Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta Incorporated


The Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta, Incorporated

NEWS RELEASE: 14-08-2001


The Society

Current Newsletter

Application Form


John Zwar

Ph (08) 867 0324 ah


Gwen Leane

Ph (08) 8643 6191


Bob Baird

Ph (08) 8643 6343

Tradesperson / Gardener

Bernie Haase

Ph (08) 8641 1443 ah
Ph (08) 8641 0711w

NEXT EVENT: AGM Meeting - Saturday 1st Sept 2001, 1.00pm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room.
All friends and others interested are warmly invited to attend.

GUEST SPEAKER AGM: Our speaker will be Melissa Horgan; Bushcare Support Officer, based at The Quorn Bushcare Support Base. Melissa is known to some of our Friends through seed collection and plant propagation workshops which they have attended, at the Garden or at Quorn. Her presentation will cover the role she plays in representing Greening Australia, Bushcare Support and the projects in which she is involved across the rangelands. Projects concentrate on sustainable land use, farm forestry, and managing, restoring and protecting native vegetation. Melissa is also involved in Natural Heritage Trust Bushcare funded Green Corps projects. Seed collection and plant propagation workshops, concentrating on plants of local provenance - locally collected seed of local native species, for the particular area will also be described.

GARDEN LOCATION The AALBG's main entrance is off the Stuart Highway (Woomera Road) approx. 1.5km north of the junction with the Eyre Highway at Port Augusta West. Follow the entrance road into the garden to the car park (about 1.2km). Besides the Bluebush Cafe, the Visitor Reception Building houses a fine interpretive display, a large range of Australian made gift items and books in the shop (ideal Christmas gifts with 10% discount for Friends), and toilet facilities as well as the adjoining WMC Herbarium Meeting Room. Why not arrive early, visit the Garden and enjoy lunch in the Bluebush Cafe? (Cafe purchases also 10% discount for Friends – show membership card).
Stay and talk with other Friends over afternoon tea following the meeting.

LAST MEETING: As this meeting was our AGM, reports for activities during the last year were presented, followed by election of officers and committee members for the next year. (The President's Report for the last year is printed in this issue of the News Release). Thanks to all who accepted nomination, and congratulations to those elected. Thanks also to outgoing committee members for your participation, and we look forward to your ongoing involvement in Friends activities. The following people were elected:
President John Zwar
Vice President Maurice Vile
Secretary Gwen Leane
Treasurer Bob Baird
Committee members
Bernie Haase
Fay Poole
Bruce Leane
Geraldine Davis
Margaret Hancock
Nicole Scharenberg
Dennis Dobson

Steve VinesFollowing the election, our Guest Speaker was Steve Vines (right), Head Ranger of the Saint Kilda Mangrove Trail and Interpretive Centre near Adelaide. Steve spoke about his passion for mangroves and the ecosystems they sustain, and provided an insight to these trees of the sea. Steve, a former Port Augusta resident knows the Garden site well. His slide show presentation and talk was entitled "The Flooded Forest - from mangroves to mosquitoes and back again". It covered general mangrove ecology, including the relationship between mosquitoes, mangroves, and dolphins and the very unusual adaptations that allow a tree to live in the sea. Steve's presentation was excellent and those present will I am sure see mangroves in a different light. We look forward to our mangroves at the AALBG being made more accessible to visitors, along with appropriate informative signage describing these amazing plants!

John Zwar, President AALBG, Port Augusta Inc. Sat 14th July 2001

COMMITTEE MEETING: Committee members, please note there will be a committee meeting held on Sat 1st September at 10.00am in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at the AALBG.

ROXBY DOWNS, ANDAMOOKA, WOOMERA TOUR Sat 11th & Sun 12th August 2001:
This bus tour will depart from and return to Port Augusta. Although an exact cost per person is not yet known (it will depend on numbers travelling and size of bus) we expect the maximum cost to be $120 per person on a twin share basis, but this may be reduced once numbers travelling are known and costs are finalised. A deposit of $50 per person is requested when booking and by July 31st at the latest; cheques to be made out to the Friends of The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta Inc. and posted to Bob Baird, Treasurer, P0 Box 2040 Port Augusta, SA 5700. The trip will include tours of the three towns, garden visits, short bushwalks looking at vegetation including wildflowers which are likely to be flowering following more than 75mm of rain recently, and a visit to the Arid Recovery Reserve. The program (see below) may be subject to minor change, but this promises to be a most interesting tour with the opportunity to see a wide range of arid zone plants under natural conditions and in cultivation. Enquiries: Bob Baird or Gwen Leane; phone numbers at top of page. They will also advise on the bus departure and return location.

