James Whelan’s publications

Edited texts

Whelan, J. ed. (2006) Partnership-Based Social Research for Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Queensland, State of Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water, Brisbane.

Monographs

Whelan, J. (2012) Big Society and Australia: How the UK Government is dismantling the state and what it means for Australia, Centre for Policy Development, Sydney.

Whelan, J. (2011) The State of the Service: An alternative report, Centre for Policy Development, Sydney.

Book chapters

Whelan, J. & La Rocca, S. with Hammond, H., MacLeod, J. & Gell, P. (2012) ‘Strategising to learn: Learning to Strategise’ in P. Westoby & L.Shevellar, L. (eds.) Learning and mobilising for community development: A radical tradition of community based education and training, Ashgate, Surrey, UK, pp.69-80.

Lyons, K., Scrinis, G., & Whelan, J. (2012) ‘Nanotechnology, Agriculture and Food’, in Donald Macluran and Natalia Radywyl (Eds), Nanotechnology and Global Sustainability, Taylor and Francis, London.

Whelan, J (2011) ‘Climate activism and transformation’, in David Wright, Catherine Camden-Pratt, Stuart Hill (eds) Social Ecology: Applying Ecological Understanding to our Lives and our Planet, Hawthorn Press, Stroud UK.

Whelan, J. (2007) ‘Community action, engagement and conflict’, A Nelson (ed.) Steering Sustainability in an Urbanising World; policy practice and performance, Ashgate, London, pp. 139-152.

Whelan, J. (2007) ‘Community decision-making and empowerment’, in Regina Souter (ed) Building the Bridges: Seven years of Australian coastal cooperative research, Coastal CRC, pp.129-135.

Oliver, P. & Whelan, J. (2006) ‘The place, limits and practice of collaboration: Lessons from regionalisation and community participation in Coastal natural resource management’, in N.Lazarow, R.Souter, R.Fearon and S.Dovers (eds) Coastal Management in Australia: Key institutional and governance issues for coastal natural resource management and planning, Coastal CRC, Brisbane, Australia, pp.69-78.

Whelan, J. (2005) ‘A Hard Road to Learn: learning from failed social action’, in J.Crowther, V.Galloway & I.Martin (eds) Popular Education: Engaging the Academy, NIACE, Leicester, UK, pp.157-168.

Whelan, J. (2002) ‘Smogbusters in Queensland’, in K.Phillips (ed) Local Heroes: Australian crusades from the environmental frontline, Pluto Press, Sydney, pp.20-40.

Journal articles

Whelan, J. (2012) ‘Community climate action’, Social Alternatives.

Lyons, K. & Whelan, J. (2010) ‘Community engagement to facilitate, legitimise and accelerate the advancement of nanotechnologies in Australia’, NanoEthics, vol. 4, Issue 1, pp. 53-66.

Flowers, R., Guevara, R. & Whelan, J. (2009) ‘Popular and informal environmental education – The need for more research in an ”emerging” field of practice’, Report (German Adult Education journal).

Whelan, J. (2005) ‘Popular education for the environment: Building interest in the educational dimension of social action’, Australian Journal of Environmental Education, vol. 21, pp.51-62.

Whelan, J. & Lyons, K. (2005) ‘Community Engagement or Community Action: Choosing Not to Play the Game’, Journal of Environmental Politics, 14(5), pp.596-610.

Whelan, J.& Oliver, P. (2005) Regional Community-Based Planning: the Challenge of Collaborative Environmental GovernanceAustralasian Journal of Environmental Management, 12(3) pp.126-135.

Whelan, J. & La Rocca, S. (2004) ‘Not Waiting for a Rainy Day: Professional Development to Promote Informed and Engaged Catchment Communities’, Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 3(4) pp.239-247.

Whelan, J. (2002) ‘Community Organising By the Book: A Critical Appraisal of the Midwest Academy Community Organiser Training Program’, Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 1(2) pp.115-122.

Whelan, J. (2000) ‘Learning to Save the World: Observations of training for effective advocacy in the Australian Environment Movement’, Convergence, 33(3) pp.62-74.

Refereed Conference Papers

Whelan, J. (2005) ‘Six reasons not to engage: confrontation, compromise and the commons’, Conference Proceedings, International Conference on Engaging Communities, jointly sponsored by the United Nations and the Queensland Government, Edited by D.Gardner and K.Scott.

