What We Do

All life is fragile, none more so than in Australia.

In Australia we have an exceptionally high number of species that can only be found here. What’s more, the diversity or range of species is greater here in Australia than in many parts of the world.

Yet we also have the worst extinction rate in the world.

Since European colonisation, 29 endemic species of Australian mammals, representing 10% of Australia’s mammal fauna, have become extinct. The Crescent Nailtail Wallaby, Desert Bettong, Lesser Bilby, Pig-footed Bandicoot, Long-tailed Hopping-mouse and Toolache Wallaby are among Australian species lost forever.

In total 126 species of Australian plants and animals have vanished in almost 230 years. A further 182 species are classified as endangered and 201, including 63 mammals or 30% of what remains of our mammal species, are threatened with extinction.

Many more are locally extinct, endangered, or surviving precariously on offshore islands or in captivity. For example, the Golden Bandicoot now survives only in a very small area in far northern Kimberley and on a few offshore islands. Less than 100 years ago the Golden Bandicoot was widespread across most of the continent.

Why does this matter? Biological Diversity

Biological diversity – or biodiversity – is a term we use to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes.

Each species has a role to play in an ecosystem – much like each part of our body has its own function. Often in nature, though, several species may fulfil a similar role in a particular ecosystem. This ensures that if one species is lost the ecosystem as a whole will continue functioning. However, if too many species are lost, as has happened in Australia since the arrival of Europeans, then the system starts to break down.

How do we do it?

At FAME we have come to believe that with your help, as our work progresses, whenever we restore a small piece of nature, we also restore ourselves as caretakers of the planet. Our work supporting projects to save Australia’s flora and fauna never ends – many species are under pressure and some face extinction.

FAME’s commitment to confront this reality has no boundaries, but our resources are always limited.

The Foundation’s projects are carefully chosen so that our precious funds are put to work in the most effective way possible. We do not gamble with the financial support of our members, Trusts, Foundations, corporate and grant funders, because we know that if we choose wisely we can buy the time that endangered Australian flora and fauna need to survive.

FAME believes that a partnership approach to saving endangered species is the best way to save wildlife. FAME works with like-minded organisations, governments, wildlife authorities and private landowners on projects that increase the likelihood of survival of one or more endangered species.

See current projects


Our vision is to prevent any further extinction of Australian flora and fauna.


FAME is the only organisation dedicated to helping Australian species most at risk of extinction. FAME seeks to fund on-ground conservation outcomes with a focus on seed funding and innovation.

Core Values

  • Commit to conservation and environmental issues.
  • Embrace open transparency at all times.
  • Display strong, clear corporate governance.
  • Maintain inclusiveness with all stakeholder sand donors.
  • Respect the culture of Indigenous Australians.

Our People

Established in 1993 with its head office in South Australia, FAME is a company limited by guarantee, and an independent not-for-profit deductible gift recipient (DGR). It has a strong supportive national membership base and a range of private Trusts and Foundations, corporate partners and grant funding.

FAME has an independent volunteer Board of Directors who oversee the governance of the organisation. Directors are elected for a tenure of 2 years at which stage they must stand for re-election at the AGM.

Voting members (elected from the membership base) may nominate for Board positions at the AGM.

Christopher Chapman
Board Member since 2005 - President
Dip Law, Dip CIS, Dip CM, FGIA, FAICD, MBA. Barrister and Solicitor NSW, VIC, ACT, High Court of Australia
Dr Diana Beal
Board Member since 2012 - Vice President and Treasurer
Grad Certificate in Forest Science PhD, M. Phil, Grad. Dip. Local & Applied History
Dr Fred Ford
Board Member since 2012 - Chair of Conservation Committee
BSc (Hons), PhD (Evolutionary ecology)
Bruce Jackson
Board Member since 1993
Environmental Technologies
Margaret Wilksch, OAM
Board Member since 2001
Company Director / Land Manager & Consultant
Dr Madelon Willemsen
Board Director since 2018
MSc (biology), MPM, PhD (Conservation program Management)
Michael Willson AM KSJ
Board Member since 2002
Company Director (retired)
Tracy McNamara
Chief Executive Officer
BA, FFIA, F.EdPlus, GIA (Cert)
Peter W Kay
FAME Ambassador

FAME’s future is a very challenging one. As the circumstances of our native wildlife deteriorate, more and more of our precious native species become endangered or extinct causing a greater reliance on Foundation’s such as FAME to provide on ground monetary funding