Involving communities in important environmental projects depends on our partners. CVA is all about connecting people to nature – which means that our work aligns powerfully with strategies, policies and global commitments of governments across Australia.

Australia’s Strategy for Nature

Australia's Strategy for Nature

“By connecting people with nature, we enhance their desire to care for nature, which in turn builds knowledge that can be shared to improve our care for nature and the benefits we receive from connecting with nature.”

– Australia’s Strategy for Nature 2019–2030


CVA provided input to the current Strategy for Nature and is contributing to the current updating of the Strategy in the context of Australia adopting the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (the GBF).

Strategy for Nature: Goal 1 – Connect all Australians with Nature

Most Australians care about nature. However, modern life means many of us have become disconnected from nature in our daily lives and sometimes we forget its importance. Connecting Australians with nature is essential to our long-term mental and physical health, economic prosperity and national identity.

Government Partnerships

CVA does not receive any recurring or core funding from government. We collaborate with government to provide leadership and support for community-based conservation efforts.

For over 40 years, CVA has partnered with local, state and federal governments to deliver community, environmental and economic outcomes and achieve government policy objectives across Australia.

CVA works with governments both as a proven service provider and as an innovative co-designer and deliverer of policy-enabling programs and projects.

CVA working with Local Government

CVA has worked with most Australia’s local councils, working to engage community in local environmental priorities, to coordinate volunteering in response to natural disaster and to create a legacy of enhanced capacity embedded in local communities.

Creating an Urban Shade Forest in Dandenong

Through the Urban Shade Forest project, we’re working together with the vibrant community of Greater Dandenong to increase the amount of vegetation and canopy cover within our cities, creating suburbs that are cooler, greener, and more liveable. In a series of firsts, we were thrilled to support the City of Greater Dandenong to deliver their inaugural school planting event, supporting the One Tree Per Child program.

Saving the Cumberland Plain Woodlands with Penrith City Council

Western Sydney is one of the fastest-growing urbanised areas in Australia. As a consequence, with its open grassy shrub layer and old-growth trees, the Cumberland Plain Woodland has shrunk dramatically. Today, sadly less than 9% of the Cumberland Plain Woodland remains, distributed over highly fragmented patches. In partnership with Penrith City Council and working alongside Bushcare groups, we are helping to protect and restore the Cumberland Plain Woodlands that remain.

Bushfire and flood recovery and resilience with Somerset Regional Council

Hit by bushfires that were followed by floods, Somerset Regional Council west of Brisbane drew on Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to restore habitats and support the community. After consulting with the Somerset community, CVA’s Recovery Rangers program responded, providing full-time employment for 26 job seekers, planting 8,515 trees across 10 sites and clearing 700,000 square metres of weeds and removing tonnes of debris.

CVA and State Governments

CVA was founded in Victoria in 1982 and has subsequently worked extensively with not only the Victoria government but in turn all State and Territory governments, delivering employment and training initiatives, empowering the community to care for National Parks and coordinating recovery and resilience efforts post-natural disaster.

Saving the Eastern Barred Bandicoot in Victoria
JJ Harrison (, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: JJ Harrison

In 1989 the total population of Eastern Barred Bandicoots was fewer than 150 and in 2013, the species was declared Extinct in the Wild on mainland Australia. Working in partnership with Parks Victoria, CVA has led the management of one of the leading breeding and release sites for the bandicoot at Woodlands sanctuary near Melbourne.

We were thrilled in 2022 when, as a consequence of that work along with the considerable efforts of other key partners (Zoos Victoria, Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Centre, the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team) the conservation status of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot was reclassified from Extinct in the Wild to Endangered. The changed status is a first for an Australian threatened species.

The Grass Tree Fellowship in NSW

This community-focused leadership initiative was supported by the NSW Government and delivered by CVA in the Richmond Valley, Tweed, and Blue Mountains regions. The project aim was to create stronger, healthier communities and ecosystems for all by providing skills training in project management, facilitation skills, motivating others project resourcing.

CVA and the Australian Government

CVA is politically agnostic and has collaborated with all Australian governments since the 1980s to design and implement programs to deliver economic, employment and environmental outcomes.

Employment and Training Programs

CVA (and our sister organisation CVNZ) are one of the world’s leaders in delivering programs that provide training and employment pathways and deliver high-value environmental outcomes.

In the late 1980s we worked with the Hawke / Keating government on the Landcare Environment Action Program, in the 1990s with the Howard government on the Green Corps, then with the Rudd government to deliver part of 50,000 new green jobs and training places under The National Green Jobs Corps, then we involved over 6,000 young people in Green Army and now in New Zealand we continue with the management of Conservation Work Skills with the Ministry of Social Development.

Leadership in Safety and Risk Management

CVA has an internationally certified safety system that has been developed based on our 40 years hard-earned experience. Local community groups are also rightly concerned about keeping their volunteers safe – but those groups did not have easy access to a proven, cost-effective safety system.

Through support from the Australian Government, CVA was able to develop the In Safe Hands practical safety management toolkit, so everyone getting involved can do so safely. Over the past 20 years, CVA has been supported by successive governments to provide the toolkit to thousands of local community groups across Australia.

Coordinating national spontaneous volunteering in response to natural disaster

In January 2020 CVA was appointed national coordinator for the environmental volunteering recovery from the 2019-2020 Bushfires. Within a week of the emergency peaking, we were able to lead a national Call to Action and develop an easy way for community volunteers to register their desire to help.

Over 13,000 people responded to that CTA and notwithstanding the limitations created by the Covid pandemic, we were subsequently able to involve over 3000 people in bushfire recovery efforts.



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