16th Australasian Botanic Guides Conference Program

Monday September 16

2pm-5pm  Registration Mt Eliza House, Kings Park. Orientation walks and bus tours (optional)

5.30pm-7.30pm Welcome reception, Mt Eliza House

Tuesday September 17 Beauty rich and rare

7am-8am Earlybird walk (optional)

8am Late registration, Fraser’s Function Centre, Kings Park

8.30am Where the wildflowers are,  Stephen Scourfield,  Fraser’s Function Centre Where the Wildflowers Are, Stephen Scourfield

8.40am Conference opening,  Alan Barrett, Executive Director Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

8.50am    Beauty rich and rare in the southwest Australian biodiversity hotspot, Professor Kingsley Dixon, Fraser’s Function Centre

9.40am  From bush to botanic garden, Grady Brand, Luke Sweedman and Digby Growns, Fraser’s Function Centre

10.30am-11am Morning tea, Fraser’s Function Centre

11.15am-12.15pm Activity #1 choices

12.30pm-1.30pm Lunch, Mt Eliza House

1.45pm-2.45pm Activity #2 choices

3.30pm-4.30pm Activity #3 choices

5pm-6.30pm Relaxing with Eliza, Mt Eliza House (optional)

Free evening

Wednesday September 18  Excursions

9am-5pm Choose one of four excursions

Free evening

Thursday September 19  Engaging visitors

7am-8am Earlybird walk (optional)

8.30am Walking together: the fusion of Aboriginal experience with modern science, Professor Stephen Hopper, Fraser’s Function Centre

9.15am Through visitors eyes, Ryan Zaknich, Fraser’s Function Centre

10.15am Presentation for 2021 conference, Fraser’s Function Centre

10.30am-11am Morning tea, Fraser’s Function Centre

11.15am-12.15pm Activity #4 choices

12.30pm-1.30pm Lunch – Size doesn’t matter, Mt Eliza House (optional)

1.45pm-2.45pm Activity #5 choices

3.30pm-4.30pm Activity #6 choices

5pm-8pm Sundowner soiree, Zamia Cafe, Kings Park (come as you are)

Friday September 20 Engaging guides

Activity #7 choices

9am-noon Heart of the park walk

OR  9.30am-10am Morning tea, Mt Eliza House

10.15am-11.45am Choose from three parallel sessions and panel discussions

Noon Hosts named for 2023 conference, Mt Eliza House

12.05pm-1pm Lunch and farewell

Download conference timetable

Morning activities choices Tuesday/Thursday

Take a note of  preferred activities, one in each activity slot #1 to #7, to help you register online. Download the PDF at the end of the section. Most activities have number limits.

Activities #1 and #4

Laboratory visit                                                                     M1     M9                 #1 #4

World class conservation and restoration ecology research work is done by about 50 scientists and students in the Biodiversity Conservation Centre. Hear about the research and view the seed lab, genetics lab, tissue culture and cryostorage facilities.

Nursery visit                                                                          M2     M10               #1  #4

Plants for the Botanic Garden are grown here, unusual hybrids and cultivars are developed and volunteer Growing Friends prepare for the mammoth fund-raising plant sales in three separate facilities.

Talk: Don’t forget fungi                                                         M3                            #1

Our own fungus expert Roz Hart enthralls us with stories of the invaluable role of fungi in a healthy diverse ecosystem, too important to overlook.

Talk: Gija Jumulu – the boab story                                        M4                            #1

In 2008, this 750-year-old giant boab was transported 3200km from the Kimberley to Kings Park. Hear the fascinating story of why and how and the eventful journey.

Talk/workshop: Walking with technology                            M5    M13               #1  #4

How can a smartphone or tablet enhance your walk? Augmenting reality and other suggestions will be demonstrated and discussed. You can also see this in use on Finding Fungi afternoon walks. Walking with Technology

Talk/workshop: Guiding for different personality types    M8                                #1

This workshop will enable us to consider the range of personality types that we encounter on our guided walks and suggest some techniques to accommodate these differences.

Walk: Bush regeneration after fire                                      M6    M14                        #1  #4

In early 2018 a fire spread through 17ha of bush in Kings Park. The Kings Park Fire Ecology Team conducts a walk to analyse the damage and the recovery process. Includes a brisk 10-minute walk to the site.

Walk: Tree management                                                      M7    M15                        #1  #4

What does it take to care for thousands of trees in one of the world’s largest premier botanic gardens and urban parkland? Join the Curator of Arboriculture to find out.

Talk: Remarkable adaptations of Australian flora            M11                                  #4

Professor Byron Lamont provides insights into the effect of environment, disturbance and biotic factors in the evolution of our native flora.

Talk: Georgiana Molloy – the mind that shines                M12                                 #4

Biographer Bernice Barry tells the story of this remarkable botanist, not just WA’s first internationally successful collector, but a pioneer settler in 1829 and a woman ahead of her time.

