environmental groups and social justice groups - Australian directory


We're building a platform to connect people to land, resources and each other so that more people can grow more food in more places. We want to build holistic and sustainable cities for generations to come by changing how we use vacant land, establishing strong relationships between community, business, and government.

Sometimes, when people want to start to grow food, it can be hard to find a site or know who to talk to for access or planning approval. We have noticed a lot of empty and underutilised land across Melbourne and beyond. We are helping to connect people who want to grow food, with land, with other people, and also with the right people in local government, to make sure everyone can work together.

Our website provides a map of actual and potential places to grow food. A team including representatives from local government review potential sites and help make suitable land easier to find.

Looking to start or join a food growing community? Use our site to find one near you and get involved. Got skills or connections? If you work in a related field, or for an organisation that wants to get involved with the project - for instance if you manage vacant land or work in a relevant area of local government - and would like to get involved, drop us a line.


350.org Australia

350.org was founded by U.S. author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, and a team of university friends. In 2007 the group organised over 2,000 rallies at iconic places in all 50 of the United States. Centred around creative action calling for real action on climate change, the campaign now reaches all over the world with 5,200 actions in 181 countries taking place in 2009. In early 2012, 350.org helped the world connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather through their Climate Impacts Day. 350.org continues to grow across the world, become more strategic, and more focused on building an unstoppable movement for climate solutions impossible to ignore. 350.org also run climate campaign Fossil Free calling for people to divest their money from institutions with investments in fossil fuels, and campaign against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Sign up to 350.org and start your own action group, see which groups is closest to you on the 350.org website or get in touch with 350.org Australia to find out what's already happening here.

Gadigal Country
New South Wales

3KND Indigenous Radio

3KND (kool and deadly) is Melbourne’s first Indigenous owned and managed radio station, providing a vital service not only to the Indigenous community but also to the wider community as a whole. 3KND provides information and entertainment for our community and anyone else who wants to join in. We provide specialist training in radio & media broadcasting to Indigenous community members. Media services available at 3KND Radio are wide ranging including; radio and online broadcast services, multimedia media training and studio recording hire and music production. 3KND radio station provides the community with 24 hours Broadcast service to our listeners in a friendly, informal, educational and positive in Indigenous spirit, whilst maintaining the highest standards of technical and programming excellence.

Listen in to hear broad coverage of community and Indigenous issues and events and awesome music. Training programs are available for Indigenous community members.

Wurundjeri Country

Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is a national icon for the Aboriginal sovereignty movement, which has consistently challenged the legitimacy of the sovereignty of the colonial regime. This stand was vindicated by the High Court Mabo decision which ended the claim that Australian sovereignty derived from terra nullius, land belonging to no-one and was based on ‘discovery’.

Subsequently, Australian sovereignty is deemed to derive from an ‘Act of State’, which is only a doctrine of international law, not international law itself. The Embassy has a strong association for grassroots Aboriginal nations and Peoples across Australia, because it is seen as the vehicle through which the resolution of the opposing Sovereignties will be ultimately resolved. The Embassy consistently calls for the Prime Minister to ‘come and talk’ in order to effect a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Instead, Embassy residents are repeatedly terrorised by massive police manoeuvres to remove the Embassy.

There is always a Corroboree for Sovereignty each year on 26 January and the following days. Everyone is welcome. Stay in touch via facebook for other Embassy activities and discussion on Sovereignty.

Ngunnawal Country


ActionAid thinks that securing human rights is the missing link between the world's rich and poor. It's the key to ending poverty. People living in poverty, particularly women and girls, are often treated as less than human. Robbed of their dignity and sense of equality, they often feel they have no rights. We help women and men fight for the rights that they are denied. Simple things, like the right to eat, the right to stay on their land, to an education and to have a say in the decisions that shape their lives. We’re not about giving handouts or telling people what to do, because in the long run we know that doesn’t work. Instead, we use training and facilitation techniques proven help people - especially women - find their OWN solutions. We help communities take action together to hold their governments to account, and we give local organisations our support where they need it. ActionAid reaches 25 million people in over 40 countries worldwide.

If you would like to volunteer for a role in our Sydney office, we would love to hear from you. All available roles are advertised as we do not keep applications on file. Most roles require you to commit to at least one to two days a week, during standard working hours, for three months or more. See the volunteer page on our website to apply.

New South Wales

Aid Watch

AID/WATCH is a membership-based watchdog on aid, trade and debt, working with communities in the Global South. We challenge practices which undermine the ability of communities to determine their own futures, and promote development alternatives based on social and environmental justice. We research and evaluate development policies and practices, and we campaign around these issues as part of the global justice movement. We are working towards a world free from structural inequalities, where people can determine their own futures within a global framework of mutual respect for the environment and for one another. A world where trade, aid and debt no longer exploit peoples, but instead promote environmental and social justice.

