The Australian National Botanic Gardens maintains a scientific collection of native plants from all parts of Australia. The plants are displayed for the enjoyment and education of visitors and are used for research into plant classification and biology.
A herbarium of preserved plant specimens is closely associated with the living collection. The Gardens also cultivates plants threatened in the wild. This helps protect them against extinction and provides information which might assist re-introduction to their natural habitat.
Our vision is: Australians value, conserve and appreciate our rich plant heritage.
Our mission is: To inspire, inform and connect people to the Australian flora.
Our goals are:
- Manage the national botanic garden to showcase Australia’s plants.
- Champion the conservation of Australian plants and the role of ex situ conservation in integrated conservation management.
- Create an inspirational place for enjoyment and learning.
- Engage communities in valuing and conserving Australia’s natural and cultural heritage.
- Increase knowledge of Australian flora through outstanding research activities.
- Be the gateway for knowledge about Australian plants.
- Facilitate and collaborate in national and international policy and practice to support the work of plant focused institutions and organisations.
- Grow as a national institution.
From the time of the first plantings (see historical development of the Gardens) in the late 1940's the Gardens were known as the 'Canberra Botanic Gardens' and were administered by the Parks and Gardens Section of the Department of Interior and its successors (Dept of Capital Territory etc).
The name was changed to 'National Botanic Gardens' in 1978, and 'Australian National Botanic Gardens' in 1984.
In 1985 the Gardens were transferred to the Commonwealth Environment Portfolio in recognition of their importance as a national scientific collecting institution and removing it from those areas of administration which would become the ACT Territorial Government.
After 1 July 1990 the Gardens were administered by the Director of the National Parks and Wildlife, as part of the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS). On 10 September 1991 the Gardens were declared a Reserve under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975.
On the 1 June 1993 the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS) formally changed its name to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA), headed by a Chief Executive Officer.
On 18 November 1996, ANCA ceased to exist as an administrative entity, being replaced by 'Parks Australia' as part of `Environment Australia' within the Department of the Environment and Heritage. The statutory position of Director of National Parks is responsible for a range of Commonwealth national parks and reserves, including the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The management of 'Parks Australia' is split between two Assistant Secretaries, 'Parks North' and 'Parks South'.
The Australian Government decided in June 2003, that common branding would apply to all Australian Government Departments and Agencies. In August 'Environment Australia' as a 'branding' and logo ceased to exist, being replaced by the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the words 'Australian Government' and the name 'Department of the Environment and Heritage'.
In January 2007, the name of the department changed to 'Department of the Environment and Water Resources'.
In November 2007, the name of the department changed to 'Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts'.
In August 2010, the name of the department changed to 'Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities' (SEWPaC).
In September 2013, the name of the department changed to 'Department of the Environment' (DotE).
In July 2016, the name of the department changed to 'Department of the Environment and Energy'.
The Gardens' Director is responsible for the day to day running of the Gardens, and the Plan of Management provides the framework for this administration.
The first Management Plan was endorsed by both Houses of the Parliament before it came into effect on 4 March 1994.
The second Management Plan came into effect from 12 February 2002.
In 1993 a seven year Agreement was entered into with CSIRO to combine the Botanic Gardens herbarium with CSIRO's Australian National Herbarium as part of a jointly managed Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. This agreement was renewed in 2000 for a further ten years, expiring on 31 December 2009. In December 2009 an interim document was signed extending the CPBR Agreement for four months until a new Agreement was signed.
- Minister for the Environment: The Hon Greg Hunt MP
- Secretary for the Department of the Environment and Energy: Dr Gordon de Brouwer
- Director of National Parks: Sally Barnes
- Executive Director, Australian National Botanic Gardens: Judy West
- Director of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research: Andrew Young
- Deputy Director (Science and Information): Jim Croft
- General Manager, Australian National Botanic Gardens: Peter Byron
- Senior staff managing various aspects of the ANBG:
- Curator, Living Collections: David Taylor
- Manager, Development: Craig Cosgrove
- Manager, Communication and Visitor Services: Steve Speer
- Curator, Australian National Herbarium: Brendan Lepschi
- Manager, Botanical Databases: Greg Whitbread
- Manager, Botanical Information Group and Web: Anna Monro
- Manager, Administration: Francoise Zaalen-Arbaut