Future Leaders: Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Investing in conservation careers


By encouraging and supporting the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Conservation Science Internship Program, we’ve helped to give 120 young leaders the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field and build a world-leading program that now attracts other philanthropists and supporters.

In sharing the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s (AWC) commitment to empowering the next generation of conservation leaders, the Rendere Trust made a transformative investment in AWC’s Conservation Science Internship Program.

Since 2008, this world-leading program has given over 120 young leaders the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field and play an active role in protecting over 1,400 native species.

The program now attracts a steady stream of young researchers, providing a rich source of talent for the sector.

Australian Wildlife Conservancy founder Martin Copley AM exemplifies the phrase ‘one person can make a real difference in the world’.

Recognising the rapid decline of biodiversity in Western Australia, in 1991 he established a wildlife sanctuary in the south of the state. Since then, the organisation has grown rapidly and now manages or works in partnership with organisations on over 30 properties in Queensland, central Australia and the Northern Territory.

The sanctuary’s operations, which cover almost 6.5 million hectares, involve on-ground monitoring, feral species control, fire management and the reintroduction of threatened and locally-extinct species. 

Photo: AWC Ecologist Larissa Potter and then-Intern Ruby Albury setting a camera trap. Photo: R Wilson/AWC

“There has never been a more important time to highlight the myriad of complex elements that go into effective wildlife conservation – at scale. Through AWC’s Conservation Science Internship Program, interns can experience the challenges of real-world conservation and learn from experts in the field.

“The Rendere Trust’s enthusiasm and advocacy for our work is just so motivating for all of us at AWC. Thank you for helping us to grow AWC’s Internship program and showing us the potential of what can be.”

– AWC Chief Development Officer, Shauna Chadlowe

“During their internship, the interns get to figure out whether applied conservation science is what they want to do and we get to know each intern and their compatibility with our business.”

– AWC Chief Science Officer, Dr John Kanowski

“This is a great investment in a young person’s career – it’s transformative. One of the unique features of the Conservation Science Internship program is that sponsors have a direct connection to the individual or group, which is very personal and rewarding. The program is good for the graduate, good for the organisation and good for the sector – producing a deeper pool of talent. It is also good for the tertiary education system, providing a direct connection to On Country work for practical learning.”

– Rendere Trust Strategic Director, Jim Phillipson