Skip to content

A parting note from our outgoing President 

Published 31 Aug 2020 by Chris Grubb

When I first attended a Bush Heritage talk about 20 years ago I was struck by several things, including the dedication of its staff, the science-based nature of its decision-making process, and how much Australia needed such an organisation. What impressed me the most, however, was the compelling evidence I was presented showing the positive impact that Bush Heritage’s work was having on species and habitat recovery. I came away from that talk without a shadow of a doubt that this was an organisation bringing about real change.

It has been profoundly rewarding to have been a part of Bush Heritage’s story ever since, first as a supporter, then as a Board member, and now as President.

In just 29 years, we've gone from a $50,000 operation protecting two small blocks in the Liffey Valley of Tasmania, to a national environmental force for good that invested $24.6 million into conservation in the last year alone.

The vast majority of those funds came from likeminded people, and the scale of your generosity continues to astound me.

But the real impact of Bush Heritage’s work is to be found not in how much money we’ve spent, but in what we’ve accomplished with that money.

These achievements are too numerous to list here, but some of the highlights for me include establishing a world-class Aboriginal Partnerships program, leading the way on natural capital accounting, and our pioneering work enhancing protection of the Tasmanian Midlands in partnership with farmers and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. And, in my final days as President, I have seen a longstanding dream come to reality – our first ever engagement reserve, acquired solely for the purpose of educating and engaging the general public, just 45 minutes’ drive north of Melbourne.

Working in the environmental sector, I'm often asked how it's possible to stay optimistic given all the challenges that we are up against. My answer is tangible impact; one need only look to the examples listed above to see that good news stories abound in our line of work, and each time I step out on a Bush Heritage reserve I find more reasons to hope.

Over the course of my travels with Bush Heritage I have watched frogs emerge from under the sand after years of dormancy when it unexpectedly rained in the Simpson Desert; I have marvelled at a healthy 500-year-old Coolibah tree on Naree Reserve that endured fires, floods, insect invasion and droughts; celebrated the rediscovery of an orchid on Nardoo Hills Reserve that had been declared extinct some 70 years previously; I’ve learnt how life on Planet Earth began some 3 million years ago with the Stromatolites at Hamelin Station Reserve; and I’ve been privileged to hear Traditional Owners share stories on country about their culture and people.

As the global population approaches 8 billion, we should all be asking ourselves not how we can stay optimistic, but what we can do to safeguard nature for the benefit of all.

It is true that we have a daunting task in front of us. This time last year, bushfires were starting to break out across Queensland heralding what was to come over the long Black Summer. Climate change will bring many more summers like this, but we know, as you do, that nature can be incredibly resilient if given the chance. Bush Heritage Australia is giving nature that chance.

This organisation is a good news story that only exists because of people like you. It has been an immense privilege to play a role in that story over the past 20 years, and I’m looking forward to sharing in Bush Heritage’s journey in the decades to come. I hope you’ll join me.

Thank you,

Chris Grubb

Chris with Jeroen van Veen (Victorian Reserves Manager) and Trent Nelson (Dja Dja Wurrung) at Nardoo Hills Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka. Chris with Jeroen van Veen (Victorian Reserves Manager) and Trent Nelson (Dja Dja Wurrung) at Nardoo Hills Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Chris with wife Gina at Arid Recovery Reserve in South Australia. Photo Rebecca Spindler. Chris with wife Gina at Arid Recovery Reserve in South Australia. Photo Rebecca Spindler.

Recent stories

The critically endangered Central Rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Photo: Michael Barritt & Karen May (used under Creative Commons license: CC BY-SA 2.0)

05/04/2024 05/04/2024

Conservationists and landholders unite to protect critically endangered Central Rock-rat

The critically endangered Central Rock-rat has been sighted on Hewitt’s Narwietooma property following ecological surveys conducted in partnership with Bush Heritage Australia.

Read More
Woodland bird. Bush Broadcast.


Webinar: Nardoo Hills turns 20

Victoria has cleared over 80% of its woodlands. In the face of that destruction, 20 years ago Bush Heritage managed to secure critical patches of temperate woodlands within Nardoo Hills, which have been cared for ever since. It’s a beautiful milestone and a cause for celebration.

Read More
A Brushtail Possum at Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, Badimia Country, WA. Photo: Brad Leue

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Possum party

Four hours north-east of Perth, the sight of a Brushtail Possum is one for celebration. It was recorded on a motion-sensor camera, and has been on a very special journey.

Read More
Fire on Yourka Reserve, Jirrbal and Warrungu Country, QLD. Photo: Alistair Hartley

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Team spark

Teamwork, firebreaks and prescribed burning protects Yourka Reserve.

Read More
Cumberland River and cliffs on Gadubanud Country, VIC. Photo: Luke Nagle

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

My happy place

CEO Rachel Lowry revels in the rolling waves, golden sandstone cliffs, and the dark green of thick gum forest of her happy place.

Read More
Ecologist Dr Donna Belder bird monitoring on Scottsdale Reserve, Ngambri and Ngarigo Country, NSW. Photo: Tad Souden

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Birdy barometer

One in four woodland-dependant birds are listed as threatened, and their populations are declining. Monitoring sheds light on how we can protect them.

Read More
'The Painted Desert' on Evelyn Downs is located on Yankunytjatjara and Antarkirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara  Country, SA. Photo: Annette Ruzicka

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Protecting a painted beauty

Many paint our arid regions with a broad stroke and by doing so, obscure their vital intricacies. Thanks to our generous supporters, we can appreciate the diverse desert landscape of Evelyn Downs – our largest-ever reserve and newest acquisition.

Read More
Patersonia fragilis 'fairy rings' at Friendly Beaches Reserve, Tasmania. By Mike Bretz.

21/12/2023 21/12/2023

Peculiar Patersonia patterns

High above the 121-hectare reserve, they made a curious discovery. From the controller’s tiny screen, they spotted a strange circular pattern in the vegetation. Then another, and another.

Read More
Tree in arid landscape.


Evelyn Downs webinar

In-depth discussion of our campaign to buy Evelyn Downs in South Australia's Painted Desert. This spectacular property will provide habitat for over 60 species of conservation significance.

Read More
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}