Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta Incorporated

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

Media Reports: Official opening of the Herbarium (May 27, 1998)


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NORTHERN SUN, Friday, June 12, 1998

Sir Arvi pays tribute to WMC employees

WMC chairman Sir Arvi Parbo paid tribute to Olympic Dam environmental scientist Mr John Zwar and WMC director and former Head of Exploration Roy Woodall at the official opening of the $250,000 WMC Ltd Herbarium/Meeting Room at Port Augusta's Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden on Wednesday, May 27.

During his opening speech, Sir Arvi described the garden as a "special place", and one which should make everyone proud.

"Proud of the vision shown in its establishment; proud of what has been achieved to date; and proud of its undoubted progress in the future," he said.

"The logic of Australia having a centre such as this seems so compelling that the obvious question is why have we waited until recently? "In my experience, there are too many brilliant ideas that never happen because nobody is prepared to work for them.

"As an Australian, I thank and congratulate the many people who disregarded the odds and made this dream possible.

"You have had the faith to persist and create a very special resource for present and future generations.

"With facilities like the Visitor Reception Centre and the new HerbariumiMeeting Room, we are beginning to see the tourism and educational potential of what will be one of the world's significant centres for arid zone botany display and research.

"I understand that visitor numbers have climbed sharply in the past two years."

Sir Arvi paid tribute to several WMC employees who had been instrumental in the development of the garden.

"John Zwar, an environmental scientist at Olympic Dam, initiated the concept in 1981 when he was superintendent of parks and gardens for Port Augusta (City) Council.

"John was also one of an enthusiastic group of 'Friends' who lobbied for funds and talked to anybody who would listen to keep the idea alive in its early years.

"My fellow WMC director and then long-time Head of Exploration, Roy Woodall, was another member of the 'Friends' group, and from around 1989 I remember he would slip through all sorts of minor but important support for this special project.

"John and Roy consistently maintained an active involvement, and over time interested many of our environmental and operational staff in supporting it in various ways.

"My colleagues on the Board and I were left in no doubt that WMC was going to be involved in this Port Augusta project whether we liked it or not.

"Fortunately, we liked it and we found the enthusiasm of our colleagues infectious.

The Advertiser, Thursday, May 28, 1998

Centre opens

A HERBARIUM opened at Port Augusta yesterday will be home to varIous pressed nanive flowers and plants, as well as a centre for native flora research.

The $220,000 WMC herbariu;in and meeting room complex is part of the AustralIan Arid Lands Botanic Garden.

The official opening was conducted by WMC chairman, Sir Arvi Parbo.


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