environmental groups and social justice groups - Australian directory

Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance

CVB is creating strong community-driven ways to re-connect isolated areas of bushland and strengthen natural processes like nutrient cycles and gene flow through collaborative nature conservation across the whole of central Victoria.These “biolinks” cushion native plants and wildlife against climate change and will deliver large-scale conservation outcomes. Central Victoria is a crucial region for nature conservation, as it sits at the southern end of the Great Divide and spans from drier northern plains across the woodlands and forests of the divide to cooler, more southerly hills, gorges and grasslands.

The Alliance is currently comprised of 12 member landcare networks, conservation management networks and environment groups extending from the Grampians across to the Australian Alps and from the Dividing Ranges to the Murray River. If you're a local environment group, contact us to become part of the alliance.

Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions

ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) aims to be the world's leading research centre for solving environmental problems and for evaluating the outcomes of environmental actions. We will benefit environmental science, policy and management across Australia and around the world by solving complex problems of environmental management and monitoring in a rapidly changing and uncertain world. CEED commenced in 2011 with funding from the Australian Research Council. The need for the Centre is based on the premise that in Australia and around the world, biodiversity and environmental problems have not been property formulated and that mistakes have been made in allocating scarce resources.

Despite the planet facing the sixth mass extinction of species, most conservation management is not evaluated or efficient. CEED is providing international leadership in tackling complex problems of environmental management and monitoring in an uncertain world.

Take a look at our training calendar, attend our bi-annual conference and track conferences around the world on our global calendar.


CERES Community Environment Park

CERES (the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) is a community environment project that initiates and supports environmental sustainability and social equity with an emphasis on cultural richness and community participation. The site has displays and functional demonstrations on a range of environmental issues to show just what can be achieved at household, community and global levels. Some of the things you'll find on site include: an organic cafe; community gardens; an animal farm; a permaculture and bushfood nursery; and an organic market. Environmental education lies at the heart of CERES, which has grown from its humble beginnings into one of the largest sustainability education providers in Victoria. CERES Education provides a wide range of services to schools as well as sustainable living and gardening workshops for everyone, and overseas volunteering opportunities on sustainable projects.

There are many ways to get involved at CERES, from volunteering (check the volunteering page for opportunities), attending a workshop, community event or hiring one of many spots for your own event.



Change.org is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see. There are more than 70 million Change.org users in 196 countries, and every day people use our tools to transform their communities – locally, nationally and globally. Whether it's a mother fighting bullying in her daughter's school, customers pressing banks to drop unfair fees, or citizens holding corrupt officials to account, thousands of campaigns started by people like you have won on Change.org – and more are winning every week.

Create your own petition on Change.org and get it out to the world. Sign and share environmental and social justice petitions.

New South Wales


ChilOut wishes to place the issue of asylum seeking children into the realm of child’s rights and child protection. The decision of whether a child is found to be a refugee is an immigration issue: how that child is treated whilst awaiting the decision is a child protection issue. All children regardless of race, religion, class or immigration status should be covered by child protection laws. There should never be a loophole for child abuse or neglect. Our aim is to see Federal legislation enacted to ensure no child is detained in an Australian immigration detention centre for more than 14 days; and the appointment of an independent guardian for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Australia.

Find out how to host your own #freethechildren event with our DIY kit. See our website for questions you can ask your MP about children in detention. Share striking images from our gallery so that people are aware what's going on. If you're a student, take part in Detention for Detention.

New South Wales

Choose Cruelty Free

Choose cruelty free actively campaigns for an end to animal testing of cosmetics, toiletries and other household products. CCF encourages manufacturers and service providers to adopt a cruelty-free ethic; surveys companies which claim to sell products that have not been tested on animals and do not contain cruelly-derived ingredients and provides accreditation through the cruelty free logo; and makes people aware of their power as consumers to change attitudes about testing products on animals.

Find out about the extent of animal testing, find cruelty free alternatives and get involved in campaigns through the CCF website.

