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Your giant leap for wildlife

Ever had an idea that could change the world?

Do you have a solution to Australia’s water crisis? Can you rid Australia of cane toads? Can you reduce our use or waste of electricity? Can you stop food waste? Can you help stop habitat loss or protect a threatened species?

Taronga is offering up to $50,000 for the most innovative ideas that will inspire communities to live more sustainably.

The world’s top minds agree that if we all keep using resources at the current rate, the earth will not be able to sustain our populations. We would be leaving an uninhabitable planet for our children.

The Taronga Conservation Society Australia is looking for wholly original and innovative ideas to transform local communities and inspire people around the globe to embrace change.

We don’t just want you to just have the idea; we want to help you put it into action!

With the Taronga Green Grants, together, we can help humans and wildlife share the planet into the future.

Examples of the types of innovation we’re looking for include: 

All innovations that help people and wildlife share a future will be considered, however, innovations or invention that align with Taronga’s focus areas (listed below) may be prioritised:

  • New ideas for native habitat protection, regeneration and connectivity
  • Reducing waste
  • Stopping Wildlife Trade
  • Marine Conservation
  • Developing a system for valuing biodiversity in commercial and economic decisions

Section 1: Eligibility

  1. Australian individuals, community groups, schools, parents and friends groups, councils, indigenous groups, environmental education centres, businesses and non government organisations who fulfil the entry requirements are permitted to enter an application. Applicants under the age of 18 must obtain parent/guardian permission before applying. 
  2. Directors, management, employees, officers and contractors (and their immediate families) of Taronga or of the agencies or companies associated with the promotion of this grant cannot be lead agents in an application but may be advisors, and contributors. “Immediate families” means spouse, ex-spouse, de-facto spouse, parent, stepparent, grandparent, step-grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, natural or adopted child, and sibling or step-sibling (whether natural or adopted by a parent), whether or not they live in the same household as the director, manager, employee, officer or contractor. Any project that would like advice from a Taronga employee, please contact Dr Jo Wiszniewski at
  3. Applications from every Australian state and territory are welcome.

Section 2: Conditions of Application

Because we are seeking innovation, applicants have few limitations, however, only applications that meet these conditions will be considered:

  1. The successful project must be undertaken in Australia

  2. Multiple applications are permitted, subject to the following: (a) each application must be substantially unique; and (b) each application must be submitted separately and in accordance with entry requirements. Once an application has been sent, it cannot be further modified or edited.

  3. No project should present an unreasonable level of risk to participant safety, project financial stability or reputation.

  4. Projects and their personnel must adhere to all laws and by-laws of the area in which the project is undertaken, including but not limited to those governing copyright, content, defamation, privacy, publicity and the access or use of others' intellectual property.

  5. Successful applicants will be required to sign a contract with Taronga outlining responsibilities of all parties.

  6. Intellectual property within the unsuccessful applications will remain with the applicant, and all assessors will be bound by confidentiality agreements.

  7. Intellectual property of the successful applications will be shared equally with Taronga unless otherwise negotiated.

  8. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they own all rights associated with the application and project activity without limitation

  9. Applicants must be, or will be, working in close partnership with an incorporated body that carries public liability insurance that can accept and administer the grant funds on their behalf (such as local council, environment education centres or an incorporated community group).

  10. Any applications involving animal involvement must be approved by an animal ethics committee prior to initiation

  11. All award funds will be used to execute the proposed actions.

  12. The winning proposal(s) will likely gain further advantage by being used in Taronga conservation and education campaigns.

  13. By submission of an application, applicants agree that Taronga has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this promotion and that all decisions of Taronga are final and binding.

  14. All applications must be sent electronically to Dr Jo Wiszniewski at

Section 3: Guidelines

Each proposal will be assessed using criteria aimed at determining the conservation benefit to wildlife. The questions below are designed to draw out comparable information on each proposal, and should be answered by each applicant/group. Including examples and evidence of how the proposal meets each criterion will assist in evaluation of the proposal. Any proposals that do not answer these questions will not be reviewed.

The prize money may be given to one large project to the value of $50,000, or two smaller projects to the value of $30,000 and $20,000 ($50,000 in total).

Submissions may be in document form (no more than 4 pages) or in audio-visual format of up to 5 minutes in duration if that better supports the concepts being conveyed (even videos must answer the questions in the application).

Cover page to include:

  1. Proposal Title (100 characters or less)
  2. Name(s) of project leaders and contact details.
  3. Proposal summary in 250 words maximum stating the purpose, methods and expected conservation impact of work in lay terms.

Proposal Questions

  1. Please describe the targeted issue and explain why this issue is a genuine threat with far reaching impact on wildlife.
  2. Please describe how you would address this issue and why this is the most logical action to take.
  3. Please describe the specific activities you plan to undertake with clear milestones you hope to achieve and specific timelines for each milestone.
  4. Upon which community, habitat, species will the proposal impact?
  5. Is this proposal in line with government priorities such as the Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2010-2030 and Australia’s Native Vegetation Framework (2012)?
  6. How long will the project continue to deliver benefits?
  7. Does participation/support from Taronga add value to the project?

With 1.6 million visitors annually, education and awareness programs may bring additional benefit and leverage the prize money through collaboration with our zoos.

  1. What potential pitfalls can you see and how have you or will you engage the necessary stakeholders?
  2. Who are your partners and what is their expertise and track record of effecting conservation outcomes?
  3. Will grant funds be sufficient to undertake the project? Please provide a budget.

Section 4: Proposal Review and Timeline

Proposals will be accepted until COB, 17th May 2013. Proposals will be initially reviewed by the Taronga Conservation Committee, which is comprised of conservation staff from many divisions of both zoos. They will remove any phantom, non-serious or irrelevant applications.

A shortlist of applications will be assembled and submitted to an expert judging panel for their adjudication.

The final judging panel includes:

  • Cameron Kerr, Director and Chief Executive, Taronga Conservation Society Australia
  • Bernie Hobbs, Science and innovation advocate, judge and practitioner
  • Mike Hill, Sustainability strategist and activist
  • Lesley Hughes, Climate change ecologist, member of the IPCC panel, Australian representative on the IUCN Convention on Biological Diversity

All applications must be submitted electronically to:

Dr. Joanna Wiszniewski
Research and Conservation Coordinator
Taronga Conservation Society Australia

The winner and runner up will be announced by 28th June.

Please ensure that all contact details are correct as this is how we will contact you to notify you of successful funding. We regret that due to the number of applications unsuccessful applicants will not be notified.