Nineteen Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, from many parts of Australia met at Port Augusta to go a roving to northern towns. Most were strangers to each other, but soon a-family spirit knit the group together. Departure from Port Augusta was 8.00am on Saturday 11th August. A flat tyre south of Pimba on the Stuart Highway was the Qpportunity for an impromptu look at roadside vegetation, which after rain was abundant and coming into flower.

Arriving at Roxby Downs about noon, John Zwar (Friends President and Roxby Downs resident) and daughter Kate, boarded the bus and the first visit was to a mine manager's garden, an impressive mixture of natives, including banksias, many arid zone eucalypts and other species, interesting pool side plantings and even some cottage garden plants. Trish Evans, who cares for the garden showed the group around. After a short town tour, we arrived at "The Green House", an environmentally friendly house, surrounded by an arid zone demonstration garden. This is the - home of Mick and Trish Evans and family, and we enjoyed lunch on the wide shady verandas. Soon there was an exchange of ideas and seeds taking place. Trish's hospitality was true outback generosity and so much appreciated. The solar power system and energy and watering techniques on display, recycling ideas and fine young garden with many natives in full bloom, fruit trees, vegetables and herbs, and hens for recycling scraps and greens was an inspiration. (Those with internet access can find-out mere about this fascinating and worthwhile development by looking at the web site;

After lunch Pat Katnich of Olympic Dam Tours (and also a Friend and Tourism representative on the AALBG Board) took John's seat on the bus and we headed for Andamooka. Never did those 30 kilometers take so long to traverse, as we stopped at least three times to look at roadside vegetation and take a walk in the sand dunes, which were colourful with spring flowers, Senecio, Crotalaria, and others. The owners of two gardens in Andamooka generously shared with us their secrets in gardening in the outback. Water is precious in Andamooka, 15 times the price that consumers in Adelaide and Port Augusta pay! It is delivered to households by tanker. Mulches and growing hardy drought tolerant plants are two secrets to successful gardening. Pat took us down her opal mine and we hoped that one of us might be lucky and find opal, but lady luck frowned on us.

We dined at the Andamooka Hotel as a tired but happy family. No-one sat up to talk! Sunday dawned as we went to breakfast at 7am. John and Kate boarded the bus at Roxby at 8.30. and we travelled north on the Borefield Road to the Arid Recovery Reserve, a large feral animal free, specially fenced reserve of 60 square kilometres where locally extinct animals - bilby, stick nest rat, burrowing bettong and western barred bandicoot have been reintroduced and are breeding well. The vegetation is thriving too in this feral free area. Ecologist Dr John Read meet our group and spoke about the project which we viewed from a lookout, and then walked inside to see a large stick nest rat nest, Sturt Peas and other plants flowering. We didn't see any of the little critters as they had gone to bed, but we saw where they had a gay old nightlife, with numerous tracks and diggings. (The Arid Recovery Project web site address is: for those with intemet access).

On the way back to Roxby we saw the mine and process plant and Olympic Dam Village, then saw more of Roxby and enjoyed morning tea back at "The Green House". Then it was on to the very well kept town of Woomera for lunch at the Oasis, a recreation centre, cafe and visitors complex followed by a town tour of Woomera, including Breen Park, looking particularly at some of the interesting and mature arid zone trees. The most unusual was a specimen of Acacia peuce, "Waddy Wood". John and Kate left the group here.

The final visit, when almost home was a quick peek at the Friends popagation programme at the AALBG. Each person was able to take a plant, by which to remember this very successful tour. It was wonderful to put faces to names that are familiar on the computer screen. A great time was had by all.

Friends are welcome to participate in these bird watching outings.

