The Change Agency People

The Change Agency Education and Training Institute is an independent social movement initiative based in Australia and working in the Asia-Pacific region.

James Whelan (director and co-founder)

James Whelan (director and co-founder)

James is director of the Change Agency, a not-for-profit that provides education and training, facilitation and strategy support for social change groups in Australia, the Pacific and Asia. In this role, he has facilitated campaign strategy, decision-making and evaluation workshops and meetings with hundreds of social movement organisations. He co-founded the Community Organising Fellowship, an intensive, structured six-month training program for campaigners. James has been a public interest organiser for three decades, campaigning on issues including climate change and air pollution, sustainable transport, forest conservation and human rights. He has also enjoyed 15 years as an academic and social scientist, working at several universities and think tanks, publishing widely on popular education and social movements, participatory democracy and environmental politics. Email James or phone 0431 150 928
Jason Macleod (Associate)

Jason Macleod (Associate)

Jason is a community organiser, educator, and researcher who has been working with local communities and social and environmental justice movements in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region since 1991. The context of this work varies, from conflict settings, to international and local NGOs, to local government, to community-based organisations, neighbourhoods and villages, although most of his work is with grassroots communities and ordinary people working for social change. He teaches civil resistance at the University of Queensland and is a training associate with the Change Agency, Australia’s leading activist education outfit. Jason is married with kids, wrestles with his Quaker faith, lives in a cohousing settlement, and currently has aspirations to raise chickens. Whenever possible he enjoys a long walk in wilderness country or to ride a perfect pitching wave. He lives on Jaggera land in Brisbane. Email Jason Macleod
Taya Seidler (Associate)

Taya Seidler (Associate)

Taya is a passionate educator and facilitator supporting activists, communities and businesses to effect positive evolutionary change in the world.  She is particularly interested in the skills and processes that allow individuals and groups to unify in order to work effectively and sustainably to influence systemic change.  Her company, Process Power, helps groups to learn the art and science of strategic relating and acting, connecting the essential inner and interpersonal work needed to catalyse collective strategic action.  Specialising in leadership and team development, Taya has over 14 years experience designing and facilitating learning programs for diverse groups.  She believes in and practises the science of possibility and in spite of the current reality we face she is optimistic about the future. Contact Taya.
Max Smith

Max Smith

Max is a co-director of the Community Organising Fellowship and a Clean Air Campaigner at Environmental Justice Australia, where he works with communities and health sector professionals to advocate for the control of toxic pollution from coal-fired power stations. Max has previously worked as a community organiser with the Australian Conservation Foundation, a training facilitator with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and an advisor to a federal Senator. Aside from training and building the collective power to win positive social change, Max enjoys dancing, playing football, and performing stand-up comedy. Max lives on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation. He is a proud unionist.
Edie Shepherd

Edie Shepherd

Edie Shepherd is a proud Wiradjuri and Noongar activist. She's a youth worker turned trade union organiser, and has spent the past 6 years working across labour, climate and land rights movements. She led Blackfullas for Marriage Equality, revived the Aboriginal organising portfolio for the Victorian Trades Hall Council, and worked with communities from Djab Warrung in Victoria, to communities across the Northern Territory to protect and defend country from harm, and now works in the First Nations Justice team at GetUp. Edie is passionate about building the strength, skills and capacity of mob to challenge and contest for power in this colonial state.
Kaz Uy

Kaz Uy

Kaz is a Community Organiser at Tipping Point, building the leadership capacity and skills of student leaders in the #ClimateStrike movement to take action and build local power in their communities to help move Australia beyond the mining and burning of fossil fuels to 100% clean, renewable energy. Previously, she has been an Organiser at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Oxfam Australia, and a Training Officer at Democracy in Colour - a national racial and economic justice organisation led by people of colour. With roots in the Philippines, Kaz is passionate about decolonisation and integrating intersectional feminist leadership and community care practices from her home culture in her activist education work. Kaz also loves surfing and currently lives on the unceded lands of the Wadawurrung People of the Kulin Nation on the Surf Coast.