The QVB Christmas Tree

News| 10th November 2023
The QVB Christmas Tree
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We would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people, the traditional custodians of this land and pay our respects to Elders both past and present.

This year, the QVB showcases a truly unique Christmas tree, shining a light on the importance of Aboriginal culture within Australia.

The Australian native Wollemi Pine-inspired Christmas tree ushers in the next chapter of its artistic overlay, with a collaboration of First Nations artists from Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative.

Situated on the ground floor of the QVB, Dr Bronwyn Bancroft’s interactive art installation wraps around a lustrous vision of bush and rainforest. It is embedded with tools and utensils of which are emblematic of the ingenious innovation of Aboriginal people. As well as the beauty of Indigenous art, intelligence, systems, and knowledge that has existed for over 60,000 years. You can hear the sounds of endangered birds from Songs of Disappearance by The Bowerbird Collective above you, while you immerse yourself in the sights and colours of the work

Jude Jarrett and Jeffrey Samuels are the creators of the artwork on the Flannel Flowers that can be viewed from Level 1 and Level 2. Between them they have hand painted over twenty-four beautifully detailed creations. Their art explores themes of connection with country, Mother Nature, and a celebration of our native flora and fauna. You’ll find these nestled amongst other illuminated Flannel Flowers and Seed Baubles inspired by the Australian native Quandong.

Finish your journey on Level 2 with a nod to past traditions and a celebration of our Christmas history with the famous Swarovski tree topper adorning the top of the new tree. There’s also an exclusive Augmented Reality (AR) experience on Level 2 where Dr Bronwyn Bancroft’s Southern Royal Albatross inspired bird decorations from Ground Floor come to life and fly around the Christmas Tree.

Explore the iconic QVB tree from every floor to experience new perspectives.

To find out more about the artists behind the QVB Christmas Tree click here.

Christmas Illuminated

Celebrate the light of the season with an immersive experience at 9:30am, 11:30am 1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm daily featuring a programmed light show to a soundscape by Nardi Simpson Of Stars and Birds.

About the Australian native Wollemi Pine

The Wollemi Pine is one of the world's oldest and rarest plants dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. With less than 100 adult trees known to exist in the wild, the Wollemi Pine is now the focus of extensive research to safeguard its survival.

Conservation Science at the Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan

The Botanic Gardens trust established a new population of Wollemi Pines at a new location in 2012. This was important because three sites with Wollemi Pines are all in the same catchment in the Blue Mountains, and so the risk of losing the entire wild population of Wollemi Pines in a single catastrophic event, like a fire, is high. Establishment of a new population some distance from the original population reduces this risk.

One hundred and ninety-one Wollemi Pines were planted at the new site in August 2012. The translocation site in the Blue Mountains was chosen because it matched the warm temperate rainforest community characteristic of the wild site and had land tenure that was secure in the long term. Because of research indicating that seedling growth increased with light, at the translocation site the seedlings were planted along a light gradient, from deep in the rainforest (like the wild site) up to the woodland-rainforest edge.

So far, the survival rate of the translocated seedlings is 83% - with higher survival where there is more available light. Moreover, some plants have shown growth rates of almost 30 cm (in height) per year, much greater than the 1-2 cm per year seen in the wild. Monitoring of the translocated population is ongoing, and we can’t wait until these plants grow to produce seedlings of their own.

A portion of the proceeds from the Guided Christmas Tree Tour ticket sales will go towards the Institute’s Wollemi Pine Conservation Program, to help protect one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants.


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