustainability and botanical innovation as well as the development of the mountain bike track and management of the greatly increased visitation since free entry was introduced in April 2011. The Garden is very keen to enter next year’s awards after testing the water in 2012.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, was awarded a ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the Tourist Attraction category at the regional tourism awards for Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon on Friday, 3 August 2012.

Highly Commended is only awarded when competition for first place is very close (won by Jenolan Caves) so it was a fantastic result for the Garden, as it was the only highly commended given on the night and in one of the most important categories. Based on this success, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is also entering this year’s NSW Tourism Awards for Best Significant Attraction with the winners announced at a gala ceremony in late November.



(L to R) Autumn Vibes Producer Wendy Symonds with the Trust’s Public Engagement Director Kate Faithorn and colleagues Sheryl Saban, Kate Kernaghan and Donna Osland.


The Australian Botanic Garden Assistant Director Caz McCallum seated with the Coordinator Functions and Events, Scott Andrew and standing from left Manager, Marketing and Visitor Centre, Belinda Howell with the Proprietors of the Narellan Motor Inn, Paul and Sue Mingay, who also received an award on the night.

awards photo
Pictured receiving the Highly Commended trophy for the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, are Assistant Director, Rob Smith and Manager, Visitor Services and Marketing, Louise Clifton.