Ten Year Celebration Of Old Parliament House Gardens

Media Release

4 December 2014

The Old Parliament House Gardens in Canberra this week celebrates ten years since the gardens were officially opened to the public. It also marks the conclusion of the Rose Patronage Program.

In November 2002, Mrs Tamie Fraser AO launched a campaign seeking public support for the reconstruction of the gardens through rose patronage. This included replanting the four rose gardens that were originally established by Mr Robert Broinowski in the 1930s.

A $100 donation covered the cost of a rose, planting, ten years maintenance and recognition as a patron in the gardens. Over $400,000 was raised through sponsorship and 4200 roses were planted as a result.

National Capital Authority (NCA) Chief Executive, Malcolm Snow today unveiled new interpretive signage in the gardens to recognise the patrons who contributed to the restoration.

ëEvery rose in the gardens was sponsored by people from all walks of life, from former Prime Ministers and Members of Parliament, to schools and their students. Roses were often sponsored to mark special events such as Motherís Day, births and anniversaries,í he said.

ëThe new interpretive signs explain the reconstruction project and the importance of the amazing support that has been provided by patrons.

ëOver the last ten years, Australians have formed a strong connection to the Old Parliament House Gardens. Many people come to the gardens to enjoy the plants and learn about the history of the area.

ëIt is one of the most popular venues for weddings on National Land, and is also enjoyed by thousands of school children every year,í he said.

Earlier this year, the NCA advised patrons that the program was due to conclude.

The NCA commissioned a book written by Dr John Gray OAM titled, ëRoses, Tennis & Democracyí to acknowledge the contribution of patrons. This is being delivered to the patrons now and will arrive before Christmas. An electronic copy of Dr Grayís book is also available on the NCA website.

Click here for further information about the Old Parliament House Gardens and the patronage program.