Cohorts

Abi Jabines

Abigail (Abi) Jabines

I was a volunteer almost 15 years ago for a community-led marine sanctuary in an island in the Philippines. The community was mostly subsistence fishing families and we had to gain their trust and respect, inform them about the benefits of the project and encourage them to organise themselves while navigating the local social and political dynamics of the community.

I’ve also been part of a Secretariat that works with community groups and eNGOs across the globe that fight incinerators, promote ecological waste management and advocate for extended producer responsibility.

As a campaigner, I’ve worked with volunteers, partner organisations, religious groups, schools and universities, high-profile individuals and political allies to advocate for a renewable energy target in the Philippines. I also organised youth groups across the globe to promote renewable and decentralised energy in their respective communities and universities.

I was the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Climate Change campaigner, working on a campaign that aims to rebuild the ambition on climate action in Australia. It involved working with supporters, eNGOs and other organisations in Australia to present a robust case that resonates to decision makers and the public.

Adele Neale

Adele Neale

Adele lives on Boonwurrung/Bunurong country in south-east Melbourne. She is a graduate of COF2016 and a facilitator for the fellowship since 2019, now co-director. Following various roles in the climate movement, Adele worked as a community organiser at Environment Victoria for several years in Victoria’s most marginal seats to build lasting public support for government action on climate change. With a background in botany and marine biology, she has developed a passion for shifting societal culture towards protecting the amazing world we get to live in, led by First Nations communities and those most affected. She particularly enjoys training and loves bringing people together to learn and decide to do bold exciting things.

Aisha de Barros lopes

Aisha de Barros Lopes

My first involvement in campaigning was through my participation in rallies and petitions whilst living and studying in Melbourne from 2013 to 2016. It was while living in the big city that I came to recognise the importance of, and the momentum of change that is generated through direct action.

I currently work as Projects and Events Coordinator at Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC). CAFNEC is a not-for-profit organisation, and is the peak environmental body campaigning and advocating for environmental issues in Far North Queensland. In my role, I work closely with the community, schools, and other environmental groups, organising educational projects and events that foster environmental awareness. I am also responsible for recruiting volunteers, and engaging and supporting our volunteer network.

As an intern first, and now an employee of CAFNEC I have been involved in smaller local campaigning issues, as well as the broader environmental issues of state and national importance. I have been heavily involved in the Land Clearing Campaign in 2017, in the lead up to the Queensland state election, whereby I collaborated with other environmental organisations, helped in developing and planning a campaign strategy, created informative resources for the public, and hosted a candidate forum here in Cairns. Our current campaign is to make climate change the election issue. We want our government to make the switch to renewable energy. Thus far, I have worked closely with my colleagues and our volunteers in developing a campaign strategy for this, as well as facilitated a Rise for Climate Rally as part of the Global Day of Action for Climate Change.

Alana West

I began organising through the Australian Student Environment Network, mobilising students concerned about environmental and social justice to organise on campus through enviro collectives and outside of campus by supporting grassroots campaigns in their area.

I helped to form Quit Coal Sydney which provided Sydney city-based direct action support to coal and gas campaigns from across New South Wales. I was in the We Stand with Jono collective which supported Jonathan Moylan though his court trial for his press release action against ANZ. I have been involved in the Leard Blockade almost since the beginning and continue to work on this campaign as the Maules Creek community struggles against Whitehaven Coal.

Aleesha Hanczakowski

Engaging with grassroots organising for climate justice alongside my studies had me hooked on the role of community organising and the effectiveness of collective action. Working with the AYCC, convening the WA Student Environment Network and coordinating the Fossil Free Murdoch campaign highlighted for me the unique, empowering and necessary aspects of organising needed in WA. I’ve been involved in organising action and training camps including in the Stop Adani movement, on the frontline, with the Save Beeliar Wetlands campaign and the Women’s climate justice collective. Since returning from a year in Indonesia and after different experiences with communities and resistance I’ve been supporting the school strike 4 climate movement in WA.

Alex Cassie

Alex Cassie

Former diplomat (UNFCCC, Mexico, WTO in reverse order) now building on those skills domestically as Political and Community Organiser at the AMWU WA in my hometown Perth. Working to build workers’ power to create communities we all want to live in, particularly in communities undergoing transition from coal and fossil-fuel based industries. My areas of expertise are Australian political institutions, electoral and single-issue campaigning and organising; international response to climate change; multilateral negotiations. Key interests are in political economy and environmental conservation. Jiu-jitsu purple belt and fiend for a paperback novel.

Alex Morales

Alex Morales

I have been with United Voice for 11 years and I have experience in most of our areas of coverage. We have many areas of coverage but I came from cleaning and it’s where I have the most experience. I have also been involved in volunteer community organisations as a member in Chilean community groups in Sydney.

I work across several teams in United Voice, including working with manufacturing workers, cleaners, security guards, corrections officers, home care workers, and catering staff. Campaigns differ from industry to industry due to the diversity of jobs. However, the thing that all of these industry campaigns have in common is that we work with or through delegates, and the leader development aspect of the campaign is most crucial to implement any strategy.

Alexandra Soderlund

I currently work for Solar Citizens as Campaign Coordinator. We are working on a campaign to save and increase the Renewable Energy Target, a Queensland Election campaign (that will have finished by the first workshop) and other smaller campaigns.

Community organising is about giving people the skills, structures and confidence they need to take action and to encourage them to join a movement. It’s about opening avenues for community members to get involved in ways that make them feel empowered and like they are affecting change.

From an organiser’s perspective, it’s also about finding the most effective ways to draw on that pool of supporters and build a strong base for your campaign in order to put pressure on decision makers. It’s about building a movement and power from the grassroots to enact change.

Alice Eggleston

Alice Eggleston

I am a Registered Nurse with a Master of Public Health based in Sydney, grew up in Newcastle.

Currently a campaign organiser for the Climate and Health Alliance, mobilising health professionals to take action on climate change and pushing the government to develop a National Strategy on Climate Change and Health.

I believe grassroots community groups are more powerful than big business and politicians and is how we will create change.

Climate change is the biggest health threat humanity has ever faced. We are already seeing the health impacts today, from the increase in natural disasters such as heatwaves, droughts and bushfires.

Alicia Walter

Growing up on a biodynamic farm in country Victoria entrenched my connection with the environment from a young age. I was so lucky to see my parents working with nature, be able to explore the forests, grow our own food and have a rosy view of the world. As I grew older, the juxtaposition of my upbringing and the rest of Australia became clearer, which was a really difficult and scary realisation! I decided to study Corporate Environmental Management, only to find that the solutions to environmental degradation and climate change weren’t really possible within our management systems.

I realised that if we actually want to take meaningful action on climate change, we need to change what society does, and what we value and believe, which starts with communities. This is why I started volunteering with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) in North Queensland, and why I’m now lucky enough to be the AYCC’s North Queensland Organiser.
I am endlessly passionate about organising in regional and front-line communities, and am so excited about the potential of North Queensland to embrace the “crisitunity” of climate change and move towards a brighter future!

Alycia Gawthorne

I’m a campaigner within GetUp’s rapid response team, and on our ongoing climate and refugee campaigns. My role involves planning and implementing campaign strategy and drafting campaign content for our emails, website and social media.

Recently our team has expanded our scope to find ways of engaging our membership in offline actions – whether it be organising a candlelight vigil for our refugee campaign, or a march through the streets of Melbourne to coincide with a global movement of climate action.

I’m increasingly looking into ways in which we can shift the way we campaign and organise, to a more decentralised structure that will provide opportunities for our members to step up and assume leadership roles to campaign within their community.

Amelia Fowles

Amelia Fowles

A Tasmanian marine scientist, active around conservation, working to protect biodiversity, increase awareness, communicate science and support communities.

In 2012, Amelia was the Australian Youth representative to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Conference of the Parties India, where young conservation leaders of the world rallied to hold world leaders to account. She has helped create networks for indigenous youth at the World Indigenous Network Conference in Darwin and more recently she was involved in organising a pre-capacity gathering for young professionals at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.

Millie Telford

Amelia Telford

Growing up in the Northern Rivers opened my eyes to the beautiful country that we live in and opened my mind to the reasons why we need to fight for it, for our people and our culture. Being quite young, the majority of my community organising experience has been throughout high school. In 2008 I started getting more actively involved in the community (mainly environmental advocacy and indigenous rights) and started to learn about what it takes to bring students, parents, farmers, teachers, workers and other allies together and ask for their support. This involved student-led campaigns and activities, anti-CSG information sessions and rallies, fundraising events, building partnerships, community working bee days (tree planting) and social gatherings.

I have previously worked for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition as the Indigenous Project Coordinator. I started in this role at the beginning of 2013. This was a new role and a new project for our organisation, so it meant that the majority of 2013 was about creating a clear vision, gaining community support (from funders, Indigenous communities and individuals, external supporters and the wider community), fundraising and advocating for a stronger Indigenous voice within the climate movement. I am now the National Co-director of SEED. Seed is Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network. We are building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Our vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy. Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, but we also know it is an opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world.

Andrew Bray

Andrew Bray

From 2009 to 2012 I worked on the Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions campaign. This was about building up a campaigning group within my local sustainability group. I organised and coordinated political actions as part of a team. Primarily the campaign was a series of one-off events: local actions that were part of larger campaigns – Replace Hazelwood, 350.org, 100% Renewable and others.

In 2011-12 I joined the 100% Renewable team as one of their Media and Comms Coordinators and Regional Organiser: As Regional Organiser I organised 8-10 groups around Victoria, engaging them in campaign activities and maintaining contact with them in between times.

I’m currently the State Coordinator with the Victorian Wind Alliance. VicWind is a state chapter of the Australian Wind Alliance. As State Coordinator, I am responsible for the whole gamut of the organisation’s activities, including campaigning, membership, fundraising and administration. Our main campaign last year was Reclaim Waubra, where wind power supporters in the town of Waubra aimed to persuade the anti-wind farm organisation, ‘Waubra Foundation’ to drop the town’s name. The other main focus was building the organisation from scratch and recruiting members throughout Victoria, uniting farmers, wind workers and community supporters.

Angie Judd

Angie Judd

After finishing my undergraduate degree in mid-2017 I went along to an event called Power Shift, where I was I introduced to power of organising by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). I began to look for more opportunities to get involved, taking on a leadership position in my state AYCC branch and participating in the Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia program in 2018.

I’m passionate about bridging the intersections between social and environmental issues, which has kept me involved in AYCC’s fight for climate justice. I’m now working as an organiser at the AYCC supporting young people in Victoria to take action on campaigns to Stop Adani, repower schools with renewable energy and to ban fracking in the NT, alongside studying for my Master of Public Policy.

Angus Ralton

I am the current joint chair for the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance and have had role in organising family fun days and protest groups. I have been involved in organising a fund raising family day in the vineyard adjacent to the mine site and a “meet the candidates” forum for the upcoming state elections. We are fighting the establishment and expansion of gas fields in the south east of South Australia.

Anna Bateman

Throughout my working life, I have always been fascinated by what motivates and inspires change to create a more just society—in particular through work with communities. In the early 2000s, I was involved with setting up Just and Fair Asylum, an organisation formed to support the work of advocates for refugees kept in indefinite detention. Since 2016, I have worked on campaigns devoted to change, either in the social and environmental sphere — most recently on campaigns targeting awareness about the environment and the political, where I advise on social media and communications strategies. I have created content for campaigns in Tasmania through my media company Berry Productions and draw on three decades of experience as a television producer and director, which includes making documentaries about serious topics such as autism and eating disorders as well as light entertainment, non fiction and comedy such as Judith Lucy is All Woman. I use my expertise in media to connect content to people beyond the ‘converted’ and aim to create an open dialogue, so people might embrace and act to create change around issues that impact our lives in important and far reaching ways.

