Life Membership Award Tim Hayes

By APS editor

Congratulations to Tim Hayes from Southern Tablelands Group who was awarded Life Membership at the APS NSW AGM, held in April 2023. This summary is based on the nomination from Southern Tablelands Group , with added detail. APS Southern Tablelands are delighted to have Tim as a continuing member of our group and we very much value his contribution. He is worthy of Life Membership both for his promotion of the aims of the society and his practical contribution to the governance of the Australian Plants Society.

Serving the Australian Plants Society

Tim Hayes - lifetime membership award

Tim was a member of a small group of local citizens interested in native flora who during the 1980s were organising walks in the various ecosystems surrounding Goulburn. This interest resulted in a group of 4 forming, in about 1987, the original Goulburn Branch of SGAP and eventually todays Southern Tablelands Group of APS NSW (STAPS). In the early stage of the groups existence there was a lack of formality with no member appointed as president and no actual committee until 1994 when the first AGM was held. Tim held the position of Secretary from 1994 until he was elected President in 2017. He continued as President until 2021 and continues to be involved as a committee member which makes a total of 36 years of active membership and 29 years on the committee.

In the 1980s and early 1990s after most activities a news sheet was produced which Tim authored. This evolved into a monthly newsletter which Tim continued to edit and produce until 2019. During this time, he was also regularly leader of many of the walks and on many occasions using his knowledge of the various walk locations produced simplified keys to allow members to identify many of the plants encountered. On many occasions he has identified and reported plants which he has found outside their recognised range. Plants include Dilwynia prostrata, the prostrate Kunzia cambagei and Tasmannia lanceolata. From an early stage in the evolution of the Group Tim began to study and classify the various flora seen on the regular monthly walks. He became recognised for his knowledge of the plant in the Pea family found in the Southern Tablelands and was responsible for the discovery of a new species, which eventually led to the classification of Dilwynia glaucula acknowledged by the Editorial Board of Telopia as a new species. He has an extensive seed bank of local pea species and has supplied seed to the National Arboretum in Canberra. Subsequently he guided their botanists to locations where some of the rarer pea plants can be found. This enabled them to collect seed to extend their seed bank.


Sharing his garden and knowledge

Tim’s knowledge and collection of seed of the pea family have led to him being sought after for advice and assistance from outside the STAPS district. This is evidenced by his work with botanists in the National Arboretum, and others advising them of the occurrence of species outside their previously recorded and recognised range. Together with other members of the group he has prepared plant lists for the National Park reserve at Kerawarra not previously surveyed. Other lists of plants produced during the walks in other parks and reserves have been supplied to the bodies responsible for those areas. The many lists of plants prepared by Tim, and published in the Groups monthly newsletter, after the Group’s monthly walks have been used by National Parkes, the Atlas of Living Australia and by Tony Maxwell in preparing his extensive lists of species in the Southern Tablelands.

Over many years Tim has been propagating plants for distribution to Landcare groups, local schools, and for sale to landholders within the Southern Tablelands region. He has been jointly responsible for collecting seed and vegetative material and growing out significant numbers of plants used to establish the Goulburn Wetlands. Tim’s focus has been on regeneration and the promotion of revegetation of areas with local species rather than those suitable for urban gardens. Through these activities he has built up knowledge on the propagation of seed and vegetative material from local species which he has used to conduct training programs for local landcare groups, schools, and members of the Southern Tablelands APS (STAPS) group. 

Supporting the Australian Flora

Recently Tim was approached by the managers of the GER K2W project to organise the STAPS group to produce initially 3000 plants forrevegetating the corridor along the Abercrombie River between Kanangara Boyd NP and Wyangla dam. In addition, he has been delivering seed and vegetative material collection and propagation training for landcare members in the general K2W project area. In the early years one of the Group members established a native plant nursery outside of Goulburn. Tim supported it and provided advice for some of the species selected for propagation at the nursery This nursery at Towrang, Danganelly’s Nursery, is now operated by the son of the member who originally established it. Tim’s contribution towards the achievement of the NSW objectives has touched all areas except perhaps for Improving native plants as garden subjects. Although his efforts have mainly been localised to the Southern Tablelands, they have been none the less significant. Without his dedication to the objectives of spreading knowledge and promoting an understanding and appreciation of native plants the STAPS group would not be in the position it is today: over 30 to 40 members and recognised for the role it plays in local conservation of native flora and fauna.