our history

Left to right: John Branson, Barbara Hardy AO, David Cleland, Beryl Quayle (Honorary Minutes Secretary), Warren Bonython AO and Dr Mark Bonnin AM (inaugural President), c. 1986.

Founded in 1981, Nature Foundation is an apolitical not-for-profit foundation that invests in conserving, restoring and protecting South Australian landscapes, flora and fauna to ensure their survival.

From small things great things grow… Founding Member and Patron of Nature Foundation, Dr Barbara Hardy AO, begins the story:

"In October 1981, a small group of Adelaide business personalities, a well-known medical man and a highly respected conservationist gathered together to discuss ways in which they could assist national parks in South Australia. They were all aware of the work done by the National Parks & Wildlife Service but they wanted to help give the community the opportunity to financially support the natural environment.

In that original group were Mr Warren Bonython AO, Mr Mark Bonnin, Dr Barbara Hardy AO and Mr David Cleland. Also involved in those early days were Mr Jack Gitsham, Mr Donald Jellis, Mr Ron Johnson AM, Mr Neville McNeill, Mrs Elizabeth Manley, Mr Charles Schmidt and Mr John Branson.

They formed what was then called 'The National Parks Foundation' and, over the next decade and more, its volunteers raised funds for conservation through public appeals.

As it grew, it extended its reach and changed its name to Nature Foundation SA. In all sorts of ways, from funding research to supporting on-the-ground projects, the Foundation seeks to protect the natural environment, save native wildlife and enhance the parks and reserves system.”

Barbara is still actively involved with Nature Foundation and says, “Now more than ever we need to act to look after our precious environment. I encourage everyone to get out and connect with nature, and do their bit to show they care. I also encourage everyone to support Nature Foundation. You can become a member, donate, volunteer your time – whatever you can contribute will be very gratefully received.”