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Aboriginal partnerships

Aboriginal Australians have lived on the land for millennia, developing a strong commitment to look after it, as well as accumulating generations of traditional knowledge about the ecology.

We're proud to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the places in which we live and work. We recognise and respect the enduring relationship they have with their lands and water, and pay our respects to Elders, past and present.

Whenever we buy land we seek to engage with the Traditional Owners to ensure they maintain access and a connection to Country. We value their insight, cultural perspective and collaboration. We also invest in partnering with Aboriginal groups who are themselves landowners – often of vast estates.

We help with developing and implementing Healthy Country Plans that achieve conservation goals while creating jobs and livelihood on Country.

This approach has broken new ground. In 2011 our 10-year agreement with the Wunambal Gaambera people was the first long-term conservation partnership of its kind in Australia. Many have followed.

Arafura partnership

Established: 2014
Area: 1.2 million ha
Location: 450km east of Darwin (NT)

​Guruwiling (Arafura Swamp) is the largest freshwater ecosystem in Arnhem Land and one of the largest contiguous paperbark swamps in Australia. We've supported the Arafura Swamp Rangers with planning, governance, conservation work and monitoring.

More on our Arafura partnership >>

Plumed Whistling-ducks. Photo by Daniel Hartley-Allen.


Established: 2022
Location: Northern Kimberley (WA)

In 2020, Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation approached Bush Heritage with their vision for Home Valley Station - a cattle station turned tourist operation - resulting in a partnership initially focussed on the securing of, and short-term planning for, Home Valley.

More on our work with Balanggarra >>

Pentecost Crossing, Balanggarra Country, Western Australia. Photo Sarah Duguid.


Established: 2011
Area: 300,000 ha
Location: 500km SE of Port Headland

The Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area in WA covers 6.6 million hectares in the Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts – roughly the same size as Tasmania. The Traditional Owners are the Martu people who've established a ranger program.

More on our Birriliburu partnership >>

Dr Vanessa Westcott and the Birriliburu Rangers. Photo by Annette Ruzicka.


Established: 2014
Area: 650,000 ha
Location: North of Fitzroy Crossing (WA)

Bunuba country is in the central-west Kimberley surrounding the township of Fitzroy Crossing and including Giekie Gorge, Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge National Parks.

More on the Bunuba partnership >>

Bunuba Rangers. Photo BDAC

Fish River

Established: 2022
Location: 270km south of Darwin (NT)

A former pastoral lease, bought in a partnership by the Indigenous Land & Sea Corporation (ILSC), Caring for our Country, The Nature Conservancy and Pew Environment Group. It protects long stretches of the Daly River and is culturally significant for the Ngan’giwumirri (Labarganyin) and Wagiman people. We have an agreement with the ILSC to support the property's management.

More on our work at Fish River Station >>

Fish River Rangers and Traditional Owners gather for fire planning. Photo Rhys Swain.


Established: 2019
Partnership area: 2.1 million ha
Location: 190km south of Broome (WA)

Known as the gateway to the Kimberley, Karajarri Country comprises Jurarr (coastal country), and Pirra (inland country) including red dunes of the Great Sandy Desert. Supporting more Karajarri women to work on country is the main focus of our partnership.

More on the Karajarri partnership >>

Staff with Karajarri Rangers, on coastal country. Photo William Marwick.


Established: 2009
Area: 22,350 ha
Location: 290km west of Dubbo (NSW)

For Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people Mawonga Station is a significant part of their traditional Country. Through the Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation, it was bought on their behalf with funds from the National Reserve System program and Indigenous Land Corporation. We helped with the purchase, ecological assessments and management plans.

More on the Mawonga partnership >>

Rock shelter on Mawonga country. Photo Lawrence Clarke.

Mimal partnership

Established: 2016
Area: 1.9 million ha
Location: 250km east of Katherine (NT)

Mimal Country abutts the Warddeken IPA to the north-west and Gurruwiling (Arafura Swamp) to the north-east, creating significant connectivity. We've helped implement the Healthy Country Plan, focusing on important freshwater resources.

Brown Falcon. Photo Ben  Parkhurst.

Olkola partnership

Established: 2014
Area: 869,822 ha
Location: 300km north-west of Cairns (Qld)

Olkola Country's healthy woodlands and grasslands are the largest remaining stronghold for the endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot (Alwal). We supported the development of Olkola's Healthy Country Plan and a long-term project to protect Alwal.

More on our Olkola partnership >>

Golden Shouldered Parrots. Photo Geoffrey Jones (

Waanyi Garawa

Location: Gulf of Carpentaria

An emerging partnership on the Northern Territory/Queensland border. We've supported an annual culture camp and wildlife survey since 2016 to help people reconnect with country. With the Nothern Land Council, we've also helped support a first Healthy Country Planning Workshop towards developing a Healthy Country Plan and establishing a working group.

Purple-crowned Fairy Wren. Photo Terry Mahney.

Warddeken partnership

Established: 2007
Area: 1.4 million ha
Location: 230km east of Darwin (NT)

We' ve helped support the development and implementation of a management plan for the Warddeken IPA. The plan ensures sustainable management for conservation, and the protection of important cultural sites.

More on our Warddeken partnership >>

Victor Garlngarr and Barbara Gurwalwal at a rock art gallery. © David Hancock.

Wunambal Gaambera

Established: 2011
Area: 759,806 ha
Location: 600km north east of Derby (WA)

The land and waters of the Wunambal Gaambera people covers an incredible 2.5 million hectares of white sandy beaches, rocky escarpments and rugged gorges. We've helped create a Healthy Country Plan and worked on the ground with traditional owners and rangers.

More on our Wunambal Gaambera partnership >>

Punami Uunpuu (Mitchell Falls) is one of the iconic tourist destinations on Wunambal Gaambera Country.