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We Decide Together

FoE Australia is a national federation composed of autonomous member groups, organising and campaigning from a climate justice perspective. Each member of the FoE Australia Federation must meet a certain membership criteria to have full voting rights, must actively participate in the federation, abide by our aims and objectives and report back annually to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

You can read our annual reports here.

FoE Australia member groups are autonomous and are self-managing in terms of their campaigns, organising strategies, fundraising and democratic decision making structures. FoEA member groups co-operate on specific campaigns and projects at a level they feel is appropriate. For an individual to become part of FoE Australia they must join a member group

Consensus Decision Making

For nearly fifty years, FoE Australia has developed and held firm to some core philosophies, practices and approaches, to the endearment of many and the frustration of a few. However, holding true to our philosophy has provided the foundations for FoE's grassroots community based activism and continues to guide our organising work, which is why to this day we still use a consensus based decision making model.

Consensus is the idea that the group is best served if all members of the group agree to a given course of action.The standard decision-making model used in social organisations has tended over time to be that where a Chairperson seeks a simple majority, upon which a decision is carried. To achieve this the Chairperson calls for a motion, then for speakers for and against that motion, after which a vote is taken. Many social change groups from the 1960s onwards decided that that process too often meant that almost half of a group ended up feeling left out. Groups were fairly easy to “stack” and adopted consensus models.   

Consensus differs from the standard decision-making model in that where there is conflict over a course of action, the solution is not found by competitively adopting one over the other, but by seeking a course of action that either encapsulates the best of all proposals under consideration, or else is sufficiently good that everyone feels sufficiently good about it.  In this process dissent is also valued as it helps the collective refine discussion and proposals until consensus is reached. Consensus does not necessarily mean everyone getting what they want and it requires patience and a willingness to sometimes compromise our individual ideas and to prioritise what is best for the collective.

Key decisions are made at the national meeting and the AGM, which are generally held respectively in the first and last quarter of the year.  The federation also has the capacity to make decisions online  via ballot between members and we utilise various communication structures and platforms to keep member groups informed during the year. FoEA places great value on participatory decision making systems and internal information resource sharing through the Federation commons.


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No Bosses and Equal Pay! 

FoEA is an anti-patriarchal and anti-hierarchical organisation. It has an affirmative employment policy as outlined in our constitution that favours employing women, non-binary people and non-cis men. We also recognise that affirmative action not only relates to the number of women, non-binary people and non-cis men in employment but also to attitudes towards sexual division of labour and gendered roles in any given work situation or decision making process. Therefore at least 60% of all paid workers are women, non-binary people or non-cis men and where a campaign has more than one paid worker, at least one of the paid workers must be a woman, non-binary or non cis man. FoE also has a policy of pay parity, meaning that everyone who is a paid worker at FoE is on the same hourly rate of pay and all contributions are equally valued. 

FoEA strives to work in anti-hierarchical ways and therefore we have no CEO or bosses. We are accountable to each other through collective processes and shared national decision making spaces.


All member groups are responsible for managing their own budgets. Membership fees from individuals, donations, regular giving programs, philanthropic foundations, grant bodies and fundraising events are the main income source of most member groups. FoE Australia financial reports are found in the annual reports which are available herePlease contact the relevant member group to get a copy of their specific annual report.

National projects, campaigns and functions such as the magazine Chain Reaction rely on the following sources of income: individual donations, foundations, grants, merchandise, and bequests. Any offer of financial support from business and corporate interests is carefully screened by the Federation to ensure the funders align with our values. Friends of The Earth does not take donations from unethical sources. 

According to our FoE International membership criteria, national FoE groups must be independent from political parties, economic interests, state and religious organisations.


Our member groups are dispersed across the wide expanse of so called Australia and as such the Federation elects representatives from member groups to ensure communication between groups and with the FoE Asia Pacific and FoE International. 

National Liaison Officers

Communication between FoE Australia Federation member groups is facilitated by the National Liaison Officers. National Liaison Officers are nominated by member groups, and then elected annually via a consensus ballot at the Annual General Meeting. Internal and external communication is largely coordinated by this group, including internal email lists, social media, website etc.

The National Liaison Convenor role is to ensure the National Liaison Officers meet regular and work to support the federation members to stay informed on federation matters. The NLO Convenor role is a part time paid role and is part of the Secretariat of FoE Australia.

The NLO collective can be contacted via [email protected]

International Liaison Officers

Friends of the Earth Australia is a member of Friends of the Earth International in the Asia Pacific region. Communication between Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific and Friends of the Earth International is facilitated by the FoE Australia International Liaison Officers. International Liaison Officers are nominated by member groups, and then elected annually via a consensus ballot at the Annual General Meeting.

The International Liaison Officers' collective can be contacted via [email protected].

International Officers and Working Groups

From time to time FoE Australia will be asked to consider nominating people from our federation for apac or international voluntary roles or working groups. FoE Australia currently has elected individuals on the APAC Board and on the FoEI Membership Development Team and the FoEI Gender Justice and Dismantling Patriarchy working group. 

National Spokespeople are nominated by member groups at the AGM

and are approved to speak on behalf of FoE Australia on specific issues. 

View Spokespeople


Current Secretariat

The day to day affairs of FoE Australia are administered by the FoEA Secretariat which is currently hosted by FoE Melbourne. The workers of the Secretariat support the core functionality of the FoE Australia taking care or organisational, financial and administrative functions. The Secretariat also provides member groups with communication tools, shared campaign resources, support and training.

The Secretariat reports directly to the board and the federation members via national meetings, annual reports, ballots and budget approvals.

Sam Castro

Operations Coordinator [email protected]

Cam Walker

Campaigns Coordinator
[email protected]  

Tara Stevenson

Finance Coordinator   [email protected]

Beata Szinyi

HR Coordinator   [email protected]
Jess Tran
Digital Coordinator
[email protected]
Sam Galvin
National Liaison Officer Convenor     [email protected]
Lisa Arnold
Finance Worker    [email protected]

Committee of Management (CoM)

FoE Australia a group membership based Incorporated Association. FoEA is a registered environmental charity with the ACNC with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. Friends of The Earth Australia is also listed on the register of environmental organisations (REO). 

Friends of The Earth Australia has a Committee of Management (CoM) and a Gift Fund Committee all board members are nominated and appointed at the annual general meeting held in the fourth quarter of each year. CoM members act in a voluntary role on the board which is composed of representatives of at least three member groups within the federation. 

The CoM is responsible for oversight of the organisation, works with the secretariat to support the day to day affairs of the organisation and also makes decisions using our consensus model.

Claud Gallois

[email protected]

Zianna Faud

[email protected]

Alana Mountain

[email protected]

Aleesha Hanczakowski

[email protected]

Franklin Bruinstroop

[email protected]

Katherine Cunningham

[email protected]

Sam Castro

[email protected]