Whelan, J. & Lyons, K. (2004) Rethinking deliberative governance: dissecting the Queensland landclearing campaign, Conference Proceedings, Ecopolitics VX.

Whelan, J. & La Rocca , S. (2004) ‘Persistent activists: strategies to sustain long-term environmental activism’, Conference Proceedings, Ecopolitics VX.

Whelan, J. (2003) ‘Are academics irrelevant? Case studies of collaborative research with community-based environmental advocates, Proceedings, Inside Out Conference ‘Charting Uncertainty: Capital, Community and Citizenship’, July 2003, Ipswich.

Non-refereed conference papers

Whelan, J. (2006) ‘Community Decision-making and Empowerment: Findings from Six Years of Citizen Science Research’, Coast to Coast National Conference Melbourne.

Whelan, J. & Oliver, P. (2003), ‘Insiders and Outsiders: Participatory decision-making and environmental advocac’y, International Riversymposium Conference Proceedings.

Whelan, J. (2004) ‘Reformers, Reactionaries and Reinvention’, New Forms of Activism Seminar, University of Technology Sydney, 12/3/04.

Whelan, J. (2001) ‘Powerful Voices: Learning to Speak out for the Environment’, Conference Proceedings, Biennial Conference on Communication and Environment, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, 27-30/7/01.

Other publications

Oakley, J., Dean, Anni & Whelan, J. 2013, ‘Campaigning to stop the fourth coal terminal in Newcastle’, Chain Reaction, Issue 117, Friends of the Earth, pp.24-25.

Dean, A. & Whelan, J. 2012, ‘Sick of Coal: Community attitudes toward a fourth coal terminal in Newcastle’, Hunter Community Environment Centre.

Mackenzie, J., Nolan, S. & Whelan, J. 2009, ‘Collaborative Water Planning: Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Public Participation, Volume 5. Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Project, Griffith University.

Whelan et al 2009, Proposal for a TRaINING Package for agencies, industries and community groups in best-practice water planning processes. Report to the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Program.

Whelan, J., Mackenzie, J. & Oliver, P. (2006) NRM Incentives Platform: Incentives to shape natural resource management practices in peri-urban landscapes.

Mackenzie, J., Whelan, J. & Oliver, P. (2006) Reconnecting Fragmented Landscapes: A Scoping Study on Natural Resource and Environmental Management in the Peri-Urban Landscapes of South East Queensland.

Whelan, J. (2006) Program Evaluation of the 2004–2006 Social, Research, Development and Extension (SE03) Scheme, Coastal CRC, Brisbane.

Whelan, J. (2006) Community Action for Sustainability, Spinifex, Queensland Conservation Council, p.6.

Whelan, J. & La Rocca (2006) ‘Campaigning to Win’, EnvironmentNSW, Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales, pp.12-13.

Whelan, J. & Oliver, P. (2006) ‘The place, limits and practice of collaboration: lessons from case studies in community participation in natural resource management’, Technical Report 56, Coastal CRC.

Whelan, J. & Lyons, K. (2005) ‘Strategic Environmental Campaigning: Reflections on the Queensland Landclearing VIctory’, Chain Reaction, pp.11-13.

Whelan, J. & La Rocca, S. (2005) ‘Education action supporting environment groups’, Report for the nature Conservation Council of New South Wales.

Oliver, P., Whelan, J. & Mackenzie, J. (2005) Bridges and barriers to collaborative natural resource management in South East Queensland. Coastal Technical Report 19, Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management.

Whelan, J. (2005) ‘Environmental democracy up for grabs: a cross-roads for the Australian environment?’, Ecopolitics XVI Conference Proceedings, Griffith University.

Whelan, J. & La Rocca, S. (2005) ‘Mobilising community action for green peace in the Australia Pacific Region’, Report to Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Oliver, P. & Whelan, J. (2004) ‘Regional Community-based planning: the challenge of participatory environmental governance’, Technical Report 44, Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management.

La Rocca, S. & Whelan, J. (2004) ‘Environmental Advocacy Online’, Groundswell No.9. Friends of the Earth, Brisbane, p.10.

La Rocca, S., Whelan, A. & Whelan, J. (2003) Tree of hope, Brisbane’s rally against landclearing (mpeg 7mins)

Oliver, P. & Whelan, J. (2003) ‘Regional natural resource governance, collaboration and partnership’, Technical Report, Cooperative Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management.

