The Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia (RFA) was originally established as the Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation of Australia (ARRFA). It originated from a late-1990 meeting in Port Augusta where a local pastoralist, Keith Greenfield (of Billa Kalina Station), suggested that a national Fund be formed to support research into the rabbit problem.
An inaugural committee was formed in 1991 to develop the concept and the Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation of Australia was incorporated in July 1992. At that time, its primary aim was to develop and to administer a publicly-subscribed national fund to:
• Support research and other measures contributing to the eradication of the wild rabbit from Australia.
• Raise awareness through the community as to the nature and extent of rabbit induced land and environmental degradation.
• Provide initiatives and support for rabbit control methods based on strategic integrated programs.
In 1992, Western Mining Corporation contributed $150,000 as seed funding and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency's Feral Pest Program provided $30,000 to employ a part-time executive officer.
In early 1993, the Foundation organised a highly successful national conference on rabbits. The Conference was opened by the Patron of ARRFA, The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, The Honourable Bill Hayden.
The inaugural Executive Officer, William Morgan, was appointed in 1993 to establish the tax-deductible fund, to commence administration of the fund, and to develop the Easter Bilby concept.
Branches in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria were formed but were not sustainable with the resources available. Although based in Adelaide, RFA adopts a whole-of-nation perspective and has a presence across Australia through its active input to national programs and networks.
The name of the Foundation was changed from Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation of Australia to Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia in 1998, to overcome the misleading connotations of being anti-research, that were conjured by the original name.
The Foundation is now managed by a part-time Executive Officer and a skills-based Board comprised of a voluntary Chair, Committee Members and Advisors, with contributions from other volunteers.
RFA’s many achievements and the continuing economic, environmental and social threat of rabbits strongly support RFA’s on-going role as an independent group advocating the persistent need for rabbit research, development and extension, and on-ground rabbit control in Australia.
For more information on past and current activities of the Foundation, see Our Projects.