1982: Conservation Volunteers Australia

“What was started in 1982 by Yandoit farmer, Tim Cox, as a small group planting trees on weekends has become the leading practical conservation group in Australia, managing thousands of volunteers who help out on dozens of projects each year.” Colin Jackson OAM, CEO 1988-2017, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA).

This small group was the beginning of The Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers [ATCV], which later changed its name to Conservation Volunteers Australia. CVA is dedicated to ‘inspiring change through connecting people to nature’ through hands-on conservation work.

2006: Conservation Volunteers New Zealand

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) started in 2006 because of demand from international volunteers and the lack of similar opportunities in New Zealand. Like its sister organisation across the ditch, CVNZ is a not-for-profit registered charitable trust. Our kaupapa is to empower the people of Aotearoa to become kaitiaki for nature in their communities.

From a cramped office in Ponsonby with two staff, CVNZ quickly attracted local and international volunteers. In 2007, we partnered with the Department of Conservation and Rio Tinto to deliver the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project in Te Tai Poutini West Coast. Over the years, we launched many new projects and partnerships across many regions in Aotearoa.

We now have offices in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, Ōtautahi Christchurch and Punakaiki. 

Empowering kaitiaki for nature in our communities

Our mahi has always focused on connecting people with each other and the natural world. In 2018, CVNZ began a pathways to employment programme called Conservation Work Skills (CWS) in partnership with the Ministry for Social Development. CWS helps unemployed people back into the workforce by teaching them practical conservation skills. The ethos of the CWS programme is that all New Zealanders should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. CWS equips participants with practical and transferable skills and provides opportunities for local job seekers to gain paid employment. 

We want a world where people and nature thrive together

He rau ringa e oti ai 

Many hands make light work