environmental groups and social justice groups - Australian directory


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.

New South Wales
South Australia

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.

Western Australia

Market Forces

Market Forces believes that the banks, superannuation funds and governments that have custody of our money should use it to protect - not damage - our environment. Our vision is a future where institutions invest with a high degree of respect for the environment, using our money to deliver solutions to major environmental issues, and where the community holds to account the custodians of their money to ensure it is used to benefit the environment. Our work will expose the institutions that are financing environmentally destructive projects and help Australians hold these institutions accountable. We will work with the community to prevent investment in projects that would harm the environment and drive global warming.

We need you to be part of Market Forces for our campaigns to be successful. Our philosophy of winning is built around people taking action to hold their banks, super funds and governments accountable. We’re going to give you the reason, and opportunity to do just that but need to you join us for that to work.

Markets for Change

Markets for Change is a market-focused environmental non government organisation that investigates and exposes the companies and products driving environmental destruction, creating the impetus for retailers to adopt environmentally and socially responsible procurement policies to help create an environmentally responsible market. MFC’s current focus is on retailers selling furniture, flooring, DIY, paper and tissue products that come from Australia’s threatened native forests and from forest destruction overseas.

In Retailing the Forests: Confronting the Australian Retail Sector’s Involvement in Native Forest Destruction, MFC identifies the role some of Australia’s biggest retail chains in driving the destruction of threatened native forests in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia through the stocking and selling of furniture, flooring and paper ranges made from these native forests.

Read the reports to get informed about forest destruction and learn how you can make a difference (retailer and consumer solutions).

lutruwita (Tasmania)

Matrix Guild

Matrix Guild Victoria was founded in 1992 by a group of lesbian feminists for the benefit of lesbians over forty years of age. We promote appropriate care and support for older lesbians. We challenge ageism and oppose discrimination. We provide some accommodation in Victoria for older lesbians who are financially disadvantaged.

Matrix has a free visiting service where lesbian volunteers meet with isolated older lesbians in their homes or residences for a minimum of two hours per month. If you would like to join either the Matrix Guild Victoria as a general member or the management committee, please contact us today. Send and email to the Secretary of the Matrix Guild Victoria

Melbourne Activist Legal Support

Melbourne Activist Legal Support is a volunteer organisation that provides legal assistance to groups and communities exercising their right to undertake grassroots political action. MALS is establishing itself with the long term aim of providing direct protest support services at major demonstrations: monitoring police engagement with protesters, providing basic legal information to persons at risk of being arrested, and coordinating litigation support in conjunction with law firms and community legal centres.

Since the expansion of police and PSO move-on powers by the Napthine Government, MALS has also undertaken campaign activities for the establishment of greater protections for the right to protest.

The MALS website has lots of handy legal resources and keeps you up to date on legal observer training, activist legal support training and know your rights workshops. MALS also holds information nights for legal experts and law students as well as activists who are interested in getting involved with the group. Register on the website to get involved.

Melbourne Anarchist Club

The Melbourne Anarchist Club is a space and a group of individuals who aim to promote the ideas of anarchism. Anarchism is both a political philosophy and a social movement. As a social movement, anarchism aims to create a classless, non-hierarchical society; that is, a society without rulers (anarchy). As a political philosophy, anarchism maintains that the creation of such a society is both possible and desirable.

We run a bookshop and a library and host regular meetings and public events such as reading groups and films. Come along or signup to our Google group list.


Melbourne Farmers Markets

Our farmers' markets are dedicated to Victorian food and producers, regional food cultures, seasonal produce, biodiversity, sustainable farming practices and the strengthening of relationships between the consumer and the producer. Shopping at Melbourne Farmers' Markets means you guarantee your money goes directly back to the farmer. No middle man. No supermarket contracts. At the markets you'll find seasonal, organic and heirloom varieties of fruit and veggies, organic, free range and rare breed meats, farmhouse dairy, artisan bread, olive and seed oils, preserves, antipasto, honey, jams, sauces, chutneys, dried fruit, mayonnaise and the likes…

Find a local market on the website and take a look at all the foodie events.


Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

The Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI), aims to facilitate and enable research linkages, projects and conversations leading to increased understanding of sustainability and resilience trends, challenges and solutions. The MSSI approach includes a particular emphasis on the contribution of the social sciences and humanities to understanding and addressing sustainability and resilience challenges. We are hosted by the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, at the University of Melbourne.

MSSI regularly hosts free events such as public lectures, seminars, workshops with guest speakers on topics that aline with our research. Sign up to receive updates.


Minus 18 is Australia's Largest Youth Led Organisation for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Youth. At Minus18, we aim to improve the lives of same sex attracted and gender diverse (SSAGD) youth; to empower them, connect them with others and help them understand themselves. We do this through social events, resource production, partnering with other community groups, and awareness raising. Each year our events and projects reach more than 60,000 youth right across Australia.

Minus18 is run by over 30 youth volunteers and staff aged between 14 to 25 years old. To find out more about volunteer positions available send us an email. After your application is reviewed, and if successful, you will then be invited to attend crew training, and volunteer at events.


Moorabool Environment Group

The Moorabool Shire has a population of around 27,000 people and includes the towns of Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and 40 other small communities. The biggest issue facing MEG and the Moorabool community is the brown coal exploration license held by Mantle Mining that includes plans to establish a 1 to 2 billion tonne open cut brown coal mine in Bacchus Marsh. Check out our fantastic 5 minute documentary on some of this issues we are facing. Other activities we create and participate in include: providing the community with information on home harvest, solar power, and impacts of coal mining on health; running local produce dinners and gardening workshops and monthly produce swaps; and tree planting with friends groups.

Come along to a MEG monthly meeting (dates are in the calendar on our website) to get involved in the campaign to stop the Mantle Mining coal mine or join our mailing list to keep up to date about MEG activities and public forums.

My Green World

My Green World is an organisation that works with charities around the world to conserve wildlife, promote animal welfare and design unique education programs by developing a range of initiatives that assist in raising the profile of education and wildlife conservation; revolutionising the way the public connects with charities. We mobilise and educate the masses through a mobile game application and a volunteer program. These initiatives are supplemented by our website, social media, educational material, and public speaking seminars.

International volunteers play a crucial role in sustaining our partner charities’ important work. Depending on your background, you will be tasked with assisting in the day-to-day upkeep of the charity program. We welcome volunteers from all over the world, with all sorts of skills and interests. Send us an email or check out our website for more information about your next life-changing adventure.



MyEnvironment is a hub for the latest information on community projects, science, environmental philanthropy, environmental law and green design in Australia. We bring people and ideas together for the conservation of Australia’s natural places through science, law, design and the community. We brought to government attention many breaches by VicForests (state run logging company), problems with management and unlawful logging activity and have successfully protected parts of the Central Highlands including habitat for the endangered ledbeaters possum. We have taken VicForests to the Supreme court over logging of endangered species habitat. We are campaigning for a Giant Forest National Park to save the last remnants of old growth forest in the Central Highlands.

Join our survey team and learn to measure tree's,collect species and discover another world of ecosystems. Donate for our court case. Join in the campaign. Use 100% recycled post consumer paper and don't buy Reflex.

No to Homophobia

No To Homophobia is a partnership between human rights and anti-violence groups and is the first campaign of its kind to be broadcast on mainstream national television. The campaign aims to challenge all forms of harassment and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people, whether in the workplace or in social situations. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic harassment in Victoria (and beyond) by empowering both LGBTIQ people and the broader community to respond to and speak out against this harassment.

If you or someone you know has been subject to homophobic harassment, or if you have witnessed an incident of homophobic harassment, you can do something about it. Make the promise to stop homophobia, find support and find out how to take action. Harassment is a community issue that affects everyone. Whether you are gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual or straight and whether you are receiving or witnessing harassment we encourage you to take action and stop the harm.

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

North Coast Environment Council

Formed in 1976 and 100% volunteer run, NCEC is the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW. covering the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway. We also actively support other campaigns further afield. Our members and office-bearers work around the region, often travelling large distances to assist others as we organise in our defence of the environment and the communities it sustains. We rely on donations and the efforts of our members and volunteers to remain effective.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist us with our work, we guarantee plenty of bang for your buck. Post us a message to this site and we will get back to you.

New South Wales

North East Forest Alliance

NEFA has been protecting old growth forests in North East NSW for over 21 years through community campaigns and direct action. The NSW Government is now proposing gutting the existing protections for threatened species and prescriptions to stop excessive erosion, while removing protection for heritage, and from grazing and other uses. They are intending removing restrictions on clearfelling and logging on excessively steep slopes. It will be open season on exclusion areas already identified for threatened species and Endangered Ecological Communities will be up for logging. This will be a disaster for north-east NSW's public lands, the extent of which will only fully be revealed by the EPA’s detailed plans in a couple of months.

Check the NEFA website for action alerts, submissions and an incredibly comprehensive news archive of NSW forest coverage. Get involved in community campaigns in specific regions.

New South Wales

North West Environment Centre & Organic Garden

The mission of the NWEC is to inspire a new perspective on our relationship with the environment and each other so that we may all act to create a socially harmonious and ecologically sustainable future. We are based on the north west coast of Tasmania and our projects run across this area. Our peaceful community garden on Ironcliffe Rd, Penguin, home of the Organic and Sustainable Living Festival is the Headquarters of the NWEC. We deliver a great range of workshops and events at this venue. Other projects include community food collaboration and transition training.

We love volunteers! We’re a registered volunteer organisation, so get involved, improve our community and expand your skills! Our Organic Community Garden has a working bee from 10am-12pm every Wednesday, followed by a cuppa and a chat. For more info see our Organic Community Garden page, email us or simply turn up at 207 Ironcliffe Road, Penguin, at 10am next Wednesday!

lutruwita (Tasmania)

NSW Wildlife, Rescue, Information & Education Service

WIRES is a volunteer based, native animal rescue organisation. WIRES was established in 1985, when an injured Ibis was found in the heart of Sydney, in Hyde Park. No organisation, government or conservation group could take responsibility for its rescue or care. WIRES has developed a comprehensive animal database that records information on types of animals, injuries and fates and locations for rescue and release. Currently there are more than 2,000 WIRES volunteers authorised to rescue, rehabilitate and release.

If you are over 18 in NSW you might be able to join WIRES as a volunteer rescuer and carer. Training starts with the compulsory Rescue and Immediate Care Course, covering policies, licensing, animal identification, rescue and first aid. Experts also provide specialist training courses and set standards of care in areas such as macropods, flying foxes, reptiles, birds of prey (raptors), and possums. Register here to receive WIRES volunteering updates and information about upcoming training courses.

For emergency native animal rescue please call 1300 094 737 or report by email at http://bit.ly/Report-a-rescue

New South Wales

Nuclear Operations Watch Port Adelaide

NOW PA is a coalition of several groups interested in keeping people informed on nuclear activities in the Port Adelaide area, especially the transport of uranium oxide 'yellowcake' through the Port. The coalition includes: Port Adelaide Resident’s Environment Protection Group, Communist Party Of Australia, Friends of the Earth Adelaide, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Check out our website for the latest updates on the activities of the nuclear industry in Port Adelaide. Join us in actions to raise awareness. Send us an email to get involved.

