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Vicki Davies

Volunteer since 2013

My attention was drawn to an ad in the local paper asking for people interested to take tours through the new PlantBank, at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.

I was to retire soon from Sydney Institute (TAFE) from Management of Laboratories in Fashion,  Prevocational Science, Animal Science, Floristry and Nursing and earlier running the Food Technology Laboratory.  My background is in Food Technology (Dip) which covers all facets of science and I thought I can do that.

I have been growing and selling plants with my grandfather and then my father for most of my life. I went to the information session, a large proportion of my Food technology studies are very current to PlantBank. I completed the training days and the rest is history

The advantage of doing the training was to go through PlantBank before it was open to the public, it is a magical place and meet the wonderful staff who were willing to share their knowledge.

 I took the first PlantBank Tour on Saturday 1 March 2014 at 11.00 am with Robert Thaler and had 11 people in the tour. Robert took the second tour with me at 1.00 pm it was a wonderful memorable and happy day.

Robert and I did two tours on Saturdays. As a volunteer we see great diversity in the people who visit PlantBank and the Australian Botanic Garden from different localities in Australia and the world. They visit for different reasons - the plants, what’s a PlantBank? and others for the building design, we both also learn from the visitors.

 I now take Secrets of the Seed tours on Saturday where we go into the laboratories and see everything up close and do demonstrations on various aspects of seed and plant storage. The Seed Vault and drying room, cryogenic storage, seed testing and viability, propagation and tissue culture – some of which are hands on.

The Australian Botanic Garden is an inviting place to see the different Australian natives growing and flowering and the wildlife. This could be a picnic in places across the gardens, bird watching, a drive around the gardens, visit the Sundial of Human Involvement, enjoying the seasonal plant displays and garden beds, a walk across the many walking paths of varying grades or just sitting on the grass enjoying the lake and sunshine. There is a place for everyone.

 The Australian Botanic Garden and PlantBank will always hold a special place in my heart.