North Shore Group

Walks & Talks
Coming events


Friday Night Meetings

Meetings are held at 8.00 p.m. on the second Friday of the month
Plant sales from 7.45 p.m.

  At the: "Willow Park Community Centre"
25 Edgeworth David Ave.
NSW Australia

Speakers and Topics for 2012

February 10th

Speaker: David Wilks
Topic: ‘ Ku-ring-gai: a hot-bed of phytodiversity?’

Ku-ring-gai’s significant biodiversity stems from its diverse habitats and geological landscapes, with a high rainfall augmenting these factors. David is the Biodiversity officer for Ku-ring-gai Council and his talk will build on his extensive work within Ku-ring-gai and his presentation in The Natural History of Sydney, published by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

March 9th

Speaker: Alec Fisher
Topic: ‘ Flora, fauna and winds of the Sub-Antarctic’

To reach the Sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand and Australia means braving The Roaring Forties and The Furious Fifties in a small ship. But these islands are truly gems – mostly green with dense rata forest decked with mosses and lichens to tussock grass and the unique mega herbs with few but spectacular flowers. They are breeding grounds for teeming elephant seals and vast numbers of penguins and a wonderland for pelagic birders. They record human activity, past and present, and conservation and restoration work, especially on Macquarie Island, where some 150,000 rabbits have been eradicated.

April 13th

Speaker: Nathan Emery
Topic: ‘Flannel Flowers’

The natural range of flannel flowers extends over three-quarters of NSW and into Queensland. The species is notorious as a garden plant difficult to keep alive, which is why more research is needed. Nathan aims to discover whether differences are a consequence of particular genetics in a given area and/or the local environment.
Nathan in amongst some Flannel Flowers.

May 11th

David Stowe
‘Australia - Land of Honeyeaters’

David Stowe is a professional photographer and avid birdwatcher. His award winning images have been published in numerous books and magazines.
David will share some of his bird images from all over Australia, with a focus on honeyeaters and their dependance on flowering plants. Australia has over 70 species of Honeyeaters - a diverse family of birds occupying every major vegetational zone.

June 8th

Louisa Murray was ill and could not give her talk. Barry Lees a member of the group agreed to speak in her absence.

Speaker: Bary Lees
Topic: ‘Land Care’

Speaker: Louisa Murray
Topic: ‘The Science behind PlantNET’

NSW Flora Online presents Data derived from the printed Flora of New South Wales series, published by the UNSW Press, augmented with data from electronic sources maintained by the RBG National Herbarium of New South Wales. This information is used extensively by NSG members and our Walks & Talks notes contain links to these plant descriptions and Glossary. 
Louisa Murray is the Flora Botanist responsible for overseeing the updating of  PlantNET and Louisa will demonstrate how to exploit its features to obtain information.

July 13th

Speaker: Geoff & Judy Lambert
Topic: ‘ Flora of North Head’

North Head, near Manly, is perched between the harbour and the Pacific Ocean and boasts a wonderful variety of plants and is a refuge for wildlife. It supports a large area of the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub on patches of aeolian dune sand. The number of plants in flower varies throughout the year and usually peaks in spring when about 250 different species will be flowering. Geoff and Judy Lambert have played a significant part in preserving this bushland and have walked in this area for many decades. Geoff’s superb photographs will allow us a glimpse of these plants and plant communities.

ugust 10th

Speaker: Angus Stewart
Topic: 'Creating an Australian Garden’

Horticulturist Angus Stewart has worked for decades on selecting and breeding Australian plants to make them more gardener-friendly. Angus will pass on some of the knowledge gained from his extensive experience as a plant breeder, including practical tips that unlock the secrets of cleverly designed Australian gardens to provide year-round colour, vibrant foliage and havens for wildlife.

September 14th

PLEASE NOTE the Speaker has been changed to Bill Jones
Bill Jones
‘Fire and the Australian Flora’

As a consequence of plentiful rainfall followed by drying conditions, the heavy build-up of fuel in the bush is of concern for both bushland managers and for residents living close to the bush. What does fire do to the bush and how do our native plants survive fire? Are there any beneficial effects from fire? Come and find out what happens to our bush after fire.

A plant identification session will follow so please bring along your samples for I. D.
Plants will be for sale before the meeting and supper will be provided.

A burnt trunk resprouting a short time after a bushfire.

Speaker: Joanne Hambrett
Topic: ‘Garden Design’

Joanne Hambrett is the leader of the Australian Native Plants Society’s Garden Design Study Group, which  provides answers as to how to have a beautiful Australian garden which is environmentally friendly, encourages and supports biodiversity and is completely self-sustainable. Jo is one of the authors of “The Australian Garden”, the first book to demonstrate how Australian native plants could be used in all styles of garden.

A suburban garden planted with Australian native plants.

October 12th

Speaker: Mark Abell
Topic: ‘ Flora of the Northern Sand-plains of Western Australia’

The Northern Sand-plains of WA is an area stretching from the Moore River (north of Perth) up to Shark Bay. This area has some of the richest sites for plant species in the world.  From late winter through spring and early summer, a spectacular mass floral display covers large parts of the area.  This area is, plant for plant, the most biodiverse vegetation zone in Western Australia, with some parts having more species per unit area than anywhere else in Australia.
The talk will provide an overview of the area, some places to visit, and a long look at the unique flora of the region.

November 9th
(two speakers)

Speaker: Shauna Chadlowe
Topic: ‘ Fighting back: restoring Australia’s biodiversity’

Feral animals and inappropriate fire regimes are having a devastating impact on Northern Australia’s wildlife and ecosystems. Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is dedicated to saving Australia’s threatened wildlife and their habitats. Hear how AWC is using science and innovation to fight back and successfully restore Australia’s biodiversity.

Speaker: Tanya Bangel
Topic: Micromyrtus minutiflora’

Tanya was a recipient of the Valette Williams Scholarship in Botany for 2011. Her thesis discusses why the distribution of Micromyrtus minutiflora is so restricted to a few places on the Cumberland Plain. The project includes detailed mapping of the exact distribution of the species, and chemical analyses of plants and soil from particular sites as a start to an understanding of the overall ecology. Tanya was awarded first class honours for her research.

December 14th
  Christmas Party at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Down load 2012 speakers programme

Other Past speakers