Latest News from the Friends

29 October, 2019
Welcome to the November Newsletter with all the latest from the Friends of Kings Park.

Find out about news and upcoming events at the Friends of Kings Park. Highlights include reports from our recent AGM, introducing our new President, the next Plant Sale and images from the recent Open Garden Tour of Cypress Farm. Not to mention our Book of the Month, a Climate Watch update and the perfect Christmas present for friends and family!

In this issue


It was a packed house for our 2019 AGM with our members learning about the progress of the Friends plans for the future and treated to a fascinating presentation by guest speaker, Digby Growns “Game of Clones – New Grevillea Releases ‘This has a much better ending!!’”

Betty Forbes was presented with a Life Membership for the Friends, in recognition of her exceptional support over an extended period of time.

We also said goodbye to our resigning President, Pippa Moodie. Pippa has been a member of the Friends for over 16 years, a member of the Growing Friends for 16 years, including as Chair of the Nursery Committee for many years.

Pippa joined the Management Committee in 2012 and was Vice President, and then President of the Friends for the last 3 years. Pippa was also made a Life Member of the Friends in 2015.

During this time, Pippa has had an enormous impact on the Friends, working hard in the Nursery, at Plant Sales, Skyworks, and much more. As President, Pippa has forged close working relationships with the Park and our sponsors such as Lotterywest, as well as driving significant projects including the new Volunteer Hub, Wanju Marr.

Pippa has kindly agreed to serve on the Management Committee for a further year to assist the incoming President in making the transition from Management Committee member to President. Her role will be akin to that of an immediate past president. She has also agreed to continue her involvement with the Volunteer Hub Administrative Committee which she has chaired since its formation earlier this year.

Thank you Pippa for your endless support for the great work of the Friends.

A message from Growing Friends
“The Growing Friends would like to extend their gratitude and acknowledge the amazing work Pippa has done in advancing our nursery facilities, procedures and preparing for our four plant sales which are held every year.

Pippa has volunteered in the nursery for 16 years and for many years has been managing the volunteers and the plant growing which have ensured the success of our plant sales.  She has worked tirelessly in implementing many improvements.  Through her work we are producing high-quality plants which are keenly sort after by the public. The amazing early queues at every plant sale are a testament to the range and standard of plants being grown.

Behind the scenes, she has improved the setup of the nursery and fostered a closer relationship with the staff of BGPA. These things have enabled us to improve both our knowledge, skills and the standard of propagation. As a volunteering experience, being a Growing Friend is a sought-after role and this also is a credit to Pippa’s tireless service.

We will miss Pippa and wish her all the very best in her travels and future projects.”

We welcome our new President, Ian Kerr, to the role and look forward to working with him in the future. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Ian yet, have a read of his bio below to get to know him.

Ian Kerr

Interest in Kings Park
Ian grew up in Floreat Park in the 1950s and 1960s; Bold Park/Perry Lakes Reserve was his back yard. Since 2013, Kings Park has been his back yard; his house looks over Thomas St to the park and he regularly cycles and jogs there. Ian has been visiting Kings Park for over half a century, has been a Friend of Kings Park for several years and has been on the FoKP Management Committee for a year.

Professional Career

Ian is currently an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University. He has had many years of experience as an economist in academia (mostly at Curtin University) and government (both state and federal), including experience in teaching, research, university administration, journal editorship and consultation. Ian has consulted widely for private companies and government bodies (at local, state, federal and international level). He has also taught and/or taken sabbatical leave at universities in the USA, the UK, Canada, China, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and the UAE).

Ian has held a variety of administrative positions, including Head of the School of Economics and Finance at Curtin University, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Curtin Business School, Director of the Institute for Research into International Competitiveness, Editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Economics and Business, Chief Executive Officer of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia, and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Malaysia (Curtin University’s campus in Malaysia).


