Engaging Communities in


land management programs, education & partnerships





The Australian Landscape Trust is a non-profit, PUBLIC GOOD organisation dedicated to supporting improved management of Australia's natural resources for the benefit of regional communities and the broad environment.

ALT operates by building collaborative partnerships among communities, land managers and technical experts to support and improve the management of regional landscapes.

Australian Landscape Trust (ALT) was established in the Riverland by
Patricia Feilman, AM executive secretary of The Ian Potter Foundation in 1996.

To contact Australian Landscape Trust Trustees or Senior Staff view the full details by the More Info button below.

If you wish to make a donation please contact us.





To continue its commitment to the environment and the community, ALT is in constant need of funds or in-kind support.


ALT is registered as a Not For Profit Environmental Organisation, and donations to ALT are fully tax deductible.  Donate NOW!


There are other ways in which support may be given which include:


  • gifts of assets or property
  • establishment of a trust fund
  • making a bequest.


For enquiries regarding many opportunities to volunteer at both the Riverland and Gippsland properties please contact.




Dr Peter Cale

Calperum Station

PO Box 955, Renmark SA 5341


+61 8 8595 7359


+61 8 8595 7360

Email: peterc@alt.org.au

Strathfieldsaye (Gippsland)


Dr Pamela J Parker

Strathfieldsaye Estate,

324 Stratford Road,

Perry Bridge VIC 3862


+61 419 398 552

Email: pamp@alt.org.au

Links and Resources


Calperum Facebook -


Strathfieldsaye Estate Facebook -


Cherry Tree Organics -


CSIRO - https://www.csiro.au

Director of National Parks -


Native Vegetation Council - http://www.environment.sa.gov.au

Department Environment, Water and Natural Resources SA -




Our Projects - Riverland

In South Australia, the Riverland program is based at Calperum Station a short drive north east of Renmark and at the McCormick Centre for the Environment on the edge of the CBD.

Calperum & Taylorville Stations

ALT manages Calperum Station (242,800 hectares) and neighbouring Taylorville Station (92,600 hectares) in the South Australian Riverland under contract to the Commonwealth Director of National Parks. Both properties are declared as critical habitat for species conservation under the Commonwealth legislation. In addition, Calperum Station includes the western portion of the internationally important Riverland Ramsar wetlands.


The key management vision for the properties is “to promote the conservation and sustainable development of Calperum and Taylorville Stations through community involvement, local capacity-building and innovative approaches to land management”.


To achieve these visions ALT runs a number of innovative programs:

  • Paddock Adoption Scheme
  • Groups of community volunteers take responsibility for managing sections of the properties
  • Performing tasks such as feral animal control and infrastructure maintenance
  • ALT supports them with equipment and technical advice
  • Learning in the Landscape
  • ALT encourages and supports people of all ages and backgrounds to use the properties for training and education
  • Research and Monitoring
  • ALT partners with community members and technical experts to monitor the landscape, and to investigate key environmental issues

All of Calperum and Taylorville’s programs rely on the willingness of community members to volunteer their time and effort in support. Over more than a decade of shared management responsibility, volunteers have consistently donated around 10,000 hours a year to looking after Calperum and Taylorville Stations.


This extraordinary level of community engagement is cited by world-renowned author Jared Diamond in his best-selling book ‘Collapse- How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed’ as an example of a community choosing to succeed.


ALT also partners with other organisations and agencies with shared goals, such as the South Australian Murray Darling Basin Natural Resource Management  Board, schools and educational institutions, local governments and economic development groups to expand and improve its activities.


View our current Riverland Projects...

  • Research & Monitoring

    Research and monitoring programs bring together community volunteers, ALT 's own research staff, academic researchers and a range of partner agencies. Current activities incorporate long-term monitoring programs and targeted research activities investigating areas of particular concern for the region. Ongoing programs include a range of annual biological surveys and threatened species monitoring progams. In recent years, significant projects researching carbon cycling in mallee woodlands, groundwater salinity on the Calperum floodplain and new appoarches to vegetation restoration have been established in collaboration with a range of partners.

  • Paddock Adoption Scheme

    Under Calperum and Taylorville Stations' innovative Paddock Adoption Scheme the properties are divided into 'paddocks' - ranging from 6000 to 60,000 hectares.


    Community volunteers assume long-term responsibilities for key landscape management tasks within a paddock, planning and undertaking key tasks such as feral animal control, track maintenance and landscape condition monitoring. The Trust supports them in these tasks by providing equipment, training and expert advice as required.

  • Education and Capacity Building

    Education and capacity building are high priority activities for ALT. In 2009-2010, ALT supported delivery of over 3,100 person-days of accredited training - either with its own staff and resources or through partnerships with other organisations.


    Current activites include:

    • Primary and secondary education
    • Hosting camps and days trips
    • Including support for lesson planning and delivery
    • Teriary Education
    • Hosting University and TAFE field trips and courses
    • Provision  of sites and support for undergraduate and post-graduate research students
    • Occasional training workshops for volunteers and community members
    • Working on Country: Riverland Aboriginal Rangers - providing longer-term, more advanced traineeships in Conservation and Land Management
    • South Australian Rotary Club: Adelaide based Rotary Clubs volunteer time to Calperum based programs and projects
    • International Student Volunteers: Host groups of American and Canadian students who volunteer for conservation projects in Australia over their summer holidays


  • Visitor Accommodation Facilities

    We have a range of accommodation facilities:


    Low-impact camp sites on the Calperum floodplain for casual visitors and organised groups.

    Air-conditioned dormitory accommodation and associated facilities for groups of up to 40 at Calperum Station especially designed for educational users such as school groups and university field trips.

    Remote area accommodation for researchers and work groups on both Calperum and Taylorville Stations.

  •  Natural Values

    Calperum and Taylorville Stations are home to a great many native species. Our current list of native species includes:

    355 plants

    188 birds

    78 reptiles and amphibians

    25 mammals

    20 fish

    Among these are a number of rare, threatened or endangered species, including the Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa), Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis) and the Little Pied Bat (Chalinolobu picatus) as well as iconic species such as Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) and Murray Cod (Maccullichella peelii).


    The need to preserve and protect this biodiversity is widely recognised. The wetlands and floodplain of Calperum Station that link the Murray River to the mallee woodlands are part of the Riverland Ramsar site - one of five South Australian wetlands of international significance designated under the Ramsar Convention.


    Most of the remainder of Calperum Station (242.800 ha), and all of Taylorville Station (92,600 ha) are listed as critical habitat for the endangered Black-eared Miner (Manorina melanotis) under Commonwealth legislation.

  • Arts and Environment Partnership

    Alex Randell works in partnership with Country Arts SA and the Australian Landscape Trust as our Arts and Environment Officer. Alex works with Riverland and Mallee communities from her base at Calperum Station. Her program is focused on helping to secure a future for natural environments and biodiversity and a valued role for artists by using the affective (emotional) and transformative power of art and storytelling to shape a wide-spread culture of respect for local natural landscapes and biodiversity, and for the science of understanding the way ecosystems function. Alex has a background in biodiversity science, animal behaviour and fine arts. She would love to hear from you and help you to make arts and environment projects happen and to share information. Her contact details are:Alex RandellArts & Environment OfficerMobile 0456 531 622alexr@alt.org.au

McCormick Centre

The McCormick Centre for the Environment in Renmark was built to act as a regional hub for environmental education and eco-tourism. It boasts a 115-seat lecture theatre, research and teaching laboratories, catering facilities, a reception area for functions, rooms for meetings and offices. It is managed by ALT under an agreement with the Renmark Paringa Council.


The Centre runs a diverse program of exhibitions and activities, as well as providing a base from which community groups can operate.


McCormick Centre for the Environment, Ral Ral Avenue, Renmark ,SA 5341 - tel. 08 8586 4777.



Mosaic Entrance Wall


This beautiful entrance wall feature is the result of a Community Art Project initiated by the Renmark Paringa Council as stage one in the development of the Ral Ral Preccinct which when completed will include the "River/Mallee Botanic Art Garden". Starting in October 2008 and completed in January 2009, local community volunteers put in over 700 hours work under the guidance of Mosaic artist Michael Tye. There are eight panels representing local indigenous flora and fauna of the Riverland area - a Gecko, Yabby, Murray Cod, Ant, Frog, Eucalypt, Pygmy Possum and Emu.