South Australia

Olinda Parkland Inc

Summary of our aims....
Teach sustainability and we all live simplly and as a community
1..publishing updates on news on the hill from the old forest
2. supporting local businesses and events/classes
3. supporting tourism businesses
4. support a healthy happy lifestyle in the Dandenongs
5. sharing knowledge of residents, wildlife experts and gov to solution solve ways that are healthy and sustainable.

Please help protect our homes. You are our voice. https://www.facebook.com/Olinda-Parkland-512229712470992/

Our Facebook page's aim is to bring communities together to solution solve ways that we can integrate people and nature together in a sustainable way so the old forests are here for our children and we all have a healthy happy lifestyle. The Dandenongs are a beautiful and unique area but is at risk. Keep up to date below with our news and please feel free to advertise your events, business so we can support all.

Please support and follow this page and spread the word...

Summary of our aims....
1..publishing updates on news on the hill
2. supporting local businesses and events/classes
3. supporting tourism businesses
4. support a healthy happy lifestyle in the Dandenongs
5. sharing knowledge of residents, wildlife experts and gov to solution solve ways that are healthy and sustainable.
6. Teach sustainability


One at a Time Foundation

The One at a Time Foundation is an independent, entrepreneurial organisation dedicated to fostering change to reduce and halt global warming. The Foundation aims to make climate change action easy and accessible by presenting the simple steps which individuals, businesses and community can take to reduce their environmental footprint - one person, one business, one community at a time. Founding patron, Ray Anderson (Founder of Interface Inc), was one of the world's leading change agents in business and industry. OAAT organises Zero Footprint Week, an umbrella awareness week that invites businesses of all sizes to take simple steps to reduce their ecological footprint.

Get your workplace involved in Zero Footprint Week and raise awareness about the impacts of business on climate change.

New South Wales

Open Table

Open Table is based on two key ideas — reducing food waste and meeting the neighbours. We use surplus food to create wholesome community feasts, bringing together people from all walks of life. We cook nutritious feasts using salvaged produce surplus food from local businesses and community gardens. Increasingly, we are seeing how flawed the food system in Australia is, and this is one small action to make a positive change and have conversations about how to live sustainably. Coming together over a meal is a brilliant opportunity to talk about shared experiences of place, food and culture. We hope to create stronger understanding and appreciation for our diverse community, and also to provide the opportunity to strengthen social skills for everyone wishing to participate more fully in our community.

Open Table exists thanks to the energy, time and ideas contributed entirely by volunteers. If you are interested in donating your time or skills, please get in touch. You can drop by and say hello on a weekend, or email if you would like to get serious about it.


Organic Federation of Australia

The Organic Federation of Australia (OFA) was established in 1998 as the peak body for the organic industry in Australia. Our role is to work in co-operation with all sectors of industry and government to develop the Australian Organic Industry from a niche industry into a major component of Australian agriculture and deliver benefits to consumers, producers and the Australian environment. The OFA fulfills a unifying national role for the organic industry by representing the interests of Australia's organic and biodynamic producers to industry and governments at the local, state and federal level. The OFA does not certify farmers. Our role is to work with all of the organic industry to further our common aims

Find organic markets and other events through the OFA website.


Otway Ranges Environment Network

Clearfell logging and woodchipping of all native forest on public land in the Otways is now banned and illegal. After a seven year community campaign driven by the Otway Ranges Environment Network (OREN 1995 - 2002) followed by a six year phase out period (2002-2008), the last truck load of trees for export woodchips was removed in May 2008. After the November 2002 Victorian State election, priority was given to immediately ban clearfell logging in the Geelong water supply catchments and high conservation forests on the south face of the Otways. Before 2002, clearfell logging for woodchips was planned to occur across all the Otways under a Regional Forest Agreement until at least the year 2020. A total ban on Otway woodchipping is unprecedented. The Otways represents the only high rainfall tall forest region in Australia, where an existing and well established native forest woodchip industry for both the domestic (to make Kleenex tissues) and export markets has been totally removed.

Check out the OREN website to see how a successful forest campaign was run.



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.

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