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Donna Osland

Manager Volunteer Programs
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Donna Osland oversees all volunteer programs across the Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust.

She looks after the welfare of the volunteers, supports the volunteer programs team and assists with training and recruitment of volunteers. Donna also works with staff who supervise volunteers and assists staff if they wish to establish a new program. 

What is your favourite thing about your job? Working with our Volunteers across the three Botanic Gardens and our Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens. Volunteers are passionate about the organisations and they give so much of their time, skill and energy to the Gardens. I love being with like-minded people who also love plants, wildlife and the history of the Gardens.


What motivates you? The diversity of my work and engaging with people daily. Plus the Gardens are dynamic, and I never tire of them. It could be; a flower in bloom, the amazing wildlife that visit, viewing the collection of historical botanic books in the Daniel Solander Library, seeing a plant specimen collected by Sir Joseph Banks, meeting with local and overseas visitors and working alongside our volunteers.

How long have you been at the Botanic Gardens? I started working as an Education Officer at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in 1996 teaching students from Kindergarten to High School. One of the lessons I developed during this time has become the most popular lesson in the Education Program. It is based on the children’s book by Pamela Allen ‘Alexander’s Outing’, and the lesson is literacy and numeracy lesson for Kindergarten and Year 1 students.

Another other lesson I developed for Food Technology students was the Bush Foods lesson students. My background as a Home Economics Teacher and interest in bush foods aided in the development of this lesson. My involvement with the Sydney Volunteer Guides started in 2003 and my role has evolved to Manager of the Volunteer Programs over the years.

Learn more about our volunteer programs here.