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Innovation at Sydney's Parks and Gardens

Speaker Name


Kim Ellis, Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands (AUS)


Speaker Profile


Kim Ellis is the Executive Director of Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands (Australia), responsible for the management of 1,100 hectares of botanical gardens, public parklands and world heritage bushland. These sites host over 30 million visits a year, and operate with a budget of AUD100 million, of which more than 70% is self-funded through commercial operations.


Abstract title


Innovation At Sydney's Parks And Gardens




The 1,00 hectares of Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands in Sydney are run by one independent team, reporting to two supervising Boards. The organisation manages a $A100 million annual budget with $A75 million of that self-generated through commercial activities. Creating and maintaining this revenue, while at the same time providing free public access to the gardens and parks, has required innovation as a cornerstone of the management philosophy.

Kim will give details of the new projects and programs introduced over the last 4 years, including adaptive reuse of heritage assets, the Children’s Garden, new food and beverage offerings, and all-weather sports facilities. He will outline the next phase of growth, including:

•          New science facilities in Western Sydney,

•          Sydney engagement and education centre,

•          Centennial Park Wild Play Discovery centre,

•          Mount Tomah Tree top walk,

•          Moore Park Golf redevelopment,

•          National Camelia collection at Blue Mountains Botanic Garden; and

•          Parklands Environment Connection.


Earlier Event: October 16
$300 million – Funding & Future-proofing
Later Event: October 16
Enjoy nature, stay in the city