La Rocca, S. & Whelan, J. (2002) ‘We All Use Water: promoting involved and informed communities’, Water, 29(4), pp.19-21.

Whelan, J. (2002) ‘Collective action frames: why theorise about how change happens?’, Spinifex, 23(3) p.17.

Whelan, J. (2001) ‘What do universities have to offer the environment movement?’ Spinifex, 22(2).

Whelan, J. (1997) ‘Making connections: Community attitudes to transport-related air pollution in metropolitan Brisbane’, Queensland Conservation Council, Brisbane.

What are people saying about us?

John Hepburn

John Hepburn, Outreach Manager, Greenpeace Australia Pacific

When you stop learning, you stop growing. For social movements and organisations to grow and develop, they need to learn from their successes and failures. The Change Agency have played a key role in helping Greenpeace to do this, to reflect on our work, to focus on what is effective, and to map out some exciting new strategic directions. They've supported our staff and volunteers with some great practical training on campaign strategy, and, of course, they've been a joy to work with.
The Change Agency
2014-03-30T07:35:05+11:00
John Hepburn
When you stop learning, you stop growing. For social movements and organisations to grow and develop, they need to learn from their successes and failures. The Change Agency have played a key role in helping Greenpeace to do this, to reflect on our work, to focus on what is effective, and to map out some exciting new strategic directions. They've supported our staff and volunteers with some great practical training on campaign strategy, and, of course, they've been a joy to work with.

Claire O’Rourke, National Director, Solar Citizens

The fellowship has helped me further develop the skills and strategic thinking necessary to ensure that we deliver sound policy by working in partnership with our supporters and volunteers in communities across Australia.

Organising helps to build relationships and skills both within and between communities and the fellowship follows the same approach. The fellowship is essential for organisations that are working to build power within communities or considering making the leap into this work. 
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T21:03:10+11:00
The fellowship has helped me further develop the skills and strategic thinking necessary to ensure that we deliver sound policy by working in partnership with our supporters and volunteers in communities across Australia. Organising helps to build relationships and skills both within and between communities and the fellowship follows the same approach. The fellowship is essential for organisations that are working to build power within communities or considering making the leap into this work. 

Chloe Aldenhoven, Victorian Lock the Gate Coordinator

A packed program of skills, stories and discussions to figure out how to build the place of community development in our campaigns. So important to draw on the experience and wisdom of past campaigns and seasoned campaigners.  But not only that, an amazing opportunity to learn with and from the cohort of campaigners from across the country who between them have decades of organising experience.  Skills, conversations and connections that are going to be essential to us building a movement to achieve climate justice in Australia.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:27:44+11:00
A packed program of skills, stories and discussions to figure out how to build the place of community development in our campaigns. So important to draw on the experience and wisdom of past campaigns and seasoned campaigners.  But not only that, an amazing opportunity to learn with and from the cohort of campaigners from across the country who between them have decades of organising experience.  Skills, conversations and connections that are going to be essential to us building a movement to achieve climate justice in Australia.
Richard Yin

Dr Richard Yin, Doctors for the Environment Australia 2020

We had the privilege of working with James Whelan and The Change Agency over two days to clarify our understanding of campaigning and advocacy. With over 20 doctors and medical students from varied experiences in advocacy work present and a very complex and full agenda, the workshop was a huge success made possible through a very thoughtful and professional facilitation process from James. I can only commend the quality of his work and thank him once again for the weekend.
The Change Agency
2020-02-25T11:16:05+11:00
Richard Yin
We had the privilege of working with James Whelan and The Change Agency over two days to clarify our understanding of campaigning and advocacy. With over 20 doctors and medical students from varied experiences in advocacy work present and a very complex and full agenda, the workshop was a huge success made possible through a very thoughtful and professional facilitation process from James. I can only commend the quality of his work and thank him once again for the weekend.

Hayley Troupe, 350.org organiser

The community organising fellowship has expanded my theoretical and practical knowledge of how and why to organise. Through the Fellowship I have so far gained new skills to lead strategic, collaborative and powerful university divestment campaigns. I have learnt so much from the well-structured workshops and the inspiring sharing of experiences. I look forward to sharing my experiences and learnings with others involved in the university divestment movement.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:29:30+11:00
The community organising fellowship has expanded my theoretical and practical knowledge of how and why to organise. Through the Fellowship I have so far gained new skills to lead strategic, collaborative and powerful university divestment campaigns. I have learnt so much from the well-structured workshops and the inspiring sharing of experiences. I look forward to sharing my experiences and learnings with others involved in the university divestment movement.

