New Botanic Gardens director appointed

Date posted: 16 August 2016

Hon Ian Hunter MLC

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

An internationally-renowned leader in plant conservation, education and botanical gardens will take over the reins of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia.

Dr Lucy Sutherland will be the first female Director of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia in its 160 year history.


The Botanic Gardens of South Australia comprise three beautiful public gardens – Adelaide Botanic Garden (and Botanic Park) in the city, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in the Adelaide Hills and Wittunga Botanic Garden in suburban Blackwood.

The gardens are a treasured part of our natural and cultural heritage – more than 2 million people visit these gardens each year, including around 25,000 school students.

Dr Sutherland is currently National Coordinator of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership. Previous roles included Acting Director at Australian National Botanic Gardens (Canberra) in 2015/16, and lectured in the UK for several years in related fields.

Quotes attributable to Environment Minister Ian Hunter

I’m delighted with the appointment of Dr Sutherland, whose knowledge and drive will be a huge asset to Botanic Gardens of South Australia.

Lucy is an accomplished leader with considerable experience in national and international organisations dedicated to promoting and maintaining the important role that botanical gardens hold in citizens’ lives.

As the Gardens’ first female Director, Dr Sutherland will lead our Botanic Gardens in its next chapter, showcasing our cultural and natural world heritage.

Quotes attributable to Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Chief Executive, Sandy Pitcher

Lucy joining the Botanic Gardens is exciting news for the Gardens, the environment department and for the South Australian community – Lucy brings extensive worldwide experience and Australian know-how to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

Thank you to Mr Greg Mackie and Ms Janice Goodwins for leading the Gardens from strength to strength as interim directors during the extensive recruitment process.

Quotes attributable to Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Board Chairperson, Judy Potter

The Board is thrilled to have someone of Lucy’s calibre appointed to the Director role. Her experience in working with Botanic Gardens around Australia and across the world, and her strong track record of partnership building will be invaluable assets to the institution.

The Board is looking forward to working with Lucy to further embed the Botanic Gardens as the State’s most loved cultural institution.