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North Shore District Group


Friday Night Meetings 2021

We will be returning to "ZOOM" a meeting. The arrangement will be the same as previous zoom meetings.

People outside NSG can to contact Sue Fredrickson to get a zoom invitation. or 0401 362 921

Upcoming meetings

2022 Meetings will be listed as they are confirmed.

Future meetings

Past virtual 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

SpeakerRobert 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)

SpeakerJonathan 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. 

Past or missed meetings due to Covid-19 from 2020

 14 February 2020

  Simon Leake 
 Topic   " The soils and vegetation of Barangaroo Headland Park " 

Simon will describe how the soil and vegetation associations were developed matching soil type and landscape position to vegetation type resulting in the highly successful naturalistic landscape you now see at Barangaroo.

For this project, commonly available recycled inorganic resources (crushed sandstone and recycled sand from building excavation) were combined with composted wood mulch screened from green garden waste collections and used to recreate a three-tiered replacement soil landscape for Barangaroo. The mulch layer or “O” (for organic) horizon would be analogous to the forest litter layer; the topsoil or A horizon, a well-drained sandy soil containing nutrients, organic matter and biological life and the Subsoil or B horizon, a well-drained water holding layer for root anchorage and moisture reserve.

Soil fertility levels were established using the "ash bed" principle where the initial soil fertility was established based on what the soil nutrient levels would be after a fire occurs to result in a soil fertility level that allows the vegetation to develop properly.

Simon is a soil scientist extraordinaire who leads a team with extensive achievements in rehabilitation, reconstruction and renewal of diverse urban projects and mine sites.

13 March 2020

   Bruce Usher, APS member   
 Topic  "Angophora costata and friends - A Visual Journey"

I’m not a biologist and I flunked Latin at the end of 1963. But I took a phone call in September 2005 from a well know Sydney graphic designer (Ross Renwick the founder of the Billy blue group). It went something like this.

"Busher.” One of my nicknames.

“Do you want to do a book with me?”

Curious, I replied. ‘I’d love to Ross, what’s the subject?’

Renwick laconically replied, “The Angophora tree.” Paused momentarily and added.

“You will have 200 hours of photography and I will have 20 hours of writing.”

It’s 2020 and Ross passed away in late 2012 but I have a very interesting body of work on the Angophora costata (and its friends).

12 June 2020

Speaker  Daniel Clarke, Conservation Officer, APS NSW
 Topic  "Conservation in APS, NSW" 

Dan will talk about 4 years of population assessment and monitoring of the threatened flora species Prostanthera densa (Villous Mint Bush). Assessment and monitoring has taken place at its five known sites, on the NSW Coast, as part of the NSW Saving our Species program. This work has involved crucial help and support from APS Sutherland members. Dan will canvass the SOS Program, and will outline recent changes to NSW Biodiversity legislation. Dan will also briefly cover other species and ecological communities that he has worked on for the Saving our Species Program and showcase other projects that other APS groups are involved in. Dan’s image is of APS Sutherland Member John Arney, measuring and tagging a plant of Prostanthera densa (Marley, Royal NP, 2016).

Dan is currently a botanical consultant undertaking vegetation surveys, threatened plant assessments and botanical advice in many parts of NSW. Dan also works weekly for TAFE NSW as a Conservation and Land Management teacher, teaching plant identification and bushland regeneration.

20 July 2020

 Judy Harrington
 Topic  "Glossy Black-cockatoo "

Distribution maps of the rather elusive Glossy Black-cockatoo overlap with much of the east coast forests that have been devastated by wildfire this spring and summer. Our guest speaker will discuss the current concern felt by the birding and conservation communities about the plight of Glossy Black-cockatoos in the aftermath of widespread fires and in particular, the loss of Allocasuarina (She-oak) stands that support breeding families of Glossy blacks.

Judy Harrington is the president of Birdlife Southern NSW and has an extensive history of public education and participation in wildlife monitoring in her previous roles at SOPA, in her involvement with the highly-popular Sea-EagleCAM and the Birdlife Discovery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park and with the Frog & Tadpole Study Group. 

14 August 2020

 Michael Batley, virtual presentation via Zoom 
 Topic   " Looking for bees" 

While looking for native bees over the last twenty years, Michael has seen many lovely species in lots of interesting places. Although bees are formally identified using shape and colour, often with the aid of a microscope, he has come to realise that, in the field, behaviour frequently provides useful additional clues.

There have been 250 species collected from within 40 km of Hornsby and it is estimated that there may be 50 additional species in the area, so there is a lot to look out for on a walk through local bushland. The talk will include suggestions about where to look for bees, when to look and what to look for.

Photo: A tree stump containing nests of Lasioglossum peraustrale in a small park in North Ryde 

11 September 2020

 Farhad Masoomi-Aladizgeh, APS NSG Scholarship Recipient
 Topic   " Australian ecotypes of Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass)" 

Farhad’s research is mainly on identifying stress tolerance genes in plants from distantly related crop relatives. The grant from the Valette Williams Scholarship has led the team to start a new project on a stress tolerant species in Australia, Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass). A diverse collection of its ecotypes provides high genetic diversity with which to find ‘molecular signatures’ for environmental traits. Plants respond to the changing environment too!

Farhad is a Doctor of Philosophy in Biology student under the supervision of Professor Brian Atwell within the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.

9 October 2020 (Note there will be two speakers)

 Sue Fredrickson
 Topic  Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show 

On the way to the ANPSA conference in Albany in 2019, the Fredricksons were very impressed with the hospitality shown by the locals of Ravensthorpe and learned a whole lot about this botanically fascinating little town by attending Wildflower Festival events.

 Wendy Grimm 
 Topic  Wildflowers around Albany, WA 

The 2019 ANPSA conference in Albany was timed for peak flowering of the Southwest Australian Floristic Region’s wildflowers and a small selection of photos taken around Albany will be shown. 

13 November 2020

 Jackie Wilson
 Topic  Why some of our iconic plants and animals of the Snowy Mountains are under threat  

The delicate ecosystem of the Snowy Mountains and some of the iconic plants and animals of the Snowys are now under threat - essentially from human influences e.g. overgrazing, introduced species/pests, climate change, tourism etc. Jackie will approach this problem from the perspective of a geographer with an interest in ecology.

December: Christmas Party at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

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