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APCC14 Program

Program outline (full program coming soon):

Sunday 13 October: Early registration and Welcome Reception at the venue from 4-7pm.

Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 October: Conference sessions (presentations, posters and workshops)

Tuesday 15 October: Conference Dinner*

Thursday 17 October: Field trips:

  • Field Trip 1 (full day) – Wildflowers of the Granite Belt with Stanthorpe Rare Wildflower Consortium
  • Field Trip 2 (full day) – Bunya Mountains Experience with Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation (BPAC) and site visit to Darling Downs Grasslands.
  • Field Trip 3 (half day) – Gummingurru Aboriginal historical site and Peacehaven Botanic Park.


The Conference Dinner will be held from 7pm at Queensland Museum Cobb+Co. who are generously supporting us by waiving a hire fee. Many thanks also to Alcoa for sponsoring the dinner.

The venue is 1.8km from the conference location (walking via Queens Park and Botanic Garden).

Indicative menu (may be subject to change prior to the event):

– Cheese platters and Turkish bread dip platters

– BBQ buffet – with vegetarian potato bake and salads, corn and zucchini frittata, steak and chicken tenders.

– Alternate desserts of pavlova or sticky date pudding

– 2 drinks included

(Exhibits can be viewed by dinner goers when not holding food or drinks or seated for dinner).

Hugh Possingham will be the speaker for the night, with a speech titled “Making Smart Conservation Decisions

Field Trips

What to bring: A hat, sunscreen, appropriate footwear (clean and free of dirt), water bottle, insect repellent, a jacket (the weather can change unexpectedly).

All field trips include transport, lunch and snacks. Please BYO water bottle to reduce plastic waste.


1/ Wildflowers of the Granite Belt with Stanthorpe Rare Wildflower Consortium (8am to 5:30pm)

Phebalium whitei – Paul Donatiu

Depart Toowoomba at 8am for a 2hr 10min bus trip (180km) to Girraween National Park located on the Granite Belt near the Qld/NSW border and south of Toowoomba. Girraween, meaning ‘place of flowers’, is a park of massive granite outcrops, tors and precariously balanced boulders with spectacular wildflower displays in spring. Golden wattles, yellow, red and purple pea flowers, dainty orchids and flannel flowers grow amid forests of red-gum, stringybark and blackbutt.

Arrive at 10.10am and meet volunteers from the Stanthorpe Rare Wildflower Consortium at the Day Use area, where there are shelter sheds and a toilet, a short distance from the National Park Visitor Centre. They will take you on a guided botanical walk along the Junction Track (5.2km return) to view the many wildflowers there including Allocasuarina rupicola (Near Threatened) and Phebalium whitei (Vulnerable). Lunch will be in the Park during the walk. Return to the Visitor Centre by 3pm for the bus trip back to Toowoomba.

Local wildflower books will be for sale including the Consortium’s Wildflowers of the Granite Belt for $5 which has photos of 280 of the most common local species.

The Junction Track is a Grade 3 walking track, suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some walking experience is recommended. Grade 3 Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.


Bunya Mountains by ZaqqyJam – Wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,

2/ The plants of the Bunya Mountains and Darling Downs grasslands. (8am to 5pm)

Depart Toowoomba at 8am for a 2 hr bus trip to the Bunya Mountains, which rise over 1000 metres above the plains, harbour ancient rainforests and Bunya Pines (Araucaria bidwillii), and have been a gathering place for people for millennia. Experience the Bunya Mountains with the Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation (BPAC) and discuss the Bunya Pine’s significance, and hear about traditional land management practices in the grasslands using fire. Walk to the Bush Uni, yarn about “Connection to Country”, “Why are our Elders important?” and “Why should we honour our Ancestors?”

Then take a rainforest walk with BPAC Rangers who will discuss some of the ways they have existed with nature and how plants were used in daily life.

