Mosman Botanic Gardens: first installation

    First installation at Mossman Botanic Garden as Professor Tim Entwisle accepts role as inaugural Patron.

    Two exciting events at the Mossman Botanic Garden this month:

    • Work on the first installation of the Mossman Botanic Garden has begun; and
    • Leading Australian Botanist, Professor Tim Entwisle, has agreed to become the inaugural Patron of the Mossman Botanic Garden.

     Garden of Woven Memories

    Appropriately, the first installation at the Mossman Botanic Gardens has been the ‘Garden of Woven Memories, inspired by an Eastern Kuku Yalanji Traditional Owner - young artist and weaver of the Black Palm - Delissa Ngadijina Walker (pictured, below left).  Delissa learned her processes from the knowledge passed from her grandmother Ngadijina Wilma Walker (1929 - 2008). Delissa’s story of learning to weave traditional baskets or “Balji” from her grandmother, using the Black Palm (Normanbya normanbyi), and her quest to keep the skill alive sustainably by teaching her own children and planting more of the palms, was the inspiration for MBG Garden Designer and Director John Sullivan (pictured below right)

    Delissa’s woven artwork was originally exhibited in September 2019 at The Call of the Running Tide Exhibition in Port Douglas.

    The weaving exhibited (pictured left – Picture Credit: Tourism Port Douglas) allowed for the contemplation of a new garden that needed to be both botanically useful, provide pleasure to viewer, and to connect the Kuku Yalanji lands with their Culture and story-telling within the Botanic Gardens.

    The new garden is based around a Black Palm grove and includes other useful plants from the local forest used for weaving. The shade of the rainforest is a place to reflect on the usefulness of plants and how central they were/are to cultural life.

    Progressing through this small garden, granite boulders represent the Mossman River and direct the viewer’s gaze beyond the space toward Mt. Demi. On the far side of the garden is a small grassland, recognising the drier parts of Kuku Yalanji Country, and representing the balance between the traditionally burnt areas and the important rainforest refuges that were never burnt, thereby preserving the remnants of the ancient Gondwanan forests.

    Distinguished Australian Botanist, Professor Tim Entwisle, has agreed to take on the role of Mossman Botanic Garden’s inaugural Patron. Professor Entwisle is a highly respected scientist, scientific communicator and botanic gardens director. Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens. Tim is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne and a Visiting Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Science, Durham University. He is an expert in freshwater algae but has a broad interest in all plants and related life forms. Tim blogs, tweets, and promotes science, plants and gardens whenever he can.

    The Team at MBG

    Mossman Botanic Gardens maintains close links with The Cairns Institute and James Cook University. The current Board comprises Professor Darren Crayn, Director of the Australian Tropical Herbarium at JCU, Dr Georgina Davis, CEO of Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Mr Jeff Schrale, Head of Business Lending for Far North Queensland at ANZ, and a board member for Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Consultant Ms Sheena Walshaw, ClimateForce CEO Barney Swan, Hortulus Design owner Mr John Sullivan, Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association CEO Nathan Clarke, and Mossman businessman, Mr Roy Weavers. The Board is chaired by Cairns Institute Adjunct Research Associate Simon Towle.

    MBG’s Chief Executive Officer is businesswoman and polar adventurer, Mrs Nicky Swan, and Company Secretary is Mrs Erin Murray who has a background in commerce and public sector administration. JCU Master of Global Development student, Mr Markus Kaufmann, is the MBG’s first intern.

    For more information about the Mossman Botanic Garden project, visit https://www.mossmanbotanicgarden.com.au/

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