WANOSCG was formed in 1974 as a group within the Orchid Society of WA (OSWA) by a bunch of native orchid enthusiasts led by Herb Foote. The first general meeting of the group was held on 17th of May 1974. The group become incorporated in 1976 as “The W.A. Native Orchid Study and Conservation Group (inc.)”, later to become The Western Australian Native Orchid Study and Conservation Group (inc.).
Since its formation, WANOSCG and native orchid enthusiasts in general have benefited greatly from the efforts of many dedicated orchid researchers who are or have been members of WANOSCG, including Alex George, Kinsley Dixon, Andrew Brown, Stephen Hopper, Ryan Phillips, Mark Brundrett, Chris French and Garry Brockman. These researchers have prepared and published books, papers and articles on WA orchids, led field trips, acted as consultants, presented talks and most have been office bearers in WANOSCG. In addition, many other members of WANOSCG have contributed greatly to improving our knowledge of WA native orchids through discovering new species, monitoring and surveying of rare species and conducting their own personal research. This excellent partnership with scientist and experts in the field is, in a large part, responsible for the success of WANOSCG over the last 50 years. The partnership has continued to the present day and has evolved with the instigation of the ‘Adopt an Orchid’ program in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and, more recently, the development of an interactive identification Key to the Native Orchids of Western Australia.

WANOSCG – Early Years 

Alison Harrington, a member since 1976 and past WANOSCG President shares her memories of WANOSCG early years. President 1980 – 1983

WANOSCG was formed by the energy and enthusiasm of Herb Foote an his orchid loving friends. It was not uncommon in Herb’s day to have over 100 members. He remained president until Lal Shepherd took over in 1979. 

From a group of enthusiasts who loved orchids, the 1980’s saw the group become an important nurturer of study and knowledge of WA native orchids. The combination of the availability of many crazy enthusiastic people to chase around WA finding orchids and the ready sharing knowledge gave the professionals, both from WA and overseas, a wonderful resource to make their work rich with data.


WANOSCG Past Patrons

Sir Crawford Nalder                  from 1976 to 1985
Janet Holmes a Court               from 1986 to 1993
Professor Stephen Hopper AC from 1994 to 2018


Life Members (alphabetically)

Andrew Brown
In 1974 Andrew attended the first meeting of what was later to become WANOSCG and he and other dedicated native orchid enthusiasts began developing the framework of the new orchid group. Andrew has served in a number of committee positions, including Vice President (7 years), Registrar and Committee Member. Andrew has been the author and co-author of a number of WA Native Orchid books and papers, including as co-author in each of the 4 editions of the iconic Orchids of South-West Australia spanning some 35 years.
In recognition of his years of service, Andrew was made a Life Member of WANOSCG in 1990.

Caladenia brownii is named in honour of Andrew Brown.
Bill Burton (1922 – 2015)
Bill joined WANOSCG in November 1986. He served on the committee in 1991 – 1995, handled clothing orders, arranged and manned flower displays and contributed to WANOSCG bulletin on many occasions.
Bill has been WANOSCG longest-serving Librarian, serving in this position from 1996 – 2011. As part of his duties he did not just look after the books but also explained library operation and rules to members and devised a new library index with the help of Noel Clarke.

Bill has always had a good eye for unusual and on one of his trips in the company of Bill Jackson he found the orchid that was later nicknamed Burton’s Rufous Greenhood (Pterostylis sp. ‘northwest’), now considered a form of Pterostylis tryphera.

Noel Clarke (1927 – 2021)
Noel and Nancy joined WANOSCG in 1978 and so began Noel’s long association with the Club. It would be fair to say that no other member put as much effort into the club as Noel did. In 1981, Noel was elected Vice President and in 1983 President of WANOSCG. He served on the committee for twenty-four years, sometimes in several roles (Tom Blinco once counted that Noel filled 28 committee positions in that time). Noel was also Bulletin editor from 1997 to 2003 and then again in 2006 when an urgent replacement was required due to the resignation of the previous editor.
Noel Clarke was awarded Life Membership in 1997.

John Ewing
In his time with WANOSCG, John Ewing has served the Group in many positions, including two years as President, five years as Bulletin Editor, seven years as a Committee Member, two years as Conservation Officer, one year as Registrar and one year as Secretary. He has always been one, often at a moment’s notice, to take on those tasks that just need to be done for the smooth running of the Group. His positive outlook and friendly manner have smoothed the introduction of many a budding orchid enthusiast into the ways of WANOSCG.
John Ewing was awarded Life Membership in 2018.

Herb Foote (1910 – 1987)
Herb joined the Orchid Society of Western Australia (Inc) (OSWA) in 1958 and was an active member serving as secretary from 1959 to 1960, then as a committee member in 1962. He was elected Vice-President in 1965 and served as President from 1967 to 1969. In 1969, he led the OSWA at the World Orchid Conference in Sydney to a Gold Medallion won for the best interstate Society Display.
Herb was determined to have a native orchid society in the WA and was WANOSCG’s foundation President. Herb’s goal was not just to start the group but to establish a good standing in the community and he, together with the Committee, worked hard to achieve this goal.
Herb was awarded the first Life Membership in 1978.

Caladenia footeana is named in honour of Herb Foote in 2001.

Dr Alex George AM
Alex is a foundation member of WANOSCG. He was an active participant in group activities and many a newsletter from those early days mention informal and formal talks given by Alex on a variety of topics from simple descriptions of individual orchid genera to strategic talks outlining group involvement in conservation activities to very scientific presentations like “The meaning of typical in reference to plant species”
Alex George was awarded Life Membership in 1980.

Caladenia georgei is named in honour of Dr Alex George.

Kim (1958-2022) & Thea Hanson
Kim and Thea Hanson have been members of the WANOSCG since 2006 and during that time have held a number of Officer positions. Kim has been a Vice President for five years, a Committee Member for four years and Treasurer for two years. Thea has been a Committee Member for eight years and Librarian for one year. They have both demonstrated an ongoing dedication and service to the Group. Perhaps one of the most notable being the setting up of the Adopt an Orchid Project (ADORP) which has been taken up by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and recognized nationally as an extremely worthwhile and productive cooperative program.
Kim and Thea Hanson were jointly awarded Life Membership in 2018.

Edward Roy Hargreaves OAM (1911- 2003)
Roy joined WANOSCG in 1974 and was a co-founder (with Les Nesbitt) of the Native Orchid Society of South Australia (NOSSA).
Edward Hargreaves was awarded Life Membership in 2001.

Ron Heberle (1913 – 2004)
Ron joined WANOSCG in 1975 after reading a notice put in the newspaper by Herb Foote inviting people to join a recently formed group. They subsequently became good friends.
Ron Heberle was awarded Life Membership in 1990.

Caladenia heberleana, Pterostylis heberlei and Diuris heberlei are named in honour of Ron Heberle.

Prasophyllum paulineae is named in honour of Ron’s wife Pauline Heberle.

Noel Hoffman OAM
Noel became interested in WA’s native orchids at a young age and saw the importance of keeping a photographic record of the orchids that he had seen. Upon seeing the need for a book that illustrated and helped to identify WA’s native orchids, Noel joined forces with Andrew Brown publishing the first edition of Orchids of South West Australia in 1984. (By way of an update, the 4th edition of this iconic book has now been published 35 years since the first edition.) Noel joined WANOSCG in its formation year, 1974 and has continued to be a mentor to Members and has served on WANOSCG committees as Secretary and as a committee member.
Noel was awarded Life Membership of WANOSCG in 2014.

Caladenia hoffmanii is named in honour of Noel Hoffman.

Gloria Jackson
WANOSCG had organised a field trip to Northcliffe in December 1986. The daughter of some friends of the Jacksons wanted to go and meet the group, as she had done a project at school using information from the group. Bill and Gloria Jackson volunteered to take her over to Northcliffe. They met Andrew Brown, Stephen Van Leeuwen, David Parker, Beryl Yates, Noel Clarke, Bill Burton, Sarah Atkinson and other members on this trip. They decided to join WANOSCG straight away.
Anyone with an interest in orchids visiting Walpole could count on Bill and Gloria’s hospitality. This included any WANOSCG member as well as people from all over the world and was evident from the many ‘thank you’ notes in the bulletin. Many admired Bill for the way he made time for other people and his willingness to share his knowledge of orchids. The Walpole Visitors’ Centre used to send anyone who showed interest in orchids to Bill. After Bill’s passing, they sent them to Gloria.
Gloria was awarded Life Membership in 2008.

Pterostylis jacksonii and Thelymitra jacksonii are named in honour of Bill Jackson.

Christine Lock
Christine first joined WANOSCG in 1987 and since then she has accumulated an outstanding record of service to WANOSCG. She has represented WANOSCG in 19 significant positions spread over no less than 15 different years, including President (4 years), Vice President (2 years), Field Trip Co-ordinator (3 years), Registrar (6 years). As President, Christine  oversaw the Lottery West Wheatbelt Orchid Rescue Project and championed the establishment of the Southern Rivers Group. This extended WANOSCG’s underlying values and commitment across the tyranny of distance to orchid lovers on the South Coast. Each of these projects has left a legacy that has strengthened the club’s future, albeit in different ways.
Christine Lock was awarded Life Membership in 2014.

Harry Lodge (1915 – 2004)
A foundation member of WANOSCG and the field trip leader for the very first field trip undertaken by the group. It was to Madora Bay in June 1974. According to Alison Harrington’s memories, Harry instilled many of the ethics into field trip instructions.
Harry Lodge was awarded Life Membership in 1990.

Caladenia lodgeana is named in honour of Harry Lodge.

Jean Long (1928 – 2023)
Jean was elected onto the committee where she served from 1974 – 1980 and again from 1993 – 1995, a total of ten years. She also served as Vice President from 1975 to 1980. Jean was a tireless WANOSCG member.
Jean Long was awarded Life Membership in 1990.

Ramón Newmann
During the 17 years since he joined WANOSCG in 2007, Ramón has made significant contributions to the group, not only in his outstanding leadership and contribution to the function of the group but also in many other orchid related areas. In his time on the Committee he served as President for 4 years, Secretary for 2 years, Vice President for 7 years, Registrar for 9 years, ordinary Committee member for 2 years and 4 years as web site administrator. In conjunction with Andrew Brown, who is also a Life Member, Ramón developed the ‘Key to Native Orchids of WA’ as an aid for the identification of orchids.

Margaret Petridis
Margaret first joined WANOSC in its inaugural year of 1974 and has since been a member for 23 years. During that time, Margaret has made significant contributions to the Group, not only in her outstanding contributions to the function of the Group but also in many other orchid related areas. These include time on the Committee as Treasurer for 2 years, ordinary Committee member and Field Trip Coordinator for 7 years, Assistant Librarian for 3 years. Margaret was a foundation member of the ADORP program, recording 2580 volunteer hours over 13 years leading the Caladenia cristata program for 12 of those years and led the Caladenia drummondii for 8 years and has been actively involved in the Thelymitra sp. Ongerup and Thelymitra jacksonii study groups over a number of years.

Jay Steer
During the 17 years since he joined WANOSCG in 2007, Jay has made significant contributions to the group, not only in his outstanding leadership and contribution to the function of the group but also in many other orchid related areas. In his time on the Committee he served as President for 4 years, Treasurer for 7 years, Vice President for 1 years, Librarian for 4 years, ordinary Committee member for 2 years and 4 years as Branch Liaison Officer whilst President. Jay has made significant contributions to the ADORP program over 12 years studying Thelymitra magnifica and researching the Thelymitra fuscolutea complex.

Kevin Uhe
During the 15 years since he joined WANOSCG in 2009 Kevin made significant contributions to the group, not only in his outstanding leadership of ADORP but also in many other areas. These include being a Committee member for 6 years, contributing up to 9,000 volunteer hours to the ADORP program over 13 years, ADORP Coordinator for 6 years which has included the DBCA as well as the WANOSCG coordinating roles, Adopt a Burn Program for 9 years, studying the Pterostylis nana complex for 8 years, developing and supporting various field trips.

Donald Robert Voigt (1936 – 2011)
Joined WANOSCG soon after its formation. He was an active member contributing to articles to the bulletin, slides to the library and providing assistance to WANOSCG members visiting the Esperance region by sharing his knowledge of local orchids.
In 1977, Don showed a visiting WANOSCG member a patch of orchids that he could not identify. A sample was identified by Alex George as the long-lost crested spider orchid (Caladenia cristata), which had not been seen since its description in 1923. The orchid was later found to be a related but un-described species that, in 2001 was formally named Caladenia voigtii in Don’s honour.
Don Voight was awarded Life Membership in 1990.

