environmental groups and social justice groups - Australian directory

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.

Solar Citizens

Solar Citizens is a community initiated campaign working to build community and political support for renewable energy. In January 2009 over 500 community members from 100 local community groups came together in Canberra at Australia’s first Community Climate Summit and realised we were all asking the same questions. With such abundant sun and wind, with the impacts of climate change were hitting already, when thousands of new jobs would be created – why isn't Australia getting serious about renewable energy? We are calling for the introduction of a national feed-in tariff to really kick start renewable energy investment in Australia. One by one we are working to get every community, every business, every politician in Australia behind our vision. Today there we are a 104,465 strong community.

To get involved, find a local group, or start one of your own, write a letter to your local politician or have a chat to a friend, get some mates and take a photo at your town or suburb, sign or join the effort to have 20,000 conversations on renewable energy, sign our petition and join in. Together we are creating a groundswell of community support.

New South Wales

Solar Citizens

Australia is one of the sunniest continents on earth, so producing power from the sun just makes sense. This has been recognised by millions of Australians who have chosen to take energy generation into their own hands. One million rooftop power stations are now lighting up homes around the country. And many more households are looking to solar as a way to manage their energy bills, creating cleaner energy along the way. Solar Citizens is a new community project to bring together existing and future solar owners to ensure the rights of solar owners are protected and to help see Australia put a panel on every rooftop.

If you're interested in using solar energy, or already are, get in touch.

New South Wales

South East Region Conservation Alliance

SERCA is an alliance of conservation groups from the south coast of New South Wales. It is focussed on native forests that provide essential solutions in climate change, water and bio-diversity. SERCA campaigns for forest protection and for the Tasmanian Statement of Principles to be used as a basis for reform of native forestry in NSW. SECA opposes the use of native forest biomass for electricity generation or any other industrial uses. SERCA serves as the principal regional voice and advocate for the south east forests in media and other public spheres and makes submissions to government discussion papers to effect the outcome of forest policy.

SERCA invites any local environment group, or groups of citizens, or individuals concerned over environmental planning decisions and quality of life issues, to join us.

New South Wales

SPAN Community House Thornbury

Span Community House is a vibrant Neighbourhood house located in Thornbury providing quality, low-cost, educational, social, sustainable, recreational and community development programs and activities in response to community need. SPAN seeks to contribute to the development of a sustainable and connected local community through educational and recreational activities. Our staff and volunteers are committed to equal opportunity, diversity and community development.

SPAN relies on volunteer support to provide a high level of service to the community. Volunteer opportunities are available in the community garden, administration, cooking, marketing and promotion, event organisation, general assistance, on the Board of Directors, IT, tutoring, assisting the class facilitator, running activities and other areas. Complete the volunteer application form and return by email.

SPAN Good Bugs Garden Group.
No garden of your own? Would you like to be able to share some fresh produce? Come and join the SPAN team of volunteers who look after our community garden. Wheelchair accessible. We would love to have more green thumbs at SPAN. Held every Wednesday mornings 10am - 12pm.


Stop Adani

Adani's mega coal mine will fuel global warming, permanently damage the Great Barrier Reef, trash Aboriginal land and steal our water supplies. This is a massive campaign to stop the biggest coal mine in Australia, people from all states are taking part in all kinds of tactics to make sure the mine doesn't go ahead including shifting the politics, building a grassroots movement and diverting funding from the mine.

Join your local Stop Adani group or start your own. We'll give you all the information and support you need through our Action Station. Sign up to our list and join in local events and global protest.

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

Stop Lynas

On August 4th 2011 Australian company Lynas Corporation officially opened its Mt Weld rare earth mine in Western Australia. Lynas wants to export 33,000 tonnes per annum of rare earth concentrates through the port of Fremantle in Western Australia to the port of Kuantan in Malaysia to their polluting, energy intensive an highly controversial processing plant, the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP). The LAMP is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2011 but it is being vehemently opposed by thousands of people in Malaysia.

In light of a New York Times article Kuantan residents were awakened to the fact that their government had given the green-light to a project against their consent. Kuantan residents and supporters – ordinary citizens from diverse professions, race and religious backgrounds – started a movement to protest both the Malaysian government and Lynas Corporation. In spite of the risks and massive opposition, the Malaysian government had agreed to host the plant offering Lynas a speedy process and a 12-year tax holiday.

Join the Australian Stop Lynas Facebook group to stay up to date. If you live in Perth consider taking direct action if Lynas Corporation begins the transportation and shipment of rare earth concentrate to Malaysia. Contact stoplynasnow@gmail.com to get involved. Let us know what your capacity is, what you might be able to contribute to the campaign big or small.

Western Australia

Surf Coast Energy Group

Formed in 2008, the Surf Coast Energy Group is a diverse group of Surf Coast residents based in Victoria, united by a concern for climate change and sustainability and doing something about it at a local level. The group now has over 800 members. We encourage positive behaviour change and promote understanding of climate change and resource use. We play a part in state and national campaigns including Cash for Containers, 100% Renewables, Surf Coast Air Action and Solar Citizens.

We are always looking for new team members and volunteers to help out at events and contribute new ideas. Come to a meeting (rsvp first) or get in touch.


Sustainable Living Foundation

The Sustainable Living Foundation (SLF) aims to accelerate the uptake of sustainable living in the general community to ensure a liveable planet for all sentient beings. SLF's chief purpose is to create platforms, portals and possibilities for the challenging discussions that struggle to be heard in more conventional circles.

The major SLF platform is the annual Sustainable Living Festival which presents a rich and diverse program of forums and workshops, exhibitions, films and performance, markets and tours that celebrates sustainability initiatives throughout the community.

Another newly created platform is Breakthrough - the National Centre for Climate Restoration - that explores the concept of safe climate restoration and aims to ignite the development of a coordinated effort to take action. Breakthrough is a platform for organisations and individuals seeking to explore and develop sound strategies to restore safe climate conditions.

Interested parties can check out the website or social media pages to keep up to date with current activities - opportunities to participate in projects or as volunteers will be advertised via these modes.


Swan Island Peace Convergence

For the past 5 years, peace activists have gathered at the Swan Island Military Base in Queenscliff Victoria, for a week of nonviolently resisting the SAS’s involvement in dirty wars. Swan Island Military base is a key training facility for the SAS who continue to fight and kill in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries in Australia’s name. The SAS are a key plank in our contribution to US imperialism through the ANZUS alliance. Swan Island is also a key facility for ASIS, Australia’s overseas intelligence body.

Many of us feel powerless in the face of unjust wars, but this is our chance to get alongside our brothers and sisters affected by the SAS, and learn how we can help and raise our voices.

Come to the Convergence, get skilled up in non violent protest and join in the creative direct action to blockade the bridge to Swan Island military base.

Sydney Wildlife

Sydney Wildlife operates in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area which extends from the Hawkesbury River in the north, to Picton in the south and from the foothills of the Blue Mountains to the ocean. As well as caring for sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife, Sydney Wildlife is also involved in educating the community about native wildlife and its habitat. From kindergartens to retirement villages, community education packages are tailored to meet the specific needs of a wide range of audiences. Sydney Wildlife is an entirely voluntary, charitable organisation. There are no paid staff what-so-ever.

Find out what's involved in becoming a wildlife carer, attend one of our training sessions and get involved.

New South Wales

Tarkine National Coalition

The Tarkine is one of the world’s great wild places. It is an expansive 447,000 hectare wilderness area of recognised World Heritage significance in the North-West corner of Tasmania, Australia’s island state. The Tarkine contains remarkable natural and cultural values, including one of the world’s most significant remaining tracts of temperate rainforest. Less than 5% of the Tarkine is protected as National Park. Parts of the Tarkine are threatened by new mining and logging leases and illegal activities such as poaching and arson. Save the Tarkine is campaigning to stop these activities, build a national campaign and make it easy for people to become involved and visit this amazing place.

No matter what state you're in we need strong voices to stand up for this national treasure. Find out what you can do on our website and join to keep up to date on the progress of current mining operations. Help fund our Federal Court to challenge the validity of the unlawful Commonwealth approval of the Venture Minerals’ Riley Creek mine.

lutruwita (Tasmania)

The Australia Institute

The Australia Institute is the country’s most influential progressive think tank. Based in Canberra, it conducts research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues in order to inform public debate and bring greater accountability to the democratic process. With new dilemmas confronting our society and our planet, a better balance is urgently needed. Unprecedented levels of consumption co-exist with extreme poverty. Technology has connected humanity as never before, yet civic engagement is declining. Environmental neglect continues despite heightened ecological awareness. If genuine progress is to be achieved, conscience, equity and concern for the future must be the guiding principles of our democracy.

Use our extensive library of reports to learn about environmental and social justice issues, share our infographics to spread powerful messages and check out our upcoming events and get involved.

The Australia Institute

The Australia Institute is the country’s most influential progressive think tank. Based in Canberra, it conducts research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues in order to inform public debate and bring greater accountability to the democratic process. The Institute is funded by donations from philanthropic trusts and individuals, and commissioned research. With no formal political or commercial ties, the Institute is in a position to maintain its independence while advancing a vision for a fair and progressive Australia. The Institute is determined to push public debate beyond the simplistic question of whether markets or governments have all the answers to more important questions.

Join the Institutes mail list to keep up to date on the latest reports about regressive government policy, responses to climate change, the logging and fracking industries and more; and actions you can take to support social change.

The Bob Brown Foundation (Melbourne)

The Bob Brown Foundation is all about action with a vision to protect Australia's wild and scenic natural places of ecological and global significance.

The first place on our radar is the stunning Tarkine in a remote part of North West Tasmania. The Tarkine is a vast wilderness area supporting Australia's largest tract of cool temperate rainforest, spanning wild windswept beaches, extensive buttongrass plains and pristine wild rivers. It is of great significance to Tasmania's indigenous people and a relict of the ancient continent of Gondwana and related to temperate forests in Patagonia and the South Island of New Zealand.

Our campaign for The Tarkine is calling for its recognition as a National Park and World Heritage Area and is taking strategic and considered action step by step to reach this goal by 2020. We need your help to do this.

To get involved in the Tarkine Action Group, please contact Campaigner Emma Wasson.


The Gould League

For over 90 years, the Gould League has been a leader in environmental education particularly in Australian schools, reaching hundreds of thousands of children with original and effective programs and resources. The League creates student leaders who in turn influence their families and communities. Our work is consistent with the declaration of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014, recognising that education offers opportunities for learning, participation and action and empowerment by building skills and capacity. Education allows people to make informed decision making and assists people to take greater responsibility for their choices, actions and impact.

We welcome volunteers and endeavour to provide excellent opportunities and support. Recent volunteers have assisted with projects as diverse as gardening, marketing and PR activities, setting up for student programs and assisting with our Multicultural School Gardens program.


The Institute of Postcolonial Studies

The Institute of Postcolonial Studies was founded in 1996 as an independent venue for the exploration of postcolonial scholarship, politics and creative practice.

The Institute hosts a wide variety of public events, performances and presentations, bringing together scholars, artists, activists and larger publics to explore and respond to the legacies of the colonial encounter in Australia and globally.

At the core of the activities and projects we aim to foster and support there is one central guiding concern: how can we best respond to the pressing challenges of coexistence in the present?

The Institute is the home of the scholarly and global journal, Postcolonial Studies.

The Institute is member-based organisation and membership is open to all who share its concerns.


The Institute has ongoing activities such as public forums and workshops, member and student-led reading and discussion groups, and practice-based community engaged research.

To get involved contact Carlos Eduardo Morreo: / 0490130004


The Seaside Scavenge

The Seaside Scavenge is about putting a value on rubbish. It’s a beach clean up event but add some live music and second-hand markets to the mix and it becomes something much bigger than that.

We want to create a community around re-use and recycling. We set up market stalls with donated second-hand goods. The idea is that you come along check out the markets, see what you like but the catch is if you want to ‘buy’ you have to pick up some trash. A shirt may be 10 pieces of rubbish, so that’s what you’ve got to go get to trade in for the shirt.

We collate all the data on the trash collected and send it to Tangaroa Blue Foundation, who keep Australia wide databases of beach rubbish items and quantities.

The best way to get involved is when we put on events, which we update on our Seaside Scavenge Facebook and website. If you have clothes to donate, get in touch with AJ at linke.aj@gmail.com. Look us up on Facebook or our website and find out when the next event is on!

New South Wales

The Thin Green Line Foundation

Over 1,000 Park Rangers have lost their lives across the globe in the last 10 years. The Thin Green Line Foundation along with our strong partners the International Ranger Federation are the only organisations dedicated to protecting these protectors. We provide vital equipment, training and resources to rangers in the field, predominantly in high value
conservation and conflict zones. Additionally we do not forget the widows and children of our fallen conservation heroes and provide meaningful and effective social support.

Get involved with our regular fundraising gigs and have a great time in the process, or organising your own fundraising event. You can also show our film to raise awareness of the conditions international Park Rangers face. Whatever your skills, there’s a volunteer opportunity with your name on it. Register through our website.


The Wilderness Society

TWS is a national, community-based, environmental advocacy organisation whose purpose is protecting, promoting and restoring wilderness and natural processes across Australia for the survival and ongoing evolution of life on Earth. Since its formation in 1976, TWS has achieved the secure protection of over eight million hectares of wilderness and other high conservation value areas in Australia. TWS works through the avenues of public education and empowerment, advocacy and negotiation, and desk and field research. TWS is politically unaligned, but uses democratic processes to maximise wise conservation decisions.

Wilderness Action Group (WAG) meets every Tuesday night in Melbourne at 6.30pm. Check in with your local group if you don't live in Victoria. People with a wide range of skills, backgrounds and experience welcome. Dedicate as much time as you wish, or just come along for an update.

New South Wales
Western Australia
South Australia
lutruwita (Tasmania)


Social media is an easy way to say something, but it’s a difficult way to be heard. Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks. By boosting the signal at the same time, Thunderclap helps a single person create action and change like never before.

Start your own Thunderclap. If you reach your supporter goal, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr post from all your supporters, creating a wave of attention as your cause trends across these networks.


Total Environment Centre

Established in 1972 by pioneers of the Australian environmental movement, TEC is a veteran of more than 100 successful campaigns. For over 30 years, we have been working to protect this country's natural and urban environment, flagging the issues, driving debate, supporting community activism and pushing for better environmental policy and practice.

TEC is a hub - a resource and support base - for environmentalists working on a wide range of issues. With our years of experience in lobbying, campaigns, media and research, we have helped hundreds of community groups in their struggle to protect their local environment. We are fearless critics of government - local, state and federal - but we will also work constructively with governments and business for positive environmental outcomes.

Take look at the different campaigns on the TEC website to find out how to get involved.

New South Wales


TreeProject is a non-profit community organisation dedicated to revegetating the Victorian landscape with indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses. We work with farmers, landcare groups, park authorities, government authorities and hundreds of volunteers to achieve our goals. The Re-Tree Scheme recruits volunteers from Melbourne and regional Victoria to propagate indigenous seedlings at home for farmers, landcare groups and other organisations across the state. Tree planting days are organised throughout the cooler months of the year. They take place on country farms and reserves and urban parks.

Get in touch to grow seedlings that will be planted on landholders farms, or take part in planting days. If you are a landholder, get in touch if you'd like to plant trees on your property.

Trust for Nature

Trust for Nature works to protect native plants and wildlife in cooperation with private landowners. In 1978, Trust for Nature developed conservation covenants as a way to protect native plants and wildlife on private land, and we have now protected more than 50,000 hectares through over 1,200 perpetual conservation covenants. The covenanting program has been adopted nationally with similar schemes now operating in WA, Qld and SA.The Trust has also purchased and preserved more than 55 properties across Victoria through its Revolving Fund, as well as currently owning and managing 44 properties that cover over 36,000 hectares of Victoria using a revolving fund.

To find out more about getting involved, make an expression of interest to volunteer online. If you are a land owner who'd like to protect your property with a conservation covenant, find out more about the incentives or if you are looking to buy protected land see what's available.


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