In a rapidly changing climate, with unsustainable development and use of resources, the general outlook for our environment is deteriorating Overall, the state and trend of the environment of Australia are poor and deteriorating as a result of increasing pressures from climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and resource extraction. Changing environmental conditions mean that many species and ecosystems are increasingly threatened. Multiple pressures create cumulative impacts that amplify threats to our environment, and abrupt changes in ecological systems have been recorded in the past 5 years. The Australian Government’s 2015 Threatened Species Strategy 5-year action plan achieved partial success by improving the trajectories of 24 priority species by 2020, but many did not show improvements and, overall, the number of listed species has grown by 8% since 2016. The number of listed entities will increase substantially in coming years as a result of the 2019–20 bushfires. Our inability to adequately manage pressures will continue to result in species extinctions and deteriorating ecosystem condition, which are reducing the environmental capital on which current and future economies depend. Social, environmental and economic impacts are already apparent. Immediate action with innovative management and collaboration can turn things around Adequately resourced, innovative, responsive and collaborative management measures will foster investment and renewed action to turn things around. Australia currently lacks a framework that delivers holistic environmental management to integrate our disconnected legislative and institutional national, state and territory systems, and break down existing barriers to stimulate new models and partnerships for innovative environmental management and financing. Climate change is continuing and is increasing the impacts of other pressures on our environment. Immediate global action to reduce carbon emissions would result in reduced pressures and improved trajectories for most aspects of our environment. Australian individuals, communities, nongovernment organisations and businesses are engaging with nature and supporting biodiversity and heritage. Successful on-ground actions include the work of Indigenous rangers, citizen science, and restoration actions at many scales, providing opportunities that deliver benefits for people and Country. Urban planners and governments are recognising the need for change and a more collaborative, whole-of-system approach, with place-based outcomes that can build greater resilience and regenerate our urban areas. Substantial data about the environment are becoming more available. Over the past 6 years, the National Environmental Science Program and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy have become important sources of information for state of the environment reporting, and have provided critical funding for research informing policy and on-ground management of the environment. Better coordination of data and the introduction of national environmental standards will provide a direct mechanism for agreement between all jurisdictions, leading to improved environmental reporting at all levels. There is also a clear need to empower Indigenous communities to manage the culturally appropriate collection and integration of data. Indigenous knowledge and connections to Country are vital for sustainability and healing Australia Indigenous people have cared for Country across generations for tens of thousands of years. With decreasing health of Country, Indigenous people continue to seek a larger role in managing its recovery back to health. Indigenous people seek greater participation in Australia’s environmental management system. Respectful use of Indigenous knowledge, recognition of Indigenous knowledge rights, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems working together will lead to positive change. A renewed emphasis on engagement across all sectors of society is required to reverse environmental decline and to achieve ecologically sustainable development that underpins future prosperity and the wellbeing of future generations. Renewed focus on restoration of the landscape, and greater recognition and empowerment of Indigenous land management practices, where possible, across large parts of Australia can help us to heal Country and find new ways to gain a broad range of benefits. Environmental decline affects the wellbeing of Australians Our health, living standards, cultural and spiritual fulfilment, and connection to Country are all interconnected and are negatively impacted by our deteriorating environment.