photo: John GortonJohn Gorton Plaque

Australian Prime Minister John Gorton formally opened the Canberra Botanic Gardens, later the Australian National Botanic Gardens, on 20 October 1970.

The ceremony took place in what is now the middle level of the northern public car-park (Section 169).

photo of plaqueThe plaque was unveiled on a temporary plinth built for the ceremony, and later moved to the curved wall by the stairs in Section 66. In 1999 it was moved to its present site near the waterfall on 'Banks Walk' in Section 210.

John Gorton was Prime Minister of Australia from 10 January 1968 – 10 March 1971.

About John Gorton (1911-2002)

John Gorton opening the Gardens,
wife Betina in the background.


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Before opening the Gardens John Gorton visited the Display Room, now the northern end of the Ellis Rowan Building.

photo: Dickson and Wrigley
Dr B.T.Dickson who wrote the report initiating the Gardens in 1935 (left) and John Wrigley, the then Curator of the Gardens (right), at the opening ceremony in 1970.

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The dais set up for the speeches at the opening ceremony in the lower level of the old car-park. The temporary plinth is on the right.

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A marquee was set up near the main entrance gate for refreshments.

Updated December 16, 2002 , Murray Fagg (