Since November 1985, when the Friends was formed to support the Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park, an enormous amount has been achieved by this 'non-profit' organisation, through the involvement of their members as volunteers. A summary of the achievements is listed below and a detailed list is available. see Achievements List or contact the Friends' office for a copy.
$262,960 Financial Contributions by the Friends
This includes contributions for the development of the 1994 Master Plan, development of the 21st Century Garden and restoration of the Eastern Park Rotunda.
$31,000 Financial Contributions by member donations, sponsorship or public subscription
This includes contributions for the installation of the Bunce Bollards and the purchase of a computerised plant labelling machine.
$199,122 Grants obtained by the Friends
Grants have been sourced by the Friends from many organisations including Parks Vic, Federation Community Project, Heritage Victoria and the City of Greater Geelong. The Friends continue to seek funds to support the precinct. Some areas which have benefitted from these grants have been the Cabmens’ Shelter, the Hitchcock and Traill Fountains and the GBG Reference Library.
$39,247 Financial Contributions by the Friends for the GBG Meeting Room
The development of the GBG Reference Library and fit-out of the Meeting Room is a significant benefit for the community.
$20,950 Financial Contributions by the Friends for Interpretation and Promotion
The Friends continue to promote the precinct with Geelong and Bellarine Tourism, What’s On magazine the website and social media
The Volunteer Guides
These Friends have promoted the Gardens to the public since 1986. read more Guides and Walks, Talks and the Gardens
The Gardens Education Program was initially delivered by Volunteer Guides in 1999. The Friends then employed the Education Officer in 2002. In 2012, the delivery of the Education Program was transferred to the City. The Friends have made a commitment to contribute $10,000 each year over the period 2013 – 2017 to support this program – commitment of $50,000. read more Education
Volunteers in the Gardens
The Friends have many active volunteer roles in the Geelong Botanic Gardens including the Perennial Border, the Heritage Rose Garden,the Silver Border and the GBG Reference Library. read more Volunteers
The Friends’ Tea House opened in 1992 and the Friends managed the Tea House until January 2012, with volunteers providing more than 60,000 volunteer hours. The Tea House is now managed by the City and leased out. read more Tea House Archive
The Friends established the Nursery in 1993. Members volunteer each week to raise plants, largely sourced from the Gardens, for sale to the public. Nursery sales are a core part of the Friends’ business. Over 5,000 volunteer hours are involved every year to operate this Nursery. read more Friends’ Nursery
Music in the Gardens
Beginning on a small scale in 2000, this very popular Summer Music event brought thousands of people into the Gardens. The last ‘Music in the Gardens’ was held in 2014, involving more than 1,000 volunteer hours and 150 Gardens Staff hours. read more Music in the Gardens Archive
Geelong School of Botanical Art
This School was established in 2003 and the Friends took over the management in 2007. Classes are conducted during school term, workshops are usually conducted in school holidays and a Biennial Exhibition is held. read more Botanical Art
Events, Tours and other activities
The Friends provide an annual program for members and the public – bus tours, speaker evenings, open gardens and many more activities to interest the wide membership. read more Events The quarterly newsletter Jubaea is published by the Friends. read more Jubaea
The Friends have also been generous in their support of the GBG staff with extensive contributions since 1997 to enable staff members to attend professional development and conferences, including international venues. The Friends also regularly provide support for members and Volunteer Guides to attend conferences etc.
In 1997 the Friends established the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens Gift Fund. The Friends are Trustees of this Gift Fund. read more Gift Fund
Conferences and Exhibitions
The Friends have hosted two National Conferences for the Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens and planning is underway to host the National Conference of the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens in April 2016. The Friends have managed four significant touring exhibitions.