Floreat Park Primary School; Scotch College; University of WA (B.Ec (Hons)); Sussex University (MA in Philosophy); Florida State University (PhD in Economics).

November Plant Sale

Our last Native Plant Sale of the year is nearly here!

Although this is a smaller sale, we still need lots of help to make it happen. Please sign up for your slot on the roster below.  Remember to click submit on the form and you will receive a confirmation email of your submission.

Please email Alex at [email protected] if you have any questions about volunteering or the sign-up form.

Open Garden – Cypress Farm

At the end of a winding gravel road lies Cypress farm, nestled in a valley and flanked by the Lane Poole Nature Reserve. Cypress Farm Garden occupies 12 acres surrounding two spring fed lakes; Japanese Lake and Monet Lake. It is a magical place, full of natives and exotics including Maples, deciduous Magnolias, stunning Azaleas, Waratahs, Banksias and native orchids, set against a backdrop of towering Blackbutts. Tree ferns line the brooks and the winding paths take us to something new and beautiful at every turn. Benches are thoughtfully placed to admire the changing vistas.

In addition to inquisitive Friends and Volunteer Master Gardeners, Cypress farm hosts marron, trout, frogs, quendas, mardos, monitors, phascogales and gourmandizing water rats (they enjoy a diet of marron).  Birds, including black cockatoos, wrens, honeyeaters, western spinebills, robins and spotted pardalotes, flock to the lakes and surroundings.

It is wonderful thing to see a garden in progress, and catch glimpses of its past, present and future. We are greatly indebted to Kingsley and Lionel for inviting us to Cypress farm. The experience is something we will treasure for many years to come.

2020 Calendar – the perfect Xmas gift!

Our ever-popular Wildflower Calendar is on sale featuring a beautiful selection of native flowers and plants. It makes the perfect gift for locals and visitors alike. Our contributors this year include our Office Administrator, Helena Waldmann, well-known wildflower photographer,Beth Baker and Georgie Wilson, Volunteer Guide at Kings Park.

The calendar is available at Aspects of Kings Park – show your Friends membership card in store to receive a 15% discount off the retail price. It is also available through the Friends office, download an order form here or visit the Aspects website to order online.

Don’t forget, proceeds from the sale of the calendar go straight to the Friends, to support important projects within Kings Park.

Make sure you don’t miss out! Last year’s calendar sold faster than we anticipated and a few folk were left disappointed. Support the Friends of Kings Park by purchasing your calendar now!

Book of the Month

Olive Pink: Artist, Activist & Gardener – Gillian Ward

A superb selection of original paintings of the iconic flowers of the Central Australian region, alongside a fascinating biography featuring beautifully reproduced memorabilia of a colourful and unconventional historical Australian figure

Climate Watch – Forrest Drive Trail Walk 2 November 2019

On a glorious spring morning, 7 climate watchers (3 new to group) joined this casual walk through beautiful Kings Park.
Some initial issues in navigating the ClimateWatch App were ironed out quickly. We had good discussions on phenophases of the plants and the recording of them. Everyone was happy to be contributing to the project.
The Illawarra Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifollius) at Place of Reflection is in excellent form, with lots of green leaves but not flowering yet. All other 10 nominated plants/trees on the trail are in the same condition.
If you wish to join our CW group to get involved or have any queries, please do not hesitate to email us, Serene & Paul @ [email protected]

Come and join us for another walk along the Bushland Nature Trail.
Wednesday 20 November 2019, 9am
The last walk was 3 months ago so it will be interesting to observe new changes in the plants.

What’s on in November

VMG Dig it with Coffee: Native Gardens Advice
Wednesdays 6 Nov
Between 10 and 11.30 am at Zamia Café
Bookings essential: call the Kings Park Master Gardeners on 9480 3672, email [email protected] or visit Kings Park Events Calendar: Dig it with Coffee

Bushland Carers
Check the Bushland Carers 2019 Volunteer Program Calendar, under the Volunteering page on our website