Wildlife Matters

$3 million Matching Challenge to scale up conservation actions

05 May. 2021
B Leue/AWC

By Shauna Chadlowe, Chief Development Officer 

Thirty years ago, armed with a hopeful heart and a big vision, AWC Founder Martin Copley purchased Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary and so began AWC’s story. While our progress is well documented and we celebrate AWC’s transformative conservation model, the imperative to stay focused on our mission and rapidly scale up our conservation actions is as urgent as ever. Consider this: in March 2021 the Australian Government updated the nation’s official wildlife extinction list, noting the loss of an additional 13 endemic species since European colonisation. The revision brings the total number of Australian mammals known to have gone extinct to 34. In other words, Australia’s mammal extinction record, already ranked as the worst in the world, just got worse.

It is important to acknowledge the losses have occurred and it’s a reminder that if we don’t manage our threatened species then extinction is the end result.” – Prof John Woinarski, The Guardian (2021, March 3)

The rate of biodiversity loss continues unabated. Australia’s Environment Summary Report 2020 (www.ausenv.online) makes for sobering reading: in 2020, 15 species were added to the Threatened Species List, representing a 0.6 per cent increase from the previous year and a 36 per cent increase from 2000. More than 1,800 threatened species now find themselves on this list. Without decisive action their fate is sealed.

My father, Martin Copley, felt a deep desire to pass on the same diverse ecology to his children and grandchildren that he encountered. It’s wonderful his legacy can continue to inspire us all to step up and help AWC scale up its response to Australia’s biodiversity crisis.– Sophie Chamberlain, Trustee, The Martin Copley Will Trust and AWC Board Director

The challenge confronting us is certainly immense and with such a tragic record, it’s easy to lose hope. Our experience over the last 30 years however has taught us the Australian bush is resilient and today we have the knowledge and skills to address these threats and restore Australia’s biodiversity.

AWC’s team is already at the front line, fighting the battle against weeds, feral animals and fire. Recognising that we need to rapidly scale up our efforts to address the magnitude of threats confronting Australia’s wildlife, four remarkable philanthropists have joined forces to help.
Sophie Chamberlain, via the Martin Copley Will Trust, Andrew and Jane Clifford via the JAAM Foundation, together with a generous legacy gift will see donations matched up to a total of $3 million.

Tax-deductible donations to AWC will be matched as follows:

  • Gifts of $500 or more will be matched by 50%
  • Gifts of $5,000 or more will be matched by 75%
  • Gifts of $15,000 or more will be matched by 100%
Banded Hare Wallaby B Leue/AWC
The Matching Challenge will help AWC scale up our conservation actions to protect threatened wildlife such as the Banded Hare-Wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus).
Australia’s wildlife is ours to protect. I feel a sense of urgency. We know what we need to do. Let’s face that challenge and get on with it.” – Jane Clifford, The JAAM Foundation

Empowered by your support, this inspirational gift will help AWC to scale up the delivery of priority actions, like fire management, feral herbivore control, weed eradication, rewilding and science programs aimed at halting biodiversity decline and restoring Australia’s natural capital. Please help AWC take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and help save Australia’s threatened wildlife and wild places.


Australian National University’s (ANU) Centre for Water and Landscape Dynamics. 2021. Australia’s Environment 2020 Report. < www.ausenv.online >

Morton, A. (2021, March 3). Australia confirms extinction of 13 more species, including first reptile since colonisation. The Guardian: Australian edition.
< https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/03/australia-confirms-extinction-of-13-more-species-including-first-reptile-since-colonisation >


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