The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has won two Event of the Year accolades and the Community Program of the Year award at Parks & Leisure Australia’s 2017 NSW & ACT Regional Awards of Excellence held on 18 May 2017.
The awards are a benchmark for exceptional management of greenspaces based on several criteria including innovation, creativity, engagement and originality, and represent the Garden’s demonstrated leadership in events and community programs.
Event of the Year
Two of the most memorable events held during the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s 200th Birthday year in 2016 received awards.
The ‘Event of the Year’ title was awarded to barrangal dyara (skin and bones), an installation of 15,000 shields and suite of events hosted in partnership with Kaldor Public Arts Projects, artist Jonathan Jones.
Special acknowledgement in the same category was award for Vivid Sydney: The Garden of Light.
Parks and Leisure Australia judges found that both of the Garden’s 200th Birthday events were innovative and purposeful, engaging talks, plans and visual elements to share narratives that strengthen communities and give visitors a sense of connection to ‘place’.
“We are thrilled to be recognised for these two accolades which highlight, not just the work of our incredible events team but the organisational approach to hosting public events that make our world-class public greenspaces more accessible” said Kim Ellis Executive Director Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.
“It is through engaging story-telling events that we create advocates for the future, connecting people with place, plants and planet.”
During 2016, more than one million people attended public and community events held at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain.
Community Program of the Year
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s Community Greening program, which contributes to the growth of community gardens across the state, received the ‘Community Program of the Year’ award.
Parks and Leisure Australia judges found the program, which provides enriching garden-based learning experiences for social housing and disadvantaged youths, to be highly successful for participants and highly collaborative through its engagement with various cross government and private organisations.
“For 17 years we have strived to promote social cohesion and help communities tackle adversity through the joy of gardening - all while creating future advocates for the environment” said Phil Pettitt, Community Greening Coordinator, Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.
“This award is a credit to the Community Greening team at the Garden, but also the great organisations who provide support for the program and the communities who truly embrace our little community gardens with open arms!”
“The greatest reward is always with the ‘small wins’ – seeing the gardens grow and communities flourish, but this award is definitely the icing on the cake!’
Community Greening has reached more than 100,000 participants, working with communities to establish more than 340 community gardens and 287 youth-led gardens from Blacktown to Bourke.