On the way home, we will visit a remnant of the vast grasslands that once covered the Darling Downs. Growing on fertile clay soils, these grasslands have been extensively cropped and only 1% of their original extent remains. They harbour a diversity of plant life with over 300 plant species recorded including many that are rare and threatened. We will hope for a glimpse of Australia’s only native thistle the Vulnerable Austral Cornflower (Rhaponticum australe) and discuss the myriad issues facing these tiny grassland remnants and how research and management is contributing to their conservation.

The walk to the Bush Uni walk is approx. 10-20 Minutes each way. Distance-1km return. Access is along a formed earthen track with few obstacles and a modified surface. Sections may be muddy or have loose surfaces at times. Moderate slope descending and ascending. Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.


3/ Gummingurru Aboriginal historical site and Peacehaven Botanic Park (9am to 2pm)

Gummingurru stone arrangement – photo: Toowoomba Council


Tour Peacehaven Botanic Park  and hear from Paul Carmody about the significance of the area to local First Nations People. Friends of Peacehaven Botanic Park will also have their local native plant nursery open for browsing. The park is set in the leafy suburb of Highfields, 15 minutes drive north of the Toowoomba CBD and includes a diverse collection of Australian native flora and other attractive botanic specimens, including rare and endangered plants. Many of the plants in the grounds are labelled for visitor information.

Directly to the west is Gummingurru where Paul will continue to take us on a guided site tour to learn about the stone arrangement cultural complex located there. He will describe and discuss the site’s significance including subjects such as: skin and kinship; lore and law; obligation, roles, and responsibility; belief systems; and conservation. Traditional land management practices, plant use (medicinal, tucker and cultural) and the eco-systems will then be explored. We will see the progress of three demonstration gardens established to showcase species from different culturally important ecosystems including endangered semi-evergreen vine thicket.


The 14th Australasian Plant Conservation Conference (APCC14) will comprise of presentations (talks and posters) as well as workshops over the 3 days of 14-16 October 2024.

We are currently planning to hold around 2 concurrent sessions of workshops, i.e. splitting attendees into smaller groups for more interactive experiences.

We would love to hear your suggestions for these workshops to help us plan and make the event as beneficial as possible for all attendees. If you have ideas for topics or areas you are interested in learning more about, and you or someone you know could help plan and/or run this workshop, please take this short survey.

**The survey on potential workshop options can be found on Surveymonkey here**

(Please complete this prior to 1 July to have your ideas considered)

Some ideas we have so far include:

· Ex situ conservation needs and opportunities in Queensland.

· Managing the semi-arid zone and the rangelands for conservation.

· How to participate in citizen science using platforms like iNaturalist, and how to take a good plant photos for effective identification.

· Emerging minimum data requirements for environmental markets and mandatory climate and nature reporting (e.g. Nature Repair Market, Land Restoration Fund) to prove conservation benefits to threatened species.

· How to plan and run a Bioblitz workshop.

· Building and supporting plant conservation networks and partnerships to save our threatened plants.

· How to raise political and community awareness of threatened plants and the actions required to save them.

· How to undertake a threatened flora survey


Past conference workshop topics have included:

· Meeting ambitious restoration goals in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: national, state, regional and local scale.

· Selecting species and provenances: a showcase of tools, templates and approaches.

· Threatened Plant Translocation.

· The Australian Native Seed Industry Review – The Purpose, The People, The Practice and The Proposals for Action.

· Using floristics to assess the ground layer of grassy ecosystem sites.

· Institutional and law reform for invasive species; strengthening the case and helping to bring it about.

· The Atlas of Living Australia – supporting plant conservation.

· Private conservation in NSW: options and issues for landholders.

· Myrtle Rust recognition, reporting, risk assessment and management concepts and techniques.

· Applying seed science knowledge for better conservation and restoration outcomes.

· Using interactive botanical identification keys.


*Please fill out our SurveyMonkey questionaire by 17 June here*

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