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About Foundation & Friends

Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Ltd was established to encourage the use and enjoyment of your Gardens – the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Domain, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan - and to involve the community in the scientific, educational, horticultural, cultural and recreational functions of your Gardens.

Foundation & Friends serves as an important link between the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and the community, and promotes, supports and contributes to the development of the Gardens.

We have something for plant lovers, supporters of scientific research and conservation, and quality environmental education. We host a wonderful range of activities and events for our members, connect the community to the Gardens and raise money to support the many projects and initiatives within your Gardens.

Show your love for your Gardens by joining our vibrant community of members and help support the important role plants play in human survival.


Our Contribution

Foundation & Friends plays a critical role in supporting your three Botanic Gardens. More than 50% of the Gardens' funds are self-generated, with donations from our supporters ensuring that vital horticultural, scientific, education and conservation work continues.

  • Donated over $465,000 to the revitalisation of the PlantClinic, which included cutting-edge scientific equipment, interpretation panels and a new garden design and landscaping
  • Donating over $132,000 to new solar panels and BigBelly Bins to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden - a 30th birthday gift!
  • Donating over $1 million to a new production glasshouse in the Royal Botanic Garden to accompany The Calyx - a 200th birthday gift!
  • Donated $1million for the teaching and research laboratories at the Australian PlantBank in the Australian Botanic Garden
  • Researching into the prehistoric Wollemi pine
  • Providing annual scholarships to Botanic Gardens employees to further their education and broaden their experience
  • Restoration of the Palace Rose Garden, displaying roses that will grow in Sydney using environmentally friendly horticultural practices
  • Donating for The Jungle, a pristine Blue Mountains rainforest with ferns and towering coachwood and sassafras trees
  • Renovating of Lion Gate Lodge, a popular venue for functions in the Royal Botanic Garden
  • Interpretive signage to increase understanding of plants, animals and the natural habitats

… and much more.

Our Community

Foundation & Friends Members support the Botanic Gardens in many different ways:

  • Providing hands-on help with your Botanic Gardens
  • Sharing the message about horticulture, science, education and the important historical and cultural significance of your Gardens with the community
  • Attending and participating in great events that bring the community into your Gardens
  • Advocating for the protection of your Botanic Gardens
  • Raising money to support your Botanic Gardens

... and much more!

Our History

A brief snapshot of how Foundation & Friends has evolved:

In 2012 The Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation and The Friends of the Botanic Gardens merged to form Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens. This bought together the energies, expertise and passions of these previously separate organisations to enable us, together, to achieve an even greater success in supporting your Gardens.

Today we have over 5,500 members, and 350 volunteers across three Botanic Gardens, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. 

Our Contact Details

Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Ltd

Address: Cottage 6, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9231 8182

Office hours
Monday to Thursday, 9am-3pm.
Friday to Sunday, closed.
Closed gazetted public holidays.

Follow us on social media

Our Patron: Her Excellency General The Honourable Margaret Joan Beazley, AO, QC.

Chairman: Ian Breedon
Depty Chair: Kate Horrobin
Board: Carla Armanet (RBGDT), Clive Austin AM, Michelle Frankel, Matthew Glascott, Akiko Jackson, Jenny Lourey, Denise Ora (Executive Director RBGDT), Tony Pearson (Trustee), Peter Thomas, Karen Vien. 
Secretary: Juvie Ormonde

Chief Executive Officer: Peter Thomas
Staff: Joe Bidwell, Michelle Burke, Helen Campbell, Linda Cholson, Bigga Haataja & Julia Sparkes

The Gardens Magazine Team
Editor: David Goodall
Coordinator: Helen Goodall
Designer: Lauren Sutherland

Privacy Policy

Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Limited


This Privacy Policy is designed to tell you what will happen to the information you provide through any form of communication with the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens ("we", "us" and " our"), our related entities, or our agents or contractors. Please be sure to read this entire Privacy Policy before submitting personal information to us or our agents or contractors.

Personal Information

This Privacy Policy concerns any personal information or sensitive information of yours which is provided to us.

Personal information is defined in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (the Act) as being information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database and whether or not recorded in a material form) about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion. Under the Act there are exceptions to this including that personal information does not include any information about an individual who has been dead for more than 30 years and does not include any information about an individual that is contained in a publicly available publication.

Sensitive information is any personal information about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership or sexual activities. We generally do not wish to be informed of a person’s sensitive information. We, in any event, will collect, use or disclose sensitive information about you only as allowed by law.

Your consent

By providing us directly (or through others if you are under the age of 16), with your personal information, you agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy and consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy, the Act as amended (including the Information Protection Principles) and other applicable privacy laws.

About children

We will not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 16. We encourage parents to talk to their children about their use of the Internet and the information which they disclose to websites.

Passive information collection

As you navigate through our website, certain information may be passively collected (that is, gathered without you actively providing the information) through various technologies, such as cookies and internet tags.

