Winter Lecture Series Program



Thursday 2 June 11.00 am - The Hitchcock Family Legacy in Geelong : Norman Houghton
This talk will look at the Hitchcock Fountain and the City Council civic beautification context for the gift, the Hitchcock family benefactions around town and the City Council policies on moveable and superannuated monuments as an aftermath to benefactions.
This event will include an acknowledgement of the restored Hitchcock Fountain and it’s surrounding structures.


Thursday 9 June 11am :  ‘The Illustrated Plant Glossary’         Enid Mayfield
As Enid formerly worked from the Geelong Botanic Gardens’ small meeting room, she was well known to many members. Enid is widely acclaimed for her skill in researching complex scientific topics, then writing and illustrating them with detailed botanical paintings, to be accessible to a wider audience. The Illustrated Plant Glossary (CSIRO Publishing, 2021) is a comprehensive glossary of over 4000 terms related to plant sciences, featuring Enid’s superb colour illustrations. The Glossary is a reference for plant scientists and students, libraries, horticulturalists, gardeners and naturalists. It covers all aspects of scientific information.  

This talk was recorded for Friends of Melbourne Botanic Gardens, and we thank Enid and the Melbourne Friends for allowing this important talk to be featured in our programme.


Thursday 16 June 11am : Birds of Eastern Park                  Craig Morley
Craig Morley has been observing and recording the birds of Eastern Park and Geelong Botanic Gardens for more than four decades. Join us for a fascinating glimpse into the many interesting residents and visitors that frequent this fascinating urban oasis.

Thursday 23 June 11am No Lecture - Winter Lunch Fundraising Event

Thursday 30 June 11am – Madagascar               Craig Lidgerwood and Stephen Ryan
Enjoy an entertaining talk and photographic tour of a destination not familiar to most of us, focusing on the fascinating plants of Madagascar.

Thursday 7 July 11am - Diversity: The Long History of Plants                  David Johnson
In this talk we look at the main groups of plants. This grouping helps us to organise in our mind, more than a quarter of a million plant species. We follow their evolution from the time when they came on to land nearly 500 million years ago.

Thursday 14 July 11am – Who was Sir Joseph Banks?    by Peggy Muntz
By popular request Peggy is repeating her 2021 talk about one of Australia’s most widely heard of horticultural figures. Yet few know in detail the life of Sir joseph Banks and the extensive legacy he left to the botanical world.

Thursday 21 July 11am – The Development of the GBG’s 21st Century Garden             Liz Bennetto
The 21st Century Garden in Geelong Botanic Gardens has become an important part of the story of the Gardens. The modernistic, raw design, controversial at first, was eagerly embraced when finally opened shortly after the new century began. Today it still attracts visitors from far and wide. Liz will look at the garden from the beginnings of the concept, including a wonderful DVD which features Friends’ volunteers, the designer and those who made it possible, to the present-day developments.

Thursday 28 July 11am – Women in Horticulture                    Luanne Thornton
Men have received much recognition for their achievements throughout history and although women have achieved much their work has not been recognised and celebrated to the same extent. They deserve better and in the 21st Century it is time for change. Our Library has many books about our female gardeners, horticulturalists, plant collectors and botanic artists. This talk aims to enlighten you all about some of their achievements and introduce you to the material we hold.

Thursday 4 August 11am - Pollination: Plants don’t just sit there waiting. Part 1          David Johnson
After a review of pollination and fertilisation, we will explore the range of approaches that flowers use. They have shapes to suit their favoured method of fertilisation. Plants don’t just sit there waiting for fertilisation by accident. Instead, they actively manage the behaviour of their preferred pollinators.

Thursday 11 August 11am - Pollination: Plants don’t just sit there waiting. Part 2                    David Johnson
Continuing our exploration of the ways plants take command of their environment, we visit some plants that kidnap animals. We look at a kidnapper that you are unlikely to ever see, from the nearby Otway Ranges

Thursday 18 August 11am - Lord Howe Island                      David Johnson
 In NSW there is a small island that is nearly 800 km North-East of Sydney. In many ways it is unique. This World Heritage listed area of land and surrounding sea was one of the last islands on earth to be visited by humans. It has unique plants and birds. We will look at some of this diversity and David will point out some of its plants that can be seen in the Geelong Botanic Gardens.

