Happy volunteers supporting Kings Park

Image by Jason Thomas

Mr S.A. MILLMAN: My question will bring us back closer to home, or at least closer to the home of my constituents in Mt Lawley. I direct members to the service summary table on page 201 of budget paper No 2. A number of my constituents enjoy visits to Kings Park and my question is about expense item 1 in the table. I understand that a significant number of volunteers contribute to the Kings Park authority. Can the parliamentary secretary provide some details regarding the activities undertaken by these volunteers? Although we cannot always put a dollar figure on it, what is some of the value that we get from the services provided to the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority by our volunteers?

Mr R.R. WHITBY: As I mentioned before, there is a wonderful tradition of—I know the opposition is interested in this as well—voluntary service. It is a way of leveraging the taxpayer dollar to do more. It certainly shows great love and devotion to Kings Park in particular, which is iconic in Western Australia. In fact, the member is correct. About 1 500 Western Australians are members of about five volunteer groups that generously give their time at Kings Park and also Bold Park. They care for the natural environment, welcome visitors, advance science through aiding in research and help to preserve Western Australian history. The total number of volunteer hours recorded in 2016–17 was more than 38 000. It is an impressive contribution to the state at no cost to Western Australian taxpayers. These services are estimated to be the equivalent of 19 full-time positions and the labour or wages value of that contribution is put at about $1.7 million annually. I guess it is more than the economic return; it is also a priceless contribution because of their engagement and connection, which has a flow-on effect. People get great value out of community service and volunteering. It is a return for not only Kings Park and the state but also the individuals who take part in the volunteer groups. I am sure that they do it for a love of the environment, the city and Kings Park. The volunteers at Kings Park have been very active and the Friends of Kings Park managed to secure a $2.4 million contribution from Lotterywest in July last year to construct a new volunteer hub. This will prove to be a very useful facility in the future. The hub concept was approved by the board in June this year and construction is planned for next year. It will be a great central location for volunteers to be based in and to work from in the park. It will be the home of volunteers in the park. I will also mention the volunteer guides in Kings Park. They provided more than 20 000 hours of service in the past year, so they are really pulling more than their fair share. Their commitment to the community and Kings Park was recently recognised by Volunteering WA in the community group awards for 2016. I have no doubt that some of the member for Mount Lawley’s very own constituents would be among these volunteers. I am sure they would also be recognised and we appreciate the value that they get out of helping to look after such a great, iconic and valuable resource and facility for all Western Australians.

Mr D.C. NALDER: I think it is a huge credit and a wonderful asset that we have in Kings Park. It is fantastic for the people of Western Australia, and the level of volunteering that we have across many facets of our community never ceases to amaze me.


The Friends are delighted to announce they were successful with their application to Lotterywest in securing a grant to support the 2017 Kings Park Festival.

The Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Environment; Disability Services on behalf of the Premier and Lotterywest presented a grant for $100,000 to the Friends at an informal presentation on Wednesday, 7 June 2017.

Minister Dawson with volunteers at the presentation.

When the Friends of Kings Park were successful in receiving a grant from Volunteering WA to celebrate National Volunteer Week , a special morning tea was organised to thank volunteers from the five dedicated volunteer groups who support Kings Park and Bold Park.  The morning tea took place on Tuesday, 9 May in the back garden of the Lodge with over 90 volunteers attending.

Stephen Dawson, Minister for the Environment and Disability Services attended the celebration and thanked volunteers for their efforts, enthusiasm and generous amount of time they gave to support the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.

Thank you, Volunteering WA, for making this celebration possible.

Volunteers from Kings Park Master Gardeners, Kings Park Volunteer Guides, the Honour Avenues Group, the Friends of Bold Park and the Friends of Kings Park celebrating.

lotterywest grant Pippa Hon Alb Jacob x web

The Friends of Kings Park had a special visit to the Volunteers Lodge on the 6 July by the Environment Minister Hon Albert Jacob, to present the Friends with a $100,000 Lotterywest grant to support the 2016 Kings Park Festival.

A group of Friends of Kings Park Volunteers receive Minister Jacob, representatives from Lotterywest and the Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority and put on a friendly morning tea to celebrate the occasion.

lotterywest grant presentation volunteer group x web

“People from all walks of life will have the chance to enjoy a great program of free activities and exhibitions throughout September, while gaining an appreciation for Western Australian plants and our spectacular wildflowers in particular,” Mr Jacob said.

For more information about the 2016 Kings Park Festival, visit www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park/events/festival

Media Statement from the Hon Albert Jacob, Minister for Environment; Heritage

by Tony Scalzo, Editor, For People and Plants.

A couple of years after I joined the Growing Friends plant propagation group some 20 years ago, there burst on the scene this pocket dynamo full of energy and enthusiasm in the form of Val Gough.

Val Gough feature image

Having recently retired from a career in teaching Val joined the Friends of Kings Park and quickly slotted into the Growing Friends taking on important roles with assisting in organising plant sales, stock control and printing off labels. These were roles she continued on with for many years as a key stalwart member of the group.

