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April 12, 2022

Australia's oldest wilderness advocate changes its name

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness has today changed its name to the Australian Foundation for Wilderness. It will be conducting its campaigns under the shortened title, Wilderness Australia.

The purpose of this change is to allow the organisation and its membership to respond more powerfully to the worsening situation of the environment across Australia, particularly in areas surrounding intact natural areas.

Wilderness Australia Chair and former NSW Environment Minister, Bob Debus, said the change marked an important time to reflect on the long and illustrious history of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness since it was established in 1968.

“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness has been a pioneer in conservation campaigns since it formed in 1968 as Australia's first wilderness conservation organisation. It was the Colong Foundation who ran the first ever corporate campaign in Australia when it successfully stopped the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers from destroying Colong Caves to mine its limestone. It was the Colong Foundation who was instrumental in enacting the Wilderness Act which now protects over 2 million hectares of country in NSW. 

“We will be continuing in the fifty year tradition of the Colong Foundation: fighting campaigns of great persistence, which have precise goals and high impact in the media, in boardrooms and upon governments.

“In particular, Wilderness Australia has been established to resist the collapse of nature by advocating for the health, resilience and connectivity of our nation’s wild places.”

Wilderness Australia General Manager, Harry Burkitt, said the priorities and mission of Wilderness Australia were urgent.

“Nature’s immediate needs are not being treated seriously in Australia. In the lead-up to the Federal election campaign, Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to fund and support the burning of native forests for energy. The Prime Minister has also announced plans to remove important federal protections used to prevent environmentally destructive development projects.

“We’re bringing our fifty years of NSW-based campaign experience to the national stage. However, Wilderness Australia remains committed to our long-standing campaign to oppose the plan to raise the wall of the Warragamba Dam, a project that would vandalise the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains National Park and set a dangerous global precedent.

“But we’re also taking action to oppose an emerging industry in Australia that seeks to burn our forest timber in power stations in the name of renewable energy. The biomass burning industry is active in many parts of the world, and we intend to prevent it from taking hold here and to dramatically increase the protection of forests in eastern Australia.”

The Australian Foundation for Wilderness Limited Board of Directors consists of Bob Debus (Chair), Rob Pallin (Treasurer), Alix Goodwin (Secretary), Christine Milne, Virginia Young, Kylie Cairns and Ted Plummer. Our website can be visited at 

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Australian Foundation for Wilderness Limited
ACN 001 112 143
ABN 84 001 112 143
Advocating as 'Wilderness Australia'
Formerly The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd
Registered Office 8/154 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
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