Welcome to the Victorian Branch. With over 500 members, the Branch is active in organising events throughout the year including lecture series, garden visits, working bees in historic gardens and occasional seminars.

Branch Events

Working Bees

Our work in private historic gardens continues on a monthly basis. Working bees are just one way we support custodians of these gardens and demonstrate that we value their contribution and the assets they maintain. These are Members Only events.


Forthcoming working bees:

  • Sunday 17 June – Belmont
  • Sunday 15 July – Surrey Hills


Contact Fran Faul on 9853 1369 or franfaul@gmail.com for detail of forthcoming working bees.

Advocacy and Heritage Issues

Cruden Farm

A decision to push ahead with a residential subdivision impacting part of Cruden Farm has been delayed until later in the year.  The planning application was due to be discussed by Frankston Councillors on 14 August but was withdrawn by the Trustees so a more detailed proposal can be developed.

Earlier in the year Frankston City Council received a planning application seeking to subdivide 15.8 hectares of the 54-hectare site of Cruden Farm, the former home of the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, foundation member, and long-term patron and supporter of the AGHS. If successful, up to 116 houses could be built along the eastern and southern boundaries. The application was lodged by the Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Trust as the first step in rezoning the land from Rural Conservation Zone, which prohibits residential development, and would ultimately require State Planning Minister and Government approval as it would change Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundaries.

The Murdoch Trust claims that the proceeds will allow Cruden Farm to be maintained and opened to the public in perpetuity.  Once considered by Councillors, a possible outcome is public exhibition of the proposed amendments to the planning scheme. It is also possible opportunities for public comment will not occur and the matter will go straight to government.  Vic Branch has requested to be informed of any changes and is keeping a watching brief.


Camperdown Botanic Gardens

The Corangamite Council received the Conservation Management Plan, prepared by Context heritage consultants in September this year.  The Camperdown Botanic Gardens and Arboretum Trust (CBGA Trust) is keen to continue working on improving the planting in both the Botanic Gardens and Arboretum and is lobbying for a specific Council budget allocation and the appointment of a management or advisory committee to enable all parties to work towards the shared vision for this important site.  The Trust is also focusing on putting in place a program for tree management and succession planting including the section of the Arboretum presently occupied by the caravan park.

Delegates who attended the preconference tour of the Western District were fortunate to visit this site in the peak of its Spring glory and see firsthand what a unique location it is and all the work undertaken by the CBGA Trust.’


System Garden – University of Melbourne

A Master Plan prepared by consultants has been presented internally but is not yet available for external viewing or comment.  The curator seems to be pleased that some signs of positive progress has been made. However, the key required to protect the System Garden from further invasions is commitment from management and this has not occurred yet.   The AGHS continues to keep a watching brief.


Melbourne Metro Rail Project – Loss of trees and landscape amenity along St Kilda Road/Domain

The Branch continues to support the National Trust’s campaign to minimise the adverse visual and amenity impact to this significant Melbourne boulevard which will result from the removal of 103 trees, kerb and guttering removal, and tram and road realignment.


National Trust Landscape Reference Group

A Vic Branch representative is a member of this group which has been resurrected by the National Trust to identify and record important natural and cultural landscapes.


Do you know of a garden with history in Victoria? The Victorian Branch is keen to hear of any garden with a history which may be under threat, need recording or help with restoration work. Contact any member of the Committee with your nomination.



Victorian Branch Committee

The Committee usually meets at 4.00pm every Tuesday, fourth week of the month. You are welcome to join committee meetings at any time. If you wish to discuss opportunities to get involved please call Sarah Wood sarah@swoodphotography.com, or 0402 086 810, or contact one of the Committee members.


Chair: Sarah Wood
Vice Chair: Robyn Robins
Minutes Secretary: Robyn Robins
Treasurer: Anna Long
Working Bee Coordinator:  Fran Faul
Catering Coordinator: Annie Woodside
Newsletters/Publicity: Lindy Neylan
Advocacy and NMC Representative: Wendy Dwyer
Rep. Landscape Reference Group/Deputy Secretary: Anthony Menhennitt