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North Shore District Group


Friday night meetings 

Meetings will now return to face to face when possible.

Face to face meetings are held at Beatrice Taylor Hall:

25 Edgeworth David Avenue, Hornsby. 

Zoom meetings may still be appropriate for certain speakers or conditions and will have similar arrangements to previous Zooms. 

People who are not members of North Shore Group can contact Sue Fredrickson to request the Zoom link. Sue can be contacted on or 0401 362 921. 

Upcoming meetings

2022 meetings will be listed as they are confirmed. 

Next meeting on Friday 8 July, 7.45pm for 8pm

 Speaker  Dan Bickel, Australian Museum
 Topic  Tears of the Gods - the History and Science  of Amber
Amber has fascinated people since prehistoric times and has long been traded from sources along the Baltic Sea.  As well as being admired and used in jewellery, amber is of great scientific interest as it provides a clear window to past life. Being the hardened and fossilized resin of ancient trees, amber frequently contains inclusions of trapped animals and plants, where tiny insects and delicate floral structures can be seen in exquisite detail. Amber therefore is a great source of information about both the evolution and distribution of major biotic groups and past environments generally.
Within the last 20 years, significant amber deposits have been discovered in Australia. These include (Miocene?) Cape York amber, washed up on remote beaches, and Cretaceous and Paleocene deposits from Victoria and Tasmania. This talk will review the history, occurrence and study of amber..

Past meetings 2022

10th June 2022


  Members of APS NSG - Sue Fredrickson, Jan Williamson, Hugh Jones & Tania Lamble. 

 Topic    APS NSW trip to the Central West area of NSW 


In early April eight members of APS NSG attended the four day APSNSW trip to the Central West area of NSW. The trip’s primary purposes were to look at various sites from a conservation perspective and to meet the people who are trying innovative ways to responsibly protect and enhance the biodiversity of their sites.
Seven sites were visited , ranging from mixed farms- hazelnuts and sheep, sheep and cattle and crops to a conservation area where the previous farm has been encouraged to revert to natural endemic vegetation and conditions.  Burrendong Arboretum and a rare minerals mining site at Toongi, where biodiversity offsets are part of the project, were also visited. We all found it a most informative and inspirational trip. Tired, but happy with plenty to think about,  was the general response by all attendees.  It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet other APS NSW members,  the dedicated people on the land and to help to bridge the city/ country gap. 


13 May 2022


  Leanne Johnston, Hornsby Shire Council’s Environmental Scientist – Bushcare 

 Topic    Benefits of Bushcare - How volunteering and connecting with nature can improve your health and wellbeing


Leanne has been with Hornsby Shire Council’s Bushcare program since 2008.

The Hornsby Bushcare Program officially began in 1989 and remains one of the most successful programs in the Sydney basin. We have 65 active groups where each group is supported by Council with have a qualified and experienced Bushcare supervisor to lead and inspire our volunteers.  

8 April 2021

Speaker 1
  Dr Geoff & Dr Judy Lambert
Topic   The effects of, and recovery from, recent bushfires at North Head.

Speaker 2
  Wendy Grimm 
 opic  'Herbs at Smiths Lake Nature Reserve. 

11 February 2022


  Penny Hemsworth, from Ku-ring-gai Council 

 Topic   KMC’s Nurture Our Urban Forest program  


Ku-ring-gai’s environment is made up of trees, shrubs and ground cover along with the soil and water that support these - together they create an Urban Forest.

These exist through a network of natural and built, plant and tree systems within both Council Managed Land and private property.

Like many cities around the world we recognise our Urban Forest as a vital part of our community, enabling us to create a community that we all want to live in.

Penny will cover how the Urban Forests help our environment.

Past meetings 2021

12 February 2021

Mark Schuster 
 Topic   ‘Living on the Razor’s Edge’, a personal perspective on trying to balance fire management for both asset protection and biodiversity. 


Mark has recently joined the staff at Ku-ring-gai Council. Mark is a respected and innovative Environmental Planner and Ecological Scientist with

a wealth of experience, working in federal, state, local government and consultancy positions, in both administrative and scientific capacities.

Mark has more than 10 years’ experience being involved in the challenging field of bushfire planning

12 March 2021

  David Roberts
 Topic  'Some thoughts and ideas on taking photographs of plants.'

The talk will cover some thoughts and ideas on taking photographs of plants. General photographic principles and plant-specific challengers. It is trying to encourage people to enhance their photography  skills and admire their own results

David is a Profession Bush Regenerator ( only new)
Qualifications Conservation and Land management certificate 3
Member of Rural FDire service  ( 17 years )
Member of ANP for 1 year
Amateur Photographer 

9 April 2021

Speaker   David Bambridge 
 Topic  ‘Going Native in the Urban Landscape-  Creeks to Casinos’

David Bambridge is the Director and Project Manager of The Gardenmakers which is a NSW based landscape company that undertakes projects in Sydney metropolitan area, Macarthur,Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

A discussion of soils, plants and their installation issues in the modern urban landscape context where the project delivery factors such as time, budget, competing consultants, weather and seasonal cycles come into play. 

The talk will range over soils for purpose, plant selection issues, procurement and installation as well as the care and maintenance of landscapes post completion to achieve an established urban landscape somewhat resembling the design intent.