The website may use and combine such passively collected anonymous information to provide better services to website visitors, customise the website based on your preferences, compile and analyse statistics and trends and otherwise administer and improve the website for your use. Such information is not combined with personally identifiable information collected elsewhere on the website unless you have consented.

How we collect your personal information

We collect personal information that is necessary for our business activities and in order to provide and develop our services. We may do this in a number of ways, including:

  • directly from you, when you provide it to us or our agents or contractors;
  • from publicly available resources;
  • by analysing our own records of your use of our services and website; or
  • from third parties who have obtained this information from publicly available resources.

We also may collect your personal information when legally required to do so under any applicable laws.

What personal information do we collect?

The type of personal information we collect may include your name, date of birth, address details, telephone numbers, email addresses, details of your interests, and any correspondence between you and us. The supply of this information is voluntary but if we are not provided with the personal information that we request, we may not be able to meet your request or provide our products or services to you or build a relationship with you.

How we may use your personal information

The personal information you provide to us may be used for a number of purposes connected with our business operations, which include to:

  • verify your identity;
  • identify the products and services likely to be relevant to you;
  • develop and improve the quality and scope of the products and services we provide;
  • facilitate provision of our products and services to you; and
  • address or respond to any requests from you.

We may also use your personal information to contact you and provide you with information in order to:

  • build a relationship with you, including by inviting you to events you may be interested in, arranging meetings with you and informing you of ways you can support our organisation;
  • inform you of existing and proposed products and services which we provide;
  • better understand your interests in us and the causes that we support; and
  • seek your feedback.

You always have the right to opt-out of receiving such information. You may exercise that right by contacting us as set out below.

We may also use your personal information for purposes related to those described above which would reasonably be expected by you.

We will not use your information for purposes other than as described in this Privacy Policy unless we have your consent, or as permitted by law (including for law enforcement or public health and safety reasons).

Shared Database

We work closely with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust to directly support the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah and the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. We also collaborate with the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust and Centennial Parklands Foundation. The personal information we collect from you may be used so that we, or our agents and contractors, can build a database of individuals who support our organisation.

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, and the Centennial Parklands Foundation (together, "our Associates"), may access your personal information via a shared database. They may use your personal information to contact you about their products and services and to build a relationship with you, including by inviting you to events you may be interested in, arranging meetings with you and informing you of ways you can support them. You always have the right to opt-out of receiving information from our Associates. You may exercise that right by contacting us as set out below.

How you may be contacted

Your personal information may be used to contact you in various ways, such as by way of direct mail, electronic mail, SMS, MMS or telemarketing.

Sharing your personal information

We may disclose your personal information in certain circumstances, such as where we are required or authorised by law or where you have consented to us doing so.

We also may disclose your personal information to:

  • others in accordance with a request made by you;
  • our related companies and business partners; and
  • persons engaged in providing us with professional, business, technology and corporate services, when reasonably required and including third parties such as consultants to develop and maintain our databases or assist during a particular donation campaign;
  • the Office of Environment and Heritage, New South Wales as the personnel working for us maybe employed by this Office.

When making such a disclosure we will take reasonable steps to ensure that the recipient is bound by privacy obligations.

Unless you consent, we otherwise will not disclose your personal information to third parties other than as described in this Privacy Policy.

Does my personal information leave Australia?

We will only send your personal information outside of New South Wales or to a Commonwealth agency:

  • if we are authorised to do so by law;
  • for any of the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy (but only to parties that are subject to obligations in relation to personal information no less onerous than those in this Privacy Policy); or
  • if you have consented to us doing so.

Access and correction

You may request access to any of the personal information we hold about you by contacting us as specified below. We reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee for the costs of retrieval and supply of any requested information.

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. To ensure your personal information is accurate, please notify us of any errors or changes to your personal information and we will take appropriate steps to update or correct such information in our possession.

Storage and security

We will take all reasonable precautions to safeguard your information from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, modification, disclosure or destruction. We may store your files in electronic databases and paper based files and other records. We implement a range of physical and electronic security measures to protect the personal information that we hold.

You should keep in mind that no internet transmission is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mails sent to or from our website may not be secure.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links or references to other websites to which this Privacy Policy may not apply. You should check their own privacy policies before providing your personal information.


If you have any questions or concerns about our collection, use or disclosure of personal information, or if you believe we have not complied with this Privacy Policy or the Act, please contact us as set out below. Our Chief Executive Officer will investigate the complaint and determine whether a breach has occurred and what action, if any, to take.

We will take any privacy complaint seriously and will aim to resolve any such complaint in a timely and efficient manner.

How to contact us

If you wish to exercise your right to opt-out of receiving our marketing materials, or you have any questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy or our information practices (including whether and what type of health information we hold about you), please contact us at:

Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens

Attention: Database Administrator Mrs Macquaries Road Sydney NSW 2000 Email:

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time as updated on our website. Before providing us with personal information, please check this Policy on our website for any changes.

This Privacy Policy was last updated 16 April 2019.