Walk: Kings Park for kids                                                  M16                                #4

Education is an essential part of the work of Kings Park. Visit the facilities enjoyed by more than 20,000 students a year, including Rio Tinto Naturescape, 6ha of innovative learning and nature play.

Delegates meeting                                                             M17                          #4 only

One delegate from each botanic garden. Business includes the choice of venue for the 2023 conference.

Afternoon walk choices Tuesday/Thursday

Activities #2, #3, #5 and #6

 A scoundrel, a statesman and Edith                              WP1  WP14                                     #2   #5

Colourful characters abound in the history of WA. See some of them come to life and discover lively ways to present elements of history in your own guided walks. A Scoundrel, A Statesman and Edith

Connecting park and river                                               WP2  WP15                                     #2   #5

Kings Park and the Swan River are closely bound – take in river views as you hear about the landscape, the human interactions and modern connections. Connecting Park and River

Nature in art                                                                    WP3  WP16                                     #2   #5

Plants inspire art and art enhances the natural environment, from entry statement and sculptures to banksia and acacia mosaics and the play of fountains. Nature in Art

Banksia bonanza                                                 WP4  WP10  WP17  WP23            #2  #3  #5  #6

WA has 160 banksias and dryandras (and still counting). Admire the six prostrate banksias unique to WA and other surprises in our Banksia Garden. Banksia Bonanza

Finding fungi                                                      WP5  WP11  WP18  WP24            #2  #3  #5  #6

Fungi abound throughout the year in a healthy environment. Learn how to spot evidence of these hidden gems and see how you can augment reality to enhance the walk. (See morning activities M5 and M13 Walking with technology.) Fabulous Fungi

In the footsteps of women                                 WP6  WP12  WP19  WP25           #2  #3  #5  #6

This walk around the water garden explores the connections to Kings Park of indigenous women, female settlers, campaigners for women’s rights and more recent pioneers. In the Footsteps of Women

Walk WA                                                           WP7  WP13  WP20  WP26            #2  #3  #5  #6

Be introduced to some of the spectacular and diverse plants from all parts of the State, from the south coast to the tropical north and hear about the history of botanical exploration.Walk WA

Bizarre botanicals                                               WP8  WP21                                     #3  #6

Unusual adaptations and unique forms – join senior horticultural staff to see examples and hear about the work done in the Conservation Garden.

Horticultural highlights                                           WP9  WP22                                     #3  #6

We see spectacular displays in the Botanic Garden. Horticultural staff reveal some of their secrets and hard work.

A walk on the quiet side                                          RG1  RG14                                     #2  #5

The Place of Reflection was developed from the old NSW garden to promote healing for those suffering loss. Hear the story and enjoy a meandering shady walk and stunning river views. A Walk on the Quiet Side

Bushland floral gems                                             RG2  RG8  RG15  RG21                #2  #3  #5  #6

Discover a corner of the bushland where you will see a range of WA’s remarkable native wildflowers blooming profusely in spring. This is a walk on sandy tracks. Bushland Floral Gems

Diverse divas of the sand plains                         RG3  RG9  RG16  RG22                #2  #3  #5  #6

Roe Gardens has some dramatic Proteaceae, grevilleas, hakeas and other special plants that are part of the biodiversity of our Kwongan. Diverse Divas of the Sandplains

Nature’s toolbox                                                    RG4  RG10  RG17  RG23              #2  #3  #5  #6

Take a look at some fascinating WA plants to understand how they have evolved and adapted to the environment, contributing to our huge biodiversity. Nature’s Toolbox

Rich bushland resources                                     RG5  RG11    RG18    RG24          #2  #3  #5  #6

A walk through bushland in Kings Park, to highlight plants used traditionally by Nyoongar Wadjuk people and the colonial settlers. Rich Bushland Resources

WA’s spectacular eucalypts                               RG6  RG12  RG19  RG25              #2  #3  #5  #6

Discover unusual examples, the iconic species of the park, forest and woodland trees, magnificent mallees and other species rare in the wild. WA’s Spectacular Eucalypts

Plant photography                                              RG13  RG26                                   #3  #6

Join our photographic enthusiasts on a quest to capture the beauty of our wildflowers and the vistas in Kings Park. They will take you to the optimum locations and share tips on creating memorable images. Suits all levels. Photographing Plants

A Gondwana adventure                                     MD1  MD2                                      #3  #6

Take a 4-billion-year walk, past mysterious stromatolites, through Lycopod Island forests, pat a dinosaur and learn of our isolation and biodiversity. A Gondwana Adventure

Non-walking activities

Aboriginal bush tucker and culture                    A1                                                    #2

After bush tucker for lunch, this is a chance to hear more about Nyoongar Wadjuk food and traditional way of life.

