APS NSW Life member Peter Olde was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Australian native flora in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Peter’s contribution to the knowledge of Australian native flora, made in a totally voluntary capacity, led to him becoming a world expert in this field and pre-eminent in knowledge of the genus Grevillea. Grevilleas are popular garden plants, due to their colourful flowers which attract birds and other wildlife to the garden, with many cultivars available.
Peter and wife Margaret established a native garden at Illawong in the 1970s and his interest in native flora developed from there. Peter joined the Australian Plants Society Sutherland Group in 1977 and became president serving until 1982. He is also a member of Menai Group. He became leader of the nationwide Grevillea Study Group, under the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia), in 1980, a position he continues to hold. He was appointed life member of APS NSW in 1998 and received the Australian Plants Medal from ANPSA in 2015.
Peter co-authored the three volume Grevillea Book. From 1993 he has been Honorary Research Associate at the National Herbarium of NSW. He has described many species of Grevillea and collected over 5,000 specimens all over Australia. He developed his garden ‘Silky Oaks’ at Oakdale to showcase the diversity of grevilleas and the garden was regularly part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme and open on other occasions.
Based on article in: St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, 10 June 2020.