About Jim Croft

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webmaster at Australian National Botanic Gardens
webmaster at Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
past webmaster at New South Wales Sea Kayak Club

If you must play, decide on three things at the start:
the rules of the game,
the stakes,
and the quitting time.

- Chinese Proverb

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change,
and to preserve change amid order.
- Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician and philosopher (1861-1947)

Born in Victoria, Australia, in the middle of the 20th century, to parents with ithcy feet, spent only a short and unmemorable infancy in Melbourne, followed a wonderful childhood in Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby), South Australia (Adelaide), Fiji (Suva), New Caledonia (Noumea). This idyllic existence was tragically terminated with the delayed onset of adolescence and the need to acquire mimimal literacy and numeracy in later secondary school years at boarding school in Sydney, New South Wales.

This experiment in education was apparently reasonably successful, graduating in botany and zoology at the University of Sydney with a heap of biological systematics and ecological options, but nothing offering the faintest prospect of employment. Almost immediately offered first full-time job before further remedial education could be undertaken and in 1973 became a botanist with the Papua New Guinea Department of Forests at the PNG National Herbarium (see picture) and Botanic Gardens (see picture) in Lae. A two year contract was renewed, and renewed, and renewed, PNG achieved self government and independence, and nations rose and fell. Moved through the ranks to become Director of the botanic gardens and herbarium and the unexpected result was 15 superb years of botanical field work and botanical exploration in one of the most biological exciting places on earth, a partner Jenni, and two young sons.

In 1988 offered a position as Curator of the Herbarium at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the family moved to Canberra. Then became Director of the Botany Section of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, now part of Environment Australia and then Deputy Director of the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. Now Deputy Director Science and Information responsible for botanic information at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and program leader for Australian National Herbarium at the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.

Basically a lifetime with only two identical jobs; maybe a bit boring, but that's who I am and what I do.

See full resume with links to some Internet activities.

Databases and Network Information Services

Responsible for the scientific information services of the ANBG and CPBR which includes the:

Other Activities



Interests and things I do or did from time to time

  • Marathon kayak racing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Kayak surfing
  • White water kayaking
  • Repairing kayaks :-(
  • Swimming
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving


Geneology and family history

Not partiularly interested in this, but a people perodically enquire if I am related to them or to famous or important people somewhere or other. I am not. A fragment of recent geneology is available for those interested in such things.

Contact details:

If you want to build a ship,
don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery