Thirty years ago, when Australia’s environmental movement was still finding its feet, a group of people gathered around a walnut tree in northern Tasmania to talk about the future of the Australian bush. With great foresight, they realised Australia urgently needed a better model for land conservation and the Australian Bush Heritage Fund was born.
Since those humble beginnings, Bush Heritage, as it was later renamed, has grown to protect an area of land that equates to half the size of Victoria, spanning a breathtaking variety of ecosystems and habitats.
But our story is not that of a single organisation, rather, it is the story of tens of thousands of concerned individuals like you who, at some point in the last three decades, realised more needs to be done to protect our native species and took action.
We’re using our 30th anniversary as a chance to celebrate these Bush Heroes: the donors, volunteers, partners and staff who have made Bush Heritage what it is today.
You have all shaped our frontline conservation work in different ways, and now I invite you to join us on our journey through the next 30 years, for Australia needs its Bush Heroes now more than ever before.
Over the coming decades, we will be forced to answer some of the most complex questions of our time, such as: How do we feed and shelter our civilisation without destroying the land upon which it depends? And how do we protect our landscapes and species from threats over which we, as individuals, have limited control?
Finding the answers to these questions will necessarily involve collaboration and innovation – thinking outside the box, being willing to try new approaches, and listening to those whose knowledge comes from over 60,000 years of experience.
Last year highlighted just how fragile our existence on this Earth is. It was tough for people and wildlife alike. But it’s often during tough times that we see the best of humanity, and last year was case in point.
Your generosity throughout 2020 has kept Bush Heritage going and placed us in good stead to plan not just our vision for 2030, but for 2050 and 2090.
Thank you, as always, for your support.
Heather Campbell, Chief Executive Officer.