Abstract: The rangelands of Australia and their communities can be represented as a diverse and interrelated complex of social and ecological systems. For the development of a sustainable future for both social and ecological systems, thinking needs to be at a level that accommodates the interaction of all systems and not just part of them. Historical trends show that continued emphasis on increased production in agriculture does little to improve the real wealth of the industry in the long term. Changing community attitudes in relation to the value of the rangelands present both threats and opportunities for the inhabitants of the rangelands. It is argued that capitalising on the wider range of values represented by the landscape beyond only production of generic agricultural products and mining presents a more viable path to an ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable future for the Australian rangelands.