Engaging Community

Nature Conservation Society

of South Australia

Nature is essential to our wellbeing and for healthy communities to be resilient. We want to help South Australians feel connected to each other and to the natural world, by building a community around nature and conservation.  

We know that biodiversity conservation requires activation – we need to work with individuals and communities! We value engaging with all sectors of the community so that we can share knowledge and stories, and raise the profile of South Australia’s unique biodiversity and landscapes. 

We engage people in many ways, including:

  • Artist in Residence, helping us engage with a greater audience and raise the profile of nature conservation through artistic collaborations
  • Workshops, bird walks and activities which provide opportunities for people to celebrate South Australia’s unique nature – how lucky we are!
  • Upskilling and knowledge transfer about specific species and habitats through our workshops, citizen science opportunities, training and field days
  • Listening to community aspirations and challenges and working with them to develop solutions
  • Offering volunteer opportunities where people can take part in our research and monitoring work.

All our work is underpinned by meaningful engagement with community, landholders, ecologists, planners and other stakeholders. We know that creating positive change requires collective buy in and ownership 

As an example, our Bandicoot Superhighway Project is very ambitious as it aims to connect bandicoot populations across the Mount Lofty Ranges. To achieve this, we engaged with landholders and community at the beginning of the project, and then designed and developed the project according to their needs and expectation. As a result, this project is truly owned and led by community, and we are proud to support them. 

Similarly, our Kangaroo Island Threatened Flora Seed Production Garden requires community participation and ownership.  To achieve this, we engaged with community from the get-go and sought their feedback on the type of training and upskilling they required, how they wanted to be involved and what their priorities were. As a result, a formalised “Friends Group” will be the custodians and key drivers of the Seed Production Garden. 

Engaging authentically with people and communities is the core of our conservation work – we know that we cannot do it alone. We approach our engagement by listening to the needs and values of others, offering our perspectives and priorities, and co-designing solutions to ecological challenges. 

Engaged communities are the heart and soul of nature conservation – this inspires and motivates us.  

NCSSA Artist in Residence

2022 Artist in Residence, Amber Cronin’s


Excerpt from commissioned essay by Andrew Purvis: 

This work does not seek to improve on nature’s melodies but, rather, it recognises the way in which human culture has been shaped and influenced by birdsong. Birds weave like a bright thread through the tapestry of our poetry and song, our myths and legends, and our visual arts and crafts. Magpie-like, Amber’s soundscape is constructed from gleaned lines of poetry and musical motifs. As these elements coalesce, the work generates a kind of liminal language, one that speaks across the separation of species.

Amber produced an immersive audio experience that is worth taking the time to listen to. To hear Amber’s 10 min sound works: Dawn Chorus, scan this QR code. We recommend using headphones and getting out into nature to really experience the beauty of Ambers work.

To access the full essay by Andrew Purvis follow this link: Dawn Chorus

Created by: Amber Cronin
Vocals: Emma Borgas
Mixed by: Kaurna Cronin

To lear more about Ambers creative process and her deep connection to nature take a look at this short video via the link below.

During Amber’s residency with NCSSA, in honour of NCSSA’s 60th Birthday, Amber also created watercolour prints of four iconic Mount Lofty Ranges Birds, a magpie, a Superb Fairy Wren, a Fan Tailed Cuckoo and a Crimson Rosella. The NCSSA are very excited to offer these limited-edition prints for sale. There are only TEN of each bird printed so get in quick to secure your copy. To purchase, fill out an order form available from our SHOP. 

Partnerships & Collaborations

Nature Conservation Society of South Australia

We know that partnerships need to be effective and productive, and we achieve this with our following approach: 

  • Identify and establish clear expectations 
  • Providing respectful and transparent communication  
  • Recognising each partners strength, culture and drivers 
  • Valuing our partners as part of our team 
  • Never assume but always seek clarity and confirmation.  

Partnerships and collaborations are core to our ethos. As a small organisation, partnering with individuals and groups towards common goals is vital, and ensures that we integrate, complement, and add value to important conservation work

Some of our current and recent partnerships include: 

We are committed to working towards greater collaboration with First Nations peoples in our conservation work and learning about their experience caring for land. In 2021, the NCS engaged a Cultural Liaison Consultant who worked with us to deliver a 4-day on-country workshop with three First Nations groups. This was an important step for Kaurna, Narrunga and Ngarrindjeri people as these groups have a deep cultural connection to Kangaroo Island and a strong desire to implement cultural land management practices on the Island.

Give us a call today if you are interested in partnering with NCS


ADVOCACY (& Campaigns) 

Do you need help bringing attention to a critical nature-based issue 

Advocacy can come in the form of campaigns and submissions. NCS will listen to your concerns and can help you to speak and act for nature either in partnership or we can give you advice on what to do. 

Are you looking for action 

Need to take action and want NCS to get active about a nature conservation and protection issues – send us as email. 

    RESEARCH (& programs) 

    Do you need help understanding the conservation values of your property or how to prioritize your efforts to achieve biodiversity conservation outcomes? 

    We are proud of our experience with undertaking site evaluations to identify what are the existing and potential biodiversity and landscape-scale “values” and working with landholders to ascertain the best management interventions required to maintain or improve these values. We can provide this information as a clear and concise document that is tailored to the need and identified desirable outcome/s.

    Do you need a flora or fauna survey? Or help identifying biodiversity “values” ? 

    With over a hundred surveys and publications on South Australia’s flora, fauna and habitats, NCS have a cohort of experienced field biologists and ecologists that can design and undertaken biological surveys. We also understand that conducting ecological surveys is more than good-science, it’s about providing the evidence for change, and that the results need to be communicated in a way that suits the intended audience and purpose.   

    Do you need to be confident that conservation and biodiversity work is effective and resulting in desirable outcomes? 

    The best way to know if conservation activities are being delivered as intended, or resulting in a demonstrable impact, is to have a robust and tailored Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (ME) framework or plan. Although this can sound complicated, it doesn’t need to be! NCS staff have the skills and experience to support projects and organisations to develop ME structures and processes that are streamlined and efficient.  


    Do you need support to bring community and stakeholders together to achieve conservation outcomes? 

    With our multi-skilled team and experience working with supporting, we can advise on, or implement, meaningful engagement to ensure that there is collective buy-in and support for multi-partner projects and programs.  We know the value of groups and individuals working together and can suggest ways to initiate or strengthen partnerships.  

      Contact us today to see how NCS can work with you