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Leave a Gift in your Will

What will your legacy be?

Many Garden supporters have determined that one of the lasting legacies of their lives will be to help preserve and sustain the Botanic Gardens as places of enjoyment, education and scientific research for tomorrow’s generations. You can, too. Your lasting gift is the opportunity to pass on your own cherished values to the next generation and preserve the wonder of nature for all those who come after you.

You have the power to help shape the future of your Botanic Gardens.


What is a bequest | Why leave a bequest to your Botanic Gardens | The impact of a bequest giftBenefits | People like you | Suggested wording | Contact us



WHAT IS A BEQUEST?


A bequest is an instruction in your Will to leave a gift to a specific person, organisation or charity. Bequests provide the opportunity to provide lasting support to a cause that reflects your interest and passions. You can designate a percentage of your estate, a specified gift of an amount or item, a residual gift or your whole estate. 

Everyone over the age of 18 should have a Will. Without one, you could lose the opportunity to support the people and causes you love. It is important to review your Will regularly, particularly when life circumstances change.
 
We recommend that you consult a solicitor before making a bequest to receive guidance that ensures your wishes are fulfilled.



WHY LEAVE A BEQUEST TO YOUR BOTANIC GARDENS?


Your bequest is your last testament of your wishes and the greatest commitment you can make to support the people and causes you care about.
 
Your Botanic Gardens are woven into the fabric of our lives. We walk by the Harbour and listen to the glorious opera under the stars in Sydney, explore the natural surroundings of Mount Annan with our families and experience the cool climate in Mount Tomah. There is a place for everyone in your Botanic Gardens.
 
Yet, these places are so much more than beautiful gardens. For two centuries, our scientists have led the discovery of this continent’s amazing plant life. As one of Australia’s pre-eminent scientific institutions, we play a vital role in safeguarding the earth’s biodiversity by bringing together cutting-edge science and global leadership in conservation. The Botanic Gardens are a place of lifelong learning in a living, breathing museum protecting our unique plant life from an uncertain future.



A LEGACY REMEMBERED


The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney was established by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1816. Today, it is joined by the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. Together, these Gardens have become places of outstanding horticultural beauty, scientific institutions at the forefront of research, and important centres for learning and education.
 
Governor Macquarie’s passion and commitment has created a legacy that continues to evolve long after his lifetime.


THE IMPACT OF YOUR LASTING LEGACY


With mounting environmental crises and increasing urbanisation, your Botanic Gardens are more vital now than ever before.
 
Over 50% of the Gardens’ funding is self-generated.  To ensure these places remain places of world class horticulture, education, conservation, and plant sciences, we need your support. By leaving a bequest for your Botanic Gardens in your Will, your generosity will go directly to continuing the important scientific and cultural efforts across the three Botanic Gardens and ensuring these vital green spaces are available for future generations to enjoy.
 
Bequests aren’t just for the wealthy. Every gift, no matter how large or small, helps to protect the future of your Botanic Gardens and its plant sciences. You don’t need to leave a huge bequest, you just need to have a desire to leave a lasting impact on the values and interests you have had during your lifetime.  



BENEFITS


There are many advantages to including a gift to your Botanic Gardens in your Will. 

  • A bequest gift costs you nothing during your lifetime. Supporting your Botanic Gardens through your Will does not alter your current lifestyle in any way.
  • Having a Will makes it easier for your loved ones to make legal and financial arrangements when your gift is realised. Without a Will, these arrangements can be complicated and expensive. This is because the fees to obtain Letters of Administration (required where there is no Will) are higher than the fees to obtain a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will).
  • By including a gift to your Botanic Gardens in your Will, you will be invited to join the Governor Macquarie Legacy Circle, which was established to thank and recognise people like you who provide a lasting gift to your Botanic Gardens. Legacy Circle members become part of an exclusive group of generous benefactors who receive the following:
    • Regular updates about what is happening in the Garden
    • Exclusive information on future plans for your Botanic Gardens
    • Invitations to special events throughout the year
    • An annual event just for Governor Macquarie Legacy Circle members
  • The most important benefit you will receive through a bequest is knowing that your values will live on after your lifetime.