Annika Dean

I am generally interested in progress towards stopping coal expansion, and progress towards climate change adaptation in the Pacific. I have been involved in climate change activism against coal expansion in the Hunter Valley for most of the past decade, first as a member of the grassroots collective Rising Tide Newcastle and then as part of the Hunter Community Environment Centre. I was involved in organising the first climate camp in Australia in 2008, and was more recently involved in the campaign against the fourth coal terminal in Newcastle. I also helped to organise the Pacific Climate Warriors Flotilla in the World’s Biggest Coal Port in 2014, which was rated by the Guardian as one of the top ten sustainability campaigns of 2014. I recently completed my PhD, which investigates the effects of climate finance on the adaptive capacity of the Republic of Kiribati.

Ashley Rose

I am a proud Cammeraygal man, Lead Organiser at the FSU, eight years organising experience, union activist for sixteen years and twenty years activist experience in First Nations social justice and cultural protection issues.

Bella Himmelreich

Bella Himmelreich

I work at the Young Workers Centre in Canberra, equipping young workers with the tools they need to fight for their rights at work. I also volunteer with Tomorrow Movement, organising and training groups of young people across the country to fight for a future that works for ordinary people, not big business.

I am a proud Australian Services Union member and delegate, and am passionate about building a union movement that fights not just for better pay and conditions, but for broader social justice outcomes.

I first got involved in community organising through climate activism with a local divestment campaign. That experience led me to getting involved in a range of groups including the Australian Student Environment network and Fossil Free Unis / 350.org.

Berish Bilander

Berish Bilander

I am a Melbourne based musician, composer and teacher with a background in improvisation. After a year spent in Indonesia watching the effect of unfettered ‘development’ I decided to get active on environmental issues. Initially I worked with a local climate action group, supporting larger state and national campaigns like Quit Coal and 100% Renewables, and lobbying our council to adopt sustainable policies and practices. In 2013 I found myself vigorously campaigning against the East West Link toll road alongside affected residents, councils and inner suburban community groups. Later I helped to establish Public Transport Not Traffic (PTNT), an affiliate group to Friends of the Earth that focused on mobilising communities in marginal seats in the lead-up to the state election. Our efforts were rewarded in late 2014 with a change of government and the eventual scrapping of the toll road. I’m currently the lead campaigner for PTNT working to empower individuals and community groups across Melbourne to fight for increased investment in public transport and other forms of sustainable transport.

Bernard Tonkin

Passionate about social justice and the environment he dropped out of Uni to go woofing, joined a Catholic sustainable lifestyle community, became a carpenter and went to the Philippines on an Anti-bases exposure tour. He later studied Social Work, embraced becoming a partner and father of three, built passive solar houses and became a men’s violence program facilitator. After living in East Timor with his family he founded Castlemaine 350.org which occupied Westpac with one hundred people to stop Adani, and spawned School Strike 4 Climate. Still works helping men overcome family violence and on the intersection between the community sector and climate.

Bhaval Chandaria

In 2016 I began working on the Greenpeace Ban the Bag campaign in WA, which focused on building community support for a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags, and then utilising this support to approach the state government and push for the ban to be implemented. This campaign began with a petition, but evolved over time as it gained momentum and support, and eventually I was able to co-ordinate a letter-writing campaign which gained the support of several local councils. Earlier this year the WA State Government announced a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags will be implemented by July 2018.

I am currently a group member of 350 Perth, and have been working mostly on the Stop Adani campaign, as well as Council Divestment. I am the group convener of my local action group with Amnesty International, and we are currently pushing for our local council area to become a Refugee Welcome Zone. I am also the group coordinator for Greenpeace Perth, which is very newly formed and is still findings it’s feet, but has been focusing on reducing plastic pollution.

Bronya Lipski

I am a lawyer with Environmental Justice Australia, a not-for-profit legal center that specializes in using the law (both litigation and law reform) to protect nature and defend the rights of communities to a healthy environment.

