Celebrating 30 years of effective conservation

01 Aug. 2021
© Wayne Lawler/AWC

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy story began thirty years ago.

On 2 August, 1991AWC Founder Martin Copley AM purchased Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Australia. From this modest 268 hectares, AWC has grown into one of the largest private owners and managers of land for conservation in Australia. 

In celebration of our anniversary, we’re pleased to share our 30th Anniversary Video, featuring accolades from HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir David Attenborough, and narrated by David Wenham. Read our official press release here.



From a single sanctuary in the Perth Hills, AWC has grown to establish a ground-breaking model for conservation. Alone and in partnership, we now protect 74 per cent of Australia’s terrestrial mammal species, 88 per cent of terrestrial bird species and 54 per cent of reptile species across 6.5 million hectares – one of the largest private conservation estates in the world.

This achievement is shared by all of us. It is the dedication and support of thousands of people across the country (and around the world), as well as the passion of the AWC team, that enables the provision of hope for Australia’s threatened wildlife.

Over the next 12 months we will be celebrating this significant milestone, beginning today with some exciting announcements…



Interactive timeline

We’re kicking off the celebrations with the release of an interactive timeline, detailing the moments which brought us to where we are today.

This addition to our website provides a snapshot of the history of the organisation – bringing the story from Karakamia in 1991, to Kangaroo Island in 2021, to life


Explore the AWC timeline here.



30th anniversary book

We’re excited to announce that later this year we will be releasing a book commemorating 30 years of effective conservation.

This book features a foreword from Sir David Attenborough and writing from the AWC family, past and present, including Tim Flannery, Thomas Lovejoy, Atticus Fleming, Tim Allard, and many others, and traverses the triumphs and challenges of our first thirty years.

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The David Attenborough Field Research Station, at our Charnley River-Artesian Range Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kimberley, was officially opened in 2015 by the WA Minister for the Environment, the Hon Albert Jacob MLA.



AWC Impact Report

Today we are also publishing our first Annual Impact Report. This provides a summary of our conservation achievements and financial performance for the last financial year, as well as some of the conservation outcomes from the last 30 years.

The AWC Impact Report reveals that Australian philanthropic investment in Australian Wildlife Conservancy has remained stable throughout the COVID year and this support has resulted in some significant wins for Australian wildlife. 


Explore the first AWC Impact Report here.



Looking forward to the next 30 years of effective conservation

As Sir David Attenborough observes in the video, the future of this country’s unique animals and plants is in the hands of all Australians. Sadly, in the last 15 years Australia’s threatened species list has increased by 36%. We need to take decisive action now to reverse this decline.

Our ambition is to rapidly scale up Australia’s conservation efforts, and to continue collaborating and and innovating across science, research and land management to help ensure the survival of Australia’s wildlife.

Our achievements and successes are made possible thanks to the passion and incredible dedication of our staff, volunteers, partners and AWC’s wonderful supporters.

Thank you for your support.

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Wayne Lawler/AWC
Wayne Lawler/AWC
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