Student’s Volunteer Botanical Internship Program 2013

Participants and Institutions

2013 represented the twenty-first year that the Student’s Volunteer Botanical Intern Program (SVBIP) has been run. A total of thirteen applications were received for the Program with six interns representing five tertiary institutions successfully completing the Program.

Work Output

Output achieved by interns during 2013 was roughly equal to 69% of a year’s work (of an entry-level TO). All supervisors provided positive feedback as to the accuracy and quality of the work achieved and the interns’ cheerful and enthusiastic approach.
Curatorial work included mounting and incorporation of vascular and non-vascular specimens, allocation of labels to specimens ready for mounting, and general herbarium tasks. Significant assistance was also provided to cryptogams with a number of curatorial tasks completed.
Along with curation work, interns provided research assistance to CANBR research scientists. Significant assistance was provided to the ‘Local pollination dynamics of Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides’ project with many hours of exciting video watched in order to spot and map pollinator movement.


Fieldwork in 2013 was planned to follow the well-established format of previous years. However, adverse weather conditions resulted in the cancellation of the one day field through sites around Queanbeyan, Captains Flat and Tallaganda State Forest and the field trip to Galong to talk with CMA representatives and look at rehabilitation sites due to the extreme fire danger.
Luckily, weather conditions eased sufficiently to allow the four-day residential field trip Jervis Bay to go ahead. Interns surveyed a number of woodland and heath communities in Booderee National Park to practice their collecting techniques and acquire material to identify. A “Treasure Hunt” style mapping exercise was also conducted along with a search for a previous collection and was both enjoyable and enlightening. At Booderee Botanic Gardens Kain Ardler led a Koori bush food and medicine tour around the Gardens. Booderee National Park staff, Martin Fortescue, discussed park and reserve management issues with the interns. In addition, interns visited the Mangrove Boardwalk at Huskisson and Fitzroy Falls. Centre staff also led walks at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, focussing on the heath land flora, and the Robertson Yarrawa Brush Rainforest Reserve. Due to the high temperatures and then a fire breaking out near Robertson both these activities were cut short.
A short, half day field trip was added this year to attempt to clarify the status of Eucalyptus williamsiana in the Googong Dam area. Interns and staff were unable to find any individuals of the species apart from those in the vicinity of the Visitors Centre suggesting that it is probably cultivated.

Concerns and Issues

The perennial problem of accommodation for interstate participants remains a major issue. All students avoided the high priced ANU colleges again this year, finding short-term share accommodation off campus. Four interns were accommodated by people offering rooms after a request by the coordinator. The remaining interns were Canberra residents. Accommodation costs are the single biggest issue mentioned by students undertaking the Program and assistance with finding short term accommodation is greatly appreciated.


The success of the 2013 Program is in no small part due to the considerable efforts of a number of Centre staff, outside academics and others who freely gave their time to present lectures and training sessions, as well as providing supervision for intern work teams. Thanks are also due to all CANBR and ANBG staff, especially those at the Herbarium, for their tolerance and enthusiasm during the course of the Program. I would particularly like to thank all those who once again provided invaluable support to the Internship Coordinator.

Bronwyn Collins
SVBIP Coordinator
June 2013

Student’s Volunteer Botanical Internship Program Participants 1993 – 2013

State Institution Numbers
ACT Australian National University, Canberra 62
  University of Canberra 19
  Canberra Institute of Technology 14
  Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra 6
  Department of the Environment and Heritage 1
  Booderee Botanic Gardens, Jervis Bay 1
NSW Macquarie University, Sydney 11
  University of New England, Armidale 13
  University of Technology, Sydney 10
  Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga & Albury 12
  University of Sydney 8
  University of New South Wales, Sydney 7
  University of Newcastle 10
  University of Wollongong 6
  Southern Cross University 3
  Janet Cosh Herbarium (UW) 1
  University of Western Sydney 1
  TAFE NSW National Environment Centre Thurgoona 1
VIC University of Melbourne 18
  Monash University 9
  Latrobe University, Melbourne 4
  Deakin University 3
  University of Ballarat 1
  Forestech, East Gippsland TAFE 1
QLD James Cook University 14
  University of Queensland 11
  Griffith University 2
  University of the Sunshine Coast 2
  Queensland University of Technology 2
  University of Southern Queensland 1
  Metropolitan Institute of TAFE 2
  Central Queensland University 1
NT Charles Darwin University 2
SA University of Adelaide 4
  Flinders University 1
  University of South Australia 1
TAS University of Tasmania 4
WA Curtin University 1
  Edith Cowan University 1
  Murdoch University 1
  West Coast TAFE 1
International North America 5
  Europe 3
  Asia 3
Total 50 284

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