History of Plant Trust
Concerned about the loss of significant cultivated plants in Victoria, in 1983-4 the Royal Botanic Gardens established an Ornamental Plant Collections Association (OPCA). The inaugural meeting was held in August 1986. Dr. Jim Willis, former Assistant Government Botanist, agreed to be Patron. Subsequently the Committee decided to register, on a trial basis, collections which represented a range of plant types and holders. These collections were used to develop the record system and solve any problems which might have arisen. In 1988, a grant allowed for Royal Botanic Gardens to employ a horticulturalist half-time to develop the project and act as project officer for the Association.
On March 29, 1994 the Association approved a new Constitution and was renamed the “Ornamental Plant Conservation Association of Australia Inc.” (OPCAA), replacing the Subscribers Group and Committee with a new management structure. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Association benefited from the support of a steady national and international membership, employed a part-time Administrative Officer and adapted to an evolving awareness and appreciation of the horticultural and scientific communities in the importance of plant conservation and plant collections.
By 2007 it had become clear that the word “Ornamental” restricted public engagement and confused or misled people on the operations of the Association. On June 11, 2007 the Association’s members and committees approved the adoption of “Garden Plant Conservation Association of Australia Incorporated (GPCAA Inc.)” to reflect more clearly the international developments in the conservation of garden plants, complement the Association’s current projects and plans for the future and, most importantly, be more easily understood by its prospective members.
With its updated image and identity, the members and committees of Plant Trust (GPCAA Inc.) look forward to their contribution to Australian and international plant conservation during the 21st century.