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New Executive team announced to guide future of Sydney’s best parks and gardens

New Executive team announced to guide future of Sydney’s best parks and gardens
October 7, 2014

Kim Ellis, Executive Director of the newly created Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands, has announced a new internationally-experienced executive team to guide the future of Australia’s most important botanic gardens and public parks.

The team was recruited after a nationwide search, and includes a blend of experienced horticultural and science industry professionals, and experienced professionals with international experience from across a range of sectors.

Ellis explained “the creation of Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands was announced by the NSW Government in February 2014, being an organisational integration between the administrative staff from Centennial Parklands and the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust.

"Our vision is to deliver a sustainable and truly world leading botanic gardens and parklands for Sydney’s harbour-side to mountain-top.

"This integration will provide us with the capacity and resources to ensure that we can maintain, improve and provide outstanding science, horticultural, educational, cultural and recreational offerings to the community.”

The appointments are:

Deputy Executive Director, Science and Conservation, Dr Brett Summerell
Spearheading one of the best plant science programs in the world for 10 years, Dr Summerell aims for the newly merged entity to be recognised as the premier place for understanding plants in Australia.

After beginning his career at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney over 25 years ago Dr Summerell has risen to become one of Australia’s leading specialists in diseases of trees and the taxonomy and population genetics of plant pathogenic fungi.

Director of Horticulture, Jimmy Turner 
A native of Texas in the USA, Turner has been Director of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust (Trust) since late 2013. With the merger of the Trust and Centennial Parklands, Turner has
been confirmed as the chief horticulturalist of a 1,100 hectare portfolio that stretches from harbourside to mountain-top.

Director Sport and Recreation, Ed Sanderson
Sanderson will be responsible for all sport and recreation facilities and services for the newly created Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands, that facilitates over 700,000 registered sports users, and features more than 40 turf sports fields, one of Australia’s best public golf courses, a world-class equestrian centre, an international standard athletics running track, running and sport events and a mountain bike trail.

Director Strategy and Projects, Raelene Lockhorst
The former Director, Strategic Planning and Projects for Centennial Parklands, Lockhorst's career spans peacekeeping, the London Underground, the major health sector and infrastructure upgrades.

Director Corporate Services, Margaret Jones.
Having worked across the UK and Europe for some of the world’s leading commercial and consultancy organisations, Jones is keen to ensure the ‘back of house operations’ of the new entity will function efficiently and effectively for the environment, the community and the funding arrangements of the green space network.

As announced by Australasian Leisure Management, Anthony Dunsford was named as the Director Visitor Experience at Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands last week.

The new entity has management responsibility for seven landmark green spaces in Sydney: the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney; The Domain; the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan; Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah; Centennial Park; Moore Park and Queens Park.

The first key milestone for the new entity has been to appoint the Executive Director and recruit a high-performing Executive team to guide the future of the seven lands.

1st October 2014 - NEW APPOINTMENT TO DRIVE VISITOR EXPERIENCES AT SYDNEY’S LANDMARK PARKS

6th April 2014 - ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS SYDNEY UNVEILS 25-YEAR REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

5th March 2013 - LANDMARK ENVIRONMENTAL ATTRACTION TO BE BUILT IN SYDNEY’S ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN 

9th March 2011 - NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO LEAD CENTENNIAL PARKLANDS


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