PEOPLE LIKE YOU

Thanks to generous Garden supporters like you, the Botanic Gardens have remained places of scientific advancement, transformational education, and stunning horticulture for over 200 years. Meet some of the people who have made this possible:
 

Governor Macquarie
In the early 1800s, Governor Lachlan Macquarie saw great potential for the land now home to the Royal Botanic Garden as the ideal place for horticulture, botany and research. Despite a lack of public support, he set aside the land for Sydney’s own botanic garden in 1816.

His legacy has long outlived him, as his botanic garden in central Sydney is now joined by the Australian Botanic Garden Mt Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mt Tomah. Together, these three gardens have become places of outstanding horticultural beauty, scientific institutions at the forefront of research, and important centres for learning and education.

Without Governor Macquarie’s foresight and dedication, the Botanic Gardens would likely not exist 200 years after his lifetime.

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Ian McLachlan
When Ian McLachlan was 11 years old, he visited the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney every week for his swimming classes at the Domain Baths. Then, as he was growing up, his family would often picnic in the Garden. He recalls with great excitement gathering to watch entertainment from floating pontoons as a reward for buying war bonds. His love affair with the Garden has lasted for 70 years.

The lives of Ian and his beloved late wife Helen intertwined with the Garden. “We shared a love for all the beautiful plants and trees, and a lifelong interest in environmental research and education.” Both became founding members of the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. Ian was President in the 1990s, while Helen was a much-loved volunteer for the National Herbarium of New South Wales for more than 15 years.

Their shared passion prompted the decision to leave an untied bequest to the Garden. “I am pleased our legacy will help ensure the Garden is a place of enjoyment for future generations,” says Ian. He’s proud of this commitment and encourages others to do the same.

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Jean Smail
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden held a special place in Jean Smail’s heart. She and her husband Jock were long-time residents of Kurrajong Heights near Mount Tomah, and were active in the Garden from its beginning in 1987. Jock spent a lot of time tending to his proteas and after his passing many years ago, Jean continued his legacy by giving talks at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden on the care and cultivation of proteas.

When Jean passed away recently, she designated a portion of her Will to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Her sense of their shared commitment and her characteristic humour is expressed in her bequest gift, in memory of Jock, ‘the favourite of all my husbands’, for the preservation of native and exotic flora.

Jean’s bequest gift will continue the legacy of plant care and conservation that she and Jock created during their lifetime.

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Lois Stewart
A dedicated volunteer, Lois Stewart began helping in the Gardens by watering plants. Later she shared her love of the Gardens with visitors assisting on the information desk; however it was volunteering in the Library where her passion met her expertise. After retiring as a Technical Librarian she found great pleasure applying her specialised skills to support the collection.

In recognition of their mother’s passion for the Gardens, the Stewart family created the Lois Stewart collection from her estate. This unique collection of antiquarian, illustrated books about Australian and British wildflowers is fitting tribute to their mother’s life and interests.

“As a family, we wanted to have a permanent recognition of the contribution our mother made to the Library during her last years as a volunteer - something that reflected her love of plants and books, and her joy in being part of the Gardens and its work,” said her daugher Catherine Stewart.

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Anonymous
“My bequest gift to the Botanic Gardens is the result of my working life, and it makes me feel like it hasn’t all been for nothing. I won’t always be here to enjoy it, so I want to make a decision based on what would benefit the most people, to meet the needs of generations on and on and on.”

Some members of the Governor Macquarie Legacy Circle prefer to remain anonymous. We fully respect that this is a private decision to be made between you and your loved ones and will never publicise details of our bequestors without first seeking their consent. 

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Alfred & Effie Brunet
Alfred and Effie Brunet ran a cool climate nursery from 1934 to 1968 on a very special 28-hectre patch of land on Mount Tomah. When Alfred passed away in 1968, Effie offered the property to the State, and in 1970 the Crown bought the property for a token $1. Two years later it was formally handed over to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and has since provided the ideal setting for a cool-climate botanic garden and panoramic views across Bowen Creek and Wollemi National Park.