Harry Jennens, The Climate and Health Action Network

The Fellowship has increased both my skills in community organising and my confidence in sharing these skills with others.  The immersive workshop format has provided precious space for face-to-face learning, sharing ideas with facilitators and other delegates, and building strong relationships with current and future collaborators in the climate movement.  I am confident that our entire cohort will go on to empower others in our communities, and that we’ll continue to support each other in this work.  The Fellowship will be instrumental in helping us build a broad, diverse and powerful movement.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T19:36:21+11:00
The Fellowship has increased both my skills in community organising and my confidence in sharing these skills with others.  The immersive workshop format has provided precious space for face-to-face learning, sharing ideas with facilitators and other delegates, and building strong relationships with current and future collaborators in the climate movement.  I am confident that our entire cohort will go on to empower others in our communities, and that we’ll continue to support each other in this work.  The Fellowship will be instrumental in helping us build a broad, diverse and powerful movement.

Anna Rose, ASEN Convenor and NUS National Environment Officer 2005

As a direct result of the training you ran at Melbourne Uni, they will be running a real campaign on public transport concessions next year and are even investing in properly researching so they can have a strategic, directed campaign.
The Change Agency
2014-03-30T07:48:37+11:00
As a direct result of the training you ran at Melbourne Uni, they will be running a real campaign on public transport concessions next year and are even investing in properly researching so they can have a strategic, directed campaign.

Manny Pasqualini, Community Power Agency

One highlight for me is the focus on relational organising; the importance of taking the time to really get to know the people you work with. The deeper the relationship, the better it stands up to testing times and the sweeter it feels when your movement achieves success.

 The diversity present within this year’s cohort is another major highlight for me. To be able to spend this time learning and practicing day in and day out with people from right across the country and right across the breadth of the climate action movement has been an honour. To share this time and space with two wonderfully inspiring indigenous Australians has filled a gap in my education until now and opened up a real sense of belonging to an Australia that I want to be a part of.
The Change Agency
2015-03-17T21:10:26+11:00
One highlight for me is the focus on relational organising; the importance of taking the time to really get to know the people you work with. The deeper the relationship, the better it stands up to testing times and the sweeter it feels when your movement achieves success.  The diversity present within this year’s cohort is another major highlight for me. To be able to spend this time learning and practicing day in and day out with people from right across the country and right across the breadth of the climate action movement has been an honour. To share this time and space with two wonderfully inspiring indigenous Australians has filled a gap in my education until now and opened up a real sense of belonging to an Australia that I want to be a part of.

Jono La Nauze, FoE Melbourne

Totally awesome working with you guys. Thanks for your patience, commitment, considered and constructive guidance and generously giving so much time and effort. Thank you also for having faith in the process. Working with tCA was easy and a pleasure.
The Change Agency
2014-03-30T08:23:37+11:00
Totally awesome working with you guys. Thanks for your patience, commitment, considered and constructive guidance and generously giving so much time and effort. Thank you also for having faith in the process. Working with tCA was easy and a pleasure.
Jane Stabb

Jane Stabb, Community Organiser, Environment Victoria

The Community Organising Fellowship workshop was extraordinarily impactful for me. I had a chance to investigate the theory behind effective organising and campaigning tools that I can use in my practice every day but very rarely interrogate or reflect on.  I found new frameworks and structures that will improve my practice so much. I had the space and place to interrogate my campaign with the assistance of masters!  And I was given the opportunity to build relationships with leaders in my field, to be supported in my thinking by them and to support them by sharing our practice and experiences... 100% pure gold.
The Change Agency
2014-05-23T16:45:53+10:00
Jane Stabb
The Community Organising Fellowship workshop was extraordinarily impactful for me. I had a chance to investigate the theory behind effective organising and campaigning tools that I can use in my practice every day but very rarely interrogate or reflect on.  I found new frameworks and structures that will improve my practice so much. I had the space and place to interrogate my campaign with the assistance of masters!  And I was given the opportunity to build relationships with leaders in my field, to be supported in my thinking by them and to support them by sharing our practice and experiences... 100% pure gold.
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The Change Agency