John Sandham retires from the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium

After 35 years of service, John is retiring from his role at the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, South Australia, to live the good life.

John started his adventures in horticulture and botanic gardens as a Junior Gardener at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1972. 

In 1989 he moved to Adelaide, to the Curator of Conservatory Displays and Plant Propagation position.

He still recalls witnessing the opening of the Bicentennial Conservatory, now one of Adelaide’s cultural icons.

He rose to the Collection Development Officer role in 1996 and was Manager of the Adelaide Botanic Garden from 2001 to 2003.

John played a pivotal part in the development and early years of the Australian Centre of horticultural Excellence, founded at the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, both lecturing Cert 2 and 3 Horticultural qualifications and later mentoring numerous horticultural trainees.  

John served on numerous professional committees and working groups and was involved in many collection developments across all four garden estates.

Often the face and voice of the gardens, he has shared his knowledge and good humour with the gardening community.

His service to the industry and BGANZ is recognised by his place on the BGANZ Honour Roll; he was BGANZ President for two years, the BGANZ 8th Congress organiser and Council member for seven years.

Additionally, John was Chair of the BGANZ Professional Development Group and founding Chair of the BGANZ Collections and Records Management (BCARM) Working Group.

Luckily for BGANZ, he intends to remain associated with both BGANZ and BCARM and hopes to attend the Congress in Canberra next year.

John’s impact and contributions will be remembered; and his good nature, quick wit and ever-present smile will stay with many of us for a long time to come.  

Dr Leonie Scriven, Deputy Director Living Collections, Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium

BGANZ, Committee Representative for SA and Board Director

John in 2008

BCARM Forum Tuesday 30 July 10am AEST

Ensuring Conservation and Long Term Sustainability of our Collections

This forum focuses on the preservation and enduring sustainability of our living collections.

Our focus includes investigating avenues for funding grants, optimising resource allocation and nurturing connections to expand our network both presently and into the future.

Our guest presenters are Doug McDougall (Ground Manager), Olive Pink Botanic Garden and Marie Velthoven (Horticulturist Team Leader) RBGV Cranbourne.

Click here to join the meeting, which will also be recorded.

IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group Meeting to be held at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group Meeting will be hosted at Taronga Zoo from October 30–November 2.

BGCI, in collaboration with the Global Conservation Consortia, will be co-hosting a plant-focused conservation planning session at this meeting. 

We would love anyone who is interested in or has conducted conservation action planning for plants to attend!

Amy Byrne, The Morton Arboretum, 

Australian Seed Bank Partnership’s PlantChat Webinar #1

Our looming seed deficit — what does this mean for 'nature repair' 

You are warmly invited to join us for the first presentation in our ‘PlantChat’ lunchtime webinar series unearthing the important work underway in our plant conservation and research networks to better understand and safeguard our native flora in the face of multiple threats.

Our first webinar will be presented by Dr Samantha Andres, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University about the availability of diverse native seeds and plants required for effective restoration:


Large quantities of diverse native seeds are required to scale up global restoration efforts, however, it remains unclear for many ecosystems how the diversity of available seed in commercial stocks reflects the composition of the ecosystems where vegetation is being remade.

This talk will explore existing shortfalls in the diversity of seed presently available for use in restoration across Australia and identifies gaps in the seed supply chain.

Additionally, we will cover methods for optimising species diversity despite these constraints.

We hope this talk sparks improved collaborations between stakeholders involved in nature repair across Australia to strengthen the seed supply chain and work together to repair diverse vegetation.

Read more about Sam’s research here and register for the webinar here.

Vacancy: Crew Member Open Space (Horticultural Maintenance), Glen Eira City Council

  • Exciting opportunity in horticultural maintenance for driven team members
  • Full time permanent opportunity, part-time may be considered.
  • $65K - $69k per annum (dependent on experience) + superannuation + industry allowance
  • 9-day fortnight.

Glen Eira City Councils Parks Services Department is looking for Open Space Maintenance Crew Members who are passionate and driven to provide excellent care of Glen Eira City Council’s parks and gardens.

There are several roles in our dedicated horticulture maintenance team, maintaining gardens in parks throughout the municipality.

These roles involve working with skilled teams in partnership with stakeholders, both internal and external, to maintain our existing assets and places as well as create new, vibrant and sustainable ones that meet the current and future needs of our community.

Click here for more details.

Closing date: 15 July 11.55pm AEST

For further information or a confidential discussion please contact Cameron Tasker, Team Leader Horticultural Maintenance on 03 99524 3249 or email

Diamond Sponsors

Gold Partner

Join BGANZ as a member

Benefits may include:

  • belonging to the Australasian peak body
  • the opportunity to join specialist advisory groups
  • the opportunity to join regional and specialist networking groups
  • discounts to the BGANZ congress
  • member resources, e.g. plant record management database and living collections toolkit
  • access to training and professional development
  • attendance at regional conferences
  • e-news and member communication
  • subscription to the BOTANIC GARDENer magazine
  • global alliances
  • government and industry advocacy.

Contact us for a BGANZ Membership Application Form

BGANZ acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders past, present and emerging.    

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