Olive Pink Botanic Garden located in Alice Springs, in the heart of
Australia. Founded in 1956 as the Australian arid regions flora reserve, the
garden was established by Miss Olive Muriel Pink (1884-1975), an extraordinary
individual and one of the Northern Territory's historic figures.
Pink was an artist, anthropologist, Aboriginal rights activist and gardener. She
contributed to the development of the field of anthropology and campaigned
vigorously for the rights of Aboriginal Australians. An accomplished artist,
Miss Pink was the visionary force behind the development of the first Arid Zone
In 1930, she embarked on a sketching tour of Central Australia and was to
investigate the conditions in which the Aboriginal people lived. With grants
from the Australian National Research Council to visit the Northern Territory in
1933-36 and work among the eastern Arrernte of Alice Springs and the Warlpiri of
the Tanami region.
When the flora reserve was gazetted in 1956, Miss Pink moved into the reserve
and established the haven that is now the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. Whilst many
of the seedlings she grew failed to established, most probably because of the harsh summers
and the long droughts in the 1960s, some of the trees she propagated from seed
still survive in the garden.
These original plantings form the basis of the
botanic garden enjoyed by visitors today.
Olive Pink Botanic Garden is a must for those interested in the native flora
of Australia. With a great cafe, it is also the venue for a range of activities,
festivals, art and sculpture exhibitions.
Miss Olive Pink, by unknown photographer
Northern Territory Library, PH0091/0058