Annual Report

Bush Heritage is one of Australia's largest and most effective conservation organisations, helping safeguard 8.86 million hectares of land across our reserves and our partners' lands.

More than 33,635 supporters make our work possible, and 785 highly-skilled volunteers build our capacity both in the field and in the office.

The past year has yielded some exemplary landscape-scale results.

We hope you enjoy reading about these successes and more.
Note that Ernst & Young (of 8 Exhibition St, Melbourne) has resigned as our auditor (effective 9 January 2019) and will be replaced by William Buck (Level 20, 181 William St, Melbourne). This change resulted from a recent request for tender conducted as part of ongoing governance. We thank Ernst & Young for their help over 13 years and look forward to working with William Buck.

Landscape-scale conservation

We've identified priority landscapes for protection across Australia. These guide where we focus our investment to achieve the greatest impact.

  • 59% of our reserves are in under-protected ecoregions.
  • 78.1 million hectares is the area of contiguously protected land that we contribute to.

Australian species recorded

We're protecting at least 5,932 species, including 239 threatened species, on land that we or our partners manage. This equates to:

  • 59% of bird species
  • 53% of land mammal species
  • 33% of amphibian species
  • 29% of reptile species
  • 25% of plant species
  • 11% of freshwater fish species

Science and knowledge

The way in which we manage our reserves, and the expertise we offer our partners, is grounded in best-practice science and knowledge. As well as conducting our own research, we collaborate with Traditional Owners, universities and other research institutions to expand our knowledge base.

This knowledge is applied to our conservation projects around the country and incorporated into management plans, such as the Arafura Swamp Rangers’ Healthy Country Plan, which was released in 2017. It helps us understand the complex relationships between species on the land we protect, and ensures we're using our supporters’ funds in the most effective way. As experts in our field, we also leverage our knowledge to influence government policies and law wherever possible.

Our objective is to build capacity in science, knowledge and research, resulting in better-informed land management activities.

  • 71 science and research projects are currently taking place on our reserves.
  • We're actively working with 24 Aboriginal groups across Australia.

Engage and inspire

Engaging and inspiring a conservation community is integral to achieving our vision of ‘healthy Country, protected forever’.

We engage with our community on many levels: through our network of dedicated volunteers; by listening to and learning from Traditional Owners; and by working collaboratively with our neighbours and the local communities in which we operate. We also strive to provide diverse opportunities for people to experience our reserves.

Our communications are key to inspiring support for our vision and our work. The stories we share focus on the wonder and beauty of the bush, the people working to protect it and what we're doing to safeguard Australia’s precious landscapes and native species.

  • 33,635 financial supporters
  • 40,991 volunteer hours contributed
  • $1.44 million the economic value of volunteer contributions over the past year
  • 785 active volunteers
  • 14.7 million people reached through our media program
  • 106,908 social media followers
  • 293,293 unique website visits

Resilience and capability

The bush needs to be managed for the long-term: achieving real change can take decades of work, and many threats require forward planning, such as climate change and rising sea levels. Yet as a not-for-profit, our funding is often variable. To ensure our work can continue for years to come, we're building a resilient income model.

We're also working to ensure Bush Heritage staff are supported by a positive workplace culture, technologies that allow them to work together and from anywhere, and opportunities for continued professional development. In this way, we're increasing our organisational capacity.

Our objectives are to see our annual income exceed $30 million by 2020 in a sustainable way, and to ensure our staff are supported by a strong culture, systems and resources.

  • $22.6 million revenue was raised in the past year.
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