Partnership between Friends and Council

In the early years, Friends members did most of the works on site, especially before the appointment of the first Council employee, the Gardens Supervisor, in 1992.

This volunteer effort was undertaken with the agreement of Council via the Management Committee which had been established in 1987. Council covered public liability insurance for any Friends activities on site, and this became especially relevant after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 when the cost of this insurance became prohibitive for community groups. Also, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2001 made it clear that Council had responsibility to those working for it, whether paid or unpaid.

This brought a new realisation that all Friends and volunteers working at ERBG were under Council stewardship, and that the responsibilities of Friends had matured into a consultation and assistance role to Council via the Council-employed Garden Manager. Volunteers are required to undergo induction training before working on site to ensure Council work and safety requirements are met.

Following a recommendation from Council via the Management Committee, in 2000 the Friends established a Trust Fund with deductible gift recipient status granted by the Australian Taxation Office. In 2017 the Friends began proceedings to upgrade its status to DGR 1 so that large corporate donors to Friends would be eligible for a tax concession.

Council dissolved the ERBG Management Committee in 2013 and coordination between Friends and Council is now conducted via the monthly Friends Committee meetings where the Garden Manager is an ex officio member. As necessary, Project Working Groups are established to jointly manage major projects, such as the Seed Bank project and the Visitor Centre redevelopment.