Concerned about the loss of significant cultivated plants in Victoria, in 1983-84 the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne established an Ornamental Plant Collections Association (OPCA).
History of the Garden Plant Conservation (GPCAA)
The inaugural meeting was held in August 1986. Dr. Jim Willis, former Assistant Government Botanist, agreed to be Patron. Subsequently the Committee decided to register, on a trial basis, collections which represented a range of plant types and holders. These collections were used to develop the record system and solve any problems which might have arisen. In 1988, a grant allowed for Royal Botanic Gardens to employ a horticulturalist half-time to develop the project and act as project officer for the Association.
On the 29 March 1994 the Association approved a new Constitution and was renamed the Ornamental Plant Conservation Association of Australia Inc. (OPCAA), replacing the Subscribers Group and Committee with a new management structure. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Association benefited from the support of a steady national and international membership, employed a part-time Administrative Officer and adapted to an evolving awareness and appreciation of the horticultural and scientific communities in the importance of plant conservation and plant collections.
By 2007 it had become clear that the word "Ornamental" restricted public engagement and confused or misled people on the operations of the Association. On the 11 June 2008 the Association’s members and committees approved the adoption of a change of name to Garden Plant Conservation Association of Australia Incorporated (GPCAA) to reflect more clearly the international developments in the conservation of garden plants, complement the Association’s current projects and plans for the future and, most importantly, be more easily understood by its prospective members.
Between 2008 and 2011 the Association has continued to update and adapt its administrative operations and its profile, both nationally and internationally. Continuing to improve GPCAA’s plant collections database, the National Plant Collections Register, for both public and private plant collections has been a focus for the Association, together with the development of points of recognition for the individual efforts of collection holders listed on this register.
Last updated 06 Oct 2011