New Chief Executive to guide Botanic Gardens of Sydney’s future


The future of the Botanic Gardens of Sydney will be expertly guided by a new Chief Executive following a competitive global search.

Simon Duffy AM will join the Gardens from Taronga Zoo where he spent the last 27 years leading education, tourism, science, conservation, place-making, and fundraising initiatives. Mr Duffy also successfully led Taronga’s transformation from a traditional zoo to a zoo-based conservation organisation.

The appointment is aligned with, and reinforces, the Botanic Gardens of Sydney’s position as a global leader in biodiversity, sustainability, scientific research and conservation, as well as its significance as a cherished destination for families, nature-lovers, scientists and tourists alike.

Mr Duffy brings to the role exceptional experience and a visionary approach to creating and communicating biodiversity projects on a local, national, and international level.

In 2019, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his work in conservation in both Australia and Africa.

Mr Duffy will commence as Chief Executive of Botanic Gardens of Sydney on Monday, 3 June 2024.

Find out more about the Botanic Gardens of Sydney

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“The appointment of Simon Duffy AM to the role of Chief Executive of the Botanic Gardens is an important appointment for the future of this much-loved public space.

“Mr Duffy’s passion, leadership and experience position him well to lead the Gardens team and the Gardens themselves into the future, continuing the outstanding work in scientific research, sustainability, biodiversity conservation and nurturing some of Sydney’s most iconic public spaces.”

Chief Executive Botanic Gardens of Sydney Simon Duffy AM said:

“I’m extremely excited to be joining the wonderful team at the Botanic Gardens of Sydney.

“What an opportunity to work with Australia’s oldest scientific institution and a team that conducts critical research and action for plant and biodiversity conservation.

“As part of the Gardens team, I look forward to championing critical science and education programs and preserving the natural beauty of the Gardens for future generations so we can continue to lead and inspire our community towards a better, brighter, and more sustainable future.”

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