We do things by consensus

That means everyone gets a say, everyday

Our Structure

FoE Australia Structure, Governance and Funding

FoE Australia is a national federation composed of independent member groups. Each group needs to meet certain membership criteria and is self-managing in terms of it’s campaigns, decision making structures and fundraising. Groups co-operate on specific campaigns and projects at a level they feel is appropriate. To remain a member of FoE Australia, groups must report annually to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). FoEA also has a growing number of affiliate group members. Affiliate group members, retain their own established group or campaign name but are considered in all other ways to be full financial members of FoE. Individuals join FoEA through joining a local FoE group.

Past AGM Reports can be found here.

Friends of the Earth Australia Committee of Management 

A Committee of Management is appointed at the AGM held in September or October each year and is composed of representatives of at least three local FoE groups. 

CoM 2019/2020: 

Emily Gayfer (FoE Melbourne) Convenor (chair)

Franklin Bruinstroop (FoE Brisbane) Treasurer

Sam Castro (FoE Melbourne) Secretary

June Norman (FoE Brisbane) 

Julien Vincent (Market Forces)

Jim Kremar (FoE Melbourne)


Consensus Decision Making

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 organizations 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”. Instead, some groups (particularly feminist groups and groups having a strongly non-violent line) adopted practices from religious groups such as the Quakers.

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.  The background idea here is that The Collective is more important than any given decision. For over forty years, FoE 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 grass roots community based activism and continues to guide our work today.

Communication

Communication between local and affiliate groups is facilitated by the National Liaison Officers (NLO). The NLO collective can be contacted via nlo@foe.org.au

The International Liaison Officers are responsible for communication between FoE Australia and FoE International (FoEI). FoE Melbourne currently hosts the national liaison office and is the formal secretariat for FoEA.

National spokespeople are nominated by local and affiliate groups and are approved to speak on behalf of FoE Australia on specific issues. The regional contacts represent the FoEA network in areas where there are currently no local groups.

Key decisions are made at two national meetings which are generally held in February and October. Various communication structures keep groups informed during the year. FoEA places great value on participatory decision making systems and internal information sharing.

Funding

All local and affiliate groups are responsible for managing their own funds. Membership fees from individuals, donations, regular giving programs, foundations and fundraising ventures are the main income source of most local groups. Please contact the relevant group to get a copy of their annual report. National campaigns and functions such as the magazine Chain Reaction rely on the following sources of income: individual donations, foundations, merchandise, and bequests. Any offer of financial support from business and corporate interests is carefully screened.

Financial reports are found in the annual reports which are available here.

All institutional and philanthropic donors are acknowledged in our annual reports. We generally do not name individual donors in our reports in order to protect their privacy.

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