Like a lot of her interests, including her sporting passions of golf and bowls and following the Dockers Aussie Rules football team, Val put in 100% dedication and passion to her activities within the Friends of Kings Park.

Her friends in the Growing Friends will remember her bubbly personality and the energy she gave to her volunteer roles within the group. She was also a key go-to person in making sure the plant sales ran smoothly and successfully.

FokP Management Committee 2014 x web

Val was also a long-term member of the Friends Management Committee and served in that role from 2001 till her recent passing. Speaking of Val’s tenure on the Management Committee, Bob Bunney, the President of FOKP, said that “Val provided a consistent, sometimes persistent, well considered and invaluable contribution, offered often in good humour, but always with grace. Val was always willing to help in any task and was always ready to provide advice and mentoring, when needed. She is a great loss to the Friends and will be sorely missed.”

For her outstanding services to the Friends of Kings Park, Val was honoured with the award of Honourary Life Membership in 2013.

She will be greatly missed by all Friends.  Vale Val.

Val and Ratna at Plant Sale


Generated by IJG JPEG Library

By Steve Hopper 23/ 6/ 2016

With the passing of Tom Alford Kings Park and Botanic Garden has lost a great Friend and supporter, who played a pivotal role in establishing the Friends of Kings Park and leading as President during foundational years over these past two decades.

I first met Tom in 1992 when he was then President of the Western Australian Wildflower Society. As the new Director of Kings Park and Botanic Garden, I was keen to establish a Friends organisation, and wanted to ensure the Wildflower Society was comfortable with this proposal.

Tom, from the outset, was positively enthusiastic. He offered every  assistance. Generously, he agreed to chair a formation working group, which spent six months preparing a Constitution and planning for the launch of the Friends of Kings Park. Premier Richard Court and Mrs Jo Court launched the organisation by planting the Friends Tree in the Botanic Garden on the 5th April 1993, and 53 people attended the foundation meeting of the Friends of Kings Park a month later on May 5.

Tom was unanimously elected President, with acclamation. He went on to serve the best part of a decade in this role, bringing business acumen, a friendly positive disposition, and a passion for native plants and all that Kings Park had to offer the community.

Tom Alford

In 1993 Tom wrote: “As Perth’s most popular attraction Kings Park has the potential to be one of the great parks of the world.” He worked tirelessly to help achieve this vision before and after his retirement from Telstra. The strong relationship we forged together with the Lotteries Commission hinged on Tom’s ability to work through solutions to challenges in an inclusive and positive way.

His efforts were rightly recognised in 2008 with the award of Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘service to horticulture, particularly native plant conservation, and through support for Kings Park Botanic Garden, and to the community’.

At a personal level Tom and I enjoyed a close friendship united through shared views on making Kings Park and Botanic Garden stronger through community involvement. We had many laughs and shared great pride in the achievements that blossomed from this collaboration.

Tom’s late entry into the world of wildflower photography reflected his passion and zest for life. Countless trips to the bush occurred to track down species of interest. He was generous in sharing experiences and photos taken.

Tom often used the word ‘special’ in describing people, places and plants. Aptly, he himself merits the adjective. He was a very special person, and he will be long remembered for his contributions.



Guides Award 2 004 (2) Larr Rose x newsletter

The Kings Park Volunteer Guides have been working for over 30 years to deliver inspiring walks and an information service to the local, interstate and international visitors to Kings Park.

A hearty congratulations for this well deserved recognition and celebration of the Kings Park Guides as WA Volunteer Community Organisation of 2016.


kings Park at heart

Suitable for beginners as well as more experienced writers, participants will learn how to loosen up their writing selves and pour their creative thoughts onto the page.

Writing forms include prose, poetry, micro fiction and memoir. This is a fun, supportive and inclusive group that will allow your inner writer to bloom!

Saturday afternoon workshops start on the 11th June, at $80 for the four week course.

For more details and booking information, visit the BGPS website or call the bookings officer on 9480 3624

Adopt a Bench image in nursery

New light weight folding benches, made by the Mosman Park Men’s Shed, being lighter and easier to set up, have been making the world of difference to volunteers at the plant sales.

The manual handling of trays of plants from the growing benches onto the ground before moving the old heavy benches to the sale site has been eliminated.

However, this improvement has come at a cost!  Please let the Friends know if you would like to help with this outlay by adopting a bench for $250.  All contributions will be acknowledged with your name inscribed on the bench.

For further details or enquiries, please contact the Friends office on (+61 8) 9480 3643 or via email: [email protected]

Kings Park and Botanic Garden has been a place to treasure for generations.

Home to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, Kings Park offers spectacular views, unique native flora, manicured parklands, and natural bushland, and welcomes visitors from all walks of life.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the heart of our city.

By becoming a member of the Friends of Kings Park, you support Kings Park and Botanic Garden.