Unlike many heritage organisations The National Trust of Australia (WA) takes an holistic approach to heritage and gives equal consideration to natural, Aboriginal and historic heritage as well as moveable and maritime heritage. One of the principle ways in which the Trust supports Aboriginal Heritage is by working with Aboriginal communities to establish foundations with the Trust to pursue community based conservation programs.
Foundations facilitate the conservation, protection and interpretation of Aboriginal cultural values in Western Australia. Benefiting and further increasing the knowledge, awareness, understanding and commitment of national, state and local community members in the conservation, protection and interpretation of Aboriginal cultural values in Western Australia (WA).
The Trust works closely with each foundation to oversee a range of activities including connecting Aboriginal people with the land; rock art restoration, invasive species assessments, archaeological studies, language preservation, interpretation programs, as well as training and development.
The Trust specifically aims to increase the knowledge, awareness, understanding and commitment to Aboriginal heritage by:
- Facilitating access to land where possible;
- Providing a conservation and interpretation service;
- Providing administrative, financial and governance support;
- Using its experience to promote Aboriginal heritage, and
- Establishing a tax deductible appeal if required.
The National Trust’s approach provides an effective governance model and has been recognised with grant funding and sponsorship funds provided to the Trust for the Foundations from Lotterywest, State and Federal Government departments and BHP Billiton.