Getting ready to kick off Canberra’s centenary year in style, the Australian National Botanic Gardens has announced an exciting program of summer events.
The Gardens and the Friends of the Gardens will start the centenary year with the month-long 2013 Summer Sounds Centenary Concert Series, featuring some of the best band and dance talent in the nation’s capital.
“We’ve got a terrific entertainment line-up this January with everything from jazz, swing, big band, Latin American, country, rockabilly, popular and even hip hop - all sure to get everyone on their feet and dancing,” the Gardens’ Executive Director, Dr Judy West said.
“We’re extending the concert times so people can enjoy the music, dancing and our beautiful garden surrounds even longer. The concerts will start at 5.30 pm and conclude at 7.30 pm every Saturday and Sunday night throughout January.”
Following Summer Sounds, Australian award winning band The Whitlams will perform at the Gardens on 2 February as part of Optus Flix in the Stix. Visitors will enjoy an intimate evening of quality short films and live music on the relaxing Eucalypt Lawn.
“We love the outdoor cinema concept so much, we’re hosting a special Centenary Sunset Cinema, a six–week outdoor film program beginning on Thursday 7 February,“ Judy said.
“ Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening until16 March, visitors will be able to enjoy the latest releases, classic and arthouse films while relaxing with a picnic, a pre-ordered evening meal – or just like a real cinema - hot buttery popcorn available on site.
“We’ll continue to bring the Rainforest Gully to life at night with our popular afterDARK series. On Friday 4 January and Friday 1 February, our special adults only summer theme is Delicious! afterDARK – a sensual feast of summer night Gardens tours, live string music and gourmet tasting of local food and wine.
“And this centenary summer, we’ll be catering for all ages and tastes with Bush Magic Storytime, the Snakes Alive! reptile exhibition and Friends and Family in the Gardens – A Capital Experience photographic exhibition.”
For further information on the Gardens’ summer events visit: www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/whatson/index.html
The Sunset Cinema is coming to the Gardens for the first time commencing this February. The series will feature new release blockbusters, retro classics and family favourite films – all showing with a beautiful backdrop of Australian flora.
Held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 7 February until 16 March, visitors can relax with a picnic, a pre-ordered meal, or purchase hot buttery popcorn and tasty coffee on site. Seats can also be hired for that extra comfort.
So gather your family and friends and enjoy a unique cinema experience under the stars on the Eucalypt Lawn.
For further information, including ticket prices and bookings, visit www.sunsetcinema.com.au
The Australian National Botanic Gardens’ has welcomed one of the main features to its exciting new Red Centre Garden development – an eight metre high palm, Livistona mariae.
The Livistona mariae arrived at the Gardens on 16 October in a semi-trailer from Queensland and became the first plant to be planted into the Red Centre Garden currently under development.
“The Livistona mariae is a significant plant that occurs only in Central Australia’s Palm Valley, deep in Finke Gorge National Park. The palm will form the backdrop for the Red Centre Garden,” the Gardens’ Executive Director Judy West said
“This new Garden will feature rocks and soils in a kaleidescope of different colours which recreate the diversity of the Central Australia region.
The arrival of the Livistona signalled the commencement of plantings in the rocky outcrop feature of the Red Centre Garden.
“Gardens staff have spent over two years propagating plants for the new Garden - including many species successfully propagated from cuttings from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
“When it’s completed, we hope the Red Centre Garden will inspire visitors' appreciation for Australia’s unique desert plants and national landscapes,” Judy West said.
The Red Centre Garden will open in October 2013 as part of Canberra’s Centenary celebrations.
For further information on the Red Centre Garden visit: http://www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/visiting/exploring/gardens/red-centre-garden.html
On International Volunteers Day, 5 December, the Australian National Botanic Gardens paid tribute to its more than 150 volunteers – some of whom have served the Gardens for up to 25 years.
Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Dr Judy West, along with Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy, thanked the Gardens’ many volunteers at this special ceremony.
“The Gardens wouldn’t be the beautiful place it is without its volunteers. This recognition ceremony is extra special as we celebrate a Gardens’ volunteer who is the first to reach 25 years of continuous service,” Dr West said.
“Barbara Daly has been the In Flower this Week coordinator since 1987 - a wonderful achievement.
“I’d like to thank Barbara and all of our volunteers for the thousands of hours put into the successful running of many programs including the Gardens’ guided walks, lunchtime talks, public events, plant sales and seed collection. Their contribution is amazing and very much valued.”
The ceremony recognised those who have dedicated 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service to the Gardens.
The first official volunteer task at the Australian National Botanic Gardens commenced in 1985 - the production of the weekly information sheet In Flower This Week. Largely thanks to Barbara, it’s still going strong today.
The Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens kicked off in 1990, providing a wide range of opportunities for volunteers in the Gardens. In 1992 the Gardens formed the Volunteer Guide service and every year, some 2,000 visitors enjoy the free guided walks provided by volunteers.
During the past year, volunteer activities in the Gardens have included the formation of the Seedy Volunteers - involved in the field collection of seed for the Gardens’ Seed Bank. There’s also the driver guides of the Flora Explorer – the Gardens new electric vehicle offering one hour guided tours.
The Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens aim to increase community awareness of the scientific, educational, recreational and conservation functions of the Gardens and to continue to provide activities for the benefit and pleasure of their members.
To become a Friend of the Gardens, visit the Friends' website
Want to know more about Australia’s fascinating plants and animals? Now you can thanks to new and updated versions of Australia’s Virtual Herbarium and the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums.
The two websites let everyone from enthusiastic amateurs to research scientists and government agencies access information from 7.2 million records of plants, animals and fungi from around Australia.
Launched at the Australian National Botanic Gardens on 14 November, researchers have updated these two key online tools to include the latest information available.
Chair of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria Kevin Thiele said Australia’s museums and herbaria house many millions of plant and animal specimens, collected over the past 200 years from throughout Australia and around the world.
“Australia’s Virtual Herbarium and Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums are interactive websites that provide access to these permanent, authoritative records of our country’s plants and animals - past and present,” he said.
“Developed separately, the websites have been given similar functions, tools and look and feel, making them easier for people to use.
“Importantly, both are now powered by the Atlas of Living Australia, a major infrastructure initiative of the Commonwealth Government which has made it easier to connect information held in herbaria and museums with the public and researchers.
“The great advantage of these websites is that people can draw information from different databases in different museums and herbaria at the same time, effectively joining them all together into a single, giant, virtual collection. It provides in depth tools such as the ability to explore by biographical region or location, and gives users the opportunity to create maps and other datasets for their research.
“Users are also able to respond directly to the people who look after the data with their queries, corrections or suggestions – meaning the public can help enhance and maintain quality in our online collection.”
Australia's Virtual Herbarium and Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums are collaborative projects of all major Australian herbaria and museums, co-ordinated by the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria and the Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections.