Our organisation

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Our vision is to see people, communities, institutions and industries informed and inspired by the power of plants and to support their conservation.

We are the stewards of three world-leading botanic gardens, Australia’s premier botanical research institute, and one of the country’s most loved urban parklands.

Aerial view of the Palace Rose Garden

Leadership and Governance

Executive Leadership Team

A/Chief Executive

  • Professor Brett Summerell  

A/Director Science, Education and Conservation

  • Maurizio Rossetto 

Director, Horticulture and Living Collections

  • John Siemon 

A/Director Experiences, Partnerships & Engagement

  • Melissa Driscoll 

Director Finance, Property & Corporate Services

  • Gabrielle Collins

Director Asset Management, Planning & Projects

  • George Salouros 
Board of Trustees

Richard Nunn (Chairperson)

  • Appointed: 2 November 2023; Current Term Expiry: 1 November 2026

Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman

  • Appointed: 11 January 2017; Current Term Expiry: 31 December 2024 

Tony Pearson 

  • Appointed: 5 September 2018; Current Term Expiry: 31 December 2024

Mark Fleming 

  • Appointed: 31 October 2018; Current Term Expiry: 31 October 2025 

Debra Townsend 

  • Appointed: 28 November 2018; Current Term Expiry: 31 October 2025

Anna Guillan AM

  • Appointed: 2 January 2024; Current Term Expiry: 1 January 2027

Professor Andy Marks 

  • Appointed: 2 January 2024; Current Term Expiry: 1 January 2027 
Australian Institute of Botanical Science Advisory Committee

Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman – Chair (Trustee) 

Ms Giselle Collins 

Dr Ian Cresswell 

Senior Prof. Kris French 

Prof. Robert Henry 

Mr Clarence Slockee 

Prof. Brett Summerell

Audit and Risk Committee

Mark Fleming (Chair)

Tony Pearson

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust is a statutory body established under a New South Wales Act of Parliament: the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980.

The Act defines the Trust's powers, authorities, duties and functions, as well as vesting certain land and other property in the Trust.

The Act determines the Trust to consist of 7 trustees, who are appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister. The Trust's Principal Objects under the Act are:

  • to maintain and improve the Trust lands, the National Herbarium and the collections of living and preserved plant life owned by the Trust,
  • to increase and disseminate knowledge with respect to the plant life of Australia, and of New South Wales in particular, and
  • to encourage the use and enjoyment of the Trust lands by the public by promoting and increasing the educational, historical, cultural and recreational value of those lands.

When acting in pursuance of its objects, the Trust shall give particular emphasis to encouraging and advancing the study of systematic botany, and to plant conservation.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Regulation 2020

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Regulation 2020 is a statutory instrument made under the Authority of the Act.

The Regulation sets out the administrative detail that operates under the Act, including rules for activities on Trust Lands, including: 

  • Entry onto Trust lands,
  • Use of vehicles, 
  • Commercial and public activities,
  • Recreational activities,
  • Offensive and dangerous conduct,
  • Animals on Trust lands.

Policies and Plans

Tenders

Tenders are advertised through NSW Government Tenders.

Leases

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust can enter formal leases, both short-term and long-term, for the supply and delivery of goods and services, such as turf supply, waste removal, and food and beverage services for specific events or locations.

Requests for goods and services delivered and managed by experienced and specialised private operators, contractors or third parties are advertised and sourced through the NSW Government Tender processes.

At the end of any lease term(s), the Trust reviews its ongoing business and operational requirements. Then, as appropriate, it either prepares new requests to return to market (using the NSW Government Tender processes) or considers alternative procurement options.

