Greening Australia and Prior Family Foundation partner for First Nations-led change for Country and Community

Greening Australia has been working with the Prior Family Foundation for a long time – over eight years in fact.

We know that when we work together, great things happen. The Prior Family Foundation is one of our longest supporters of our innovative Reef Aid program, which to date has prevented over 44,500 tonnes of water pollutants from reaching the Great Barrier Reef.

Prior Family Foundation’s motto is “say what’s needed, do what works” driven by the belief that to have great impact you have to be willing to speak up and take action. The Foundation also takes an entrepreneurial approach to funding and as a result, finding and backing innovative solutions to complex challenges is what they do.

With the support of the Prior Family Foundation’s latest seed investment, Greening Australia is reimagining and reinvigorating the way forward for how we engage with First Nations partners around the country.

Thriving on Country Committee members Whadjuk woman Karen Jacobs and Githabul and Kooma man Kieren Gibbs examining native seed stock at Greening Australia’s Native Seed Centre in Western Sydney. First Nations Peoples are the keepers of deep and sacred knowledge that has been handed down across thousands of generations – knowledge that is important for modern day challenges, like building a sustainable native seed sector. Image: Toby Peet.

Over the next three years, we’ll lay the foundations with our Thriving on Country Committee and our First Nations partners for new self-sustaining and scalable Thriving on Country initiatives. This work will enable us to continue ambitious action towards creating healthy and productive landscapes enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Cultures, and enterprise to thrive on Country.

To commence co-designing this exciting work, our Thriving on Country Committee members came together with GA staff and senior leadership on Darug Country in Western Sydney in September 2023.

“Kicking off this strategy planning in a culturally appropriate way and being on Country together was really important,” said Scott Anderson, Chair of Greening Australia’s Thriving on Country Committee.

“We care deeply about doing this work in the right way, which means from the outset it’s being driven by First Nations Peoples. That’s how we can create real opportunities and tangible benefits for First Nations Communities, Cultures and Country in the long term.

“We have an exceptional Thriving on Country Committee whose diverse expertise, knowledge and cultural integrity is invaluable. But we also can’t do this alone and it’s been wonderful to have the support of the Prior Family Foundation, who have been instrumental in helping us set the foundations for this shared vision.”

Greening Australia’s Thriving on Country Committee, senior leadership, staff and Nindethana representatives during a tour of the Native Seed Centre in September 2023. Image: Toby Peet.

“Supporters like the Prior Family Foundation are enormously important in enabling us to push the boundaries on what is possible, and design innovative solutions to complex environmental and community challenges,” said Heather Campbell, CEO of Greening Australia.

“As the world seeks to accelerate ecosystem restoration as a proven measure against biodiversity loss and climate change, we recognise the rightful and leading role of First Nations Peoples in this space. This work is about delivering on that recognition – listening to and acting on their deep knowledge and expertise to support sustainable, First Nations-led change to heal Country and people.”

Greening Australia’s story so far has been enriched by mutually respectful relationships between First Nations Peoples and members of our team. Learn more about our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which outlines specific steps we’re taking to seek greater understanding, implement meaningful changes and contribute to reconciliation in Australia.