Growing WA native plants                                   A1                                                    #3

Yes, it can be done in your garden. Kings Park Volunteer Master Gardeners will give practical advice and demonstrations.

Botanical drawing workshop                               A2                                                    #5  #6

Try your hand at drawing botanical specimens from the park, with some skilled help. Suits beginners and experienced artists.

Optional extras

Earlybird walk                                                       EB1    EB2

A short walk in the park for early risers. Bring your binoculars and we can watch birds and listen while enjoying a stroll through the bush.

Size doesn’t matter                                               L1

Small botanic gardens are different and special. A lunchtime forum aimed at guides in gardens lacking huge support, to discuss the challenges and share ideas.

Activities choices Friday September 20

Activity #7

Heart of the park walk                                                    F1

Experience wildflower spring in the bushland that makes up two-thirds of Kings Park. This is a three-hour walk on sand tracks, but it is worth it. Heart of the Park

Connecting with nature                                                  F2

Nature is good for our health – come and hear the evidence and listen to speakers on the benefits of native gardens and attracting insects. A panel discussion with questions then a short walk through the Volunteer Master Gardeners bush garden. Bush Garden Plant List Connecting with nature

Looking ahead                                                                 F3

The expectations of tourists and visitors to parks and gardens are changing. What is the role of botanic gardens and volunteers in the future? A panel discussion with audience ideas welcome.

Training and mentoring                                                  F4

An interactive session in which speakers share ideas on recruiting, training and mentoring volunteer guides and keeping up enthusiasm and interest.

Excursions Wednesday September 18

Delegates are invited to choose an excursion from the following four options.

Meet at the Wadjuk Carpark Kings Park at 8.30am for excursions 1, 2 and 4 and 8.45am for excursion 3. All return to the park at 5pm. Other features common to all tours:

  • coach commentary by Kings Park Guides
  • guided walks provided by Kings Park and Bold Park guides and /or site/attraction guides
  • scenic routes offer spectacular views
  • a great mix of botanical experiences.

Excursion 1: River to range

Travel south across the Swan River to Wireless Hill Park  for a bushland walk with Kings Park Guides. Enjoy fantastic river and city views over morning tea. Continue east to Armadale for a guided stroll on Settlers Common Reserve. Head up into the Darling Range to Araluen Botanic Park for lunch. Enjoy a guided wander amongst the impressive collection of Camellias, Tea Roses and Tulips in the 14 hectares of developed gardens. Relax on a drive through the villages of the Perth Hills and marvel at the spectacular city views as you descend from the Darling Range to the Swan Coastal Plain.

 Excursion 2: Wandoo wanderings

Travel north east through Whiteman Park which was opened in 1996 after it was gifted to the State by the family of cattle grazier Lew Whiteman. Continue on to Walyunga National Park which sits at the confluence of the Avon and Swan rivers. Enjoy a guided walk beside the river amidst the Wandoo eucalypts followed by morning tea in this tranquil bushland setting. Journey west along scenic flora routes of the Avon and Chittering valleys, stopping to search for wildflowers at popular sites including Black Boy Ridge reserve. Along the way stop for lunch in the village of Bindoon. Final stop on the tour is the Gingin Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory where you can opt for a tour of the Gravity Centre or a guided walk in the bush.

 Excursion 3: Bold views

Journey west to Bold Park, which at 437 hectares it is the biggest remnant bushland on the Swan Coastal Plain and is managed by the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority. The Bold Park Bushland Manager will provide insights into this coastal bush on a trail walk. Enjoy 360 degree views  to the Indian Ocean and Perth City. Drive to Wireless Hill Park and take a guided wander amongst the wildflowers in this 40 hectare bush park. Cross the Swan River and follow the foreshore to the University of Western Australia. Enjoy a guided walk with the Friends of UWA Grounds who will provide the story behind these heritage listed gardens. Continue on for a visit to the studio and gardens of renowned botanic artist Philippa Nikulinsky who will share how the biodiversity of the State’s Goldfields inspires her work.

Excursion 4: Darling Scarp discoveries

Travel east to Banyowla Regional Park for a bush walk with Kings Park Guides. Opt to walk the Ellis Brook trail to seek 116 species of birds or head up through the 550 species of native plants for views of the valley. Relax over morning tea in this peaceful setting. Continue on a scenic drive through the jarrah and marri woodland of the Darling Scarp to Dwellingup nestled in the forest. Visit the Forest Discovery Centre for a guided Aboriginal cultural tour, self-guided forest walk and viewing of artwork created on site and displayed in the gallery. Take in wonderful views over the Swan Coastal Plain as the coach winds its way down from the Darling Range to the heritage town of Pinjarra with a visit to Edenvale Heritage Garden on the Murray River. Return to Perth via the Kwinana Freeway.

Download Activities choices