We want to acknowledge Australia’s First Nations people and Traditional Custodians for their care for the land, waters, wildlife and culture of this country.

First Nations people hold unique knowledge and rights inherited from their ancestors and Country itself and have cared for this country since time immemorial.

We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and that colonisation is unjust, often violent and continues to adversely impact on First Nations people today.

Just last week mining corporation Rio Tinto blasted and destroyed ancient rock shelters in Western Australia’s Pilbara region to expand an iron ore mine.

This heart-breaking act destroyed caves sacred to the local Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Traditional Owners – which held evidence of continual occupation for at least 46,000 years.

In the face of ongoing injustices, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to speak out and care for Country.

We want to encourage you to take some time to learn more about a few of the critical environmental campaigns led by First Nations people in Australia.

Educate yourself about their work. Support their campaigns. Share their content. Donate.

Seed Mob – Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network, building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people for climate justice. Their vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy.

Country Needs People – a growing group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people campaigning for Indigenous Ranger and Protected Area programs – proven success stories for the health of our natural heritage and for the lives of First Nations people.

The Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council – Protecting the sacred river, the Mardoowarra, also known as the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and representing Traditional Owners of the entire river catchment.

Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council – the proud Traditional Owners of a vast area of land in central-western Queensland, including the site where Adani wants to dig its destructive coal mine.

Olkola Aboriginal Corporation – After years of advocating and negotiating with government, Olkola Aboriginal Corporation now holds and manages 869,822 hectares of its Traditional Lands, making it one of the largest landholders in the Cape York Peninsula. Many ACF members have visited their beautiful country.

And the Wuthathi people for whom the struggle to return and protect their ancestral homelands took nearly 100 years. ACF stood with them for 40.

Mirarr people via Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation – the Traditional Owners of land in the north of the Northern Territory. The Mirarr formed the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation in 1995 to represent their rights and interests. They are powerful advocates against uranium mining, speaking out in the famous Jabiluka campaign, and for Kakadu.

Australian Nuclear Free Alliance – formed in 1997, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance brings together Aboriginal people and civil society groups concerned about nuclear developments in Australia, particularly on Aboriginal homelands.

Pay The Rent Grassroots Collective – a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together to provide financial justice to First Nations people.

As Australia’s national environment organisation, we respect these First Nations campaigners, organisers, leaders – and many, many more who speak out for their communities and country all across this land.

We celebrate their leadership in caring for Country, and support their rights to continue to do so.

We support their right to self-determination and recognise that rightful recognition of and reconciliation with First Nations people is fundamental to protecting nature in Australia.

Kelly O’Shanassy

CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation.