Major Achievements List


Financial Contributions by the Friends to Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park - From General Funds Detailed List - See Here

Gift Fund - Financial Year Contributions - From the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens Gift Fund
1997 Established the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens Gift Fund as a Public Ancillary Fund, registered with the Australian Tax Office, with an initial deposit of $1,500: this enables the public to make tax deductible donations to benefit Geelong Botanic Gardens, or to leave bequests to benefit the Gardens. The Friends are Trustees of this Gift Fund. Each financial year a percentage of the fund [currently 4%] is required to be distributed, to be used solely for projects and programs, within and initiated by Geelong Botanic Gardens. It may not be used to support the Friends or Friends activities. Payments are made for the Financial Year.
The Gift Fund has, since 2010, made distributions for the benefit of the Geelong Botanic Gardens
$104,010   Detailed list - See Here

Contributions to Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park by Member Donations, Sponsorship or Public Subscription:

Financial Contributions to the GBG Reference Library, Art Collection and Meeting Room by the Friends:

Financial Contributions to Interpretation and Promotion of Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park by the Friends (not including CoGG/GBG Education Program and Grants):

Funds / Grants Obtained for the Benefit of Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park (applications written / supported by the Friends):

Grants to Assist the Friends in their Promotion of Geelong Botanic Gardens:

Support for Submissions to the City for Budget Considerations and Capital Bids
The Friends have given support for applications involving Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park,
which have been submitted to CoGG for consideration in the Budget or Capital Bid processes. Some
recent examples are:

  • Restoration of the Walter Conservatory
  • Restoration of the Ladies Kiosk, reopened in 2017
  • Development of the Sustainable Visitor Facilities

Professional Development and Promotion
The Friends have 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. It is estimated that $5,500 was provided in the period 1997 – 2004. The Friends regularly provide support for members and Friends volunteers to attend workshops, seminars, conferences, network meetings etc. to assist them in their promotion of Geelong Botanic Gardens. The Friends funded the keynote speaker at the 2006 International Pelargonium and Geranium Conference, held in Geelong. The Friends continue to promote Geelong Botanic Gardens and Eastern Park through subscriptions to Geelong and Bellarine Tourism, Geelong What’s On monthly booklet, the Friends’ website, Facebook, Instagram etc.

Friends Volunteer Activities / Programs:


The establishment of The Friends’ guiding program was the original purpose of the Friends. Since 1986, the Guides’ twice weekly walks and associated activities have been instrumental in promoting public enjoyment of the Gardens. The Friends support these members with training opportunities, equipment,

conference registrations etc.
Free weekly walks and special themed guided walks, booked walks, a monthly Discovery Table and virtual on-line walks, as well as self-guided walks, are all provided by the Friends’ highly trained Guides.

Horticultural Hands-on Volunteers
Friends Volunteers have many active roles in the Geelong Botanic Gardens:
Perennial Border - members have actively worked in the Gardens since the late 1980s when the Friends and Gardens staff established this significant section of the Gardens. This area is still maintained and financially supported by the Friends.
Heritage Rose Garden – these garden beds have been maintained by volunteers since 1998 (many volunteers originally belonged to the Western District branch of the Heritage Rose Society) and this garden is also financially supported by the Friends.
Silver Border -to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the Friends in 2010, the Gardens staff and Friends established these stunning garden beds near the Conservatory, financially supported by the Friends. The Perennial Border volunteers continue to help maintain this Border.
GBG Reference Library–Friends volunteer to coordinate this library and other reference collections which are held at the Gardens.

Friends Nursery
The Friends’ plant Nursery was established in 1993, with $2,100 for the initial equipment and fit-out. 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. The Friends provided $5,600 for a permanent shelter in 2000 and $9,000 in 2014 for the display tables in the Nursery. A further contribution of $1,218 provided six more display tables for the Nursery in 2017. In 2018 the Friends received a $4,000 grant to fund 50% of a greenhouse to replace the propagating igloo. The Nursery is entirely managed and run by Friends volunteers, with over 5,000 volunteer hours involved every year in its operation.

