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Company overview

The Australian Plants Society NSW Ltd (ABN 87 002 680 408) is a company limited by guarantee. It is a non-profit, independent, incorporated community organisation registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.

ACNC Certification of APS NSW as a Registered Charity

Our objectives are to:

  • Promote the appreciation, study and participation in growing, conserving and propagating Australian native plants and their habitats.
  • Encourage the use of Australian native plants in home gardens and public places.
  • Interest nursery owners and managers to propagate and sell Australian native plants to the public.
  • Increase and disseminate general knowledge of Australian native plants.

Our Memorandum and Articles of Association are located here: 

APS NSW Memorandum and Articles of Association, 18 April 2018

Board members and Officers

The Australian Plants Society NSW Ltd is overseen by a board comprising appointed members and delegates of our local District Groups.

Our board:

John Aitken, President

John has had a passion for Australian native plants for over 40 years. He has held positions as a science teacher, virologist, and barrister. He is former president of Sutherland Group, a director of APS NSW since February 2007, and has served as a delegate to ANPSA. Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Microbiology, Graduate Dip Education

Graham Fry, delegate for East Hills Group

Graham has been a member of East Hills Group for many years and is its current president. He has a strong interest in natural history and has been an active bird bander for 35 years with projects at Munghorn Gap near Mudgee and Warraderry State Forest near Grenfell. He is a retired electrical engineer with a particular interest in energy efficiency. Graham joined the Board in late December 2017.   
Margaret Gaul, delegate for Blue Mountains GroupMargaret is a longstanding member of Blue Mountains Group where she is currently Vice-President. She inherited her love of Australian plants from her mother who was an early member of East Hills Group and involved in planting out many of the reserves in the Bankstown LGA having completed a course in horticulture and bush regeneration at TAFE.  She has an academic background with high level research and organisational skills and extensive management experience.  She served on the Board of the Kindergarten Union of NSW for a decade when her children were young.  
Harry Loots, Treasurer and delegate for Northern Beaches Group Harry has been a member of the Australian Plants Society since 1991 when he joined tHarbourside Group where he was group president from 1994 until its closure in 2010 and its newsletter editor from 2006 to 2009.  Since 2011, he has been member and APS (NSW) delegate for the Northern Beaches Group. He has been a member of the Special Projects Committee (Bequest Fund) from 2000. Harry has also been an Australian plant grower for the last 28 years with an award winning endemic plant garden in North Sydney.  He has been an active bushwalker for most of his life. Harry was vice president of APS NSW between 2009 and 2013 and had a day job as a High School teacher.
Tony Maxwell, delegate for Parramatta and Hills Group Tony is a retired paint chemist and a member of Parramatta and Hills Group since 2006, holding roles as vice president and president. He became Parramatta and Hills Group delegate to the Board in 2011. Tony’s interest is the distribution of native plants in southeast Australia.
Heather Miles, Secretary and delegate for Hunter Valley Group Heather is a member of the Hunter Valley and North Shore Groups and is director and secretary of APS NSW. She has extensive experience as a director, executive and consultant across multiple industry sectors. BSc, MBA, Dip Landscape Design, Dip Photoimaging, GAICD.
Roger Starling, delegate for North Shore Group Roger spent his early life in the UK, followed by several years in pharmaceutical sales and subsequently in other sales positions. He is a qualified horticulturalist having a Certificate 3 in Horticulture and completed the Diploma in Horticulture. He was actively involved with HG Kershaw Pty Ltd Seedsmen. Roger has been a director of APS NSW since 2005.
Merle K Thompson OAM, Membership officer and delegate for Central West Group Merle has held office at local, state and national level for approximately 40 years. Her previous roles in the Australian Plants Society include federal secretary 1993-1995, federal treasurer 2007–2009, property officer and program convenor for APS NSW, secretary and president of Blue Mountains Group, NSW delegate to ANPSA conferences and the ANPSA council, tour manager for the 2007 conference and membership of conference planning committees for both 1993 and 2007 conferences. Her professional career involved roles in counselling, administration and policy within the NSW public sector.

Office bearers and support team:

Editors Australian Plants

John Aitken and Merle Thompson, see details above

Editor, Native Plants for NSW monthly enewsletter

Rhonda Daniels has been a member of Sutherland Group for over 25 years and served as president, secretary and newsletter editor. She has also been a director of APS NSW. She works as an editor of academic and research material. BSc (Hons), Master of Policy Studies, PhD (management), Cert 4 in Horticulture, Cert 2 in Bush Regeneration.

Conservation Officer

Dan Clarke provides consulting advice and services to a wide range of businesses in bushland regeneration and restoration, and ecological education and training in conservation and land management. BSc First class Hons (Botany), Cert IV in General Horticulture, Cert II in Bushland Regeneration.

Study Group Liaison Officer

Nicole Maher lives in Wagga Wagga with her three young children, her wonderful husband and a slightly bonkers dog. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Science, majoring in Botany, and a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture. Nicole has worked in natural resource management for over 10 years, with the last 8 years at Murrumbidgee Landcare. She is excited about getting more involved in the Society, and looking forward to reading about all the interesting activities our Study Groups are getting up to. 
Website manager Heather Miles, see details above
Office supportGlenda Browne was an APS member in Sydney some decades ago and rejoined as a member of Blue Mountains Group in 2017. She worked first as a biotechnologist and then as a librarian, also fitting in freelance indexing work from home. Indexing of books, journals and websites is now her main career. Glenda has been involved with the ANZSI indexing society in many roles, and is an occasional volunteer with the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group, Australian Greens and Pyjama Angels (reading with children in foster care). She lives with her husband and daughter in the Blue Mountains, and has a son in Canberra. Her garden is partly native and mostly in need of care.

Australian Plants Society NSW Representatives to external bodies:

ANPSA Council

John Aitken

Australian Flora Foundation

Ross Smyth-Kirk

Burrendong Arboretum

 Lyn Burgett
Native Flower Growers and Promoters Jonathan Steeds
Nature Conservation Council Margery Street

Annual Reports

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report


P.O. Box 263
Cremorne  Junction NSW 2090

Contact us here:

Membership: merleaps@bigpond.

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