Licences

The Trust may grant a licence for the non-exclusive use of land to: 

  • Maintain, re-lay or repair existing pipelines or cables
  • Repair services that traverse
  • Trust lands through to neighbouring lands owned by other organisations
  • Temporary construction access
  • Temporary venue hires or other commercial purposes
  • Repair or construction works criteria

Requests for licences associated with repair works or construction works should be made in writing to the Trust. They must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Support the Government supply of services and utilities
  • Support the supply of service to owners of neighbouring lands
  • The proposal will leave no permanent impact on the physical structures or visual amenities of the Trust lands
  • The proposal must comply with legislative safety and environmental requirements.
  • Temporary venue hires criteria

Requests for licences associated with temporary venue hire or other commercial purposes must be made in writing to the Trust. Venue hire requests must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Enhance the educational, historical, cultural or recreational value of Trust lands
  • Integrate Trust activities with the wider social or cultural life of NSW
  • Comply with legislative safety and environmental requirements
  • Must not leave any permanent impact on the physical structure or visual amenity of the Trust lands
  • Demonstrate and align with the core activities and objectives of the Trust
  • Must meet an appropriate standard of service delivery
  • Should provide a commercial return to the Trust if applicable.
Easements

An easement allows another person or entity to use lands owned by another person or entity without any right of ownership of possession .The most common forms of easements are rights of way and for services, such as water, electricity or sewerage. In the case of the Trust lands, the Trust may grant easements across Trust lands to:

  • Constructing pipelines or laying cables
  • Providing access to dwellings adjacent to Trust lands
  • Supporting the Trust to reach its objectives.
  • Easements criteria

Requests for easements must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Supports the Government supply of services and utilities.
  • Supports the supply of service to owners of neighbouring lands.
  • Provides access to owners of neighbouring lands.
  • Minimises the impact on the physical structure and visual amenity of Trust lands.
  • Complies with legislative safety and environmental requirements.
  • Demonstrates and aligns with the core activities and objectives of the Trust.
Living Collections Strategy
Customer Charter
Cultural Collections Policy & Procedure
First Nations Engagement Strategy
Work health and safety policy
Child Safety Policy

Access to Information

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA)

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) gives you the right to access government information you ask for, unless there is an overriding public interest against release.

Government information is any record held by an agency, a private sector entity or the State Records Authority to which the agency has an immediate right of access, or a record that is in the possession or under the control of a person in his or her capacity as an officer of the agency. A record means any document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form or by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any other means.

Information is made available in four ways:

  • Mandatory disclosure - open access information
  • Proactive release
  • Informal release
  • Formal release
Mandatory disclosure - open access information

The following open access information must be disclosed free of charge:

  • Agency Information Guide
  • Policy documents 
  • Information formally released under the GIPA Act (disclosure log of formal access applications - these are maintained by the Department of Planning and Environment) 
  • Government contracts register for contracts valued at $150,000 or more
  • Information about the agency contained in any document tabled in Parliament by, or on behalf of, the agency - other than any document tabled by order of either House of Parliament
  • The agency's record of open access information (if any) that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure
  • A list of major assets (other than land holdings) - included in Annual Reports
  • The total number and value of properties disposed of during the previous financial year - to be included in Annual Reports from 2009-2010
  • Guarantee of Service
  • Code of Ethics and Conduct
Proactive release

We will proactively release as much information as possible; however, sometimes this may not be possible, for instance if the information concerns another party’s affairs.

You can ask what further information we will make available, in addition to the information already publicly accessible.

Contact us if you require further details.

Informal release

You can ask for specific information (including your personal information) on an informal basis. Contact us if you require further details.

We will give you a decision as quickly as possible. If we can't provide a final decision within 20 working days, we will let you know when you can expect one.

There is no right of review if you are not happy with an informal decision. If you make a formal application for the information, you will then have review rights.

Formal release

Applying formally for information using an access application is the last resort.

However, there may be public interest reasons why the information may not be released informally, or a third party will need to be consulted in relation to the release of their business or personal information, in which case a formal application should be lodged.

Formal GIPA access applications for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust can be lodged through the Department of Planning and Environment

More information

For more information on accessing information under the GIPA Act, including personal information, visit the Department of Planning and Environment or the Office of the Information Commissioner.

A scientist working in the Herbarium in contemporary times.
The Act of Parliament that defines our lands, powers, authorities, duties and functions.
aboriginal tour kids and traditional fruit close up
Read our Reconciliation Action Plan and First Nations Engagement Strategy
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Need more information? Contact us to find out more.