Founded in 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare saves individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it's dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters. We also advocate saving populations from cruelty and depletion, such as our campaign to end commercial whaling and seal hunts. IFAW campaigns include rescuing wild bears, defending whales and seals from commercial killing, saving the last tigers, stopping animal trafficking, education programs, political advocacy and helping cats and dogs.
International Fund for Animal Welfare
With over 1 million supporters worldwide, IFAW has a strong voice for animals worldwide. Add your voice through online petitions and emails campaigns and signing up for action alerts.
International Womens Development Agency
International Women’s Development Agency is the only Australian development agency entirely focussed on gender equality and women’s rights in Asia and the Pacific. Our pursuit of gender equality focusses on economic empowerment, safety and security and civil and political participation. As well as delivering training and programs with 24 partners in 6 countries, IWDA is building evidence of women’s contributions to families, communities and nations and the barriers and challenges that constrain their rights, participation and flourishing.
Check IWDA's volunteer page for volunteer and internship opportunities. Volunteers are active in events, policy and research, training and materials development, public education forums, publications and advocacy and administration. We warmly celebrate volunteers’ contributions every year during National Volunteer Week and International Volunteer Day.
It Gets Better Project
In September 2010, author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better. The It Gets Better Project has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway and Colin Farrell to name a few.
Help us spread our message of hope to LGBT youth: it gets better. Make your own video to share or tell us your story. Take the pledge to make things better and organise It Gets Better events in your community.
Jane Goodall Institute of Australia
Dr Jane Goodall DBE, world-renowned primatologist, humanitarian, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977. The Institute now has offices in 26 countries around the world. The institute promotes humane education as a solution to a peaceful, just and sustainable world. It also supports vital Great Ape conservation programs in Africa. Campaigns include palm oil, mobile phone recycling, the chimp guardian program and the live the change challenge (supporting people to make their life more sustainable).
Get involved in one of the campaigns or projects, invite a speaker from the JGI to come and talk about making a difference, living a more humane life or raising humane kids, and check the volunteer page for opportunities.
Journeys for Climate Justice
Journeys for Climate Justice support local communities to build projects that raise awareness of climate change across the Asia Pacific. JCJ have organised river journeys, bike rides and youth projects in Sri Lanka, a climate solutions conference in Bangladesh and exhibitions and educational materials in Vietnam. JCJ is currently focusing on organising a journey down the Yarra River in Australia.
JCJ are currently seeking expressions of interests to send volunteers abroad to team up with our local partners on many exciting projects, and for interns to join the organisation and overseas projects.
Juice Rap News
Juice Rap News: the internet nation’s off-beat musical, independent current-affairs programme, responsible for turning bollocks-news into socio-poetical analyses which everyone can relate to and understand – written & created by Giordano Nanni & Hugo Farrant in a backyard home-studio in suburban Melbourne, Australia – on Wurundjeri land.
Missed an episode of Juice Rap News? Join our mailing list today and you'll always be up to date, with advance notice of episodes and links to new Rap News videos as soon as they're online. Also: we're taking Juice Rap News on the road in 2015! Join the mailing list today to receive announcements re: dates and shows.
Justice Connect (formerly the Public Interest Law Clearing House) sources pro bono legal services for disadvantaged people and not for profit organisations that assist the community; and advocates for law reform in the public interest. Justice Connect uncovers laws and policies that cause or perpetuate disadvantage or which are unduly complex and challenge and seek to change these laws and policies by advocating for law and policy reform, using evidence from the cases we are involved in. The Justice Connect website has fantastic information for community groups about all things legal, as well as info on starting up an association.
We welcome volunteers to help in the office and to coordinate annual events like the Walk for Justice.
Kakadu Liberation Front
The KLF are working to shut down Ranger uranium mine which sits inside the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park on Indigenous sacred land. On 29 April 2013, environmental regulators for the office of the supervising scientist admitted to a senate estimates committee that water with uranium concentrations 5400 times background levels and a cocktail of other radionuclides are seeping from beneath the tailings dam at the Ranger Uranium Mine in Kakadu. In recent years we've seen variations to the uranium miner ERA's authorisation to allow them to process lower grade material. This increased production has been accompanied by successive approvals to open up more areas of surrounding bush for Land Application. This involves spraying contaminated water on to surrounding bush land to dilute the pollution. We've also witnessed an application by the miner to extend the height of their leaking tailings dam to the maximum permissible level, and a further pending application to operate with their wastes higher than ever before.
Keep up to date with Kakadu news and actions through our facebook page and sign the petition to close down Ranger and clean up the contaminated land.
Kidron Valley ministries
The purpose of this group is to raise the voice of the voiceless through joining a hand of support globally
its open to any person
Kinglake Friends of the Forests
Kinglake Friends of the Forest is a not for profit environment organisation established for people who want to learn about, discuss and advocate for the preservation of the native forests in Kinglake and the Central Highlands. We carry out this work through a number of avenues: political, community and legal. On 4 November 2022 Kinglake Friends of the Forests and Environment East Gippsland heard that we had won our Glider Cases against VicForests, protecting much of Victoria's eastern forests. Following this win, the Victorian government announced that logging would end in these forests in January 2024.
We continue to work towards the protection of these forests from continuing threats such as "salvage" logging and inappropriate burning. Join in our massively fun and successful citizen science activities and come and experience these beautiful forests.
Knitting Nannas Against Gas
KNAG peacefully and productively protest against the destruction of our land and water by exploration of mining of unconventional gas and other non-renewable energy sources. KNAG draws on a broad history of knitting used as a tool for non-violent political activism. We view our knitting skills as less important than the act of bearing witness while we knit. We usually knit in yellow and black to identify with ‘Lock the Gate’ triangles that are mounted at the entrance to many properties. You don't have to be a Nanna and you don't have to knit.
Knitting Nannas of Toolangi
We protest peacefully against the destruction of our beautiful native forests, especially around Toolangi in the Central Highland of Victoria where the leadbeater's possum faces extinction because logging continues in the small area that's left where they live. Recent changes to legislation that effectively exclude protesters from logging coupes for a distance of 150 metres have inspired us to knit a scarf 150 metres long.
Get knitting with us and join our efforts to protect our beautiful forests.
Koala Clancy Foundation
The Koala Clancy Foundation is a not for profit incorporated association and registered charity set up to support the wild koalas of the Western Plains of Victoria, particularly around the You Yangs and Brisbane Ranges west of Melbourne.
The Foundation began in July 2015 in response to a 46% decline in koalas in the You Yangs over the seven years from 2007 to 2014. The foundation takes over and supports the conservation and research work of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, a social enterprise nature tour operator.
Our aims are -
Protection of koalas in the wild through enhancement and protection of their natural habitat by:
- organising travellers and locals to maintain and improve existing Koala habitat; and
- educating travellers and the local community of the threats to wild koalas and their environment and the means to address these; and
- mobilising the word of mouth and social media reach of the travel community worldwide to speak out in support of wild koalas and their environment; and
- involving travellers and the local community in citizen science research into wild koala behaviour; and
- creating partnerships with other organisations involved in koala protection, habitat creation and environment protection;
and any other means available.
Our activities are tree planting, weed removal and education about wild koalas.
Join one of our Koala Conservation Days for Locals - they run on 1st and 3rd Sunday every month all year.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Koorie Heritage Trust is creating a society where Aboriginal culture and history are a fundamental part of Victorian life. We exists to promote, support and celebrate the continuing journey of the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia. Through education and promotion, we raise awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of Koorie culture, actively working to bridge the cultural gap between the Koorie and wider communities, and meeting the broader goal of reconciliation for all Australians. We offer a range of programs and services including the only public collection in Victoria dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture comprising artefacts, pictures and photographs as well as an Oral History Program and a Reference Library, cross cultural awareness training and tours, exhibitions, a Koorie Family History Service, and a retail shop.
Drop in to our home in Fed Square to have a chat, see an exhibition, join a circle, do a basket weaving workshop, take part in a tour, and learn about Australian history. Talk about us with your friends and share us on facebook.
Lake Side Drive Community Garden
Initiated in 2008 by CDU students, the Lakeside Drive Community Garden is now an award-winning demonstration site for tropical food production and sustainable living education. The Garden is driven by a dedicated team of volunteers and supported by CDU staff who generously donate time, equipment, guidance and resources. With a social network of over 350 members our activities our aimed at: providing community education on food security and sustainable lifestyles; inspiring local residents to engage in promoting the growth of local species, both in their own backyards and the wider community; and collaborating with other local environment and conservation groups in educational outreach programs.
There are many ways to be involved at LDCG, whether you like to plant trees, pick tomatoes, plan events, design and build garden structures, create art for gardens, save seeds and propagate trees, write grant applications, engage community groups and members, mow lawns – there is and/or will be something for you to join in with.
Landcare is a national network of thousands of locally-based community groups who care for the natural resources of our country. Australia is proud to boast more than 4000 community Landcare groups, 2000 Coastcare groups and many thousands of volunteers across the country. Through Australia’s people and communities, the Landcare movement is making a big difference in caring for our country improving farmlands, rehabilitating water ways, looking after coastal and marine environments, planting millions of native trees, restoring wildlife habitats and addressing environmental issues in urban areas.
Launceston Environment Centre
Since 1974 the LEC has been raising community awareness, responsible attitudes and actions for the protection of the environment and quality of life through community education. We are your representatives for environmental issues, taking up community concerns and providing professional support, understanding, and/or assistance. We have an environment library that can be searched online and is open to interested individuals, school and university students. Our collection can provide information on many environment related issues from climate change to water quality.
Emial LEC to find out how to get involved. (They have not been active online recently.)
