The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has appointed Richard Barley as director of Kew Gardens' Horticulture.
Barley is chief executive officer of Open Gardens Australia, responsible for the leadership, direction and management of a national organisation with the mission of promoting the benefits and enjoyment of horticulture and gardens across Australia.
Before this, he was director of Melbourne Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne for 10 years. In this role, he was responsible for the overall development of the Gardens, including design and horticultural standards, planning and management of living collections, public engagement programmes, policy, infrastructure and buildings, as well as leading a large horticultural team.
He holds dual British and Australian citizenship and has spent much of his career at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, as well as holding a number of other roles including as senior fellow at the University of Melbourne, lecturer, member of expert committees and show judge.
He said: "I am very excited to be joining the very talented team at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It has long been my ambition to work in this extraordinary botanic garden. Kew Gardens is widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent botanic garden, with a rich history of over 250 years of central involvement in the discovery, classification, documentation, growing, distribution and conservation of the world’s flora.
"As a passionate horticulturist with a background of working in a major botanic garden, and as a strong advocate for public visitation and appreciation of gardens, the opportunity to take on the role of Director of Horticulture at Kew is irresistible. Together with my wife and daughter, I am very keenly looking forward to experiencing life at Kew Gardens."
Kew director Richard Deverell said: "The experience Richard brings to this role, his leadership and the vision he provided for the development of RBG Melbourne, along with the ability to enthuse a diverse range of people, will make him an outstanding addition to the leadership at Kew. We look forward to welcoming him to Kew."
Richard Barley is expected to take up his post at Kew Gardens in July 2013. He will be a member of the Executive Board of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, reporting to the Director, Richard Deverell. Richard Deverell retains direct line management of Kew Gardens’ Horticulture until Richard Barley joins.