Thursday 25 August 11am – The Geelong Customs House                  Harry Roberts
Geelong’s first Customs House shelters snuggly at the back of Geelong’s Botanic Gardens. It’s one of Victoria’s best kept secrets and one of the State’s oldest buildings. Beginning its life on Geelong’s waterfront in 1838, the old Customs House was a key and important feature of the city’s embryonic development. A short time after its retirement in Customs, it was repurposed as a Telegraph Office to take Geelong into a World-wide Communication Revolution. Since that time its jobs have been few. My presentation will discuss the reasons why the building began its life in Geelong and the political and possible criminal conspiracy that stopped it being replaced until 1845. Its role in telegraph and placement in the Botanic Gardens will be discussed.

Thursday 1 September 11am - The Naming of Plants                 Jayne Salmon
It is important to know the correct name for a plant as it is the key to finding out everything about it. The talk will explore the use of common names and see how Latin, the original common language of scholars, became established with the development of printing, as the international language of plant names. It became necessary to establish a set of rules that would ensure consistency to the way names were established and used. Many difficulties have arisen over naming plants bred or selected for cultivation and similar rules have been applied. We shall look at the way to write, pronounce and remember plant names.



Following the success of the 2021 Winter Lectures Zoom series we have produced a second series.

There has been much consideration and research into choosing the lecture subjects and presenters. We have had several requests for topics and have tried to include all of these in the program.

Thank you to all the presenters who are donating their time and energy to provide highly professional lectures. Topics cover a wide range of topics including: The Geelong Botanic Gardens historic monuments, the botany of plants and how they are named, women gardeners, historic plant collectors, flying visitors to our gardens, and notable islands across the seas.

The presenters are a gifted and articulate group. They have either connection to the Geelong Botanic Gardens or are Geelong residents.  You will be amazed at their breadth of knowledge and articulate presentations.

There are twelve lectures in total, all on Thursdays at 11.00 am, commencing Thursday 2 June and finishing on Thursday 1September. There will be no lecture on the 23June.

The lectures last from 30 minutes to an hour and there is an opportunity for questions at the end of most sessions. Enid Mayfield’s talk has been pre-recorded so there is no opportunity for questions.

To subscribe to the series, you can either pay via Trybooking (to access Trybooking search the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens website and then search Events and 2022 Program, for the lecture series and on-line booking) or in person at the Friends’ office.  The cost for the 12 lectures is $30 members $35 for non-members.  The ticket price gives access to all lectures in the series, so please note missed lectures cannot be refunded. (Individual lectures cannot be purchased alone)

To access the lecture program, all you need to have is a home computer, iPhone or iPad and have access on it to emails.

During each week, participants will receive an email with a link to the next lecture.  All you have to do is press on the link and follow the prompts. You can choose to watch all of the lectures, or you can opt out of those you aren’t interested in. Just ignore the email if you don’t want to see the presentation that week.





Norman Houghton

Thursday 2 June, 11 am

The Hitchcock family legacy in Geelong

Enid Mayfield 


Thursday 9 June, 11 am

Enid Mayfield talks about her latest book ‘The Illustrated Plant Glossary’

Craig Morley 

Thursday 16 June,
11 am

Birds in Eastern Park

No Lecture

Thursday 23 June

Winter Lunch fundraising event

Craig Lidgerwood and Stephen Ryan

Thursday 30 June, 11 am


David Johnson

Thursday 7 July,  11 am

Flowering plants and flowers

Peggy Muntz

Thursday 14 July, 11 am

Who was Sir Joseph Banks?

Liz Bennetto

Thursday 21 July, 11 am

The Development of the GBG 21st Century Garden 

Luanne Thornton

Thursday 28 July, 11 am

Women in Horticulture

David Johnson

Thursday 4 August, 11 am

Pollination: plants don’t just sit there waiting. Part 1

David Johnson

Thursday 11 August, 11 am

Pollination: plants don’t just sit there waiting. Part 2

David Johnson

Thursday 18 August, 11 am

Lord Howe Island

Harry Roberts

Thursday 25 August, 11 am

The Geelong Customs House

Jayne Salmon

Thursday 1 September, 11 am

Understanding Nomenclature – How plants are named