Lawyers for Forests
LFF was established in 2001 in response to growing concern among members of the legal community about the continuing destruction of the last remaining old-growth and high conservation value native forests in Australia. LFF promotes the conservation and better management of Australia's native forests and aims to increase the accountability of government and business for their forest management policies. We provide pro bono legal advice and representation to persons charged with offences related to environment and undertake law reform and policy development activities to further our objectives and purposes. We encourage a reduction in overall usage of non-renewable resources and their substitution by more environmentally friendly items.
We are always looking for more lawyers to become members. We also accept law students as members. Please contact us through our website or by writing to LFF.
LIVE (Locals into Victoria's Environment) is a climate change action group campaigning for a transition to a sustainable future for all. We are based in Melbourne’s City of Port Phillip. Our focus is on raising awareness of the need to protect our world’s vulnerable ecosystem and halt climate change; encouraging our society’s transition to a more healthy and sustainable economy; and motivating and supporting others in our community to collectively minimise our ecological footprint.
Join the LIVE email list through the website or get in touch to become involved.
Live & Learn
Live & Learn works with communities throughout Asia and the Pacific to design, implement and learn from community-based development projects. The projects are specific to each community and cover a number of thematic program areas. Local knowledge and global understanding are the starting points in developing an ethic in environmental and development education. Local ownership of environmental and development education programs, open participation and equality remain the foundation of our organisation. Programs include peace building, environmental governance, sanitation, climate change, sustainable energy and waste.
Live & Learn has projects in Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Pacific Islands and are always on the look out for local people to become involved in local projects. There are employment and volunteer opportunities from time to time in the Melbourne office. Sign up to the bulletin to stay in touch.
Lock the Campus
Part of the global Fossil Free campaign, Lock the Campus run by the Australian Student Environment Network offers resources and excellent information for students wanting to make sure their university stops investing in the fossil fuel industry. The website offers a critique of the relationship between public institutions and industry and information on how to expose the links your uni has with the fossil fuel industry and pressure them to change.
To get involved, visit the website, sign the declaration, investigate your university and find out how to organise on your own campus.
Lock the Gate Alliance
Lock The Gate Alliance is a national coalition of community groups from across Australia who are uniting to protect our common heritage - our land, water and future - from reckless coal and gas expansions. In a David-and-Goliath struggler of farmers against mining giants, everyday citizens against global corporations, our communities are choosing grace under fire and displaying incredible courage, integrity and imagination. Join us to become part of this inspiring social movement.
Join landholders all over the nation by locking your gate to coal seam gas and coal mining. A sign on your gate clearly shows that you do not give permission for coal seam gas and mining companies to enter your property. Approach your council and ask them to oppose the approval or renewal of unconventional gas licences (see the list of councils who have already done this on our site). Find the closest Lock the Gate group near you or start your own group.
MADGE (mothers are demystifying genetic engineering) was founded by three mums in 2007 because the Victorian Government’s ban on growing GM canola was to expire in 2008. We wrote a submission and also did a presentation to the Victorian Government GM Review Panel. We showed why growing GM canola would be detrimental to Victoria. We were most disappointed that, despite a revolt by back bench MP’s and widespread public opposition, the moratorium on growing GM canola was allowed to lapse. We have continued to present information about GM and wider food issues for the public via our website, digest, Facebook page and Twitter feed. We are now an Australia-wide network. We are a group of self-funded volunteers who are motivated by the concern we feel about what is happening to our food.
Grab your MADGE bag and MADGE shopping list and let retailers know you are concerned about GM foods! Take 5 minutes out of your day and leave a message on the facebook wall of Coles, Woollies, and Aldi and let them know you want GM food labelled. Join us in creating a happier healthier food culture for all.
March Against Monsanto
Started as a small event, the first March against Monsanto in 2013 turned into a global campaign with over 2 million people in 436 cities, across 52 countries, joining the rallies to say no to Monsanto's grip on the world's food supply and attempts to genetically modify, patent and restrict seeds. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety. In the USA, Monsanto figureheads occupying positions of power at the FDA and EPA. Monsanto has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to obstruct labeling attempts and suppress research containing unfavourable results. Scientifically established health risks include: organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, auto-immune conditions, allergies and increased cancer risks. Farmers in India and Africa have been stripped of their livelihood as a result of false promises, seed patenting and meticulous legal action on the part of Monsanto.
Connect with a local group online to help organise or be a part of the annual march in May. There's facebook pages for marches in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney as well as an Australia community page.
Margaret River Regional Environment Centre
The Margaret River Regional Environment Centre was established to provide and disseminate information for locals and tourists alike, about political, social, cultural and spiritual environmental happenings in this region. We hope to have people use the centre for gaining and giving information; networking happenings between people in the community who wish to be involved; as a meeting place for like minded people to discuss environmental issues, strategies, and projects; and to use the building for meetings, workshops and gatherings for environmental purposes. At present we have displays on fauna, coastcare, development proposals, recycling, forests, sand mining, and Aboriginal information.
Come and visit the centre, get involved in workshops or contact us to volunteer.
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."