Gwen (Gwenneth) J. Harden
Gwen Harden was a botanist at the University of New England, James Cook University and at the National Herbarium of New South Wales (at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney). She graduated from the University of New England with M.Sc. in botany and she is an Honorary Research Associate at the Botanic Gardens Trust Sydney. Gwen was awarded an OAM in 2004 for her services to botany.
While at the Gardens (from 1980 to 2001) she co-ordinated the Flora of New South Wales project and was the editor of the 4-volume publication and later revisions. She continued her interest in rainforest floristics and was involved in advising and monitoring the regeneration of rainforest remnants in various areas.
Gwen was involved in the Ecofest schools (run by the Department of Continuing Education at the University of New England) from the early 1970s in inland N.S.W., north-eastern N.S.W. and southern Qld. For these schools she prepared and co-authored many plant lists and illustrated identification guides so that many (both professional and amateurs) could share in her love for, and appreciation of, the diversity and ecology of native plants.
Gwen is now retired on the mid-north coast of New South Wales and is updating identification guides to rainforest species that she co-authored with John and Bill as part of the Ecofest series.
W. (Bill) J.F. McDonald
Dr Bill McDonald joined National Parks Branch, Qld Department of Forestry in 1974 and transferred to Botany Branch, Qld Department of Primary Industries (incorporating the Queensland Herbarium) in 1977. Since then he has worked on botanical survey and mapping projects throughout central and southern Queensland. He developed a particular interest in rainforest floristics and ecology and was awarded his PhD in 1998 for a study of semi-evergreen vine thickets (softwood scrubs).
He initiated and co-authored the first report on rare and threatened plants of Queensland in 1987. He was appointed a member of the first Scientific Advisory Committee under
Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act (1992) and currently is a member of the scientific advisory committees for the Fraser Island and Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia (CERRA) World Heritage Areas.
In recent years Dr McDonald has been heavily involved in the Queensland Herbarium’s vegetation survey and mapping program in the Wet Tropics, Central Queensland Coast and South-East Queensland biogeographic regions. He is presently preparing draft national recovery plans for the endangered semi-evergreen vine thicket and brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) – dominant communities of Queensland and New South Wales.
John Beaumont Williams (1932-2005)
John Williams, affectionately known to many as JBW, lectured at the University of New England (Armidale) in Taxonomy, Anatomy and Ecology from 1957 until his retirement in 1992. In his retirement he continued to be actively involved in many research and community-based projects. John graduated from Sydney university with B.Sc.(Hons) in botany. He was made a Fellow of the University of New England in 1994 in recognition of his long and distinguished service.
John shared his passion for plants and their conservation through his formal teaching at the University, community-based schools (especially the Ecofest series from the mid 70s) and his general interest in various conservation causes.
John was the leader and lecturer at Ecofest schools in North Eastern N.S.W. and southern Queensland and for these schools user-friendly field and identification guides based on vegetative features were developed on rainforest plants, heaths, eucalypts and wattles. Gwen and Bill collaborated in the preparation of many of these guides which have been used widely in John’s university courses as well as by many professional and non-professional botanists.
Hugh started specializing in photographing plants when Nan and he established Terania Rainforest Nursery in the 1970s. A large part of Hugh’s input to the nursery was collection of seed. He always had his camera with him as he drove the by-ways of the New South Wales Northern Rivers keeping an eye on the intermittent flowering and fruiting of rainforest plants.
Hugh became a professional photographer with the publication in 1985 of the first book in their series, Australian Rainforest Plants I – VI. Gathering photographs for these books involved working in rainforests from the temperate forests of Tasmania and southern Victoria to the tropical jungles of Cape York, and the monsoonal scrubs in the Northern Territory and the Kimberley in WA. He has also supplied photographs to Australian and International magazines, books and for National Parks and tourist information displays.
A fascination with Gondwana and its links between Australian rainforest and other southern forests has inspired visits to New Zealand, New Caledonia, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands and to South America where much time was spent in the southern temperate forests in Chile.
In 2006 Hugh was appointed as the Federal Government conservation representative on the Community Advisory Committee for the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Together with Hugh, Nan developed and managed Terania Rainforest Nursery for 20 years in the Northern Rivers area of N.S.W., producing rainforest plants for horticulture and for reforestation. She pioneered some of the methods now commonly used for propagation of rainforest plants, such as storage of seedlings instead of seed.
Nan worked for 15 years as a consultant in Landmark Ecological Services, providing advice particularly in relation to rainforests.
Nan has been involved in forest activism for four decades, helping to ensure the survival of rainforests and old growth forests.
For this project Nan and Hugh visited hundreds of rainforest locations in eastern Australia to find and photograph the plants.
Terry Tame (1934 – 2016)
Terry was a high school manual arts teacher with a life long interest in the Australian flora having been nurtured by the naturalist Dr Edward Chisholm. After retiring to Newcastle Terry authored Acacias of South-east Australia in 1992. Terry also contributed to the Acacia volumes of the Flora of Australia project and in the compilation of their interactive Lucid ‘Wattle’ Key.
As a volunteer at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, Raymond Terrace (N of Newcastle) Terry established their herbarium. In his role as curator of the botanical collections the usefulness of an interactive key to rainforest plants became evident. Terry’s initial concept was to include only those rainforest plants in the Hunter Region, however, it quickly became evident that a wider scope was desirable. After discussions with Gwen it was decided that it should cover the area included in the Red Book and Green Book that were being updated. Terry imported the information from these books and did much of the original setting out and scoring for the species and sections included on the final USB. Terry also prepared the diagrams and maps for the various rainforest types.