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2 Oct 2018

30 years young and still growing

Current and former volunteers, staff and hundreds of people from the surrounding community came together to celebrate a very significant milestone for the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan – its 30th birthday.

Over the past three decades the Garden has seen significant growth, transforming from effectively a cow paddock into one of Australia’s great botanic gardens and a world-class scientific institution.

The Garden has a rich history dating back to the custodians of the land. Yandel’ora is the name the Dharawal people gave to Mount Annan, meaning ‘place of peace between peoples’.

Listen to our Branch Out podcast below featuring the Garden's Curator Manager, John Siemon and the legendary host of Better Homes & Gardens, Graham Ross.

australian botanic garden mount annan, sydney history

Place of peace between peoples

It is still serves as a peaceful place and the lakeside birthday picnic was no exception with the annual spring displays in full bloom – have you had a chance to see the paper daisies? Visitors were treated with birthday cake, a range of free activities and cracking spring weather. Kids enjoyed recycling workshops, archaeology digs, jumping castle and meeting Aussie wildlife.

The fun isn’t over yet, there is still so much to do, see, explore and sip over the year! In partnership with Garden Grown Gin, the Garden will release a uniquely Australian gin derived from wild-collected botanicals grown in this Garden.

An art exhibition will be launched in late October at the Australian PlantBank where our artist-in-resident, Julie Hickson – from Pod and Pod – will be showing her art works inspired by the Garden’s flora.

australian botanic garden mount annan 30 birthday

People behind the scenes

Most significantly the Garden has commenced planning for the Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences which will see the National Herbarium of NSW collocated with the Australian PlantBank.

The longest serving staff of the Garden are just a few of the passionate people that have helped to firmly engrain the Garden as a popular and wonderful community asset including:   

  • Peter Cuneo – 31 years

  • Genevieve Duggan – 31 years

  • Sue Woodward – 31 years

  • Brett Turner – 29 years

  • Brett Slack – 26 years

  • Cathy Offord – 25 years

  • Lotte von Richter – 24 Years

  • Graeme Errington – 20 years

  • Grant Burrell - 28 years

    We are so lucky to work with so many dedicated people at the Garden.

A brief snapshot over 30 years

  • 1988: Official opening of Garden by the Duke and Duchess of York.
  • 1989: Horticultural research section established.
  • 1995: Wollemi pine introduced.
  • 1998: Woodland conservation area donated by Landcom. Bunya pines established on eastern ridge.
  • 1999: Major redevelopment of NSW Seedbank. Woodland Picnic area and stage one of children’s playground opened.
  • 2000: Award-winning site Master Plan completed. Volunteer Bushcare program established.
  • 2001: Entrance built with dry stone wall and gates. Garden shop and The Gardens Restaurant opens.
  • 2002: Natural Heritage section created to manage woodlands and conservation planning.
  • 2005: Terrace Garden developed and renamed Connections Garden.
  • 2006: Bureau of Meteorology weather station installed. Bottlebrush Garden renamed Big Idea Garden to display sustainable urban horticulture.
  • 2007: Stolen Generations Memorial and Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living opened. Bowden Centre constructed.
  • 2011: Name change from Mount Annan Botanic Garden to the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Opening of new garden entrance off Narellan Road. Garden entry fee abolished.
  • 2013: Australian PlantBank opened, receiving multiple awards for architecture and construction.
  • 2017: Scientists at the Garden awarded prestigious Global Seed Conservation Challenge in Geneva.
  • 2018: $60 million committed by the NSW Government to fund the Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences, which will house the National Herbarium of NSW.
Tags: history
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