New Botanic Gardens Trust Head returns home from prestigious London post
20 April 2011
The Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker, announced today the appointment of Professor David Mabberley as the new Executive Director of the New South Wales Royal Botanic Gardens Trust in Sydney, Australia, to take effect from 22 August 2011.
Professor Mabberley, an Australian citizen, will be returning home to New South Wales from his current position as Keeper (Director) of the Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London.
As Executive Director of The Botanic Gardens Trust he will be responsible for the management of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden and Domain, The National Herbarium of New South Wales, The Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan near Camden and The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden (Mount Tomah).
Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker said, “It is a great tribute to the status of the New South Wales Botanic Gardens Trust that we are able to attract such a high calibre of international leadership as Professor David Mabberley.”
“It’s something of an ironic twist that NSW has just farewelled its former Executive Director, Dr. Tim Entwisle, to take up a post at Kew, only to be able to attract and fill our Executive position with a current highly respected Director of such wide international experience from there.”
The Chair of the NSW Royal Botanic Gardens Trust, Mr. Greg Martin welcomed Professor Mabberley back to NSW and said, “The Trust looks forward to working with David Mabberley who will bring such breadth of experience and internationally recognised expertise to the Gardens.”
“We knew that filling the shoes of Tim Entwisle would be challenging and we are delighted that David has agreed to take up this role,” Mr. Martin said.
Professor Mabberley has extensive senior management and leadership experience both internationally and previously within Australia. He holds degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge and had 20 years experience as a Tutorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, where he was Dean for many years. He joined Kew in 2008 from his role as Director of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens in Seattle, USA, and was previously CEO of Greening Australia (NSW) Inc., a member-based not-for-profit organisation, and having run his own consultancy business, ranging over six continents.
“New South Wales’s Botanic Gardens form an internationally significant science and conservation organisation with a major leadership role in the Asia-Pacific, besides comprising a trio of some of the most spectacular and well-loved gardens in the whole world, so I am honoured to be enabled to work with the Trust and Gardens' staff in the lead up to the bicentenary in 2016”, said David Mabberley.
“The opportunities are fantastic, whether it's the new PlantBank at The Australian Botanic Garden or the children’s gardens across all three sites, the outstanding collections in the National Herbarium and the Botanic Gardens Library, or the heritage trees and landscapes, so I can hardly wait to get back to New South Wales!”, he said.
In taking up the post, David Mabberley builds on a distinguished career which has led to his being recognised as an eminent botanist, historian of science and authority on botanical art. He also holds a number of respected positions, including Visiting Professor at Oxford university, Extraordinary Professor at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.
He is the author of the internationally acclaimed 'Mabberley’s Plant-Book', which gives an overview of the world’s flora and is currently in its third edition, which was awarded the Engler Medal in 2009. He has written 15 other books, including definitive biographies on figures such as Robert Brown, the naturalist on Mathew Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia (1801-3) and books on botanical artists such as Ferdinand Bauer, who accompanied Flinders and Brown on that voyage in the Investigator.
David Mabberley is also widely published in scientific and historical as well as popular horticultural literature and received the Linnean Medal for Botany in 2006.
Professor Stephen Hopper, Director (CEO and Chief Scientist) at Kew said, "This appointment is further confirmation of the close ties and very high regard in which staff of our respective organisations are held. Professor Mabberley has achieved remarkable things in his three years at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.”
“He has led initiatives that will shape a bright future for the Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives in the context of our global, science-based plant conservation work. We are grateful for the depth and breadth of his contributions, and wish him well indeed in his new role. I look forward to ongoing and strengthened collaboration between the New South Wales Royal Botanic Gardens Trust and Kew, at a time when plant based solutions have a vital role to play in helping people cope with unprecedented global change,” said Professor Stephen Hopper.
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