  •  McCormick Centre - Vision

    'To operate the Centre as an environmental, educational interpretive centre for the purpose of better understanding, promoting and implementing ecological sustainable development (ESD) in the Riverland of South Australia and other parts of the Murray-Darling Basin'


    Mission Statement


    The McCormick Centre for the Environment will operate primarily to fulfill three complementary and overlapping purposes:

      1.  to serve as a Centre for regional environmental education and research.

      2.  to provide a nature-based tourism facility for the region.

      3.  to provide a community resource and asset, an environmental, educational interpretive centre for the purpose of better understanding, promoting and implementing ecological sustainable development (ESD) in the Riverland of South Australia and other parts of the Murray-Darling Basin'


  • McCormick Centre - Community Information

    The McCormick Art Group


    Every Tuesday local artists come together at the centre to paint or draw in their chosen mediums, share ideas, teach and learn from each other, while enjoying the fellowship of the group.


    The group is open to everyone regardless of gender, age or artistic ability, and  meets between 10am and 4 pm.


    Call 08 8586 4777 or email mccormickcentre@alt.org.au for more information

  • McCormick Centre - Tourism

    The Murray-Darling Basin Model


    The model is an interpretive education display about the Murray-Darling Basin. It provides a valuable environmental educative resource to the local community,school groups and visitors.


    The model consists of a three metre diameter display disk tilted towards the audience, on which a map of the Murray-Darling Basin is featured in LEDs. These light in response to the control panel, lighting up the appropriate sections of the map that link with text, data and concepts that are being displayed simultaneously on the plasma screen above. The model operates in either automatic mode, on a 10 minute cycle or by a presenter operating the computer drive. This allows the model to be responsive and adaptable to the level of information, detail, technical content and interest appropriate to the audience and occasion.


    The content is divided into six sequences or scenes that cover topics such as the natural river system, topography, wetland, changes occurring through dam and weir installations and water diversions. It deals with the consequences of these changes and actions needed to to restore environmental flows to sustainable levels.


    It gives a comprehensive overview of the Murray-Darling system in an innovative way giving the viewer a greater knowledge and understanding of how important the river system is to our environment and our future.

Our Projects - Gippsland

The East Gippsland region is subject to a range of environmental changes including:


  • loss of native vegetation,
  • intrusion of saline ground water,
  • subsidence,
  • declining productivity of farms, and
  • the deteriorating condition of the Gippsland Lakes.
  • Locals point to an apparent decline in the region's rainfall


ALT's work at Strathfieldsaye seeks to address these issues and provide solutions for the local farming community.

  • Strathfieldsaye

    Strathfieldsaye Estate in Central Gippsland is a 2100 hectare grazing property founded in the squatting era of the 1840's.  William Odell Raymond arrived two years after the area was first seen by Europeans in 1840 who came in a party led by Angus McMillan. In 1842 Raymond established his run on the Avon River at Stratford where he also founded the Shakespeare Hotel.  In 1848 he also settled nearby Strathfieldsaye Estate.  After Raymond’s death, the property change hands, eventually being purchased by the Disher family in 1869.  Three generations of Dishers lived at Strathfieldsaye for 107 years.


    In 1976 Dr H C Disher bequeathed the property with his Strathfieldsaye Institute to the University of Melbourne.  In 2003 ALT became responsible for the Disher Will through a Cy Pres order from the Supreme Court of Victoria in which ALT followed the University in the role of discharging responsibilities of the Strathfieldsaye Institute and the management of the property.  Dr Disher’s vision for the Institute was ahead of its time.  He sought to use his resources to provide new knowledge to benefit the local farming community.  ALT interpreted this mandate to be pursuit of sustainable primary production.


    Strathfieldsaye Estate is heritage listed at the local, state and national levels. It is regarded as having the longest continuous occupation of a farm in Victoria.  Its built environment includes a homestead, outbuildings, garden and landscape of a property that reflects over 150 years of European occupation. Care of these resources is shared with volunteers from the community.


