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Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens (CHABG)

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Home > CHABG

Myrtle Rust

A symposium was held at the Australian National Botanic Gardens on 10 March 2011 bringing together pathogen experts, those with on-ground experience, and representatives from the botanic gardens community.

Web resources for the botanic gardens community will be placed here.

Botanic gardens are among the most frequently visited cultural institutions in Australia. They inspire the appreciation and conservation of plants. They also provide valuable space for recreation and relaxation, and are sites of considerable scientific and cultural significance.

Statement of Purpose

The Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens Incorporated is a not-for-profit Association established for the purpose of supporting:

through working with Australian botanic gardens and other institutions to achieve the following objects:


The Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens Incorporated - Rules (PDF document)

Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens Incorporated (CHABG)

A committee of Australia’s executive leaders in botanic gardens manages the affairs of the Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens Inc.

Prof Tim Entwisle (Chair, CHABG Inc.)
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Professor Tim Entwisle is a highly respected scientist, scientific communicator and botanic gardens director. He took up the role of Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens in March 2013, following two years in a senior role at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and eight years as Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney. Tim is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne and has been a Visiting Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Science, Durham University. He is an expert in freshwater algae (a genus, family and order of algae were named after him in 2013) but has a broad interest in all plants and related life forms (e.g. he edited and wrote for the 4-volume "Flora of Victoria"). Tim blogs, tweets, and looks for any opportunity to promote science, plants and gardens. Tim has been a regular contributor to ABC radio and its website, and a frequent guest on Australian radio and television – over summer 2014/15 he hosted RN’s first plant and gardening show, Talking Plants, which ran for a second season in 2015/16. He has written for a variety of science, nature and garden magazines and maintains an active social media profile (including his popular "Talking Plants" blog).

Dr Judy West (Secretary, CHABG Inc.)
Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra

Judy is the Assistant Secretary, Parks Island and Biodiversity Science Branch, within Parks Australia. She oversees Parks Australia’s science, natural resource and knowledge-management activities; leads the Australian National Botanic Gardens; and manages the Commonwealth island reserves, namely Christmas, Pulu Keeling and Norfolk Island National Parks.

Judy has more than 30 years experience in scientific research and policy as a research scientist in CSIRO Plant Industry and director of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research and the Australian National Herbarium. She holds an adjunct professorial position at the Australian National University. For her contributions to Australian plant systematics and Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, she was awarded the Nancy Burbidge Memorial Medal in 2001 and an Order of Australia in 2003. Judy’s scientific expertise is in plant systematics and phylogenetics, biodiversity informatics and conservation biology. Using her skills developing partnerships that link science and policy, Judy is building an active science and knowledge-management network in Parks Australia.

Mr Bruce Evans (Treasurer, CHABG Inc.)
Botanic Gardens of South Australia


Dale Arvidsson (Ordinary Committee Member)
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

Dale commenced as Curator at Brisbane Botanic Gardens on March 2, 2015 which saw the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha and historic City Botanic Gardens living collation management combined for the first time since the Mt Coot-tha site opened in the mid 1970’s. Dale’s role was again extended in October 2015 to include Sherwood Arboretum’s 92 year old collection of Australian native trees and is the first Curator of this significant collection since the late 1950s.

Previously Curator at Mackay’s Regional Botanic Garden from 2006 to 2014, and President of Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand (BGANZ) Inc. from 2013 to 2015, Dale’s diverse background also includes tourism, conservation and land management and underlying all of this – a love for horticulture, plants and gardens. Qualifications include a Bachelor of Visual Arts from James Cook University and Advanced Diploma in Conservation and Land Management.

Dale is impassioned about botanic gardens and their role in conserving and researching flora in the face of a changing climate and increasing human impacts on the environment. Education of these messages and making a difference through the work of botanic gardens and arboreta to our environment and how they are treasured by the wider community is Dale's focus for the future of Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens.

Marcelle Broderick (Ordinary Committee Member)
Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority in Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth

Marcelle joined Kings Park in 1998 and is responsible for the visitor services functions, incorporating park management, volunteers, education, events, website and corporate communications and the Aspects of Kings Park retail gallery. The Business and Visitors Services Directorate, which Marcelle leads, is also responsible for all internal business and corporate services, governance, planning and reporting, and external business development, including partnerships, agreements, commercial leases and licenses. Prior to joining Kings Park, Marcelle worked for many years in a number of private and public sector organisations with varied responsibilities including corporate services, social research, community development, employee support and organisational change. She is currently Acting Chief Executive Officer of the BGPA with direct reporting to the Minister for Environment and the BGPA Board of Management.

Gary Davies (Ordinary Committee Member)
Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, Hobart

Bryan Harty (Ordinary Committee Member)
George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Darwin

Bryan has held the position of Director of George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens since 2013. He has qualifications in tropical horticulture and environmental science and has worked in the fields of horticultural training and indigenous natural resource management and training since the 1990s.

Dr Brett Summerell (Ordinary Committee Member)
Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, Sydney

Dr Brett Summerell is the Deputy Executive Director, Science and Conservation at the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, Sydney. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney and at Kansas State University. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons 1) and a PhD from the University of Sydney.

Brett has been employed at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for over 27 years, initially as a plant pathologist and mycologist. Since the early 2000s he has led the science and conservation programs there, including the National Herbarium of New South Wales and the Australian PlantBank. He maintains a research interest in plant diseases and the systematics of fungi and has published over 150 refereed papers in this area.

Dr Lucy Sutherland (Ordinary Committee Member)
Botanic Gardens of South Australia, Adelaide

Dr Lucy Sutherland is the Director of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia. She is also a Visiting Professor at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Peru. She holds a research Masters and PhD in botanic gardens management and has integrated her academic studies in ecology and the social sciences with her practical experience in botanic gardens and protected area management, policy and practice. Lucy has published and presented papers on botanic gardens focusing on such topics as collections management, biodiversity and plant conservation, nature-based tourism, education and interpretation policy and practice.

Contact us:

The CHABG office is located at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.


Public Officer
GPO Box 1777

Phone: +61 (0) 2 6250 9500
Fax: +61 (0) 2 6250 9599

CHABG Initiatives:

Directory of Australian Botanic Gardens and Arboreta

NSW Regional Botanic Gardens Network

Census of Plants in Australian Botanic Gardens 1992

Survey of Botanic Gardens Usage

The National Strategy and Action Plan for the Role of Australia's Botanic Gardens in Adapting to Climate Change - 2008

Myrtle Rust - resources for Australia's botanic gardens


CHABG Inc. is a member of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation (GPPC), which brings together international, regional and national organisations in order to contribute to the implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).

CHABG Inc. also works closely with Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Incorporated (BGANZ). BGANZ is the chief body representing the interests of botanic gardens in Australia and New Zealand. It promotes the interests and activities of Australian and New Zealand botanic gardens and botanic gardens generally and enhances the state of botanic gardens for the benefit of the community. Individual, Institutional or Associate membership of BGANZ provides opportunities for information exchange, advocacy, development and grant opportunities and the benefits derived from national conferences and exhibitions.

Major institutions participating in CHABG

The term 'botanic gardens' is used to include those organisations known by the name 'botanic' or 'botanical' gardens.
CHABG is not an accreditation authority, and does not confer botanic gardens status upon institutions.



Updated September 26, 2017, Web Manager (