Choose Cruelty Free

Choose Cruelty Free aims to make people aware of their power, as consumers, to change attitudes about testing products on animals. CCF publishes and distributes the PPL (Preferred Products List), a booklet listing companies and brand names that operate under a cruelty-free ethic, and encourages manufacturers and service providers to adopt a cruelty-free ethic. CCF surveys companies which claim to sell products that have not been tested on animals and do not contain cruelly-derived ingredients and accredits (without charging a fee) companies which satisfy CCF that they do not test their products on animals and do not contain cruelly derived ingredients. CCF publishes a list of which companies are on the list (avail on website) to inform people of which brands are safe.

To go cruelty free, inform yourself of cruelty free alternatives through the CCF website or request a Preferred Product List. Join in events like the Cruelty Free Lifestyles Expo.


ClimArte harnesses the creative power of the Arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change by: producing, promoting and facilitating arts events; providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information on sustainable Arts practice at an individual and organisational level; and creating an alliance of Arts practitioners and organisations that advocate for immediate, effective and creative action on climate change.

Sign up to the ClimArte newsletter to stay updated on events and opportunities to get involved. Tell us what events you have coming up and we will list and link to them in our What’s On section.


Climate Action Canberra

We are a group of people in the Canberra region who are concerned about climate change and want to catalyse an emergency response to the climate crisis. We often focus on whats happening in Federal parliament. We are the Canberra chapter of several national campaigns as well as working with other Canberra groups to cut the cities CO2 emissions . We aim to act as a hub for information and an entry point for people to facilitate their productive engagement in climate change issues.

Join us and get involved with lobby our federal and territory governments, writing submissions, organising forums, rallies, films, stalls, media events, conferences and social gatherings.

Climate Action Network Australia

Climate Action Network Australia is an alliance of over 75 local, state, national and international environmental, development, research and advocacy groups from throughout Australia. CANA was formed in 1998 to be the Australian branch of the global CAN network, with representative groups in over 70 countries. CANA’s core principle is that a cohesive, mutual and cooperative civil society is an essential prerequisite if Australia is to effectively and justly meet the challenges posed by climate change. CANA provides the behind-the-scenes work necessary to ensure that such cooperation is possible.

Does your climate action group or civil society organisation want the benefits of being part of a supportive and collaborative network dedicated to helping amplify your efforts to secure effective climate change action here in Australia? Find out more and download an application form from our website.

New South Wales

Climate Council

After thousands of Australians chipped in to Australia's biggest crowd-funding campaign, the abolished Climate Commission has relaunched as the new, independent Climate Council. We exist to provide independent, authoritative climate change information to the Australian public. Why? Because our response to climate change should be based on the best science available. We're a fast growing group of people made up of expert Councillors, staff, volunteers and supporters. Together we are doing everything we can to spread independent and accurate information on climate change.

Get informed about climate change! Visit the Climate Council website to see stacks of reports on all different climate issues. Support the Council by becoming a member to make sure Australia has strong independent climate research.

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

Climate Emergency Action Network SA

The Climate Emergency Action Network of South Australia (CLEAN) is a grassroots climate action group, linked nationally with the Community Climate Network. CLEAN organises community actions, outreach and education in Adelaide and Port Augusta. CLEAN aims to help build a broad, popular climate movement and can assist Adelaide communities to start climate action groups, conduct presentations, or access information. CLEAN believes in a fast transition to a zero carbon economy, with a just transition for Australian workers in affected industries.

Contact the organisers to find out when the next CLEAN meeting is.

South Australia

Climate Emergency Declaration

We call on our elected leaders to declare a climate emergency and initiate a society-wide mobilisation. As of October 2019, Climate emergency declarations have been made in 1,169 jurisdictions and local governments cover 290 million citizens in 23 countries.

On the Climate Emergency Declaration website you can keep up to date with who has declared a climate emergency, find resources to campaign for your local government to declare a climate emergency, find local climate action groups ad petitions and find lots of other resources and articles about the global mobilsation for climate action.