AID/WATCH active members/volunteers/interns are the essence of our activist and campaigning activities. Most work is undertaken on a voluntary basis and often involves direct contact with members. AID/WATCH philosophy is to ensure member input always drives campaigns. To find out more about volunteering/interning with AID/WATCH contact us.

New South Wales


ALERT's goals are to help world-class scientists to influence key environmental decisions, help scientists to communicate dynamically through social media, promote and disseminate cutting-edge environmental research and help journalists to connect with leading environmental experts. Through press releases. statements and social media. ALERT shines a spotlight on major environmental concerns.

Link up with ALERT on line to hear their latest releases or get in touch with a researcher on a specific environmental issue.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of over 4.6 million people committed to defending those who are denied justice or freedom. We campaign on a wide range of issues to protect and defend human rights. Our vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards. Campaigns include: refugees, indigenous peoples', women in Afghanistan, countries in crisis, weapons control, individuals at risk, demanding dignity, ending violence against women, ending the death penalty, torture and terror, and human rights education.

Become a member and add your voice to the campaign for human rights everywhere. Join over 160,000 people worldwide in our Urgent Action Network writing for those at immediate risk of human rights abuses. Take action online through our website. Become a youth activist. Raise funds for us. Check the website for internships and volunteer opportunities.


Anarchist Parents' Playgroup (Anarchkids)

We meet regularly for playgroup and meetings, social, community and activism support. In our regular meets we discuss ways we can integrate anarchist principles into our everyday lives, and to work towards a more integrated, engaged, cooperative, communal world. We support each other in parenting, everyday life, and activism. We are a queer and blended-family friendly space.

Come along to a meeting on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in Preston from 11 am to 3 pm (check in to make sure the times are still the same). Kids and their families and friends are welcome.


Animal Active

Animal Active is an activist and advocacy group for all animals with a strong focus on the rights of urban Australian native animals and companion animals. Animal Active challenges the neglect exploitation and abuse perpetrated on non-human animals with “think global/act local” campaigns. Animal Active campaigns include a dog re-homing scheme, control of urban cat populations by trap, neuter and release, protection of urban possums and kangaroo populations, protesting the use of animals in fashion and educating for a cruelty-free future. Confrontational when necessary but always non-violent, we work through channels of direct action, investigation and rescue as well as finding pathways to effectively network with other animal advocacy organizations (locally, nationally and globally).

We welcome anyone who wants to join our activist team. Get in touch.


Animal Liberation Victoria

Animal Liberation Victoria is an abolitionist organisation dedicated to helping all animals, with a strong focus on those factory farmed. The underlying goal of ALV is to abolish the property status of animals. Animal Liberation Victoria supports and manages the Animal Rescue Team which is the worlds first Openrescue and investigation group, formed in 1993. Committed activists save the lives of unattended and neglected animals who are left sick and dying in factory farms. Rescue team members also document (with video footage and photographs) the conditions for animals in factory farms, feedlots, live export and abattoirs.

There are various ways to get involved with ALV. If you would like to help out at events, stalls, protests or demos, then make sure you sign up for our Facebook page or check our Events Calendar for upcoming events, then simply let us know if you want to come along and help out. If you’d like to become more involved and help organise events, help out with office and admin tasks or become involved in our campaigns then please email us and we will forward you our volunteer forms.


Animalia Wildlife Shelter

Animalia is a native wildlife shelter in Frankston. All native animals that are found abandoned or injured are rescued, treated, rehabilitated, then released back into the wild. If you find injured wildlife anywhere in Victoria you can call for assistance as we have wildlife carer contacts state wide.For first aid advice for wildlife please don't hesitate to call, If you find injured wildlife please keep warm dark and quiet and contact our hotline immediately. Animalia also offers workshops and classes for carers, the community and school groups and proudly takes an active role in mentoring new people who wish to become involved in wildlife care, rescue and rehabilitation.

We encourage people from all walks of life,ages and cultures to take part in the shelter helper program. We are currently looking for our next intake of wildlife foster carers. This is a huge commitment, so it should not be entered into lightly.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia is Australia's foremost national animal protection organisation, representing some 40 member societies and thousands of individual supporters. Animals Australia has an unprecedented track record in investigating and exposing animal cruelty and for conducting world-first strategic public awareness campaigns. Animals Australia's investigations have been featured on every current affairs program in the country including Four Corners, 60 Minutes, Today Tonight, A Current Affair, The Project, Lateline and Landline. Investigations throughout the Middle East and South East Asia exposing cruelty in the live export trade resulted in the first ever suspension of live animal exports – to Egypt in 2006 then Indonesia in 2011 - and sweeping reforms to the operation of the entire industry.

