In Queensland an opportunity arose to carry out a state wide survey of historic gardens and assess their heritage significance, due to the generosity of the Jani Haenke Charitable Trust. Jani was a member of the Society who died in 2009.
A team of Catherine Brouwer Landscape Architects, Nissen Associates (historians) and Riddel Architecture undertook the survey, and, through a search in existing lists and on the ground for old gardens (widely defined) across Queensland, produced a list of those with heritage significance, and, in the process, raised public awareness of the values of old gardens and landscapes.
In August 2014, the Queensland Branch was awarded a Gold award, in the National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards, for the Heritage Gardens of Queensland Survey.
The first four on the priority list of places recommended for nomination to the Queensland Heritage Register from the Survey were: Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba; Memorial Avenue, Emu Vale; Memorial Avenue, Tannymorel; and Hoop Pine, Avenue, Imbil Forest Station.
The branch engaged an historian to research these places and prepare statements of significance, and member, John Taylor is preparing the nominations for their inclusion in the Queensland Heritage Register.
The survey also revealed the need for research, advocacy and nomination for listing of gardens in Toowoomba, and this is now the branch’s current focus of attention, particularly through the efforts of Wendy Lees and John Taylor.
Two members are undertaking basic research, on an intermittent voluntary basis, on the next listed priorities in the survey.