Coalition Against Duck Shooting

The eight so-called game species that are allowed to be shot during the duck season are protected native waterbirds for nine months of year. These birds are an integral part of Australia's ecosystem. There is absolutely no scientific or environmental reason for allowing these beautiful waterbirds to be shot. The Victorian Labor Government actively promotes the recreational shooting of Australia's defenseless native waterbirds. They are environmental vandals. Each year, the state Labor Government services a small minority of duck shooters by declaring a duck season. The Coalition opposes this government sanctioned practice and works to actively protect and rescue targeted birds during duck season. Activities include awareness raising about the environmental risks and cruelty of duck shooting; political lobbying against legal duck shooting; and direct action (scaring birds away pre-emptively during duck season and rescuing injured birds).

To get involved, join a rescue team! Or help the coalition out in other ways. Join up through the website.

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses

The racing industry has operated for over 150 years without any consideration given to the animals it uses. As a result, The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses was formed in 2008 to address the serious animal welfare concerns that are rife throughout the racing industry. By using public opinion and concern, CPR is able to address these serious animal welfare concerns and bring about positive changes for the animals and the industry. CPR is currently made up of six animal protection organisations across six states and territories.

The racing industry is big business with big bucks so we need all hands on deck to ensure that the interests of racehorses are loudly represented, and to bring about change within the racing industry. Volunteers are an integral part of the running of CPR. You can register through the CPR website to get started.

Collective Shout

Collective Shout is a grassroots campaigns movement mobilising and equipping individuals and groups to target corporations, advertisers, marketers and media which objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services.

Collective Shout names, shames and exposes corporations, advertisers, marketers and media engaging in practices which are offensive and harmful, especially to women and girls, but also to men and boys. Collective Shout is for anyone concerned about the increasing pornification of culture and the way its messages have become entrenched in mainstream society, presenting distorted and dishonest ideas about women and girls, sexuality and relationships.

Join us and be part of the campaign, request a speaker, or come to our events.

Collingwood Children's Farm

Collingwood Children's Farm is a slice of rural life in the city, situated on the banks of the Yarra. The philosophies of permaculture, land care and organic farming guide what we do here. We concentrate on vegetable and fruit crops, as well as growing food for our animals. Using natural ways, we are working towards building up the richness and vitality of soil that has been heavily farmed for years. Activities include: running the farm, caring for animals, revegetation, taking tours and holding evnts; farmers market once a month on the second Saturday selling locally grown and organic produce, fruit and veg, eggs, wines, bread, oils and much more; family days once a month on the first Sunday. Come and visit the farm which is open every day of the week.

The Farm relies on a hardy troupe of volunteers to help keep the animals healthy and happy and to contribute in many ways to the ongoing operation of the Farm and activities. If you are a keen gardener or would like to learn more about gardening, please join us every Tuesday afternoon, from 1.30pm except during the school holidays. No need to call or book, just turn up on the day! Students are welcome to apply for work experience.


Community Action Against Homophobia

CAAH is probably most well-known for our organisation of the street marches for marriage equality in Sydney. We have organised countless demonstrations for marriage equality over the last few years, attracting thousands of protest goers. Currently, we are actively involved in campaigning for the rights of queer refugees, and in taking a stand against intersex and trans injustice, and police harassment. Our origin in the student movement in Sydney is reflected in an underlying commitment to social justice issues and solidarity with other struggles. In our early days CAAH was active in generating queer blocks for anti-globalisation protests, union rallies, student protests, anti-war demonstrations and other diverse left-wing causes.

Get on our email list or facebook to take part in actions and rallys or come along to an organising meeting.

New South Wales

Community Exchange System Australia

The CES is a community-based exchange system that provides the means for its users to exchange their goods and services, both locally and remotely. It could also be described as a global complementary trading network that operates without money as it is commonly understood (i.e. people trade their skills and time for mutual benefit). Unlike the conventional money-based exchange system, the CES has no physical currency. There are many similar trading systems around the world, commonly know as Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), Mutual Credit trading systems or Time Banks. These exchange systems build community and keep wealth where it is created. The CES takes this a step further by providing the means for inter-community trading, right up to the global level.

Start trading your time and skills with others through the CES website or find a local group to get in touch with.

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

Conservation Council ACT

We are the voice for the environment representing community environmental and sustainability groups in the ACT region. Our campaigns include climate change, feral species control and strengthening national environmental protection laws.

