Function VF 27
Botanic gardens
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Is this the right Function?Is this the right Function?
  • Use this Function for
    The administration of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
    The administration of the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens from 1970
    Functions undertaken under the provisions of the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 including: the conservation, protection and improvement of the botanic gardens and managed land and their collections of living plants; the provision of plants or plant specimens at the botanic gardens or on managed land for scientific or reference purposes; the use of the botanic gardens for education, public enjoyment and tourism

  • Do not use this Function for
    Government Botanist and National Herbarium, use herbarium

    Conservation (flora)

 
Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function
Background

Governor Gipps having approved the establishment of a "public domain for the purpose of rearing and cultivating indigenous and exotic plants", William Londsdale, the Police Magistrate, in 1841 ordered Robert Hoddle, then surveyor-in-charge, to mark out a block of 50 acres on Batman's Hill and the adjoining riverbank. Nothing came of this order, but several other sites were suggested and in 1845 [Superintendent] La Trobe chose the slopes of a gully leading down to the Yarra River near the grounds of Government House. Here John Arthur, [appointed in 1846 as the first Curator of the gardens], fenced a 5-acre paddock and laid it out in flower-beds and plantations. Both he (1846-49) and John Dallachy (1849-57) paid attention to the introduction of exotic plants and permitted the gardens to be used for horticultural shows.(Australian Encyclopaedia, Vol.II, pp.57-58).

In 1857 Ferdinand Mueller, who had been Government Botanist since January 1853, was appointed to the new office of Director of the Gardens. He established close relations with similar institutions throughout the world and effected important exchanges of plants, re-arranged and extended the grounds and paid particular attention to the native vegetation. He also devoted part of the area to plant-beds showing a scientific arrangement of plants in their natural orders and established a national herbarium. (Australian Encyclopaedia, Vol.II, pp.57-58).

"Mueller's view of a botanic garden was as a scientific and educational institution and his development of the garden reflected this conviction" (Annual Report Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 1993, p.5)
In 1873 the positions of Director of the Gardens and Government Botanist were divided and Mueller was deprived of the former office. The directorship passed to William Robert Guilfoyle, who during his long term (1873-1909) extended the gardens by over 30 acres and increased the number of species represented. The deepening and straightening of the course of the Yarra allowed an extension of the garden area, taking in the old river-channel and adding it to the existing lake. (Australian Encyclopaedia, Vol.II, pp.57-58).
With his radically different concept of a botanic garden as a place to provide inspiring views and to display plants artistically and influenced by English landscape design, Guilfoyle totally redesigned the Botanic Gardens." (Annual Report Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 1993, p.5)

In 1924 the offices of Director and Government Botanist were again united and the National Herbarium of Victoria was again brought into association with the Gardens, having been separated since Mueller's removal from the directorship in 1873.

The Cranbourne Botanic Garden was initiated in 1970 with the purchase of land by the Government for the purpose of establishing a native botanic garden. Cranbourne was opened to the public in 1991.

After 146 years of being part of the administration of various government departments, management of the gardens passed to the newly established Royal Botanic Gardens Board (VA 3124) in July 1992 under the provisions of the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991.

 
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Other InformationOther Information
 
Agencies with prime responsibility for this FunctionAgencies with prime responsibility for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
- 1851 Superintendent, Port Phillip District VA 473
1851 - 1855 Colonial Secretary's Office VA 856
1855 - 1857 Chief Secretary's Department VA 475
1857 - 1859 Public Works Department (previously the Department of the Commissioner of Public Works) VA 669
1859 - 1868 Chief Secretary's Department VA 475
1868 - 1870 Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538
1870 - 1873 Chief Secretary's Department VA 475
1873 - 1874 Department of Agriculture VA 618
1874 - 1983 Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538
1983 - 1990 Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands VA 1034
1990 - 1992 Department of Conservation and Environment VA 3004
1992 - cont Royal Botanic Gardens Board VA 3124
 
Other Agencies responsible for this FunctionOther Agencies responsible for this Function
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Date of Responsibility Agency Title Agency Number
 
Groups related to this FunctionGroups related to this Function
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Date of Responsibility Group Title Group Number
- 1851 Superintendent, Port Phillip District VRG 11
1851 - 1855 Colonial Secretary VRG 16
1855 - 1857 Chief Secretary VRG 26
1857 - 1859 Public Works VRG 28
1859 - 1868 Chief Secretary VRG 26
1868 - 1870 Lands VRG 18
1870 - 1873 Chief Secretary VRG 26
1873 - 1874 Agriculture VRG 34
1874 - 1983 Lands VRG 18
1983 - 1990 Conservation, Forests and Lands VRG 75
1990 - cont Conservation and Environment VRG 94