Our Organisation

The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the world's leading botanic gardens and a centre of excellence for horticulture, science and education. 

The Royal Botanic Gardens is dedicated to the conservation, display and enjoyment of plants and extends over two locations, Melbourne and Cranbourne, and incorporates the National Herbarium of Victoria and the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, which is based at The University of Melbourne.

Our Vision

To connect people with our natural world by advancing knowledge and understanding of the value of plants.

Our Mission

To advance knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of plants through excellence in biodiversity research and management, horticultural displays and public programs.

Our Values

In all our dealings with Government, our sponsors, staff, supporters and volunteers, visitors and clients, we commit to Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Team Work, Accountability, Excellence and Leadership.

Our Charter

Under the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991(Word - 211 kb), the objectives of the organisation are:

  • To conserve, protect and improve the botanic gardens and managed land and their collections of living plants
  • To conserve and enhance the State Botanical Collection and National Herbarium of Victoria
  • To provide for the use of the State Botanical Collection or plants or plant specimens at the botanic gardens or managed land for scientific or reference purposes, consistent with accepted international practice
  • To increase public knowledge and awareness of plants and plant communities
  • To provide for the use of the Botanic Gardens for education, public enjoyment and tourism
  • To provide for the carrying out of and contribution to research into biodiversity and the conservation of biodiversity.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

The Melbourne Gardens has been a treasured part of Melbourne’s cultural life for more than 165 years – much loved by generations of Victorians, as well as by many visitors from interstate and overseas. It is a picturesque haven for recreation and an important resource for education, conservation, science and horticulture. The Melbourne Gardens extends over 38 hectares and houses a collection of more than 10,000 species of plants from around the world, including amazing and diverse plant collections such as camellias, rainforest flora, cacti and succulents, roses, Californian species, herbs, perennials, cycads, plants from Southern China and, in the Rare and Threatened Species Collection, plants from south-eastern Australia.


Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

The Cranbourne Gardens is one of Victoria’s most precious areas of remnant native bushland and offers visitors the chance to explore heathlands, wetlands and woodlands on the 363-hectare site. It is recognised as a site of State significance for flora and fauna conservation, with over 25 species listed as endangered, threatened or at risk of extinction. Following representations by the Maud Gibson Trust, the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne was established in 1970 when the Victorian Government acquired the land with a view to developing it into a botanic garden that complemented the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne through the display of native plants and ecosystems.

Today, visitors to Cranbourne Gardens can enjoy a natural bushland experience and visit the Australian Garden. Facilities in the bushland include over ten kilometres of walking tracks, six kilometres of cycling tracks, a lookout tower, picturesque shelters, barbecues and picnic tables. There is a range of visitor programs, as well as self-guided walks available throughout the year. The Australian Garden, completed in October 2012, celebrates the beauty and diversity of Australian landscapes and flora and features approximately 170,000 plants from 1,700 plant varieties. Complementing the Garden are a visitor centre, café, gift shop and interpretive displays.


National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL)

The National Herbarium of Victoria (the Herbarium), founded in 1853 and located at the Melbourne Gardens, is the Victorian Government’s major centre for botanical studies in plant identification, collection and classification. The Herbarium houses the State Botanical Collection, an irreplaceable resource of approximately 1.2 million dried specimens of plants, fungi and algae from Australia and many other countries. It is one of the most historically significant collections in the world and is used by Herbarium staff and visiting botanists for scientific research. Research areas include biodiversity, classification, evolution, biogeography, molecular systematics, conservation and horticulture. In addition, the State Botanical Collection contains the oldest and most comprehensive botanical library in Australia. Current work at the Herbarium is focused around three main research themes: Victoria’s biodiversity, including documenting and conserving our flora; the origin of the Australian biota, including the evolutionary history and relationship of Australian plant groups; and Biodiversity Services, including the provision of an Identification and Information Service.


ARCUE

ARCUE was created in 1998 to increase understanding of the ecology, restoration and management of biodiversity in urban and suburban areas throughout Australia and the world. ARCUE’s activities encompass basic and applied research; undergraduate and postgraduate training; long-term ecological studies; community education; policy and management advice to all levels of government; and consultancy services. In addition, ARCUE works closely with the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne (where it is located), and with the research and education programs of Melbourne and Cranbourne Gardens. ARCUE continues to increase its environmental business activities in support of its research objectives.