Community environmental and conservation groups are encouraged to apply for membership of Conservation Council ACT Region. For individuals, the ACT Region is a hive of environmental activity with a network of groups that work on a diverse range of issues – birds, transport, bush-walking, re-vegetation, climate change, sustainability – everything environment. We encourage you to get active by joining with any of our Member Groups, from ACT Wildlife to 350.org and Bush Heritage.

Conservation Council of Western Australia

CCWA is Western Australia's peak environment and sustainability group with over 90 member groups and have been an outspoken advocate for conservation and a sustainable WA for over 45 years. We work with community, government and industry towards a more sustainable future for Western Australia. We work on policy development and legislative change, consultation, campaigning, submission writing, and environmental education. We provide support and a forum for other conservation groups. We liaise directly with the Government, media departments, community groups, and political parties. We are looking beyond short-term profit and instead working towards a clean economy in WA that provides opportunities without polluting the environment.

Want to get active on an issue important to you and the planet? You can volunteer in the office, from home or in the community. Let us know what you would like to do by filling in our online volunteer form and we will get back to you to discuss possibilities.

Western Australia


COREM (Community-Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby) is a not for profit community action group dedicated to setting up community-owned renewable energy projects in the Mullumbimby area, in the pursuit and promotion of a 100% renewable energy future for the region.

The model of community-owned renewable energy:
* increases the amount of renewables in the region,
* allows wider access to renewable energy,
* offers community ownership
* celebrates and empowered by community engagement
* invests profits paid back to the community for more sustainable and
renewable energy projects, ever increasing the community benefit.
Everyone benefits – including the earth and future generations!

COREM warmly welcomes wide-spread community engagement. There are a number of ways to be involved. Sponsor or donate to a project, become an investor or simply volunteer some time.

New South Wales

CORENA - Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc.

The CORENA fund is people-powered and donation-based. It enables people all over Australia to get on with the job of building more renewable energy capacity instead of just waiting on government action.

Contributions to the QUICK WIN PROJECTS pay for energy efficiency measures and solar PV and/or solar hot water at the premises of non-profit community-serving organisations. We provide an interest-free loan which the recipient will pay back to the Fund out of the subsequent savings on their power bills. Since the solar panels and other measures pay for themselves over time, it reduces our collective carbon emissions without ever costing the recipient organisation a cent. Loan repayments are then 'recycled' to help fund subsequent similar projects, so each donated dollar gets used over and over again.

Contributions to the BIG WIN PROJECT will build a citizen-owned 50MW solar thermal plant with storage. If 720,000 people each contribute $8/week for ONE year, we will have $300 million (the approximate price tag).

To get involved, choose which project you want to support and chip in!; help spread the word to others who you know want real climate action; see if a group you belong to wants to collaborate on our projects; volunteer your skills - social media, graphics, promotion, video, etc; identify a non-profit community org near you for a Quick Win project and help us liaise with them; become a financial member and have a say in what we do; like us on Facebook; or sign up for our e-news.

South Australia

Cultivating Community

Cultivating Community is about people, communities, gardening, farming, the environment and food. Our mission is to work with diverse and low-income communities to create fair, secure and resilient food systems. Our purpose is to provide relief from poverty for public and community housing tenants and others living in poverty in Victoria through improving access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food.

If you are interested in exploring volunteering opportunities with us, the process is to send an email to our our Volunteer Coordinator at . The model of volunteering that we find works best is where people make a regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly time commitment that can be sustained for at least six months. This way, the volunteer not only contributes their skills and experience to specific projects, they also feel part of a broader team of people working collaboratively.

Do Gooder

We built the Do Gooder online campaign platform because we believe that the best way to change the world is to empower everyone to do it – and that every person who stands up to do good should have ready access to the best tools possible. There are a bunch of pricey, and often complex, platforms designed for large organisation that can help them do their thing. And there are simple petition sites just about anyone can use that are handy for tipping a decision as it's about to go down. We believe that in between these two extremes stands a growing army of citizen activists ready to take action – but without the tools they need. Our goal is to make Do Gooder an indispensable tool in the global activist arsenal – and to help expand that global activist community many times over.

Start your own campaign on Do Gooder.

New South Wales


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