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KPI 4 - Protection of Indigenous Culture, Heritage and the Environment

KPI 4 reflects the contribution of the ILSC Group towards its core purpose of maintenance, protection and enhancement of cultural and environmental values of Indigenous-held land. Performance against this target is a lead indicator for the following ILSC pathways of change:

  • Indigenous people are owning and managing country sustainably
  • Indigenous people are preserving and protecting culture through reconnection with country.


Table 14 KPI 4 Protection of Indigenous culture, heritage and the environment

Performance measure

2019–20 targets

2019–20 achieved

Number of Indigenous enterprises assisted by active ILSC Group projects (Deliverable 3)




KPI 4 is a composite measure that incorporates a range of indicator groups relating to maintenance and/or revitalisation of culture, access to and/or protection of culturally significant sites; protection and/or restoration of environmental heritage values; or access to country. The number of active projects achieving outcomes against these indicator groupings is identified and the KPI measure is calculated as the overall proportion of active projects (as identified in Deliverable 3) that contribute to these outcomes. This measure is designed to track the ILSC’s contribution to achieving outcomes in this space.

In 2019–20, 28 per cent of active projects related to Indigenous culture, heritage and the environment, including those undertaken through ILSC subsidiaries (three Voyages, one NCIE); a significant shortfall from the target (Table 14).

This shortfall may have arisen because, like 2018–19, many newly funded projects are related to planning and other foundational activities; on-ground activities that relate to KPI 4 occur later in the project’s implementation.

Also, while the balancing of investment to explicitly encompass social, cultural and environmental values (as well as economic) remains a priority for the ILSC, project scope and focus remains largely responsive to the aspirations of the Indigenous proponents. In recent years the ILSC has seen an increase in commercial and economically focused project proposals.

Finally, COVID-19 has impacted performance against KPI 4 after travel restrictions between Indigenous communities, particularly in remote and regional areas of Australia, were introduced to reduce the risk of infection. This has prevented the delivery of many on-ground activities planned for the second half of 2019–20.

Activities contributing to KPI 4 are wide ranging, including contributions from ILSC subsidiaries Voyages and NCIE, and many other ILSC-supported tourism projects actively showcasing Indigenous culture for travellers. Both Ayers Rock Resort and Mossman Gorge Centre work with local Indigenous people as cultural interpreters, guides or performers. The NCIE was developed on a heritage site in Redfern NSW, and throughout the year hosts significant Indigenous community events.

The ILSC Group’s contribution to this KPI is further supplemented by support given through other Australian Government funding sources, including the RJP, Indigenous Ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs.

In summary, the following cultural, heritage and environmental protection activities were delivered through projects, including:

  • Cultural maintenance and revitalisation activities involving 54 events, attended by 147 Indigenous people and 5,785 non-Indigenous people, including cultural tours, cultural dance and music performances, and cultural craft workshops
  • Improved protection of 264 culturally significant sites
  • improved protection of four sites covering over two million hectares with environmental heritage values, primarily associated with Indigenous fire management approaches, gully erosion mitigation to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and biodiversity monitoring activities tracking threatened species
  • more than 20,000 additional Indigenous people able to access country as a result of ILSC funding.