Earthwatch Australia was founded in 1982, more than a decade after the original Earthwatch concept was launched in Boston, Massachusetts USA. There are now four offices worldwide located in Boston, Melbourne, Oxford, and Japan.
Aside from our diverse range of expeditions, Earthwatch Australia has earned the respect of external organisations and agencies by comprehensively involving all parties of the environmental spectrum. This includes local scientists, volunteers, business leaders and all those concerned with conservation across the continent.
Much of Australia’s reputation is due to the efforts of former Executive Director, Dr. Jane Gilmour, who through her efforts established it as the front runner in the environment debate. "In the 13 years that she has led the organisation in Australia Jane has earned the respect of many people - from scientists to corporate leaders, from volunteers to her international colleagues. Jane's contribution was recognised in 2003 when she was awarded an OAM (Order of Australia Medal) for her services to the environment."
Current Chairman since 2011
The idea originated in America as an urgent need for funding to help continue scientific research against a background of diminishing government aid. By involving the general public, mutual goals were achieved - funding and labour from volunteers helped the scientific community on a range of ecological research projects, while the general awareness of nature and our precious environment would continue to grow.
Our timing was perfect. During the 70’s and 80’s the world finally became aware of the increasing dangers and fragility of our planet. By working in partnership with scientists, individuals, corporations, foundations, government agencies, educational and research institutions, we can continue to support scientific research, conservation and public education.
The beauty of Australia
From desert to savannah, right up to virgin rainforests, no other part of the world can offer such a fascinating and varied range of ecosystems. Earthwatch Australia has taken full advantage of this natural bonus to offer mouth watering expeditions to its clients.
Not surprisingly, large companies quickly saw an opportunity where their employees could benefit from the Earthwatch experience whilst at the same time putting their business behind the environmental banner.
The variety of expeditions is hard to surpass - you can dive with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo Reef, monitor echidnas and goannas while exploring Kangaroo Island, or hand collect Freshwater Turtles of the Kimberley - just to name a few.
Looking to the future
"We achieve our mission by inspiring people with the beauty of nature, the power of understanding, and the ability to contribute to real conservation outcomes. By taking people on expeditions to work with scientists seeking to understand and protect biodiversity, Earthwatch has repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to change people’s lives in profound ways.
Our work in the coming years will be ever more important, our impact ever more necessary. No one should underestimate the threats facing the natural world and to the life-sustaining biogeochemical cycles which surround and support us. However, Earthwatch will contribute to solving these challenges. Our role, of inspiring people to live sustainably and conserve biodiversity, engages people from all walks of life and from around the world, and contributes to the actions necessary for us to achieve a sustainable future.
The opportunities are immense, particularly for Earthwatch Australia. Working with other Earthwatch family members in the Asia Pacific region, the Americas, Europe and Africa, our partners, and our community, we will continue to promote understanding and action, and continue to deliver inspirational experiences".
David McInnes, Chief Executive Officer