Garden Clubs of Australia Supports National Drought Relief

At its meeting at the end of August the Committee of Garden Clubs of Australia Inc decided unanimously to donate $5000.00 to the national drought relief program being managed by The Red Cross Society of Australia.

While many of the great country gardens are drought affected, it was the direct experience that many of the committee members, who visit gardens in many parts of the country have of the difficulties being faced by country Australians.

It was acknowledged that many Garden Clubs across Australia are also making donations to drought relief. President George Hoad expressed his thanks to the Committee for this support and generosity pointing out that while the donation represents less than 10 cents per member of the national association it gave him a great deal of satisfaction that GCA was in a position to help.

Reminder -GCA Annual Award

The Ann Williams Clark Medallion for outstanding service by a member of an affiliated Club

may be applied for any time of the year -one per club per year. Post to: Mrs M. Watts 42 Spencer Rd. KILLARA 2071 NSW Email to : awards@gardenclubs.org.au

The GCA 2020 ‘Beautiful Gardens of Australia’ Calendar

I am sure many members have taken lovely photographs of gardens in Australia.

Why not submit them for consideration for the 2019 Calendar. They can have been taken any time in the past – not just this year.

Submissions close on the 15th February 2019. There is no entry fee and the conditions for entry are on the GCA website www.gardenclubs.org.au. There is no limit on the number of images, or when they were taken. You can email them to photocomp@gardenclubs.org.au.

Members whose images are chosen for the 13 main pages receive $100 each, so have a go!! The smaller “filler” images chosen do not attract a fee but members get the satisfaction of having their image published in the Calendar.

The 2018 Annual Photographic Competition

The closing date for digital or post card entries is the 5th October 2018.

Remind your members the total prize pool valued at $1,400 is the largest in Australia for a non-commercial organisation photographic competition, with no entry fee.

There is no time limit on when the photographs were taken or where in the world they were taken.

Entry details are on the GCA website www.gardenclubs.org.au. Entries can be emailed to photocomp@gardenclubs.org.au or posted to Paul Lucas at 64 Timbertop Drive, Rowville, Vic, 3178

Vacancy – Honorary Treasurer

From 2019 AGM

There will a vacancy on the GCA Committee for an Honorary Treasurer to take over this position from the 2019 AGM as the current holder has indicated he will be stepping down at the 2019 AGM.

This person should have a good knowledge of accounting, including monthly Bank Reconciliations, and the MYOB Accounting package. At times in the year the position can be demanding, such as when direct debits are made and also at year end to have the accounts ready for audit, and to prepare an annual report. Other duties include the payment of expenses and the receipt of income. Attendance at the 6 Committee meetings held each year is desirable. As the Accounting firm that carries out the audit and other financial assistance is Sydney based, location with easy access to Sydney would be an advantage. If your Club or Group has or knows of a person who may be interested, please contact The President, George Hoad on 02 6550 5890.

Dig In & Celebrate! National Gardening Week: 7-13 October

A new and exciting addition to the Australian gardening calendar was launched at last year’s Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show –Australia’s inaugural National Gardening Week. National Gardening Week offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the simple joys of gardening and to highlight the associated environmental, social and health benefits. The event was celebrated by garden clubs, retirement villages, schools and organisations right across the nation, hosting a variety of activities all centred on an appreciation of gardening. One club had a ‘Bring a Friend Day’ and gained 10 new members! Others held garden parties, tree plantings, information days, potting workshops and much more. National Gardening Week is open to everybody –people of all ages, organisations, businesses, local communities, local councils, schools, etc. -to participate in and celebrate gardening in any way they choose.

Hopefully in its second year it will continue to bloom and mature into something truly wonderful.

Enquiries to George Hoad ghoad@internode.on.net

PROFILE: Greg Ruckert
committee member

I was elected to the committee of Garden Clubs of Australia at the 2017 AGM.

My goal on the committee is to advance the work of the Club in the community and help attract a new, younger group of people to our member clubs and societies.

I was appointed to the role of overseeing the Social Media of the GCA. I am a member of the Website subcommittee. The traffic to our Facebook page and Instagram (new) has grown and is hopefully helping me achieve the goals of the GCA. In the few months that we have had an Instagram presence its following has grown to over 2000 followers. I use the Facebook page to promote the activities of our affiliates and the club, hoping to attract a younger group of people to plants and gardening.

I have been an active plantsman for over fifty years rather than a high class gardener. My garden is largely in pots and I tend to grow plants that will not generally be found in gardens. To this end I have been actively importing bulbs from South Africa and Japan for the last three years (as per the article in Our Gardens, earlier this year).

I live on a farm at Nairne in the Adelaide Hills and look after a flock of llamas and alpacas, as well as my plants. Unlike most of the committee I still work, shearing llamas and alpacas. I hold national reference collections for Lachenalia, Massonia, Daubenya and Veltheimia. I will shortly add a collection of Nerines to that list.

I welcome input of any ideas that might advance the causes of the Garden Clubs of Australia.

The best way to contact me is by email, greg@alpacamanagement.com, or telephone 0402 318 183.

PROFILE: John Kitt
committee member

Prior to retirement I had extensive experience in teaching and teacher related activities in Queensland and Tasmania.

I have eclectic interests in gardening and am a Member of the Queensland Rose Society, a vegetable gardener and am fascinated with growing indoor plants and ferns from spores. I began to learn to garden differently on moving to Tasmania and redeveloped two established gardens in Hobart over time. I have learned to grow different plants, shrubs and vegetables at different times of the year to the sub-tropics and have had a reasonable measure of success at growing tomatoes to produce fruit just after Christmas. In this cooler climate I have also developed an interest in growing rock garden plants and have been a member of the Scottish Rock Garden Club and the Alpine Garden Society. We have recently down-sized and I have begun the process of building a small garden from scratch on the bones of my previous vegetable garden, rose garden and small orchard.

I served as the President, Lenah Valley Garden Club for 6 years and after a year of rest have again joined the club’s committee.

I am strongly committed to the opportunities offered through Garden Clubs of Australia to serve the needs of garden clubs across all Australian states and territories. I enjoy exploring alternative approaches to delivering services to affiliates as well as new services in a technologically changing world. My wife and I have reached temporary rapprochement on the subject of my gardening interests. Dirt under the fingernails is an anathema to her, however, she genuinely appreciates the fruits of my gardening efforts.

PROFILE: David Gemmell
committee member

Sydney University Dip Ag Science

Currently retired from most business roles but active in our local district as member of the Pacific Palms Garden Club, President of the Progress Association and Treasurer of Coomba Wine and Dine Society

Married to Yvonne with 3 adult daughters and 5 grandchildren . We live on thirteen acres overlooking Wallis Lake and are currently working hard to turn what was pasture into a garden.

In his working life David had extensive experience in the world of business finance. His current committee role is that of Insurance Officer.


A new website is being developed currently with an expectation it will be ‘online’ at the beginning of October. Until then the current site will remain available.

Welcome to New Zone Coordinators

Julie Meyer – juliemeyer21@hotmail.com
Adelaide and Sthrn. Districts SA

Greg Lane – nef_22@ymail.com
Adelaide and Nthrn. Dists. SA

John Parsonage – john_parsonage@yahoo.com.au
Blue Mountains NSW

Suzanne Bushell – suzannne_bushell@hotmail.com
Central & Central South Qld

Marilyn Schier – schier2@bigpond.com
Riverland/SE Sth Aust

Insurance Certificate

If you have not received your insurance certificate please advise the Insurance Officer so that a replacement can be supplied by email. Replacement Insurance Certificates will be provided at a cost of $25.00.

Enquiries to GCA Insurance Officer, email, insurance@gardenclubs.org.au