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Message from our President

Published 25 Aug 2023

A plan in hand

This year, Bush Heritage walked the first steps of our ambitious 2030 Strategy. It was a period of optimism and forward movement.

Our staff, volunteers and partners were able to harness the powerful momentum that comes with being physically reunited. With a plan in hand, they wasted no time delivering incredible work to conserve and protect our magnificent bush.

As the world around us changes and the need for accelerated action on conservation and climate change adaptation increases, I continue to be impressed by Bush Heritage’s ability to adapt to our shifting circumstances and how this often translates into innovative ways of caring for Country.

Sue O'Connor. By Annette Ruzicka

For me, this is typified in our Science and Conservation team’s ‘Climate Futures’ project. This work has consolidated a tremendous amount of leading research and data to give Bush Heritage’s 19 priority landscapes the best possible chances to thrive in the face of a changing climate. The knowledge this project has acquired will inform land management plans and inspire progressive practices in those regions we’ve identified as the places where we can deliver the most impact.

This brings me to our partnerships within the agricultural sector, an emerging focus of our work. This year, we outlined a strategy for how we would work in the space, and the five key areas where we can deliver the most value and impact. We began engaging with partners, stakeholders and landholders to kick-start plans on improving environmental outcomes across agricultural lands. Our commitment to landscape-scale conservation and the goal of deepening and doubling our impact means that we need to move in different ways. 

With 58% of the continent dedicated to agricultural production, we need to work in partnership to care for the biodiversity living on properties neighbouring our reserves and other agricultural properties.

It was also a year where we invested heavily in our people and the tools needed to achieve the goals outlined in the 2030 Strategy. Notably, we expanded the capacity of our ‘Seeding the Future’ program and employed a dedicated project team. This program will help to foster the careers of emerging conservationists and grow the pool of job-ready individuals in the sector.

This financial year, Bush Heritage made a small surplus in revenue, which is thanks to the incredible generosity of our dedicated supporters, the disciplined and focused work of our staff and volunteers.

Reflecting on my third year as president, I am continually blown away by all our people’s (everyone in the Bushie family) commitment to the organisation’s purpose and work. The knowledge, skills, energy and motivation of our collective, leaves me with no doubt we will deepen and double our impact by 2030 and keep healthy Country, protected forever.

A huge thank you and my sincerest gratitude is given to the Board and members of each subcommittee, as well as all our volunteers, supporters, partners, and staff who make our work possible. Together, we have brought life to our 2030 Strategy.

A final extended thank you to the departing Heather Campbell. In the past four and half years, Heather’s dedicated leadership has held Bush Heritage through challenging times and delivered immense impact for our precious landscapes and native animals. We are also thankful for Heather’s incredible contribution to our organisation’s future.

Guided by our steadfast strategy, I look forward to reporting on the impact we deliver in the next 12 months.

Kind regards,

Sue O'Çonnor's signature

Sue O’Connor, President.

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