Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Sub-Tropical Treasures – Brookfield Show Society

Mr. Chair, I rise to speak about one of the great hidden treasures in this city which just happens to be at Mount Coot-tha in the Pullenvale Ward.

As Councillors may have already gathered in speeches I’ve given to this Chamber since being elected, I’m very fortunate to have one of this city’s crown jewels located in the area I represent.

Under the leadership of curator, Dale Arviddson, the challenge to maintain the Brisbane Botanic Gardens as one of city’s major tourist attractions has not been just achieved but exceeded, positioning them right up there with Southbank as the key tourist attraction in the city. No easy feat for this administration, given all the other projects on the go.

His dedication and passion for the Gardens is second to none and highly infectious. Its hard not to be interested in the stories behinds the thousands of species of plants on show.

On a recent inspection of the Gardens, Dale pointed out a new feature which demonstrates to me the Shrinner Administration’s respect to the history of this city by reinventing an attraction that was central to Brisbane hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982, to it potentially featuring as a selling point in our bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

I’m referring to a work created by prominent Brisbane sculptor, Rhyl Hinwood called “George Street Fountain” which was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth in 1982 while in Brisbane for the Commonwealth Games.

As the CBD has undergone a major transformation over the years since, George Street Fountain could have easily become just another memory. 

But it has been brought back to life in the Botanic Gardens under the new name of “Sub-Tropical Treasures” and I predict it will become one of this city’s most popular wedding gardens.

Set as a backdrop to lush green lawns, the carvings on each of the pieces depict native flora once common throughout Brisbane tree ferns, palms, orchids, wild ginger, wild berries and fungi. 

Finally Mr. Chair, I would like to congratulate Cath Fullerton who last week became the new President of the Brookfield Show Society.

The Brookfield Show is one of the most popular community events in my Ward and was sadly missed when it, like many other events this year was cancelled because of the pandemic.

This had a serious impact on the Society’s bottom line so it was even more important that the new president had the runs on the board and experience to deliver next year’s Show.

Cath Fullerton ticks all of the boxes. Since moving to Brookfield in 1989, she has actively been involved as a volunteer, member and later Executive Member of the Brookfield Horse and Pony Club, the Brookfield Show Society and the Brookfield District Museum.

There isn’t a role at the Show Cath hasn’t undertaken and I’m confident that she and her very capable executive team will deliver a Show for the ages next year. 

Our best wishes and thanks for a job well done also go to outgoing Show Society President, Jenny Paratz who leaves Brookfield next month to be closer to her family in Melbourne. 

Thank you.

To view the video of this speech, click on the image below.