A hundred million years of isolation has made Australia's fauna unique. We harbour some of the most ancient lineages on earth: marsupials; monotremes; and less well-known though equally ancient lineages of reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. Australia’s birds were the first to sing. Australia's animals hold a treasure trove of secrets from which we can all benefit. Our animals also require careful custodianship and thoughtful approaches towards their conservation.
Support our native animals and their environments
The Native Australian Animal Trust established in 2017 will provide a way for people who are passionate about Australia’s wildlife and their environments to connect with and support the University of Melbourne’s research, teaching and engagement activities. The idea for the Trust came about after researchers found 20 new species of freshwater fish in the remote Kimberley region.
Australia has a unique and charismatic animal fauna, but our state of knowledge about it is poor. Indeed species can go extinct before we even know of their existence. We have much to learn from our fauna, and a pressing need to do so. Associate Professor Tim Dempster, School of Biosciences
While the trust will support a wide range of activities, the first major initiative of the Trust will be to establish the ‘Award for Conservation Research into Northern Australian Animals and their Ecosystems’. The award’s aim is to understand more about the animals of northern Australia so as to better protect them. Small to medium-sized mammals in northern Australia are in rapid decline, and many other fish, animals and birds may suffer the same fate. There is clearly an opportunity to learn from the mistakes made in the south, to create better outcomes for the animals of the north.
Keep up to date with news about the Native Australian Animals Trust by subscribing to the Nucleus e-newsletter.
Presentations at the Launch Event
The Native Australian Animal Trust was officially launched at an event on Wednesday 15 March at the University of Melbourne. As part of the evening, Professor Ary Hoffmann, Professor Devi Stuart-Fox, Associate Professor Andrew Pask, and Dr Ben Phillips gave engaging presentations about their research.
Professor Ary Hoffmann - 'Bacteria from local flies limit disease transmission by mosquitoes'
Professor Devi Stuart-Fox - 'Unexpected insights from unassuming lizards'
Associate Professor Andrew Pask - 'Invisible threats to our native fauna'
Dr Ben Phillips - 'How to stop a billion invading toads'
The encounter between ourselves and the land is a live concern. Elsewhere this story is largely done and dusted, with nature in stumbling retreat, but here our life in nature remains an open question and how we answer it will define not just our culture and politics but our very survival. Tim Winton, 'Island Home'
Tim Winton is the Patron of the Native Australian Animals Trust. A multi award-winning Australian author, the natural environment plays a central role in Tim's work as a novelist and essayist. Tim has long been a passionate advocate for the Australian environment, and his involvement as Patron reflects that passion.
Tim spoke at the launch of the Native Australian Animals Trust Fund on Wednesday 15 March 2017, at the University of Melbourne.
There are many areas of research that the Native Australian Animals Trust supports, and many ways in which we fund this research.
What you could support
Fundamental biology and ecology of Australian animals
Uncovering hidden biodiversity
Evolutionary approaches to rescuing populations
Saving species in rapidly changing landscapes
Linking with Indigenous communities for conservation
Dealing with disease
Turning back the tide of invasive species
How you could support
Scholarships, prizes and grants for travel or research make a real difference to the lives and work of our students, allowing them to achieve their potential.
Fellowships support early career researchers. People who are fully qualified and are at their most research active. Research fellows are incredibly productive, and fellowships give people important career opportunities.
Major gifts can support endowed Professorial chairs. These create continuing positions for the most outstanding researchers, at the peak of their career. These people support large lab groups and generate substantial research programmes running over decades. Their ultimate contribution to research, and research training, is inestimable.
These can be either towards the general purposes of the Trust, or to specific projects or research areas.
Thanks in part to forward-thinking donors, the School of BioSciences is a leader in research and education. There are several common methods people may choose to make gifts to the Native Australian Animals Trust.
Make an instant gift online using a credit card. All transactions take place over a secured connection using SSL technology to encrypt all information.Donate Online
Including the Native Australian Animals Trust in your will is a way of providing enduring support beyond your lifetime. Find out how your support can be acknowledged and recognised.Bequests
At Melbourne we believe success should be measured by the lives we change. Every gift to the Trust counts towards Believe: The Campaign for the University of Melbourne and in particular helping to create a more sustainable future. We sincerely thank every one of our alumni and friends who support us.
We are happy to discuss with you, in complete confidentiality, how your gift can have the greatest impact. To discuss opportunities for support, please contact Penny Fairbank, Development Manager via email or call +61 3 8344 3792.
Donations of $2 or more to University of Melbourne initiatives in Australia are tax-deductible for Australian tax payers. ABN: 84 002 705 224.
Philanthropy has succeeded in providing thousands of students with the opportunity of a Melbourne education. We have also made great strides in research, with over $230 million raised for ground-breaking work in a diverse range of areas. The impact of philanthropy has seen us become more engaged in the community, creating public value and helping advance society. Here are some recent examples of how our students and career researchers have benefited from the generosity of our donors in the School of BioSciences.