World Wildlife Fund (now known as the World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF) was conceived on 29 April 1961 in the small Swiss town of Morges through a unique partnership of scientists, business and government leaders, with the support and guidance of HRH Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

The group called for urgent global action to stop vast numbers of wild animals being hunted out of existence and habitats from being destroyed. 

Over the past 60 years, WWF has grown into the largest and most influential independent conservation organisation in the world. Globally, we have over five million supporters and operate in more than 100 countries.

On 29 June 1978, WWF was established in Australia, with just three staff working out of an old factory in Sydney.

Today, we're Australia's largest environmental conservation organisation, with offices around the nation and just under 1.3 million supporters. Explore our projects underway throughout Australia and the Oceania region.

WWF-Australia timeline


© WWF-Australia


Dr Kita Ashman, Threatened Species and Climate Adaptation Ecologist, WWF-Australia releases a brush-tailed bettong.
© WWF-Australia / Ninti Media


Jennifer Ford and Tim Cronin from WWF-Australia loading vegetables as part of an aerial food drop program
© WWF-Australia / Veronica Joseph

2019 - present


In 2018, thousands of supporter donations helped WWF-Australia buy and retire the licence for the last commercial gill net operating full-time in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Then in 2019, with eyewear company VisionDirect we teamed-up to “upcycle” the plastic net into something useful – sustainable sunglasses. Look back on our incredible year of wins here.


Our nation watched in horror as bushfires ripped through the country during the summer of 2019-20. Thanks to your generous donations and those of supporters and partners around the world, we raised almost AUD$51 million for wildlife and nature recovery that went on to support 245 projects in areas from wildlife care to habitat protection, rewilding and more.


We supported a comeback more than 100 years in the making - the return of 40 brush-tailed bettongs to Yorke Peninsula! Marna Bangarra (renamed to honour the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Narungga People) is an ambitious project to rewild 150,000 hectares of picturesque landscape in South Australia. But this wasn’t our only amazing achievement in 2021. Read more here.


More than 8,000 WWF-Australia supporters signed the petition and helped uplist the koala's status from Vulnerable to Endangered. While bittersweet that means koalas and their forest homes receive greater legal protections. At the same time, with our supporters funding and with aid from our partners, over 75,000 native koala habitat and food trees were planted in the New South Wales Northern Rivers region. Discover our other wins of nature here.


After seven years of campaigning for the removal of commercial gill nets from the Great Barrier Reef, it was officially 'a win' for the iconic reef and the marine wildlife that call it home.

7,500+ Aussies added their voice and helped secure a #NetFreeReef, with the Queensland Government making a bold commitment to end gill net fishing in dugong protection areas of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area by 2024. Learn about the many ways you helped regenerate nature in 2023 here.

Learn more about WWF-Australia