In the Take Action section of the Animals Australia website you can read a guide on cruelty free living, become a fundraiser for animals, join the action network or read a guide on DIY campaigning. For young people there's Animals Australia unleashed.


ANTaR is a peoples’ movement, committed to the rights and perspectives of Indigenous peoples to determine their own future with the support of the Australian People. ANTaR coordinates a major national community education and awareness campaign on native title, reconciliation and other issues. This includes: maintaining close liaison with Indigenous leaderships and communities; conducting national campaigns and lobbying on Indigenous affairs issues; and conducting education and awareness projects targeted at non-Indigenous Australians and international audiences. ANTaR's purpose has always been to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people speaking for themselves, rather than to speak for them. Central to ANTaR's activities has been the Sea of Hands. Over 300,000 Australians have put their signatures on a hand in the Sea of Hands and helped in its installation in locations around Australia.

To get involved you join your local ANTaR group, or take action on specific campaigns such as those addressing constitutional, health and justice inequality and implementation of the United Nations human rights charter. ANTaR holds a number of events throughout the year to promote key campaign issues or celebrate important dates on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander calendar. Find out what's happening near you.

New South Wales
Northern Territory
Western Australia
South Australia
lutruwita (Tasmania)

Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia

The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) acts as an umbrella group for organisations campaigning against the nuclearisation of Australia. Our role is mainly in research, political lobbying and publication of information that we believe the community needs in order to make informed decisions about uranium mining, nuclear power, weapons and waste. We are not a 'special interest group.' We are the tip of the iceberg, representing the 70-80% of Western Australians who oppose uranium mining and waste dumping in Australia, particularly in our home state. Toro Energy is now a step closer to opening WA's first uranium mine at Lake Way near Wiluna in WA's far east, right at the gateway to our celebrated Canning Stock route. This mine proposal jeopardises a number of protected species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world, and opens the door for the nuclear industry to expand its presence in this fragile desert ecosystem.

Connect with us through our facebook page to keep up to date with campaigns.

Western Australia

Arid Lands Environment Centre

ALEC is a founding consortium member of both Alice Solar City and Alice Water Smart. It has developed community food and education networks across a wide-range of partner organisations and groups and continues to advocate strongly for a nuclear-free, renewable energy future. ALEC’s strength is its ability to deliver sustainability programs while continually working to inspire and influence ecologically-sustainable policy. ALEC is represented on a host of government committees, stakeholder reference groups and expert panels, while maintaining a holistic, community-based approach to environmental protection and sustainability in the arid zone.

We are seeking volunteers who are able to help with offfice administrative support, our upcoming Ecofair, at the community garden, ALEC info stalls, and fundraising at specific times, eg. camel burger stalls, other ALEC events. Email communications@alec.org.au to register your interest, and then we can contact you when needed.

Northern Territory

Arthur Rylah Institute

The ARI for Environmental Research is a leading centre for applied ecological research, with an emphasis on flora, fauna and biodiversity issues. We are the biodiversity research base for the Department of Environment and Primary Industries in Victoria. Research areas include fire ecology and recovery, threatened species and communities, mapping and measuring biodiversity and river and forest ecology. (note: from the look of the ARI website, it appears as though this extremely important research body is being subsumed and diminished into the Dept of the Environment and Primary Industries).

There are lots of publications available on our website and a free public seminar series.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

In 2001 we opened our doors in a tiny shop front in Footscray with only a few hundred dollars and a few boxes of food to our name. We have grown to be Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation. Despite growing a hundred fold since, in the number of people we help, the services we offer and the people who volunteer we have not lost the ethos and spirit that we were founded on. At our heart is the principle that we turn no one seeking asylum away. ASRC provides people with their basic needs for survival while at the same time working for real social change. We are working for a system that provides for humane and just treatment of all people seeking asylum.

Get involved with ASRC by giving your time, giving goods, using our social enterprises that employ refugees (catering, cleaning and employment services) and campaigning with us to end the unjust treatment of refugees in Australia.


Australia for Dolphins

Australia for Dolphins aim to stop cruelty to, and gain legal protection for, small cetaceans (dolphins and other small whales). AFD focusses on small cetaceans in particular because these highly sentient animals have in practice no international legal protection, and are subjected to some of the most extreme cruelty inflicted on animals anywhere in the world. Where dolphin hunting is taking place illegally, we'll fight to stop it through the courts. We'll also bring organisations that support dolphin hunting to account through legal action. Beyond legal efforts, AFD conducts investigations, research and global advocacy campaigns to influence decision-makers to bring an end to dolphin hunting. AFD also works to stop cruelty to dolphins and whales in captivity, particularly those who are the victims of wild dolphin hunts. We do this by seeking law reform for better protection of dolphins, and conducting investigations and public campaigns to ensure aquariums comply with the law and are held accountable for cruelty to animals in their care.

