Amelia Fowles is a Tasmanian marine scientist, active around conservation, working to protect biodiversity, increase awareness, communicate science and support communities.
In 2012, Amelia was the Australian Youth representative to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Conference of the Parties India, where young conservation leaders of the world rallied to hold world leaders to account. She has helped create networks for indigenous youth at the World Indigenous Network Conference in Darwin and more recently she was involved in organising a pre-capacity gathering for young professionals at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.
Carolyn Ingvarson convenes Lighter Footprints, a climate action group she founded in the Kooyong Electorate. Carolyn works to support the group’s members to understand the science and practice of energy efficiency and sustainable living in our own lives. She is committed to learning how best to work towards change in our community, including working with local politicians at state and federal levels. Carolyn’s current focus is energy policy at state and federal levels, building contact and meeting with local councillors on low carbon strategy projects.
Cat Nadel works with Environment Victoria as a safe climate campaigner. Her role involves implementing campaigns designed to accelerate the closure of Victoria’s largest source of climate pollution, the brown coal power stations in the Latrobe Valley. Her role involves helping communities communicate their concerns to the state and federal governments, encouraging them to implement ambitious climate policy and advocating for a smooth and just transition for communities in the Latrobe Valley.
Chantelle McKenna is a digital organizer with the Together union in QLD and manages their member contact call centre. Currently, Chantelle’s union is campaigning for changes to industrial laws to allow long-term temporary contract workers to apply to the Fair Work Commission for permanency. Only private sector workers are currently able to do this. The union is also in the process of assisting Health workers to take protected action. Before joining Together, Chantelle was involved with Front Line Action on Coal, opposing the destruction of the Lead Forest in north west NSW. She then volunteered with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, where she was Campaign Coordinator with a core group of 10 volunteers.
Clancy Morrison‘s experience as an organiser began in 2013, working in Brisbane to mobilise community members and raise funds to support the Maules Creek coal mine blockade. Since then he has worked on a variety of climate change campaigns, taking on training and facilitation roles, and has had the privelege of working alongside and learning from some very effective and inspiring organisers. He is currently the Outreach and Community Organising Coordinator for Fossil Free UQ, a student-run campaign to get the University of Queensland (where he studies public policy) to divest its financial holdings in fossil fuel companies and related financial assets.
Elle Lawless is coordinator of the Political Action Team and co-coordinator of the #StopAdani group with 350 Canberra. Her team is working towards a just transition for the ACT, ensuring Canberra’s pathway to reaching zero net emissions is fair and socially just. This work includes organising and holding community consultation events that are creative and engage a wide demographic. Working with the Stop Adani team, Elle enables her local community through a grassroots campaign that is encouraging Westpac to rule out funding the Carmichael Mine. She is committed to giving people opportunities, agency and a voice in their community for a safe climate and clean energy future.
Frida Forsberg is the convenor of Clean Air Fairfield, a community group committed to getting physical covers (lids) on coal trains, as well as improving national air pollution standards. Her group has drawn attention to the problem of coal dust in Brisbane suburbs through citizen science, local events and a high profile media campaign. Frida served as a volunteer for Lock the Gate for two years. She is a graphic designer and is keen to learn more about getting politicians to ‘sit up and take notice’.
Harriett Leadetter‘s formative experiences were with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and volunteering on the 2016 Federal Election with the Australian Conservation Foundation’s organising team. She is currently working for the Victorian Trades Hall Council as a Campaign Organiser. Her work is based around the We Are Union movement and she is helping to build a broad network of union and community members who are passionate about workers’ rights and social justice issues. Her role also involves assisting affiliated unions on any industrial campaigns that arise by providing organising capacity and support.
Ian Lisser is a core team member of the Sydney Campaigners Network, a network of over 400 organisers, campaigners and activists. He also works with both GetUp, Amnesty International and 350.org. Ian’s background includes different organising approaches in the peace movement (mobilisation organising) and the union movement (structured organising). He also has a background in other organising traditions, principally cadre development, relational organising and various community organising models.
Jack Bertolus is Research Coordinator at Market Forces where he works on the Banks Campaign – an initiative to shift bank finance away from environmentally destructive fossil fuel projects and into those that protect and enhance the natural environment. Jack is responsible for investigating how banks lend to the fossil fuel and renewable energy industries by collecting and analysing financial data and working with copywriting, web design, graphics and media communications specialists. He also provides research support to his colleagues and other campaigners and NGOs here in Australia and internationally.
Jack Redpath is a community organiser and digital designer, currently working with the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Tasmania’s longest operating conservation group.
Previously, Jack has been involved with divestment campaigning with the fossil free universities network at the University of Tasmania. He travelled to Mackay to work as an organiser, supporting communities resisting approval of the coal port expansions at Abbott Point and Hay Point. More recently, Jack has volunteered as the Tasmanian Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and the Environment Officer at the Tasmanian University Union. He’s passionate about working and volunteering for a more just and equitable Australia.
