Skip to content

Our organisation

The Botanic Gardens Trust is a statutory body established under the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980. It is responsible for the management and stewardship of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Domain, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah.

The Governmental responsibility for The Royal Botanic Garden falls within the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

The Board of the Trust reports directly to the Minister for Environment and Heritage and has responsibility for the all Trust assets and programs. Staff are employed by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage.

As of March 2014, the administrative staff of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust are integrating with the administrative staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. This functional merger of staff will phase in over two years, however the process will not impact upon the legislative responsibilities of each individual Trust.

The new integrated entity is known as 'Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands', and is responsible for the following seven sites:

Please note: in order to comply with current NSW Government requirements, we only print a limited number of hard copy Annual Reports each year for accessibility and research purposes. If you would like a hard copy, you can order this by:

•    Visit the reception on Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
•    Phoning on (02) 9231 8111
•    Emailing at


We are committed to providing information in an accessible format. If you have any accessibility issues regarding access to the Annual Report please contact the Trust directly to discuss your particular needs.

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust is a statutory body established by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980. The Act was amended in 1983 to increase the number of Trustees from five to seven, and in 1985 to vest additional land in the Trust. The legislation defines the powers, authorities, duties and functions of the Trust and vests certain land and property in the Trust. It also governs the Regulations relating to all three Gardens and the Domain.

Trust objectives

  • To maintain and improve Trust lands, the National Herbarium of New South Wales and the collections of living and preserved plant life owned by the Trust
  • To increase and disseminate knowledge about the plant life of Australia, and of New South Wales in particular
  • To encourage the public use and enjoyment of Trust lands by promoting and increasing the educational, historical, cultural and recreational value of these lands.


Philip Marcus Clark AM (First appointed 31 July 2017; appointed Chair 11 July 2018, present term expires 10 July 2021)

Philip is a member of the J P Morgan Advisory Council.  He was Managing Partner and CEO of Minter Ellison and worked with that firm from 1995 until June 2005. Prior to joining Minter Ellison, Philip was Director and Head of Corporate with ABN Amro Australia and prior to that he was Managing Partner of Mallesons Stephen Jaques for 16 years. Philip now serves on a number of boards and advisory boards. His current roles include chairing SCA Property Group (SCP) and NSW Skills Board. Philip has been active in the innovation and research sectors and recently retired as Chair of the CRC Advisory Committee. Philip has also worked with various organisations in the not-for-profit sector.  He was appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2007 for his contribution to the development of national law firms and encouraging corporate involvement in community programs

Other Trustees

Ms Maria Atkinson AM (Appointed 26 April 2014; Reappointed 21 June 2017; present term expires 20 June 2019)

Maria is a Director, Activist, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, and Commissioner to name a few of her roles. Prior to building a portfolio of interests, she was the Global Head of Sustainability and member of the Global Executive Team with Lend Lease. Maria is internationally recognised for her work in founding the Green Building Council of Australia and the global movement for sustainability and for her tireless work on catalysing change on the big issues that matter in society. In 2012, Maria was awarded a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for “service to the construction and real estate sector, particularly as a leader and contributor to environmentally sustainable building development in Australia”.

Ms Sandra Hook GAIDC (Appointed 7 November 2015; present term expires 6 November 2018)

Sandra Hook is a professional non-executive director and an investor in early stage digital businesses. Since 2000 she has also served on a number of Australian boards including listed, private and government organisations. She has a passion for place-making and the visitor economy and brings significant experience providing leadership to businesses impacted by technological and digital disruption.

Sandra has extensive operational, financial management, strategic and brand-building experience acquired over a 25-year executive career. She held senior executive positions within Foxtel, Federal Publishing Company, Murdoch Magazines, Fairfax, ACP and News Limited where she was CEO of NewsLifeMedia.  She is currently a NED of RXP Services, Ive Group, MedAdvisor, The Sydney Fish Markets, auDA and is a Trustee of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

David Saxelby B.E (Civil), MAICD (Appointed 2 November 2016; present term expires 26 October 2018)

David is one of the most senior Infrastructure advisers in Australia. In a career spanning 35 years he has held CEO roles for the past decade, most recently for Lend Lease.

David has extensive experience in all forms of procurement, delivery and operations of major capital projects and has been responsible for many of Australia’s iconic infrastructure and building projects including the ANZAC Bridge, Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital and recently Australia’s longest tunnel, NorthConnex in Sydney.

He is currently a Board member of ARTC, Chairman of Decmil Group and Board member of the Victorian Government’s Office of Projects Victoria. In his Executive career he has held senior industry board roles including Board member and President of Australian Constructors Association, Roads Australia, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Minerals Council of Australia.

Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman (Appointed 21 December 2016; present term expires 31 December 2018)

Michelle is an internationally recognised scientist with research interests in plant ecology, plant conservation biology, climate change adaptation and urban greening. She was previously the Chair of the NSW Scientific Committee and currently serves as a Councillor of the Australian Flora Foundation, Director of Bush Heritage and Deputy Director of the Biodiversity Node of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Adaptation Hub. She is Head of the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University and Co-Leader of Macquarie University's Centre for Smart Green Cities.

Executive Director
Kim Ellis

Deputy Executive Director, Director of Science and Conservation
Dr Brett Summerell

Director of Horticultural Operations
Jimmy Turner

Director Visitor Experience
Anthony Dunsford

Director Corporate Services and Governance
Belinda Meyers

Director Strategic Planning and Projects
Denise Ora

Director Sport and Recreation
Carla Armanet

Director Assets and Facilities Management 
George Salouros

Director Commercial Services
Matthew McPhee

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust is a statutory body established under the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980.

Under section 7 of the Act, the principal objects of the Trust are:

(a) to maintain and improve the Trust lands, the National Herbarium and the collections of living and preserved plant life owned by the Trust,
(b) to increase and disseminate knowledge with respect to the plant life of Australia, and of New South Wales in particular, and
(c) to encourage the use and enjoyment of the Trust lands by the public by promoting and increasing the educational, historical, cultural and recreational value of those lands.

When acting in pursuance of its objects, the Trust shall give particular emphasis to encouraging and advancing the study of systematic botany, and to plant conservation.

Any inquiries concerning the Act can be directed to:

Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust
Mrs Macquaries Road
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: + 61 2 9231 8111
Fax: + 61 2 9251 4403

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980 provides for the making of a regulation. The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Regulation 2013 addresses use of Trust lands for organised activities, fees and charges for parking, entry, camping, disposal of waste, land protection, restrictions on recreational and commercial activities, vehicles on Trust land, conduct of visitors, requests to leave Trust land, requirement to provide name and address and offences.

Copies of the Act and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Regulation 2013 can be located on the Government of New South Wales Legislation Home Page.