My campaigning is in the law reform space, helping communities impacted by toxic air pollution from coal fired power stations to achieve environmental justice – both distributive and procedural – by pushing for a range of solutions including stronger emissions standards.

Cari Lin

The day after the 2019 federal election, I joined the climate movement. Since then, I’ve discovered that action is the best antidote to despair. I am passionate about organising the newly activated grassroots movement that is taking direct action to address the climate, ecological and humanitarian crisis.I am currently a coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Sydney, the core organiser of Lower North Shore Climate Action, and a volunteer organiser at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. I live and work on the land of the Cammeraygal people of the Eora Nation.

I am also a sonic meditation facilitator, and on a (very extended) career break as a lawyer.

Carly Robertson

Carly Robertson

My journey into climate activism started with a conversation. I was a guest at Climate for Change conversation in 2016, and from there I was inspired to become a volunteer facilitator, and later a fundraiser, facilitator mentor and part of the 2019 Communications and Fundraising Fellowship. Throughout 2020 COVID lockdowns, I also helped expand the reach of MP Engagement Groups around Australia, supporting the startup of local groups to contact their MPs about climate issues. I was hired by the Australian Conservation Foundation as a Community Mobiliser for the 2019 Climate Election campaign to train volunteers and run voter calling parties. I’ve also been a Community Organiser in the shareholder activism team Market Forces working with shareholders and volunteers to hold businesses, banks and super funds to account on their investment in fossil fuels and their climate risk mitigation. I currently work as a Team Leader with Climate for Change, recruiting, training and supporting volunteer facilitators of Climate Conversations to step up and be part of the climate action movement. I believe that community organising is how we can channel the growing concern for climate change and our living world by helping everyday citizens to find their voice and make change happen.

Carolyn Ingvarson

Carolyn Ingvarson

Convenes Lighter Footprints, a climate action group she founded in the Kooyong Electorate. Carolyn works to support the group’s members to understand the science and practice of energy efficiency and sustainable living in our own lives. She is committed to learning how best to work towards change in our community, including working with local politicians at state and federal levels. Carolyn’s current focus is energy policy at state and federal levels, building contact and meeting with local councillors on low carbon strategy projects.

Caspian

Caspian Bahramshahi

I started my journey as an organiser straight out of high school with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Over three years I worked up to a role as a state fundraising coordinator and later as state campaigns coordinator. Though I cared deeply about the environment, it was always the human impact of climate change that really made me passionate.

I decided it was time to move out of the climate movement, and spent the next 2 years floating between LGBT+ rights, refugee rights, disability, poverty, workers’ rights and social justice campaigning.

I discovered that no matter where I went, the environment movement kept drawing me back. I now work as a community organiser for the Queensland Conservation Council, where I have two main projects. My first focus is the Sun-Powered Queensland Alliance, an alliance formed to push for 100% clean energy in Queensland. My second focus is the development of a community organising and campaign training program to be delivered to regional Queensland.

Cat Nadel

Cat Nadel

Works with Environment Victoria as a safe climate campaigner. Her role involves implementing campaigns designed to accelerate the closure of Victoria’s largest source of climate pollution, the brown coal power stations in the Latrobe Valley. Her role involves helping communities communicate their concerns to the state and federal governments, encouraging them to implement ambitious climate policy and advocating for a smooth and just transition for communities in the Latrobe Valley.

Chantelle McKenna

Chantelle McKenna

A digital organizer with the Together union in QLD and manages their member contact call centre. Currently, Chantelle’s union is campaigning for changes to industrial laws to allow long-term temporary contract workers to apply to the Fair Work Commission for permanency. Only private sector workers are currently able to do this. The union is also in the process of assisting Health workers to take protected action. Before joining Together, Chantelle was involved with Front Line Action on Coal, opposing the destruction of the Lead Forest in north west NSW. She then volunteered with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, where she was Campaign Coordinator with a core group of ten volunteers.