Sites discussed will include-  Rooftop gardens in Sydney CBD, High rise residential.,City Street Trees, Restoration to creek lines in urban riparian areas.

14 May 2021

 Speaker  Bruce Usher

 Discuss the creation of my new  photography book Coast Tree Street. A 192 page hardcover book with B/W and colour images, in three sections which includes personal insights and excerpts from my interviews.

At the end of the book discussion a show of Snow gums photographed above Thredbo and Charlottes Pass in March 2020. And the Wollombi landscape

in the lower Hunter valley of NSW.


Coast  was photographed between Noosa Heads Qld and Rosedale Beach on the NSW south coast but predominantly Sydney’s northern beaches between 1963 and 2020.

Tree was photographed  between 2007 and 2020. Locations include Bangally Head North Avalon NSW, Brisbane Water National Park NSW on the Central coast NSW, 

Flinders Ranges SA. Goldsmith Island Qld, Koscuiszko National Park  NSW, Ku-ring-gai Chase Northern Sydney NSW, McKay Reserve Palm Beach NSW, Mt Hotham Vic, 

Mt Wellington Tasmania, Washpool National Park NSW, Wollombi Lower Hunter Valley NSW, Wyrrabalong National Park, NSW central coast.

Street was photographed between 1974 and 2020.  

Newcastle, May Day Rally 1974 and Sydney CBD 1976, 1991, 1992, 2016 – 2020

11 June 2021

Speaker  Narelle Smith,
 Topic   Sir Joseph Banks life’s works 

A journey of Sir Joseph Bank’s work including the Endeavour journal,

 Australian plant collections, taxonomy and recruitment that enabled
the publishing of Florilegium editions.

 Bank’s was a significant global influencer, a collaborator and enabler
in Botany and the Natural Sciences as President of the Royal Society,
an advisor on plant collections at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
and to Governments on the new colony in Australia.

The painting of Joseph Banks, above is by Samuel Reynolds  in 1773

9 July 2021

Speaker   Donna Fitton, Tree Care Officer, Hornsby Shire Council (HSC) 
 Topic   ‘Greening Our Shire’ - HSC’s Planting Projects 

In August 2018, Council launched an ambitious program to plant 25,000 trees by 2020.

The aim was to increase canopy across the Shire in streets, parks, reserves, Schools, Community centres and private property.

The challenge was to engage the community to support and assist the project through storms, drought and COVID.

Canopy replenishment on this scale and timeframe is rare. We won’t see the canopy or feel the environmental and social benefits for many years but the future looks a bit more shady for Hornsby Shire as our climate changes.

In July 2020 we hit the target and planting momentum continues in 2021 with our ‘Greening Our Shire” project.

This project will address revegetation, planting and biodiversity actions linked to Council’s Urban Forest Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy.

10 September 2021

Speaker   Shubham Chhajed - 2020 Val Williams Scholarship Recipient 
 Topic  "Hydraulic drivers of photosynthetic variation in co-occurring plant species in Sydney region: a least-cost theory approach."

8 October 2021

Speaker Robert King
 Topic  'Topic  Mangroves - flowering plants at the land sea interface'

Robert King spent much of his academic life as Professor of Botany at the University of NSW. His general research interests centred on the taxonomy, distribution and ecology of macroalgae (seaweeds) and seagrasses in south eastern Australia. He had a particular research interest in the algae associated with mangroves worldwide, with specific attention to salt tolerance in an environment with rapid changes in salinity. 

The term mangrove refers to both an unusual group of essentially tropical plants and the communities. We only have two mangrove species in the Sydney region, but in northern Australia there is a rich and varied collection of species all coping with an environment that appears inimical to flowering plants. Mangroves exhibit a range of adaptations enabling them to cope in an environment with regular inundation, variable salinity, unstable sediments and wave action. The term has no taxonomic significance but is an ecological category of plants defined by this challenging environment. Mangroves occur in a surprising range of familiar plant families, and are related to many genera which are well known as garden plants. 

12 November 2021 (this was a Zoom meeting)

Speaker Jonathan Lidbetter
 Topic  'A Surprise'

Jonathan Lidbetter B.Sc.Agr (Hons), M.Sc. (Hons) - Farm Manager for East Coast Wildflowers

I have close to 30 years experience working in the horticultural sector largely as a plant production researcher in government but more recently as a farm manager for East Coast Wildflowers. My main passion is propagation and development of native plants for commercial cultivation and my experience covers the full range from seeds, cuttings, budding and grafting to tissue culture. My current focus is the propagation and management of over 100 species of commercial cut flower and foliages for the domestic floristry trade.

East Coast Wildflowers is one of the premier native cut flower wholesalers in NSW and is owned and run by Mr Craig Scott, a 4th generation flower grower who has been growing native flowers commercially for over 30 years. We have 20 hectares under cultivation with 0.5 ha under cover at Mangrove Mountain (growing almost exclusively native products),  and have a warehouse at Flemington markets as part of operating Stands in the Flower Shed 6 days/ week 51 weeks a year (COVID pending). We wholesale product for growers from all mainland states. More visual information can be found on Instagram @ craigioscottt or @jonathinny. Craig's daughter Bess is a leading NSW florist using native flowers and can be found @bess_paddington. 

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