Sunday 26 August 2001 Lake Gilles Conservation Park -Meet at Tanks Carpark, Lincoln Gap 7.00am
Sunday 23 September 2001 Dutchman's Stern -Meet at Stirling North Deli 7.00am
Sunday 21st October 2001 Mambray Creek - Meet at Mambray Creek Roadhouse 8.00am
Sunday 18th November 2001 Chinaman's Creek - meet at turnoff on Highway One 9.00am
Sunday 9th December 2001 Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, 7.30am

For more detail and further information contact Peter on telephone (08) 8642 5723 or Brian on (08) 8642 3314

This will be held at the Quorn Bushcare Support Base from 10.00am until 2.00pm. BYO lunch and a folding chair. The group be travelling to the Quorn Flora Reserve. Anyone interested is invited to register with Melissa Horgan, Ph: 8648 6677. There is no charge.

SCHOOL PROPAGATION DAY: On the third of August a group of high school students from Port Augusta participated in a plant propagation training session, conducted by Friends voIunteer propagators at the Garden. This is another demonstration of the value of the Garden in the wider community and highlights the important role played by Friends volunteers.

ADELAIDE FUNGAL STUDIES GROUP: Pam Catcheside, our recent Guest Speaker has advised that this new group has been established. The inaugural meeting will be held on Tuesday, 1Oth July 7.30pm. at the Plant Biodiversity Centre, Hackney Road, Hackney SA. The speaker will be Dr Teresa Lebel who is an expert on truffles and is Mycologist at the National Herbarium of Victoria. The presentation is titled "Plumbing the depths - looking for Australia's native truffles." All interested, welcome to attend. For more information phone Pam on 8278 5004.

FRIENDS PROPAGATORS: A keen group of Friends meet at the work compound of the Garden each Wednesday morning to propagate plants from both seed and cuttings. Some plants raised are for planting in the Garden and surplus are available for sale. These funds raised by the Friends are committed to further development of the Garden. Thanks to all our volunteer propagators! If interested in joining this group, on a regular or occasional basis, phone Bruce Leane for details - Ph 8643 6191. Friends travelling and in Port Augusta on a Wednesday may wish to meet and help volunteers. You will be most welcome!

MOUNT ISA BOTANIC GARDEN: A Friends group has been established to promote the proposed garden, mentioned in our last News Release. Former Director of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, Noel Lothian who is visiting Queensland at present has contacted the group to offer advice and assistance. Friends President John Zwar continues to provide advice and suggestions, based on the experience of promoting and establishing the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden.

EREMOPHILA FESTIVAL: This biennial event organized by the Friends is scheduled for Saturday 7th September 2002. Secretary Gwen is involved in planning and contacting potential speakers and participants. Please forward suggestions or requests to Gwen.

AALBG WEBSITE: For those with internet access, inspect our draft website which has undergone further development and improvement. Comment would be appreciated. The address is:

NEW MEMBERS: A special welcome is extended to recently joined members of the Friends.

MEMBERSHIP: Would members please check the date on their News Release address label to see if their subscription is due? Renewed subscriptions are very much appreciated! Receipts are normally attached to the next news release to save on postage.

EREMOPHILA FESTIVAL: Our biennial Eremophila Festival will next be held on Saturday 7th September 2002. How is that for forward planning?

MEMBERSHIP CARDS: Don't forget to show your membership card in the AALBG shop to receive your 10% discount on purchases - including meals.

VOLUNTEER INSURANCE COVERAGE: All volunteers working at the Garden are covered by Council's insurance coverage, but each MUST sign a statement which indicates the work they are undertaking on behalf of the Garden Board within the AALBG site. All volunteers please check with Bruce Leane, Bernie or with Pauline Hedger at the Garden to ensure that you have signed the appropriate paperwork to ensure coverage in the event of accident or injury.

Issued 27.06.2001 by John Zwar President, The Friends of the Australian And Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta Inc., P0 Box 2040 Port Augusta SA 5700. Ph (08) 8671 0324 ah, (08,) 8671 8558w, Facsimile C/- (08) 8671 0179 or by e-mail

© 2012 Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden