National Parks Association of the ACT



National Parks Association of the ACT

Website Frontpage


The National Parks Association of the ACT started in 1960 with the prime objective of establishing a National Park for the National Capital. Twenty four years later, in 1984, this goal was achieved when Namadgi National Park was proclaimed. Today, the Association works to promote national parks, their good management, and the protection of our fauna and flora, scenery, natural features and cultural heritage. We do this by lobbying, education and by hands-on work parties. Our outdoor activities include field trips, work parties, day bushwalks, longer packwalks, snow-shoe walks, kayaking and car camps. These enable members to better appreciate and enjoy the natural phenomena and cultural heritage. Our quarterly full-colour Bulletin is packed with interesting articles about the environment, related issues and members' experiences in the bush. NPA also publish a good range of expert-edited field guides. At our monthly general meetings, which bring members together to talk with the committee informally and over supper, guest speakers address a wide range of topics. We also send out a monthly eNewsletter.

Promotion of national parks and of measures for the protection of fauna and flora, scenery, natural features and cultural heritage in the Australian Capital Territory and elsewhere, and the reservation of specific areas.

Interest in the provision of appropriate outdoor recreation areas.
Stimulation of interest in, and appreciation and enjoyment of, such natural phenomena and cultural heritage by organised field outings, meetings or any other means.
Cooperation with organisations and persons having similar interests and objectives.
Promotion of, and education for, conservation, and the planning of landuse to achieve conservation.

The NPA ACT plays an active role in conservation issues in the ACT.

It is regularly consulted by the ACT Government on management and development plans for the Territory's National Park, Nature Reserves, remaining bushland and rural leases.

It commissions research and prepares independent reports and recommendations.

It runs seminars on research topics affecting the environment.

Members participate as volunteers for work parties in Namadgi National Park and Canberra Nature Reserves.

The NPA has a delegate to the Australian National Parks Council and is represented on the Conservation Council ACT Region.

The NPA ACT informs the public in several ways, through for example:
Displays at conservation events around Canberra;
Displays within ACT public libraries;
Sale of our Field Guides;
The NPA Bulletin, which carries articles on current conservation issues;
Guest speakers at our monthly meetings;
A comprehensive Outings Program which enables members to enjoy a full range of walks in the bush;
Submissions to Government on conservation issues.
Organises regular outings and bushwalking.

Type of group


Primary environmental focus

Conservation & Protection

Geographic sphere or activity


Primary location


Known address

Lena Karmel Lodge Unit 14, 26 Barry Drive, Acton ACT 2601

Website link/s

Founding Year

History of group

Brief history
Dr Nancy Burbidge
In March 1960, Dr Nancy Burbidge, a botanist with Plant Industry, CSIRO, was one of the chief instigators in forming the National Parks Association of the ACT to lobby politicians for a national park for the National Capital. A committee was formed and included many other scientists from CSIRO who helped prepare submissions and a checklist of flora and fauna for the Gudgenby area to the south of Canberra that was proposed as a National Park. In April 1979, Gudgenby was declared a Nature Reserve and in 1984 was officially proclaimed as Namadgi National Park.

Neville Esau
The history of the formation of Namadgi National Park is summarised in a 40th anniversary supplement of the NPA Bulletin published in March 2000. In Fighting for Wilderness - papers from the Australian Conservation Foundation's Third National Wilderness Conference in 1983 a paper by Neville Esau describes the activities leading up to the declaration of Gudgenby Nature Reserve and the lessons learnt.

Fiona McDonald Brand
One of the founding members, life member Fiona McDonald Brand, shared her memories of the history of the founding of the Park in a presentation to guests at the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Namadgi National Park.
Oral histories are available in pdf download from

Item sets