Creating the bird sanctuary


The development of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary is applying a new model of innovative engagement. This model is Collective Impact and has been used in the United States to bring about positive social change in environmental projects such as one undertaken in the Elizabeth River and a recent project developed for protecting the Amazon in Brazil.

Collective Impact is a framework for facilitating and achieving large scale change and goes beyond the process of community consultation. It provides a structured and disciplined approach to bringing cross-sector organisations together and formalising these partnerships. The Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary has done this by forming a leadership roundtable coined ‘The Collective’. 

Significant long-term work will be undertaken by the group through a continuous process of ‘planning and doing’ grounded in constant evidence-based feedback around what is or is not working. Through engaging with data and stories, people get to explore each other’s perspectives, thereby developing a shared understanding. This process itself builds engagement, respect and trust. The Bird Sanctuary Collective will sustain the engagement of a broad range of community members and lead to large scale impact for the bird sanctuary.

See the minutes from the latest collective roundtable meetings (if you would like to view earlier meeting minutes please contact


Broader ecological benefits of the proposal, including a cleaner, more livable city, and improved water quality in the gulf, will enhance the quality of life for all South Australians. Creating a green corridor that supports a healthy environment will improve air quality, water quality and amenity – benefits that will extend beyond the reserve boundary. 

The creation of the sanctuary will also provide green infrastructure that will help protect against sea level rise and storm surges, while supporting the livability and sustainability of residential development in northern Adelaide. The bird sanctuary will also boost the state’s tourism industry by attracting bird enthusiasts from around the world and also provide opportunities to respect Indigenous knowledge and involve Aboriginal people in the development of the sanctuary. 

For more information, read the proposal for the creation of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges