environmental groups and social justice groups - Australian directory

Places You Love Alliance

The Places You Love alliance started as a fight to save the laws that protect nature. Now we have expanded our ambition, looking to galvanise the nature loving Australian community to stand up for nature. We are building a movement of people from across the community that exercise social and political power to stand up for nature. Australians are deeply connected to nature in a multitude of ways, and beautiful natural places are part of our national identity.

Sign up to our email list and receive campaign updates, news and information on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.

Port Adelaide Residents Environment Protection Group

The Port Adelaide Residents Environment Protection Group has been active in Port Adelaide for over 20 years. The group has interests in the natural, social and built environments of the Port Adelaide area. Current campaigns include lobbying the government to turn Saltfields into an international bird sanctuary and protecting the cities green spaces and coast from inappropriate development.

Come to our monthly meeting click here for more details

South Australia

Port Philip Citizens for Reconciliation

PPCFR began in 1997 as a response from local residents concerned about Prime Minister John Howard's lack of compassion and interest in saying sorry. It lead to a public forum that attracted a big crowd. We are committed to ensuring our community has the opportunity to walk together with Aboriginal people towards reconciliation, recognising that information, understanding and community discussion are integral to the process. Activities include monthly meetings, often with guest speakers, free public events, film screenings, and writing competitions targeting schools. We are involved in Sorry Day, The Jackson St Festival, BlakArts, St Kilda Festival and support Koori endeavours such as Winja Ulupna, Galiamble and Our Rainbow Place.

We meet on the third Tuesday of each month. Get in touch and come along to a meeting or one of our events.


Project Respect

Project Respect is a non-profit, feminist, community-based organisation, that aims to empower and support women in the sex industry, including women trafficked to Australia. Project Respect does not rescue or save women, but works with them by providing specialist. non-judgemental outreach and individual support. The Project Respect team is made up of a diverse team who believe women matter and who are committed to supporting women in the sex industry. This includes women who have been, or still are involved in the sex industry holding positions throughout the organisation. We are working towards a world where women are free from trafficking, prostitution and sexual exploitation.

Please subscribe to our mailing list or check this page to be kept informed of when we are seeking new volunteers. Project Respect asks for a 12-month commitment from volunteers of one day per week and usually runs a Volunteer Information Night in April/May.

Public Transport Users Association

Founded in 1976 as the Train Travellers Association, the Public Transport Users Association is the recognised consumer organisation representing passengers of all forms of public transport. We lobby governments and public transport authorities in the interest of all users of public transport, work with other bodies and through the media to promote public transport and educate the community about the benefits of sustainable transport policies and undertake research into transport policies which will improve services and make Melbourne and regional Victoria a better place in which to live. The PTUA is committed to a sustainable economy, a healthy ecology and an equitable society.

We are a volunteer run organisation and the office is not always staffed so the best way to get in touch to become involved is email.


Quit Coal

Quit Coal is a collective campaigning against the expansion of the coal Building new coal infrastructure means many more decades of dirty, old technology, when we should be moving towards clean, renewable energy. We use a range of tactics to let the broader Victorian community know about plans for new coal projects in Victoria, and pressure our government to stop investing in them. We focus on being strategic, creative, and as much as possible, fun! We hold rallies and public forums, do outreach at festivals and community events, lobby politicians, and speak to the media. We also take peaceful direct action – from creative street theatre to office occupations, and many things in between.

We are a volunteer run collective that is committed to non-violence. We are a rapidly growing, open and inclusive community group. Come to a meeting or
contact us to get involved.


Reconciliation Victoria

Reconciliation Victoria is focused on leading the reconciliation process in Victoria by supporting the growth of local reconciliation groups, promoting cultural awareness and education in the broader community, working with young people, developing strategic partnerships, and building the capacity of the organisation. RecVic has played a vital role in educating the public on important issues relevant to Aboriginal Victorians. We can recognise the great disparity in outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous people on health, education and employment, and seek to do better. Indeed, we must continue to push government and others to do better on these issues. However, we must also ensure that reconciliation is not just about services and outcomes. It is also about respect and recognition.

Volunteer with or join RecVic, find your local reconciliation group or start your own with our support. Take part in Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week and lots of other events that celebrate Indigenous history and culture and join the campaign to get rid of racism and inequality.

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney (RAC) was established in 1999 to campaign for the rights of refugees trying to seek asylum in Australia. We are an open grassroots coalition from a broad section of the community. RAC focuses on grassroots organising; distribution of information; educational forums; speakers; lobbying and organising demonstrations, rallies, marches and other actions.

RAC meets every Monday at 6pm at the NSW Teachers federation building 23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills, walking distance from Central station. For details call, text or email us. Our demands are: an end to mandatory detention and the closure of all detention centres; permanent residency and full rights for refugees; no temporary protection visas which restrict access to welfare and family reunion; funding for resettlement of asylum seekers or refugees; no forced deportation of asylum seekers or refugees; an amnesty for escapees from detention and those refugees who protest their imprisonment; an end to racist scapegoating of refugees. Refugees are welcome – Let the boats land – no third country processing. Decriminalise people smuggling – free the Indonesian boat crews, no mandatory sentencing.

New South Wales

Refugee Action Collective

Established in 2000, RAC is a democratic, grassroots activist collective, representing a broad cross section of the community. Our demands of the Australian government are: abolish Australia’s mandatory detention of refugees, which violates basic human rights and contravenes the UN Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; end the dangerous policy of ‘turning the boats back’; welcome asylum seekers and end ‘offshore processing’; preserve legal funding for asylum seekers; reinstate rights of appeal; end the arbitrary indefinite detention of refugees who are deemed to be security risks by ASIO; end temporary protection visas; abolish plans to deny 32,000 refugees who have already arrived in Australia permanent resettlement; and stop racist scapegoating and fanning the lie that refugees have a negative impact on Australia.

Get involved! RAC meets every Monday from 6.30pm at the Australian Nurses Federation, 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, just north of the Victoria Markets. Call us for more information. Join in vigils and protests held in the city and at detention centres around Australia.


Regent Honeyeater Project

The Regent Honeyeater Project has established itself as one of the most active volunteer conservation projects in the nation. It has engaged a whole farming community in restoring remnant box-ironbark habitat for the endangered species still living in the district, and attracted ongoing support from a wide cross section of the community to help farmers with the on-ground works. Propagation and planting days are organised each year for a thousand students from more than 20 local schools and hundreds of volunteers from universities, walking clubs, church groups, bird observers, scouts, environment groups and the like. A range of other activities such as nest box placement and monitoring provide crucial habitat for rare mammals (like gliders). The massive scale of our tree-planting work has enormous benefits for landcare as well as for wildlife.

Join in our nest box monitoring, bird surveys, seed collecting or revegetation weekends. See endangered species, learn about native plant propagation and revegetation and help rehabilitate an entire landscape.

Rewilding Australia

Rewilding Australia is working to create conscious progress from just conserving to actively rebuilding ecosystems. Our immediate aims are to return Australia’s carnivorous marsupials – our quolls and devils, to the landscapes they inhabited for millennia; to improve feral predator management strategies for foxes and cats by advocating investment in viral, immunocontraceptive, and other novel controls to reduce the reliance on baiting and shooting; and to improve habitat across our landscapes to support wildlife. We are working to develop bi-partisan wildlife management strategies that withstand changes in Australia’s social and political. landscapes.

Membership provides you with the opportunity to get more involved in rewilding projects around Australia.

New South Wales

Rise Refugees and Ex Detainees

RISE is the first refugee and asylum seeker welfare and advocacy organisation in Australia to be run by refugees, asylum seekers, and ex-detainees; as such, we view those who seek assistance from RISE as members and participants, not clients. RISE exists to enable refugees and asylum seekers to build new lives by providing advice, engaging in community development, enhancing opportunity, and campaigning for refugee rights. RISE advocates on its members’ behalf to improve refugee/asylum-seeker policies and to generate positive social change in respect to attitudes impacting refugees. RISE also runs a settlement service and music and arts projects that seek to address the various barriers to successful settlement and empower refugee and asylum seeker communities to be active participants in wider society.

Everyone is welcome to get involved at RISE. Whether you want to volunteer your time at the resource centre, organise a food or clothing drive to assist newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers or be part of campaign efforts, there is space for you to help us.


Road to Refuge

Road to Refuge is a volunteer organisation that that runs community education events, workshops and other platforms about asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, alongside our interactive web program. The Road to Refuge web program is an educational and interactive website that allows you to make choices for a fictional asylum seeker along their journey from country of origin to Australia. It features an opinion panel, allowing you to juxtapose your experience with the opinions of respected figures in the asylum seeker debate. The Learn More page is a regularly updated information hub about asylum seekers. The website is designed for both high school students and adults.

To stay up to date with our latest community events, workshops and coffee cart pop ups, you can follow us on Facebook and join our mailing list. You can also send us email anytime.


Rockhampton Peace Convergence

The Peace Convergence is a bi-annual protest camp established to show opposition to the destruction of the environment and the continued Australian involvement in the US war machine.

The Convergence is a gathering of peace activists from all around Australia who come together in a celebration of resistance to the Talisman Sabre US-Australian War Rehearsals at the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area near Rockhampton in Central Queensland. ‘Training’ is what the military call their occupation and bombing of Shoalwater Bay, its pristine wilderness and its coral reefs. We peace activists call it rehearsal for war.

Come and join in. The actions include witness against war in public places, SpeakOuts, protests, parades, concerts, public debates and information sessions, blockades and intrusions aimed at disrupting the war rehearsals and getting war resistance noticed and counter narratives told.

Safe Schools Coalition

Safe Schools Coalition Australia is a national coalition of organisations and schools working together to create safe and inclusive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families. It is funded by the Australian Government and, in Victoria, by the Victorian Government.

Schools that are members of Safe Schools Coalition Australia have access to a range of resources and support to make them safer and more inclusive of same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, their families and teachers. See if your school is already a proud member. If not, you can download the membership form and start the journey to becoming a safe school today.

New South Wales
Western Australia
South Australia

Save Lake Cowal

Australia’s Lake Cowal, the Sacred Heartland of the Wiradjuri Aboriginal Nation, is the largest inland lake in New South Wales. A wetland of national and international significance, the lake also provides habitat for many threatened species and birds listed under the International Convention on Wetlands (the Ramsar Convention). For over seven years, a community campaign has focused public attention on the cultural and ecological significance of Lake Cowal in efforts to protect if from further damage caused by mining. The area surrounding the lake is rich in minerals - especially gold - and is currently being mined by Barrick Gold. Australian organisations supporting the campaign include the Mooka and Kalara Traditional Owners within the Wiradjuri Nation and an alliance of more than 21 Australian and 40 international groups.

Keep up to date with the campaign and Barrick's activites around the world through the campaign facebook page and the Canadian site www.protestbarrick.net.

New South Wales

Save Our Marine Life

Save Our Marine Life is an unprecedented collaboration of Australian and international conservation organisations working to protect and secure Australia’s unique marine life. Collectively they have acted on behalf of millions of supporters to protect huge areas of our marine environment around the globe. Marine icons such as the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef; the world’s deepest waters in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench; and the rich tropical waters of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea all have a brighter future as a result of their work.

The globally significant south west waters of Australia need your help. Up to nine out of every 10 marine species found in the south west are found nowhere else. It is a unique part of Australia and it is under threat. The Federal Government has suspended new marine parks despite overwhelming public support for their creation. With less than 1% of the region protected, we urgently need everyone to do their bit.

To get involved, join the Big Blue Army on our website and become part of the campaign to protect our marine life and ensure the future of our marine national parks.

Save the Kimberley

Save the Kimberley is a 100% volunteer run group made up of a diverse and passionate individuals – traditional custodians, local Kimberley community, and other committed Australians: we are business owners, administrators, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and media professionals. Save The Kimberley was established in order to: educate the Australian and international community about the threat to the Kimberley Coast and its inland wilderness areas posed by large-scale industrial developments, disseminate information about the Kimberley’s globally unique cultural importance and the threats created by uncontrolled development and engage support to ensure that the Kimberley is protected.

In 2013 development of a gas hub at James Price Point on the Kimberley coast was halted thanks to a massive national and international community campaign. Join our mail list to keep an eye on what's happening next and be ready to stop any further inappropriate development of the Kimberley wilderness.

Western Australia

Save the Planet

Save the Planet is a new political party and community campaign seeking to provide real leadership in the climate emergency. We will not only build a heightened awareness of both the threats and the solutions that can save us from a climate catastrophe, but we will also work tirelessly to make the solutions a reality. Ultimately this will mean a rapid transformation of our society at emergency speed from one which is increasing the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases to one which is reducing them to a safe level. There is currently huge resistance to taking on this emergency approach because people can't see anybody in the political world willing to stand up for an emergency response. Without this leadership people believe an emergency response is politically unviable. Save the Planet will provide that needed leadership.

Save the Planet has two current campaigns: the state election and the development of climate emergency plans aimed at local councils and communities. These campaigns are run by grassroot activists and people just like you. Join in!


Save the Reef

In December 2013, the Australian Government approved the creation of one of the world's largest coal ports near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Millions of cubic metres of spoil must be dredged and dumped near the reef for the coal port to be constructed. The reef is already threatened by pressures from industrial waste and climate change. Protecting the reef is one of the biggest environmental battles in our nation's history. The rich and powerful coal mining industry will throw everything they have to crush this campaign. We must build a strong and inspiring movement of concerned Australians who will protect our Great Barrier Reef and our climate.

Visit the Save the Reef site to get informed, sign the petition and find out how to get involved in the campaign.


Save Tootgarook Swamp

Tootgarook Swamp, or Boneo Swamp, as it is sometimes referred, is the largest example left of an Shallow freshwater marsh in the Port Phillip bay region. The swamp is also described by Melbourne water as a ground water dependent ecosystem. The swamp exists on organosols soils (fibric peat), and as a peat regenerating wetland it is the most threatened form of wetland type internationally. Peat regenerating wetlands are a major carbon storehouse, exceeding that of forests, and are worthy of international Ramsar protection. Currently approximately 77 hectares is marked for future development proposals totaling almost a quarter of the entire swamp. After another almost 3 hectares was lost to a housing subdivision infill recently. There are only 4% of total wetlands left in Victoria that are greater than 100 hectares, and of the original wetlands in Victoria, we have already lost over 37% in the last 200 years. Of the 100% of shallow fresh water marshes in Victoria, 60% have been destroyed.

Join us by filling in the form online, take part in activities at Tootgarook and help us raise awareness of the importance of wetlands.

School Strike 4 Climate

We are school students from cities and towns across Australia. Most of us have never met before but are united by our concern about our planet. We are striking from school to tell our politicians to take our futures seriously and treat climate change for what it is - a crisis.

On 15 March 2019, one hundred and fifty thousand of us took to the streets across Australia and went on strike for climate action, along with 1.5 million all over the world.

​Politicians can show us that they care by taking urgent action to move Australia beyond fossil fuel projects (e.g. #StopAdani's mega coal mine) and get the job done of moving us to 100% renewable energy for all.

Sign up to our mailing list to hear about our plans, create a group at your school and start striking with us for climate action.

New South Wales
Northern Territory
Western Australia
South Australia

Sea Shepherd

Founded in 1977 in Vancouver BC by Captain Paul Watson, the mandate of the Sea Shepherd was marine mammal protection and conservation with an immediate goal of shutting down illegal whaling and sealing operations. The society's first mission was to the ice floes of eastern Canada to interfere with the annual killing of baby harp seals. Sea Shepherd has embarked on over 200 voyages covering many of the world's oceans and defending and saving marine life. Sea Shepherd is committed to the eradication of pirate whaling, poaching, shark finning, unlawful habitat destruction, illegal fishing, turtle poaching and violations of established laws in the World's oceans.

While space aboard the ships is limited, we look forward to considering anyone who has the enthusiasm and commitment to take part. We also have land-based volunteer opportunities in Australia and overseas. Sea shepherd ships dock annually in Melbourne to prepare for the Japanese whaling season over summer. Come and take a tour.

New South Wales
Northern Territory
Western Australia
South Australia

Seahorse Victoria

Seahorse Victoria is a support and social group for the Victorian transgender community. While the internet is a valuable tool, nothing can replace what we believe is vital – everyday human contact. We meet at various locations several times a month and also hold fund raising events for the benefit of the transgender community. Members are also involved in legislative reform and work with government and community groups in all aspects of human rights for the Victorian transgender community.

Membership to Seahorse Victoria is open to all people who identify themselves as transgender, regardless of where on this wide spectrum you fall. But before you can become a member we’ll need to speak to you first, as we need to protect the privacy of our members.

Sister Works

SisterWorks Inc. is a grassroots social enterprise based in Greater Melbourne founded by Luz Restrepo, a political refugee from Colombia. Our goal is to encourage women to tap into their underlying business and entrepreneurial abilities to find self-sufficiency. We believe that together women are stronger and together women can create opportunities for personal growth and economic independence. Today we comprise 75 Sisters from 24 countries - 50 percent refugee background, 25 percent women who are seeking asylum and 25 percent migrants with non-English speaking backgrounds.

Volunteering with SisterWorks will give you the opportunity to help build a fair and inclusive community. We invite people with skills in handcrafts, training, business, digital media, retail sales and markets as well as those who would like help with the recruitment and coordination of volunteers to send their details. Complete the application and we will contact you whenever suitable volunteer vacancies arise.


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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