About Us

Our Vision

The Rottnest Foundation’s vision is to conserve and enhance the unique environmental, cultural and heritage assets of Wadjemup (Rottnest Island).

Our Plan 

Rottnest Island is a unique A-Class reserve that deserves our care and stewardship. Our Island requires support beyond current government contributions if it is to be sustained for future generations. The Rottnest Foundation plays a key role by securing additional funding and sponsorships from government, corporate and philanthropic sectors, together with our own fundraising activities. Our Plan focusses our efforts on three key areas

  1. Support conservation projects. We seek your support to progress major projects such as the Wadjemup Bidi Walk Trail, the Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground, the Settlement Greening Plan and quokka monitoring and research.
  2. Secure partner contributions. Since 1985 the Foundation has secured over $2.5 million in contributions to support delivery of conservation projects. We collaborate with all organisations associated with Rottnest Island and we are seeking greater engagement with corporate and philanthropic sectors. We offer opportunities for partners to achieve environmental and social responsibility priorities through collaboration on projects.
  3. Build organisational capacity. The Rottnest Foundation is currently working to build its organisational capacity to achieve our plan and sustain our organisation.

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Rottnest Foundation Publications

Rottnest Foundation Brochure 2016

Rottnest Foundation Chairman’s Report- 16th October 2016

Rottnest Foundation Chairman’s Report- 25th October 2015

Rottnest Foundation Chairman’s Report- 19th October 2014

Members’ Update Summer 2017-18

Members’ Update Winter 2017

Members’ Update Winter 2016

Members’ Update Winter 2015

Members’ Update Winter 2014

Members’ Update Spring 2013

Members’ Update Autumn 2013

Members’ Update Spring 2012

Members’ Update Summer 2012

Members’ Update Spring 2011


Brief History

Mrs Patricia Barblett AM, is a leader in the field of conservation and protection of Western Australia’s unique environment.

PatPat Barblett was the first woman appointed to the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) Board and served on the RIA Board for 16 years (1977-1993) of which she was the Chair for 4 years (1990-1993). She was instrumental in setting up the environmental ecotourism, interpretative and educational programs on the Island.

Pat was a member of the Conservation Commission of WA for 17 years and Chair in the last three years of her term. Pat was founder of FACET, Forum Advocating Cultural and Ecotourism, a community based organisation whose aim is to inspire and promote responsible tourism associated with Western Australia’s cultural and natural heritage.  Pat made very significant contributions to the wider tourism industry including serving on the Nature Based Tourism Advisory Committee, Tourism Industry Advisory Committee, Bush Banks Board, Busselton Wetlands Strategy Committee, National Trust WA Executive, Maritime Museum Advisory Committee, WA Recreation Advisory Committee and Advisory Committee to the Environmental Protection Authority.

more of rottnest 114Pat was awarded the Order of Australia in 2004 for her contribution to tourism and the environment.

Pat founded the Rottnest Foundation (RF) in 1985 and has provided unfaltering activism and passion for Rottnest and the Foundation for 30 years. Pat was presented with an Inaugural Life Membership Certificate at the RF AGM in 2015 to mark this milestone and honour her achievements and contribution to our Foundation.  Pat is currently the Deputy Chair of the Foundation.

The Rottnest Foundation was originally named the ‘Des Sullivan Foundation’ when it was formed in 1985.

IMG_6111Des Sullivan was the manager of Rottnest Island for 25 years, from 1959-1984. His philosophy was to promote the unique qualities of Rottnest such as its relaxed casual character, without hampering the fragile ecology of the Island.

There was a 9 year period where Pat was both a member of the RIA Board and a member of the RF Board (1985- 1993).

Pat formed the Rottnest Foundation in 1985 to pursue additional funding from external sources to assist the RIA in meeting its obligations to manage the Island’s environmental and historical values, to ensure future generations of visitors can enjoy this beautiful Island.

Basin_5_08The Foundation has matured to be an organisation that not only raises funds to protect and enhance the Rottnest Island’s unique environmental, cultural and heritage assets, but also works to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of Rottnest Island and encourages a sense of community ownership and stewardship of the Island.

The Foundation provides opportunities for our members to protect the Island’s conservation through our planting days and work with the RIA and a variety of other community groups in delivering our projects on-ground.

The Foundation actively seeks and raise funds through a variety of ways including corporate sponsorships/partnerships, grants and fundraising initiatives. Once funds are acquired, the Foundation project manages these funds, including holding and administering project team meetings and reporting to our funders.

Prior to seeking funds, projects need to meet our Constitutional requirements and be passed by the RF Board. As we work in close partnership with the RIA, the Foundation ensures that the projects that we focus on are also a priority for the RIA.

The Foundation also accepts bequests.

Current Day


Two significant major projects that the Rottnest Foundation is currently seeking funding for are the Wadjemup Bidi project and the conservation of the Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground.

Rottnest Island is one of Western Australia’s premier holiday and tourist destinations. Over half a million people visit the Island each year to enjoy its diverse marine and terrestrial eco-systems, marvel at the richness of the heritage architecture and soak up the unique social and cultural fabric.

DaisyRottnest’s fragile environment is constantly subjected to the ravages of the salt sea air, wind and waves. The impact of visitation coupled with these rough forces of nature; means that Rottnest requires constant attention and financial support to ensure the conservation of the fragile Island environment.

DSC_0055As previously mentioned, the Rottnest Foundation also provides volunteer labour towards conservation projects on the island, participating in tree planting activities every year.