History of the Gardens – Directors
Gardens administrators and Directors, with titles and dates of service
For exact dates of appointment and retirement (where known) see section below.
Lindsay Pryor 1944–1958 Superintendent of Parks and Gardens, Canberra
In 1945 Pryor undertook the first plantings on the current site for what was to be the Canberra Botanic Gardens.
David Shoobridge 1958–1975 Director of Parks and Gardens, Canberra
Shoobridge appointed Dr Betty Phillips, the first Botanist for the Gardens, in 1960
He also appointed Dr Ross Robbins, the first Curator of the Gardens (for only a few months), in 1966. He then appointed John Wrigley as Curator of the Gardens in 1967.
Shoobridge was succeeded by Ron Murray as Director Parks & Gardens from March 1976 to June 1983.
Ross Robbins 1966–1967 Curator of Canberra Botanic Gardens
Robbins was appointed as Curator, serving for only a few months before taking a teaching position in Papua New Guinea.
John Wrigley 1967–1981 Curator of Canberra Botanic Gardens
Wrigley was tasked with getting the Gardens to a stage where it could be officially opened in spring 1970.
He oversaw major projects like the establishment of the Rainforest Gully and the Rock Garden. He also lived in the Gardens full-time with his family.
Robert Boden 1979–1989 Director of the National Botanic Gardens
Boden was the first appointee with the title of 'Director' whose sole responsibility was the Gardens.
He oversaw the opening of the Banks Centre for therapeutic horticulture, the construction of the current Visitor Centre and Administration buildings, the Gardens' Cafe, the Burbidge Memorial, and the separation of the Gardens from ACT to federal administration.
Roger Hnatiuk 1990–1992 Director of Australian National Botanic Gardens
Hnatiuk oversaw the Gardens being placed on the Register of the National Estate, the establishment of the Friends of ANBG and the Volunteer Guides, and the transfer of the Gardens to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS).
David Kay 1992–1994 Executive Director of ANBG and Director of Biodiversity, ANPWS
Kay oversaw the opening of the Crosbie Morrison Building and the establishment of the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research (CPBR), including the Australian National Herbarium (jointly managed with CSIRO).
Tim Richmond 1994–1999 Executive Director of the ANBG and of Biocultural Landscapes South, ANCA
Richmond oversaw the construction of the Main Path around the Gardens, the water feature near the car park, and the introduction of paid parking.
John Hicks 1999–2000 Executive Director of the ANBG, and Assistant Secretary of Parks Australia South
Hicks oversaw the opening of the Ducrou Pavilion, the establishment of the Gardens' Annexe at Jervis Bay as an independent botanic gardens under indigenous management, and reintroduced the position of a dedicated ANBG Director.
Robin Nielsen 2000–2006 Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens
Nielsen oversaw the opening of the northern extension of the Rock Garden, the construction of the new Nursery on the northern perimeter of the Gardens, and was appointed a 'Water Ambassador' during the ACT's prolonged drought.
Anne Duncan 2006–2009 Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens
Duncan oversaw the opening of the Friends-sponsored shelter near the Rock Garden, and initiated the access to non-potable water from Lake Burley Griffin.
Judy West 2009 – Executive Director of the ANBG
and Assistant Secretary, Parks Island and Biodiversity Science Branch
Dr Judy West retired on 10 November 2015. Lara Musgrave acted for several months in this position.
Judy West was re-appointed to the position on 5 April, 2016.
Exact dates of appointment and retirement (where known)
Lindsay Pryor - Appointed Superintendent of Park & Gardens for the Federal Capital Territory, 13 June 1944. Changed to 'Director P&G' 30 May 1957. Retired officially on 3 April, 1959 to become Professor of Botany, Canberra University College, later ANU (that appointment 2 March 1959).
David Shoobridge - Appointed Director of Parks & Gardens for Australian Capital Territory, 4 June 1959. Retired in December 1975.
Dr Ross Robbins - Appointed Curator of the Canberra Botanic Gardens, November 1966. Served until 10 June 1967, before taking a teaching appointment in PNG.
John Wrigley - Appointed Curator of the Canberra Botanic Gardens, 10 May 1967 (to overlap with Robbins), retired in December 1981 and moved to Coffs Harbour, NSW.
Dr Robert Boden - Appointed Director of the National Botanic Gardens, 4 July 1979, retired as Director 6 April, 1989.
Dr Roger Hnatiuk - Appointed Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 26 March 1990, retired.
Dr David Kay - Appointed Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 25 May 1992, moved to another role in DEST on 4 October 1994.
Tim Richmond - Appointed Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 12 December 1995, retired on 9 April 1999.
John Hicks - Appinted Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 9 September 1999, ceased that role on 12 October 2000.
Robin Nielsen - Appointed Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 12 October 2000, leaves to join Forest Industries 28 August 2006.
Anne Duncan - Appointed Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 20 November 2006, retired on 30 September 2009.
Dr Judy West - Appointed Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 16 November 2009, this was a secondment arrangement with CSIRO where she was still formally employed. Judy West retired from CSIRO and hence as Gardens Director on 10 November 2015.