Alfred and Effie Brunet’s story is a glorious testament of how just one family’s legacy has enriched lives for generations.

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Ronald Johnson
Bequest gifts have the ability to reflect your individual interests.

Ronald Johnson, a Sydney financier and art lover, knew that art was an important component of a healthy and vibrant community. He wanted his legacy to reflect his own passion for art and be something he felt others could appreciate. His bequest gift to the Botanic Gardens allowed the creation of a sculpture by the Sydney Harbour that fits beautifully with the landscape and mission of the Garden, as it is both art and habitat. The crannies and crevices in the sculpture encourage the colonisation of the many creatures that call the Gardens home – think bats, lizards, skinks, geckoes, and various native bees.

Ronald’s generous legacy reflects his lifelong passions of art, animals, and nature. 

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Jack & Cliffina Rathborne
For more than 60 years Jack and Cliffina Rathborne cherished the Sydney Garden. The Gardens were the backdrop as their lives passed by, from the blissful time of their blossoming courtship, to their final peaceful days of Jack’s life. Cliffina’s last wishes included ‘a suitable gift to the memory of her late husband and in recognition of the enjoyment which the Gardens gave the both of them’.  With the Rathborne’s generosity the historic sandstone cottage, now named in their honour, was able to be restored to its current glory.

By leaving a gift without constraints, the Sydney Botanic Garden was able to allocate the Rathborne bequest towards a project which most resonated the couple’s interests and connection.

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HOW TO SUPPORT THE BOTANIC GARDENS THROUGH YOUR WILL

Supporting the Gardens through your Will is easier than you may think. 

If you are planning to include your Botanic Gardens as a beneficiary of your estate, we hope you will let us know. Providing us with notice of your intention is the best way to ensure that your gift is used just as you wish. Once you confirm your bequest, please complete and return our notification form so that we have a shared understanding of your wishes. This is not a binding form, and we understand that your bequest can be changed at any time. 

Bequests to your Botanic Gardens are managed by Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens (Foundation & Friends). Foundation & Friends is the charity that exists for the sole purpose of supporting your Botanic Gardens, with a strong 35-year history benefitting conservation, education, horticulture and science across your Botanic Gardens. Foundation & Friends is best positioned to responsibly invest your bequest gift into higher-yielding investments and to distribute your bequest so that it has the greatest impact toward your Botanic Gardens.
 
Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Charitable Fund
ABN 92 871 129 496

There are several ways to leave a bequest, dependent on what is best for you and your family. Below is suggested wording to accommodate most bequest provisions. We recommend you seek advice from a solicitor to ensure that the wording of your Will reflects your exact wishes. 

I give and bequeath the residue of my estate both real and personal free from all duties and charges to Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Charitable Fund (ABN 92 871 129 496) for its general purposes and declare that the receipt of an executive officer of the said organisation at the time shall be sufficient discharge of my executor’s duty.
I give and bequeath ______ free from all duties and charges to Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Charitable Fund (ABN 92 871 129 496) for its general purposes and declare that the receipt of an executive officer of the said organisation at the time shall be sufficient discharge of my executor’s duty.
I give and bequeath _____% of my estate free from all duties and charges to Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Charitable Fund (ABN 92 871 129 496) for its general purposes and declare that the receipt of an executive officer of the said organisation at the time shall be sufficient discharge of my executor’s duty.
I give and bequeath the entirety of my estate free from all duties and charges to Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Charitable Fund (ABN 92 871 129 496) for its general purposes and declare that the receipt of an executive officer of the said organisation at the time shall be sufficient discharge of my executor’s duty.
 



GET IN TOUCH 

Your legacy has the power to shape the future of your Botanic Gardens. 
 
We recognise that such a decision would involve private discussions with your loved ones and advisers, but we are available to assist how we can. If you would like to confidentially discuss your wishes or have further questions please contact us by phone or email, or come and meet us in the Royal Botanic Garden along Mrs Macquaries Road.

Contact Carrie Alexander
Call: (02) 9231 8182
Email: GMLC@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Visit: Cottage 6, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW 2000

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