David Thomas, a prominent Australian philanthropist and businessman, has challenged Australians to match his personal commitment of $10 million and raise a record $20 million to save some of the country’s most threatened lands, waters and wildlife.
David Thomas (third from left) visiting Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve, part of Gondwana Link, with members of the Thomas Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. Photo courtesy Gondwana Link Coordination Unit.
Gondwana Link, our collaborative landscape rehabilitation project in south-western Western Australia, is one of three projects selected by Mr Thomas to be an initial recipient of these funds.
To encourage private philanthropy for the environment, David and his wife Barbara have structured this gift in the form of a challenge grant. Under the Thomas Challenge, the Thomas Foundation will provide up to $2 million each year for the next five years. It will match gifts given by individual Australians or private foundations for eligible projects.
Gifts from $10 000 to $1 million can be matched, and pledges over a number of years may be matched for up to three years.
‘Australians have a choice. We can heal our ailing lands and waters, or we can watch the treasures of this unique continent disappear before our eyes. This is a decision we must make for ourselves, for our children and for the world. I made my choice and now I’m asking my fellow Australians to make theirs,’ Mr Thomas said.
The Nature Conservancy will administer the challenge. The Nature Conservancy has supported Gondwana Link for some time and Greening Australia WA and Bush Heritage are two of its Australian partners.
Since the challenge was first mentioned in our summer 2006 letter, Bush Heritage supporters have committed over $380,000 to this challenge. We've been astonished and delighted by this response! If you would like to boost the Thomas Challenge further and double the benefits you can bring to the environment, please contact us.
Your support, no matter how or what you give, is greatly valued by all of us at Bush Heritage, and it is bringing help to our land and wildlife. Thank you.