    Strathfieldsaye Estate’s agricultural challenges are typical of farms in the area and provide examples of the environmental and economic issues of the region. Many of those issues involve soil management and landscape function which have been impacted by decades of high input, high intensity agricultural practices, clearing native vegetation (approximately 3% remains on private land, 5% on public land), salinisation of the Gippsland Lakes and the erratic climate.








Our current Project Partners are:


  • Director of National Parks
  • Department Environment, Water and Natural Resources SA
  • International Student Volunteers
  • Rotary International
  • Riverland Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Various National Resource Management Boards
  • Native Vegetation Council
  • Trust for Nature
  • NASAA - Australian and International Organic Certifier
  • Advanced Tafe
  • Cherry Tree Organics
  • Nature Foundation SA
  • Native Vegetation Council SA
  • University of Adelaide
  • Australian Supersite Network
  • Earthwatch Australia
  • Country Arts SA

McCormick Centre



Plants & Animals




The Trust's focus is to build collaborative partnerships among communities, land managers and technical experts to support and improve the management of regional landscapes.


Our partnerships, projects, volunteer engagement and education means there is always something happening at our various project locations and our intention is to keep you informed.




ALT's Philosophy

ALT operates by building collaborative partnerships among communities, land managers and technical experts to support and improve the management of regional landscapes.


Fundamental to this approach is the belief that building the capacity, resilience, knowledge and viability of regional communities is the key to effective conservation and management of regional landscapes.


ALT provides a supportive setting for volunteer engagement and education at our core facilities in the Riverland and Gippsland.


ALT is inclusive in the way it operates and honours our commitments.




Australian Landscape Trust (ALT) was established in the Riverland by Patricia Feilman, AM executive secretary of The Ian Potter Foundation in 1996.  It has its origin in the Potter Farmland Plan – a plan that engaged families in rethinking the use and management of their farms for long-term prosperity.


ALT extends that approach from the scale of individual families and farms to the level of communities and landscapes.  It addresses multiple land-uses and land tenures – sharing skills and knowledge across public and private lands, and bringing together production and conservation goals.


The McCormick Centre for the Environment is a physical example of what this approach can achieve. This $2 million dollar gift to the community was facilitated by the Australian Landscape Trust (ALT) and the Chicago Zoological Society.  A $1 million donation from American philanthropist Brooks McCormick  funded the construction of the Centre and was added to by the Natural Heritage Trust, the River Murray Catchment Water Management Board, Commonwealth Tourism infrastructure programs, the Greenhouse Office, the Forest Park Foundation from the United States and Pratt Water.  The Centre was built on land donated by the South Australian Education Department, with the Renmark Paringa Council supporting re-development of the site. It provides a multi-purpose facility that serves a range of activities including tourism, education  and recreation as well as providing a venue for  community interest groups and public functions.


The Gippsland project is the legacy of the Disher Family, the last member of which died in 1976 leaving his assets for the dedicated purpose of providing new knowledge for the benefit of the local farming community. The University of Melbourne was the first trustee of the property and ALT is the successor, having assusmed this responsiblity in 2003.



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Australian Landscape Trust

ABN 97 478 753 515




Calperum Station


PO Box 955

Renmark SA 5341

Telephone: 08 8595 7359

Facsimile: 08 8595 7360

Send email


McCormick Centre for the Environment


Ral Ral Avenue

Renmark SA 5341

Telephone: 08 8586 4777

Facsimile: 08 8586 4939

Send email




Strathfieldsaye Estate

324 Strathfieldsaye Road

Perry Bridge  VIC 3862

Telephone:  Dr Pamela J Parker
+61 419 398 552
Madeline Watts +61 418 136 782

Send email

Peter E Daly, AM  (Chairman)

Michael J Arnold

Peter E Daly Jnr.

Sean Hill

Duncan M Malcolm, AM

Dr Pamela J Parker

Ian A Parsons

Dr George B Rabb

Dr Janet Schapper




Dr Peter Cale

Manager, Riverland Operations




Dr Pamela Parker

Programme Director


Australian Landscape Trust Trustees


Phone Number

08 8595 7359

Email Address


See location details above.

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