Caladenia voigtii and Pterostylis voigtii are named in honour of Don Voigt.

Ross Wilton (1928 – 2009)
Ross and Margaret joined WANOSCG in November 1994 although Ross had been in touch with the group prior to that – inviting WANOSCG members to visit newly formed ANOS (WA). Ross served as Auditor from 1995 to 2006. He brought many new ideas to WANOSCG (eg. ideas about club insurance) and he always shared information about the ANOS Conferences and other shows. ANOS and WANOSCG members who knew Ross remember him as a happy, cheerful person and a delight to be with.
Ross Wilton was awarded Life Membership in 2007.

Beryl Yates (1929 – 2010)
Beryl joined WANOSCG in November 1984 and proved to be a very active group member. In 1987, she was elected Vice-President, a position she held for two years. Beryl was a committee member again in 1992. She also served on the sub-committee formed to monitor endangered habitats. Beryl contributed to the bulletin with field trip reports, shared tips on orchid growing and was a trip leader.
Beryl Yates was awarded Life Membership in 1990.


The criterion for the WANOSCG Award is that the person should have advanced the aims of, and made an outstanding contribution to, WANOSCG – namely the study and conservation of Western Australian native orchids. These contributions will usually have been made over an extended period of time. The recipient must be a financial Member of WANOSCG at the time of the Award.

WANOSCG Award recipients:

2011 : Don Ward (the inaugural recipient)
2012 : Matz Dahlkamp
2013 : Eddy Wajon
2014 : Ross and Margaret Fox
2015 : Donna Wajon
2016 : Andrew Brown
2017 : Anna de Haan
2018 : Kevin Uhe
2019 : Margaret Petridis
2020 : Ramón Newmann
2021 : Pat Richards
2023 : Brian Trainer


Orchids named in honour of WANOSCG and its Members

Member  Orchid Species Common Name
Brockman, Garry Diuris brockmanii South Coast Donkey Orchid
Brockman, Garry Paracaleana brockmanii Brockman’s Duck Orchid
Brown, Andrew Caladenia brownii Karri Spider Orchid
Bussell, Greg Caladenia busselliana Bussell’s Spider Orchid
Dixon, Kingsley Paracaleana dixonii Sandplain Duck Orchid
Dundas, Patricia Caladenia dundasiae Patricia’s Spider Orchid
Foote, Herb Caladenia footeana Crimson Spider Orchid
French, Christopher Pterostylis frenchii Tuart Rufous Greenhood
French, Christopher Thelymitra frenchii Scarp Sun Orchid
George, Alex Caladenia georgei Tuart Spider Orchid
Harrington, Allison Caladenia harringtoniae Pink Spider Orchid
Heberle, Pauline Prasophyllum paulinae Pauline’s Laughing Leek Orchid
Heberle, Ron Caladenia heberleana Heberle’s Spider Orchid
Heberle, Ron Diuris heberlei Heberle’s Donkey Orchid
Heberle, Ron Pterostylis heberlei Herberle’s Bird Orchid
Hoffman, Noel Caladenia hoffmanii Hoffman’s Spider Orchid
Hopper, Steve Caladenia hopperiana Quindanning Spider Orchid
Hopper, Steve Caladenia x hopperi Ornate Spider Orchid
Hort, Fred & Jean Paracaleana hortiorum Hort’s Duck Orchid
Jackson, Bill Pterostylis jacksonii Southwest Granite Snail Orchid
Jackson, Bill Thelymitra jacksonii Jackson’s Sun Orchid
Johnston, Lionel Rhizanthella johnstonii South Coast Underground Orchid
Lodge, Harry Caladenia lodgeana Lodge’s Spider Orchid
Merritt, Wayne Caladenia longicauda subsp. merrittii Merritt’s White Spider Orchid
Start, Family Caladenia startiorum Start’s Spider Orchid
Swarts, Eric & Nigel Caladenia swartsiorum Island Point Spider Orchid
van Leeuwen, Steve Caladenia exilis subsp. vanleeuwenii Moora Spider Orchid
Voigt, Don Caladenia voigtii Mohawk Spider Orchid
Voigt, Don Pterostylis voigtii Eastern Granite Snail Orchid
Williams, Judy Caladenia williamsiae William’s Spider Orchid
WANOSCG Caladenia wanosa Kalbarri Spider Orchid