s 2017 Guides Conference - Friends of the ANBG - Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens

2017 Guides Conference - Friends of the ANBG

15-19 October 2017

In October 2017 the biennial conference of volunteer guides from Australian and New Zealand botanic gardens will be held at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.

Conference attendees will be welcomed at the Australian National Botanic Gardens during the afternoon of Sunday 15 October. The first guided walks of the gardens will be held that afternoon, and there will be night walks that evening. The conference will start formally at 9 am on Monday 16 October and go through until Thursday 19.

The theme of the conference is 'Informed Guiding – Discovering the mystery and magic of our Gardens'.

  • Magic reflects our sense of wonder and excitement about the special and different aspects of our gardens.
  • The mysteries of the unknown and the unexpected in our gardens are being progressively solved and explained by science.
  • Informed guiding reminds us of our role in interpreting the Gardens to visitors so they leave still with that sense of magic but with some of the mysteries solved.


The conference will be centred on the Australian National Botanic Gardens at Black Mountain, Canberra.

Some Conference sessions will be held at the Shine Dome nearby, some at the National Library of Australia and some within the Gardens.

You can view a video introduction to the conference and the venues, accommodation, and sights that conference participants will enjoy.


The conference will be organised by the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, working in collaboration with the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

The conference organising committee can be contacted at guideconference@friendsanbg.org.au.


First Keynote speaker:  Dr Judy West, Executive Director, Australian National Botanic Gardens:
‘Safeguarding Australia’s plants’

Second Keynote Speaker:  Dr Helen Cleugh, Director, Climate Science Centre, CSIRO
‘Climate Change in Australia– an update’

Discussion Panel: Climate change in the context of botanic gardens guiding
Panel members: Dr Judy West, Dr Helen Cleugh and also Dr Richard Stirzaker, a CSIRO scientist who combines gardening with science, Lesley Pattinson, convenor of the Friends of Fetherston Gardens.  Moderator: Mr Max Bourke AM

Communication Session
First Speaker: Ms Sabrina Sonntag, Digital Media and Tourism Marketing Manager, Australian National Botanic Gardens
‘Beyond the Garden Gates – extending the visitor experience through digital engagement’

Second Speaker:  Dr Rod Lamberts, Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, Australian National University
‘How much science does a good tour need: a whirlwind of ideas from science communication’

Guiding Issues Session
Staff from six national cultural institutions will share insights into guiding issues, from which botanic gardens guides can draw some useful lessons.

How do you guide in your gardens?
One guide from each of:

Australian National Botanic Gardens,
Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens,
National Arboretum Canberra, and
Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
will present various aspects of guiding in their very different gardens.


Ms Helen McHugh, Schools and Informal Learning Team Leader, Australian National Botanic Gardens, will summarise.

For full details, visit the website www.friendsanbg.org.au/guides-conference-2017

Sponsors:  The Australian National Botanic Gardens, Botanica World Discovery and Capital Wines