APS Vic ramping up its planning for the next ANPSA Biennial Conference

By Uploaded by Heather Miles


A very big welcome to our first newsletter for the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Conference, 30 September to 4 October 2024. This conference is being run by the Australian Plants Society Victoria (APS Vic) and this is the first of a bimonthly newsletter to keep you updated. The committee is working extremely hard to make this an experience of a lifetime for you. Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends, group or whoever you think may be interested. Formal bookings for the Conference and Tours are expected to open in early 2024.

Gardens for Life

Australian Plants Society Victoria (APS Vic) will host the biennial national conference of the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) (ANPSA) on 30 September to 4 October 2024.

The theme for the conference is Gardens for Life. It will be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre in Docklands. The garden theme for the conference fits well with the public gardens in and around Melbourne that we will be visiting. Holding the conference in Melbourne also simplifies travel for interstate & international attendees.


The Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre is well set up to host our conference. It is a central venue with ready access to public transport, hotel and Air BnB accommodation options within walking distance and access to all that inner Melbourne has to offer for dining and free time. There are also plenty of parking opportunities, if so desired, although we would recommend public transport given the range of options available.

It is also becoming apparent that the CBDs within large cities all around the world are adapting to the lasting effects of the COVID pandemic on work life practice. People are working at home more and for CBDs to survive they must pivot to becoming entertainment and living areas. This transformation is taking place within the Melbourne CBD.


For the conference week we intend to follow a similar format to the recent NSW conference in Kiama where there were days of lectures interspersed with excursions to local gardens. The day excursions for our Conference will be to the Melton Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne Australian Garden with an additional garden en route on the side.
The day excursions for our Conference will be to the Melton Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne Australian Garden with an additional garden en route on the side. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the various Study Groups within ANPSA.

We encourage you to take a look at the short promotional video on the APS Vic website
https://apsvic.org.au/anpsa-biennial-conference-2024/ and register your interest.

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne Australian Garden.
Eastern Striped Skink (Ctenotus robusta) drinking at a well placed bird bath in the garden
Eastern Spinebill
Monarch Butterfly, (Danaus plexippus) in the garden
Woody Meadows Project
Urban Greening Project and Grassland Restoration Project in the Central Business District and urban areas of Melbourne


The tours will visit some of Victoria’s best scenic areas and spectacular displays of wildflowers. We are offering each tour pre and post conference. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to choose up to two out of the three tours. Each tour will visit areas of wildflowers in natural bushland, public and private gardens. This is an opportunity of a lifetime as some of the gardens are only available through these tours. Each tour will be accompanied by experts. The pre conference tours are from Monday 23 September to Saturday 28 September 2024 and post conference from Saturday 5 October to Thursday 10 October 2024. Each tour covers six days.

Grampians and Wimmera Tour

The Grampians and Wimmera Tour covers an area which includes over one third of the state’s native flora including 130 plus species of orchids.

The tour will visit natural grasslands of the Western District, the floriferous Grampians and unique flora of Mt Arapiles.

This tour travels through Western Victoria’s spreading plains to some of the sub alpine areas of the Grampians ranges.

The tour will also visit various gardens featuring unique design and architecture, another growing the majority of the endemic plants of the Grampians, and a private garden with one of the largest collection of native plants, plus many more.



Wartook Gardens at the foot of the Grampians
The Grampians
Prostanthera arapilensis, a rare endemic of Mt Arapiles

Great Ocean Road and Otways Tour

The Great Ocean Road and Otways is an immensely popular area both for locals and international visitors alike. Breathtaking views greet you at every turn. The tour will take in the many and varied aspects of the flora and fauna present along the way from Melbourne through Anglesea, Lorne, and Apollo Bay to Warrnambool. Spectacular ocean views sit alongside wonderful heathland and the verdant green lushness of the tree ferns and tall eucalypts of the Otways. There are many wonderful cultivated gardens to also view.

Coastline along the Great Ocean Road
Swan Reserve, Warrnambool
Thelymitra rubra, Anglesea
The Ark Garden, Tower Hill

Gippsland and Wilsons Promontory Tour

Gippsland encompasses a wide range of ecosystems from coastal heathland, rainforests, fern gullies, woodlands, to salt marshes and mangroves. Our tour will visit floristically diverse areas including remnant heathland reserves, coastal parks, Tarra Bulga National Park and a big focus will be the jewel that is Wilsons Promontory National Park.

“The Prom” covers 50,512 hectares and joins Victoria’s largest marine park. It is home to more than 700 native plant species, 30 kinds of mammals and 180 species of birds. You will find sweeping beaches, cool fern gullies, great views and spectacular rock formations. Tarra Bulga National Park is a critical remnant of the once vast cool temperate rainforests of Gippsland and has delightful short walks through fern gullies with giant Mountain Ash.

The tour will include expert speakers in the evenings highlighting the flora of the tour and we will visit some superb private gardens and enjoy fine company.

Wilsons Promontory
Bossiaea cinerea, Showy Bossiaea
Pandorea pandorana, Wonga Vine

These tours are a great way to catch up with the network of Australian Plant Society groups and like-minded people from across the nation, to learn and be inspired by experts in their fields and passionate advocates for our flora and fauna, to visit and enjoy local bush land and gardens, and to not just be inspired but also motivated in our own patch.

We will have more comprehensive detail on our tours in future newsletters.

A Sneak Peek into “Raising Rarity”

One of our topics at the Conference is the program Raising Rarity, a Project which is propagating some of Victoria’s rare and endangered native plants for various Botanical Gardens and for the public to purchase these plants to put into their own garden. The Project is to ensure the safety of these plants, so that if they are lost in the wild they are then readily available to plant back into their natural habitat.

Grevillea gariwerdensis only found in the Grampians
Olearia astroloba, only found near the headwaters of the Tambo River
One of the plants growing for Raising Rarity in the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne Australian Garden
Phebalium lowanense, found in the western part of the Big Desert.

Contact Details: Email: anpsa@apsvic.org.au
Register Your interest:  https://apsvic.org.au/anpsa-biennial-conference-2024
Photo credits in this newsletter: Chris Clarke, Royce Raleigh, Miriam Ford, Graham Goods and Maree Goods.