Mrs Edith Lawn, a teacher from Ballarat had a holiday house at Anglesea. In 1968 while searching for an appropriate subject for her students to sketch, Edith noticed some large white spider orchids in bloom. Thinking they would be a good composition with their drooping petals and sepals, and not realizing they were protected picked a bunch.
A local builder on seeing the flowers said 'Don’t let my wife see you with those orchids.' Edith was concerned and during the week visited the builder’s wife Mrs Cath Currie. She learned of the strong regards that many of the locals had for the flora of the area, and wondered how the general public could be brought to appreciate the rare heritage of flora and fauna in the Anglesea district. Edith was advised to talk to Miss Norma Bull, an artist, who especially enjoyed painting the orchids in their natural habitat. After a long discussion, Edith and Norma decided to gather together interested persons, and so on 30 March 1969, six people met to discuss the possibility of forming a society to protect the native flora and fauna.
A special meeting inviting the public to attend was arranged for 27th Aptil 1969. Seventy people attended this meeting, including government officials and representatives from other interested organisations throughout Victoria.
On 11 May 1969 the name of the society was decided after a suggestion made by Mr Merv Williamson. The name ANGAIR is an abbreviation for Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, appropriately bridging the two towns. A committee was formed and ANGAIR came into existence. ANGAIR became and incorporated association on 15 November 1984.