Our Board Members

Ian Breedon
Chair of the Board
Ian brings considerable business expertise and knowledge to the Foundation & Friends Board with more than 35 years’ senior level experience in the accounting and property sectors working with a range of leading Australian and international corporations, most recently retired from Deloitte, where he was a Senior Partner and National Leader of Real Estate.
Ian’s current roles include Independent Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, International Patron of the Australian World Orchestra and member of its Advisory Panel. Ian’s aspiration is to assist the great work of Foundation & Friends in supporting the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, protecting its wonderful assets and elevating recognition of them for their importance to our lives.
Jenny Lourey
Deputy Chair of the Board
Jenny has held senior executive management roles including: Group General Manager at Qantas Holidays and Area General Manager Asia Pacific and Western Europe at British Airways. Jenny has held both not-for-profit and tourism sector director and non-executive director roles. She was also on the Industry Advisory Board for Tourism New South Wales and the Tourism Advisory Board of Southern Cross University. She is currently on the Crime Stoppers NSW Board.
Jenny brings to the board her extensive global network and experience in the tourism and public relations industries along with a passion and interest in the botanical gardens.
Carla Armanet
As Director Experiences, Partnerships & Engagement, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and is the nominated Trust representative on the Foundation & Friends Board. Carla is motivated to facilitate ongoing participation and the creation of memorable experiences that cement the value of the Gardens and the Australian Institute of Botanical Science across industry and the community. In addition to her role with the Gardens, Carla has been recognised for her successful place making and leadership roles at Centennial Parklands and during the launch and activation of NSWs’ largest urban renewal projects, Sydney Olympic Park and Barangaroo.
Clive Austin AM
Clive was formerly the Chairman of the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation and past Chair of the Foundation & Friends, also past president of the Royal Life Saving Society (NSW) and Redkite and now director of Royal Rehab. For Clive the Gardens are very much a hidden treasure, and one of his goals is to communicate the important work being undertaken at the Gardens to the wider community.
Michelle Frankel
Dr. Michelle Frankel leads Greening Australia’s Community Conservation and Social Impact initiatives, after relocating from New York to Sydney, Australia in 2019. She holds a Ph.D. in behavioural ecology and performed a post-doctoral fellowship studying the impacts of urbanisation on the globally threatened lesser kestrel in Israel. She has been leading urban and community-based conservation and environmental education initiatives for many years in the U.S., Israel and now Australia.
Matthew Glascott
Matthew has been on the Foundation & Friends board since 2015. His love of plants comes through in his qualifications in Landscape Design and Horticulture. Matthew has an extensive career in these fields and has been involved in a number of landscape businesses.
He is the founder and Director of The Glascott Landscape and Civil Pty Ltd, and a Director of Marsupial Landscape Management. Currently Matthew has been invaluable in the development and growth of our successful Garden Design Series.
Kate Horrobin
Kate has over 25 years of leadership and management experience across marketing, communications, advocacy and operational roles. She is currently General Manager, Member Strategy and Experience at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.
An enthusiastic garden hobbyist and visitor to the Botanic Gardens since early childhood, Kate was introduced to the Friends (as we were then known) through a family member in the 1990s. She has been a keen supporter of our events, exhibitions, tours, talks and Growing Friends ever since.
Akiko Jackson
Akiko is an internationally experienced non-executive director, strategy adviser and executive coach.
Akiko’s experience and expertise includes strategy and business development, risk management, large scale transformation including digital transformation, post-merger integration and company turn arounds.
Her current directorship includes a non-executive director of Pepper Money, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, and a member of the Portfolio Advisory Council of Services Australia and Audit and Risk Committee of Infrastructure NSW.
Denise Ora
Denise is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
Denise has the responsibility to lead the Botanic Gardens into the future by advocating for the science, horticulture, education, recreation, and visitor programs that enrich the lives of our local communities and global audience.
As cultural and scientific institutions, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Domain, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah contribute to significant economic growth and make up the nation’s premier botanical research organisation, the Australian Institute of Botanical Science.
Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive, Denise was responsible for driving the strategic program for the Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands, leading the award-winning major capital infrastructure program including The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden, Moore Park Master Plan, the Australian Institute of Botanical Sciences and The Calyx.
Tony Pearson
Tony is the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust nominee on the board of the Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens.
He is an experienced strategic and financial advisor, with a long career across banking, corporate, infrastructure funds management, regulatory and board roles. He is currently Chair of ASX listed Peak Resources, ASX listed Cellnet, and a non-executive director of ASX listed Xanadu Mines, as well as a non-executive director of Communicare.
Karen Vien
Karen is currently a Senior Manager in Westpac Banking Group’s Regulatory Relationships team. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) and a Bachelor of Law (University of Sydney), and was admitted as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2006 and of the High Court of Australia in 2017. Karen has built a career specialising in financial services regulation and regulatory risk management in Australia and overseas, working in various roles including with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and Macquarie Group. Karen enjoys supporting the work of Foundation & Friends.

Privacy Policy

Please read our Privacy Policy as this explains how and why we collect and use your personal information, when your information will be shared or disclosed, and how you can access and correct any personal information that we hold about you. Click here.