Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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New Chair to lead an exciting era for botanic gardens 

NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker appointed Mr Ken Boundy as the new Chair of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust on Tuesday 19 June, 2012.

Ken Boundy is the perfect fit for the Trust, his career history including senior executive roles in horticulture, agriculture, viticulture, information technology, marketing and tourism. He is also Chairman and/or Non-Executive Director to four boards, member of two Advisory Boards and part owner of two businesses.

Ken’s distinguished career includes being posted as Managing Director of the Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Australia during 2001-04, resulting in a significant growth in inbound tourism through a successful rebranding campaign. His tourism and marketing experience will be useful to the Trust at a time when new plans are underway to maximise the national and international appeal of our three Gardens.

In a first for botanic gardens in Australia, an International Peer Review team, which included four experts from major botanic gardens around the world and two local specialists, visited all three Gardens in December 2011. During their time here, they met staff and reviewed documents in order to come up with a plan to assist the Trust’s Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, achieve his dream of the Gardens being heralded as among the world’s very best.

The Peer Review recommended we develop and integrate a science strategy that includes perspectives for taxonomy and supports the development of thematic research areas where the Trust can shine. An important part of this science strategy also includes more collaboration within the Asia-Pacific Region, an area of outstanding biodiversity which is of global significance with its so-called ‘megabiodiverse’ countries. 

As a scientist with a Masters in Agricultural Science from Melbourne University, Ken made a big impact on market access for agricultural and horticultural crops at his time as an Extension Director and Advisor in the Victorian Departments of Agriculture and Industry between 1974 and 1986. These credentials show his capacity to help steer the Trust’s science plan and extend the work and reputation of the Gardens in the scientific community, in particular relating to the protection and conservation of endangered and threatened species.

Ken also has extensive managerial experience in the Asia Pacific Region as the Director of the Pacific Asia Travel Association during 2003-04 and as Director of numerous boards in the region during the 1990s. His experience in the Asia Pacific Region will assist in establishing joint conservation programs to help protect the biodiversity of the region. 

Ken Boundy succeeds Mr Greg Martin as Chairperson of the Trust. Since 2003, Greg Martin has contributed to the growth of the Gardens with one of his major achievements being the establishment of the ‘Towards 2016 Blueprint’ that has strategically guided the Trust in recent years.

As the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney heads towards its bicentenary in 2016, Ken’s corporate management expertise, his scientific and agricultural appreciation, and his understanding of the Trust’s global and domestic roles, will ensure the Trust’s future vision and strategies continue to position the Gardens as heralded among the world’s very best.

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As the new Chair, Ken Boundy will lead an exciting era of showcasing the Trust’s botanic gardens, as well as its plant conservation work - both nationally and internationally.