Jackson Turner works with the Queensland Conservation Council as an organiser and campaigner on climate and biodiversity issues. His work involves working on campaign and organising strategy, supporting QCC’s member groups, managing online communication, writing submissions and liaising with government. He also works part-time at the Campaign for Australian Aid to have the cuts to Australian aid reversed.
Jackson was introduced to organising by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition when he attended PowerShift in 2013. For the next 18 months, he worked as Queensland Coordinator, running petitioning, outreach, phone banking, media events and trainings. In 2016, he coordinated the People’s Climate March in Brisbane.
Jacqui Mumford is the Network Organiser for the Nature Conservation Council New South Wales. She supports member groups as we hasten the transition from coal fired power to renewable energy. This means supporting member groups in diverse locations around the state as we align them with strategy, and provide the training and support they need to be effective in their local area. Previously, Jacqui has organised on a university campus, for election campaigns and with environmental organisations. Most recently, she was the coordinator of the Beyond Coal and Gas conference, bringing together grassroots groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, students, farmers and NGOs from around the country to share their experiences of opposing coal and coal seam gas.
John Edye has been working on community issues in his local district, inland from the NSW Central Coast, for nearly four years, as a member of the Mountain Districts Association. His community faced the possibility of CSG mining. They were vulnerable because of the lack of community engagement and understanding of the potential impacts. John’s campaign included doorknocking every house in the district and holding the biggest community gathering in the district’s history. He hopes to apply the skills I gain through the Fellowship to work more constructively with conflict in his community, to encourage the development of a positive process of place-making, to actively engage with the wider anti fossil fuel movement (particularly coal) and introduce the climate change message to his communities in a positive way.
Keith Huang works with 350.org Australia in their university divestment campaign as the Campus Digital and Comms coordinator. This work entails supporting grassroots fossil fuel divestment groups in digital organising and storytelling. For the past 2 years Keith has worked with university students in NSW and across the country to push their universities to divest from fossil fuels. It was during this time that Keith first learnt what community organising was and cut their teeth on different organising practices, running community organising training programs and encouraging students to value and practise deep relationship-building in their campaigns.
Michael Kane has worked as a community organiser with Lock the Gate, Clean Air Queensland and Solar Citizens. In all of these roles his focus was building and maintaining volunteer teams, building coalitions, political engagement, developing, refining or localising organisational objectives and developing and delivering tactics, actions, events and campaigns. For Michael, community organising means creating or guiding local groups, alliances or individuals who are affected by social, political or environmental injustice, assisting them to find their voice, to recognise their strengths and empower them to make positive change in their lives and in their communities.
Murrawah Johnson is a spokesperson and campaigner for the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council. In 2016, Murrawah was a member of the team that organised and mobilised over 100 Wangan and Jagalingou people in their first self-funded, organised and run Traditional Owners claim group authorisation meeting. This was the first claim meeting that the group could describe as a true act of self-determination. Participants in the meeting said “no” to coal mining company Adani.
During 2016, Murrawah was also a campaigns and community organising trainee with GetUp, working on the Federal election campaign and organising meetings around refugee rights issues.
Rachel Deans works with Market Forces where she supports people to attend Annual General Meetings in order to motivate companies to address climate change. She also volunteers with Healthy Futures, meeting with health professionals to support them to take action around health and environment. She supports these groups to motivate superannuation companies to divest from fossil fuels. Rachel has previously coordinated projects and campaigns with the Australian Students Environment Network, the Youth Action Network and GetUp.
Samuel Dariol works as an organiser with Jesuit Social Services to build, mobilise and maintain support in the Catholic community for a compassionate and welcoming approach to people seeking asylum in Australia. This project involves working with schools, parishes and community groups to shift public perceptions towards people seeking asylum, and subsequently to agitate for policy change. His work has ranged from organising large-scale actions, such as the National Day of Prayer and Action in schools, to direct lobbying through MP meetings. Samuel is working with the Refugee Council of Australia in their Media and Campaigns team.
Shannon Hurley is a Great Barrier Reef campaigner for the Australian Marine Conservation Society. The role entails responsibility for mobilising the South East Queensland community and increasing political commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The campaign seeks is to achieve greater protection for the Reef against the threats of global warming, coral bleaching and industrialisation through community empowerment and political lobbying. Shannon looks forward to developing stronger connections with other community organisers, to more effectively build movement-wide collaboration.
Stella Comyn is a community organiser working in Newcastle. Her focus is on grassroots environmental and social activism, including the Newcastle Climate Justice uprising, the Shut Youth Prisons campaign, Food Not Bombs and other initiatives. This year, she is helping organise the national Students of Sustainability conference in Newcastle.
Stella defines community Organising as, “Working with my community to create opportunities where we can further educate, strengthen and benefit… working harmoniously to empower each other, create freedom and bring about positive change.”
Wes Young has worked as a journalist reporting on community campaigns, as a communications advisor engaging with community campaigns and as a lawyer advising on community campaigns.
He defines community organising as a cooperative effort undertaken by people to either promote or protect the interests of that community. This manifests as a ‘bottom up’ movement where individual stakeholders who possess little influence on their own collaborate to pressure decision makers in government or industry.