Kate Heffernan Plant and Preserve


Kate’s horticulture career started in an Australian native plant nursery where the love of native plants she developed in her childhood growing up in the Sydney sandstone region was cemented. Her drawing and planning abilities initially came from her earlier career in mapping with the NSW Lands department, and perhaps this is where her eye for the spatial set out of plants was acquired. Later Kate qualified in Horticulture and Landscape at the University of Queensland, Gatton College and considers she is fortunate that her profession is also a passion she shares with husband and partner Alan.

As an advocate for Botanic Gardens, Kate communicates their important messages whenever and wherever there is an audience! Past Chair of the Queensland branch of the Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand, (BGANZQ ) and past State Rep to national BGANZ. One of Kate’s proudest achievements is her role in the establishment and planting design for Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens.

Kate and her husband Alan Donaldson received Honorary Life Membership of the Friends of Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Inc.

Based on the Far North Coast of NSW, Kate travels to projects at other locations.


  • 2013 Gold Coast Australia Day Awards – Environmental Achievement
  • Honorary Life Member Friends Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Inc 2014
  • Botanic Gardens Interpretation project  Finalist Qld Healthy Land and Water Awards 2018
  • Gold Coast Institute of TAFE ‘Teacher of the Year’ – 2000
  • Queensland Government Australia Day Award – Productivity 2001
  • Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens – Citation – Recognition of dedication and contribution to Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens – 1997 – 2010
  • ABC Gardens Exposition 2004 – ‘Designed gardens’ bronze award