To get involved you can become a member here, check out our shop, or join us on facebook page.


Australian Conservation Foundation

The Australian Conservation Foundation is committed to inspiring people to achieve a healthy environment for all Australians. For 40 years we have been a strong voice for the environment, promoting solutions through research, consultation, education and partnerships. We work with the community, business and government to protect, restore and sustain our environment. Campaigns areas include oceans and rivers, land and forests, climate change and energy, sustainable cities, new economics, nuclear free and sustainable living.

Sign up online to receive monthly email newsletters on ACF activities, and regular Take Action newsletters, which show you how to support our campaigns or register to volunteer.


Australian Earth Laws Alliance

AELA’s vision is to help build human societies that live within their ecological limits, respect the rights of nature and nurture the health of the wider Earth community. We do this by increasing the understanding and practical implementation of Earth centred law, governance and ethics (or ‘Earth jurisprudence’) in Australia. Earth jurisprudence is a new legal theory and growing social movement. It proposes that we rethink our legal, political, economic and governance systems so that they support, rather than undermine, the integrity and health of the Earth.

As a member-driven organisation, AELA is keen to operate as a friendly and inclusive ‘umbrella’ for member projects. There are many ways that people can engage with AELA’s work. The first step is to become an AELA member.


Australian Ecosystems Foundation

Australian Ecosystems Foundation is dedicated to saving Australian wildlife by protecting habitats and maintaining natural ecological processes to conserve whole ecosystems and their biodiversity. We are involved in the management of over 3000 hectares of land as well as conducting research and captive breeding to improve the future for Australian endangered wildlife. Current projects include protecting the eastern quoll, koala, mountain pypmy possum and copper wing butterfly and training dogs to detect endangered wildlife.

To register your interest in volunteering, please complete our online form or call us. There are lots of jobs including marketing, fundraising, outdoor activities and events.

New South Wales

Australian Farmers' Markets Association

AFMA works to preserve farmland and sustainable agriculture; to support and stimulate the trading and growth of independent primary producers, hobby farmers, community and home gardeners, and associated artisan; to provide people with regular supplies of fresh food and access to improved nutrition and contribute to community health.

Take a look at the AFMA directory to find your local market, and become a member if you're a grower.

New South Wales
Western Australia
South Australia
lutruwita (Tasmania)

Australian Forests and Climate Alliance

The AFCA purpose is to help empower environmental organisations and communities to affect change and to provide a common voice to encourage decision makers and industry to act to protect, connect and restore native forests for biodiversity, our climate, water and wildlife. We educate and establish networks by liaising with other groups, public, government and industry. We encourage a transition to ecologically sensitive forest stewardship and support this transition by managing relevant projects funded by in kind, government, corporate, or public donation.

If you are part of a community conservation organisations that is actively working to protect Australia’s biodiverse native forests, contact us to become a member of the alliance. Check out the Take Action page of our website to see how you can be involved as an individual.

Australian Marine Conservation Society

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is the voice for Australia's ocean wildlife. We are an independent charity, staffed by a committed group of professional and passionate scientists, educators and advocates who have defended Australia's oceans for over 45 years. Our paid and volunteer staff work every day on behalf of the community to protect our ocean wildlife. AMCS works on the big issues concerning the sea. We work to recover our threatened species, stop overfishing and create marine national parks, places in the sea where our wildlife is safe from harm.

Every little action makes an ocean of difference for our marine wildlife. Send a letter to your local politician, write a letter to the editor, raise some funds, sign our online petitions, volunteer or help spread the word for our ocean wildlife. Together we can change the world, starting today


The Active groups directory lists over one hundred independent community based environmental groups and social justice groups working for real social change. Use the search menus above to find out about the people taking action and creating a better world and how you can join them.

Throughout history, significant gains for human rights, social justice and environmental protection has come about because of the pressure generated by concerned groups of people talking up, standing up and taking action.

The power of this collective voice in Australia has resulted in the creation of our National Parks, the prevention of the damming of our rivers, the refusal of radioactive waste dumps, the closing of uranium mines on sacred land, and the ongoing struggle for Indigenous sovereignty.

Social change is achieved with diversity of tactics and channels starting from the grass roots up. From the actions of each individual, to groups of friends, community groups, non-government organisations, government and finally industry, we can change the world.

Different groups work in very different ways. The way that you like to work with people and the level of involvement you want will determine how much satisfaction you get out of a particular group.

If you don't find the group that works for you the first time, don't give up! There are lots of groups working in different ways. If there's no group that's focusing on what you care about, consider starting it up.

The reason Margaret Meade's quote is used over and over again is because it's true.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Add your environmental group or social justice group to the directory.

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
e-mail icon