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 terms and workshops are usually conducted in school holidays. The School engages highly skilled tutors, some of whom have exhibited internationally as well as nationally. An exhibition, “Inspired by Nature”, which features artworks by students and tutors, is held biennially:

  • 2009 Inspired by Nature 1, The Gordon Gallery
  • 2011 Inspired by Nature 2, The Gordon Gallery
  • 2013 Inspired by Nature 3, art@wintergarde
  • 2015 Inspired by Nature 4, art@wintergarden
  • 2017 Inspired by Nature 5, art@wintergarden
  • 2019 Inspired by Nature 6, Deakin Waterfront Exhibition Space
  • 2022 Inspired by Nature 7, Deakin Waterfront Exhibition Space


  • 1995 It’s a Rare Thing; Rare and Threatened Flora - Helen Leitch: Friends of Adelaide Botanic Gardens travelling exhibition, Geelong Art Gallery
  • 2001 Heritage and Botanic Art: in partnership with Geelong Art Gallery
  • 2003 Nature Personified – Helen Leitch: Museum of South Australia travelling exhibition, Gordon Gallery
  • 2008 Hidden in Plain View; The Forgotten Flora: National Herbarium of Victoria travelling exhibition,Gordon Gallery, plus CoGG Community Festivals and Event grant - $2,000 – to host the exhibition.

Events, Tours and Other Activities
The Friends provide an annual program of events and activities for members and the public –bus tours, speaker evenings, open gardens and many more activities to interest the wide membership. The Friends’ newsletter, Jubaea, was originally published quarterly but, since 2020, is published tri-annually.

Conferences Hosted by the Friends

  • 1994 National Conference of the Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens
  • 2001 National Conference of the Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens
  • 2016 National Conference of the Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Garden

Programs and Activities No Longer Supported / Managed by the Friends:
The Friends Tea House – 1992 -2012
The GBG Tea House opened in 1992, with the Friends providing $17,000 towards building and establishing it. A further $22,000 is estimated to have been provided by the Friends for equipment and improvements. The Friends employed staff to manage the Tea House until January 2012, with volunteers providing more than 60,000 volunteer hours. The Friends provided all equipment for the Tea House during its management. In 2012 the Friends ceased operating the Teahouse. Management of the Teahouse is now privately leased by CoGG.

Gardens Education Program - delivered by Friends 2002-2012; delivered by CoGG
from 2012

  • 1999 The City employed a consultant to design an Education Kit. The Geelong Botanic Gardens Education Program was initially delivered by Volunteer Guides. 
  • 2002 - 2012 The Friends employed an Education Officer to provide programs for more than a thousand students visiting the Gardens.
  • 2012 The delivery of the GBG Education Program was transferred to the City of Greater Geelong.
  • 2013 – 2017 The Friends contributed $10,000 each year over a five-year period to support the CoGG/GBG Education Program – total commitment of $50,000. This was funded with contributions by the Friends and distributions from the Gift Fund.

From 2018 the Friends’ financial commitment to the GBG Education Program has not been requested by
CoGG or the GBG.

Music in the Gardens – 2000 - 2014
Beginning on a small scale in 2000, this very popular summer music event, organised and managed by the Friends, brought thousands of people into the Gardens over 15 years. The last ‘Music in the Gardens’ was held in 2014, involving more than 1,000 volunteer hours and 150 Gardens Staff hours.

Last updated May 2022


Cranes -  20 May 2022

      Cranes, May 2022

 Ladies Kiosk

       Ladies Kiosk grand opening, April 2017 

Vege Garden

Bronze Sculptures installed January 2022

Parterre Garden with restored Fountain and Urns, January 2022

Parterre Garden with restored Hitchcock Fountain and Urns, January 2022

Cabman's Shelter

Cabman's Shelter, March 2021

21st Century Garden, September 2020