Latest News from the Friends

1 July, 2020
Welcome to the July Newsletter with all the latest from the Friends of Kings Park.

Find out about news at the Friends of Kings Park.

Read on for an update on what’s happening with the Friends and around the Park.

In this issue

President’s Report

I am delighted to report that all Friends of Kings Park volunteers have now returned to the Park and resumed their normal activities. From June 6, various groups of volunteers returned to work throughout the month of June. The staggered approach was deemed necessary, both as a precaution against the coronavirus and to allow for BGPA employees to prepare for and coordinate the influx of volunteers.

Many thanks to our two staff members – Helena and Alex – who worked with the Volunteer coordinator (Larr Rose) over the last month or two to prepare for and oversee the return to work of the Friends volunteers.

We’ve also had more good news on the financial front. Our application to Lotterywest for financial assistance under their Event Cancellation Relief scheme was successful and we have been granted $73,850 in compensation for lost revenue from cancelled plant sales. As noted previously, we have been receiving Commonwealth Government assistance – the JobKeeper subsidy for our two employees (worth $39,000 over 6 months), as well as $20,000 under the Business Cash Flow Boost scheme. With these three forms of assistance, we could well emerge from this coronavirus crisis without any adverse financial effects.

I am very pleased that Michael Tichbon OAM has accepted our invitation to be the Patron of the Friends of Kings Park (see the item in this newsletter). Besides being a major benefactor (he has donated $280,000 to the Friends over the last five years), Michael has devoted his time and energy over many decades to the conservation and protection of WA wildlife and wildflowers. This contribution was recognised, in 2019, when he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

An award of a different type was announced at the recent awards night of the WA chapter of the Institute of Landscape Architects. MJA Studio was awarded a Commendation, in the Small Projects category, for their design of Wanju Marr. Congratulations to all Friends, BGPA and Lotterywest staff who were involved in the conception, design and delivery of the Wanju Marr project!

The schedule for our plant sales for the remainder of 2020 is still up in the air, given the uncertainty about social restrictions and the setback to our growing schedule. However, we have decided to proceed with an online sale of native plants later this month (more details will be provided soon). There is also a chance that we will hold a plant sale in September, albeit one with fewer plants than normal for sale (given the limited time that we have had to grow the plants). Further details will be announced in due course.

Ian Kerr
1 July 2020

Friends of Kings Park announces Michael Tichbon as Patron

The Friends of Kings Park is delighted to announce the appointment of it’s first Patron, Michael Tichbon OAM.

Michael Tichbon is a passionate conservationist and generous supporter of the Friends of Kings Park. Through his donations, he has facilitated grants from the Friends of Kings Park Fund to advance the important scientific and horticultural work undertaken at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority.

“Michael has devoted his time and energy over many years to working for the conservation and protection of WA wildlife and wildflowers. Michael is eminently suited to the position of Patron of the Friends of Kings Park” said Dr Ian Kerr, President of the Friends of Kings Park.

Michael’s dedication was recognised in 2019 when he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his lifetime service to conservation and the environment. In 2016, the rare native plant Hemigenia Tichbonii, was named in his honour.

Michael’s role as Patron of the Friends will involve support and promotion of the Friends’ objectives through advocacy and other means.

Volunteer Update

By now you would know our volunteers are back! Thank you to all the volunteers for understanding the special restrictions that are in place at the moment, and for keeping us up to date with your plans.

This is a quick reminder that to be a volunteer, you need to have a current membership to the Friends of Kings Park. A few have slipped through while volunteering was inactive and that is ok, but as we get back to routine please do a quick check if that was something you meant to do during the shutdown but forgot about. We will send email reminders shortly.

We have had lots of queries from people who would like to be a volunteer. We hear you! Please be patient while we get our current volunteers back to their routines before we can assess how many new volunteers we can take on. When positions become available, they will be advertised here, in the newsletter. We are excited to have you (nearly) on board and hope to find you a spot soon.

Online Plant Sale

Plans are progressing for our very first Online Plant Sale and we’ll be releasing all the details to our members very soon!

Keep an eye on your inbox for instructions for how to order through our website and how and when to collect plants.

This sale will be available to members only, so make sure your membership is up to date and you know your membership number.


You will recall our friends at Zanthorrea kindly assisted us after the cancellation of the May Plant Sale by purchasing our plants for sale at their Nursery. Zanthorrea’s recent newsletter “The Bush Telegraph” included a lovely article about the plants, reproduced below. It’s fantastic to see these plants finding a new home!

“The much anticipated FOKP May plant sale was another casualty of Covid-19. Lester from Friends of Kings Park approached Zanthorrea to purchase some of the plants grown by volunteers. Due to social distancing rules, it was no longer possible to sell them through the scheduled plant sale. To ensure these plants make their way into WA gardens, Zanthorrea agreed to purchase a large selection.

Western Australian native plant enthusiasts will be as excited as we are to have this selection of unusual plants. Popular plants such as Guichenotia macrantha and Melaleuca fulgens Scarlet sit alongside lesser-known beauties like Bossiaea spinescens and Hypocalymma ericifolium in their own display rack. These plants have been grown in small batches in 50mm and 70mm deep forestry tubes in the Kings Park accredited nursery. They have named labels with information to help us find the best position in our gardens. Don’t miss this opportunity to find rarely available WA plants grown by the passionate volunteers of Friends of Kings Park. – Ross”

Aspects is open

Aspects of Kings Park Gallery Shop has reopened, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily and is looking lovelier than ever.

There are several new measures to ensure the comfort of customers shopping in-store. For further information on these measures head to the BGPA website.

Don’t forget Free shipping on all domestic orders over $50 is still available, plus the members-only discount code can still be applied if you’re shopping online.

The online members discount code has been updated, so make sure you use the following code from now on in the vouchers field at the checkout to receive your discount: 2020FOKP-UPA1DTM9.

Wanju Marr Library

Wanju Marr is establishing a library and is seeking donations of books from our members!

If you have books that are less than 10 years old on the subjects of horticulture, native plants, gardens or other or other topics/areas likely to be of interest to volunteers using Wanju Marr, we’d love to have them.

Donations can be dropped off at Wanju Marr on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays between 9-11am.

Climate Watch

Friends and fellow ClimateWatchers

As we have mild winter days with lots of sunshine, a visit to Kings Park is so much more enjoyable. Vast space, fresh air, different biodiversity, flora and fauna.

While there why not collect sightings on those nominated plants on The Bushland Nature Trail. Recording Sheets are available at Visitors Info Centre (due to open soon) or email us, Serene & Paul, [email protected] for a copy.

Use your ClimateWatch app to record sightings for other nominated plants on other trails.

We do not have any planned group walks for the time being but please do keep an eye out in future FOKP’s newsletters.

We look forward to see you all again soon. Thank you for your valuable efforts.

Stay safe, well and healthy.
The ClimateWatch Team

Management Committee

Not all our volunteers are gardeners! The Friends of Kings Park Management Committee is a small team that sets the direction for the Friends and manages many aspects of our operations, and we are seeking new members this year. Have you ever considered giving back to the community by joining a committee?

All positions on the committee will be vacant at the 2020 AGM in October, but we are reaching out now so you have a chance to get to know us. Like to find out what is involved? Please email [email protected] (include your phone number if you would like to chat) with a quick paragraph about yourself, and we will be in touch.

Previous committee experience is not required, but familiarity with Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, or an interest in the volunteer or conservation sectors would be advantageous.

Help us plan for a vibrant future! Contact us and find out more about the Management Committee.