Spread the word: Canberra School Climate Strike

2019 Canberra School Climate Strike

When: Friday, March 15, 2019 at 12 PM – 3 PM
Where: Garema Pl, City ACT 2601, Australia

After the great success of the School Strike 4 Climate Action in November 2018, Australia’s super school students are organising a 2019 School Strike on 15 March.

Canberra’s students will be joining students across the world who are also walking out of schools to call on those in power to address this emergency. These students are reiterating their message to our politicians to take young people seriously and start treating climate change for what it is: a crisis and the biggest threat to young generations and generations to come.

Our offices have been busy with school strike planning meetings with students ranging from 12 to 18 discussing the strategic and operational direction of the protest. It is inspiring to see these young people articulating their views and coordinating such a large event.

We need the broader community to lend its support to these school students in the lead up to the strike.

Here are some ways you can get involved:
  1. Are you an Academic supporter? Strike with the school students in solidarity by signing this petition.
  2. Are you a university student? Join the student contingent to the climate school strike.
  3. Do you want to stay informed? Sign up for email updates.
  4. Do you want to spread the word? Download your own copy of the poster.
Photo credit: School Strike 4 Climate Action group

Sign up for our Environment Exchanges




Be part of an inspiring environment network as we explore a different theme each month.

Hear from fascinating guest speakers and engage in open and lively discussion about a range of topics in sustainability and environment. Includes free ploughman’s lunch

When: Last Tuesday of every month, 12 noon – till 2pm
Where: Renewables Innovation Hub, 19-23 Moore St Turner ACT

Tuesday 26 February 2019

The future of gas: A pipe dream?

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Loving your cats and wildlife too: Cat containment for Canberra?

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Biodiversity offsets: Does it work to swap damage here with fixup there?

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Superb parrot: What can be done about this difficult bird?

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Waste to energy: Feeding the incinerator?

Please RSVP for catering purposes. Reserve your place or find out more at http://www.conservationcouncil.org.au/events or phone (02) 6229 3200

Donations appreciated

Save the date: 2019 World Environment Day Dinner

Save the date!

The Conservation Council ACT Region is holding its annual World Environment Day Dinner on Saturday 1st June 2019.

Theme: Optimism and Defiance

Our theme is ‘Optimism and Defiance’ – two attitudes which will be critical in 2019. Australia is at a turning point on environmental issues. The federal election is looming, and it is set to focus the nation’s attention on climate change, energy policy and our high rates of biodiversity loss. Moreover, we will see the momentum from the recent School Strike for Climate Action and Stop Adani movements ramp up. In this exciting time, join us to celebrate optimism and defiance in Canberra’s environment community, who are, and have always been, vocal and strong.

Guest speaker

Who better to give us a better insight into why optimism and defiance is important than our Guest Speaker, Dr Bob Brown?

Bob is an acclaimed author, photographer and lifelong activist, who rose to prominence when he led the campaign to save the Franklin River in the 1980s.

After 10 years in the Tasmanian Parliament, Bob was elected to the Senate in 1996 where he served for 16 years. He was leader of the Australian Greens from 2005 to 2012, when he retired from the parliament to establish the Bob Brown Foundation.

New venue

The World Environment Day Dinner is also having a change of scenery: it will be held at the National Museum of Australia. We are joining forces with the wonderful Broadbean Catering, who will provide us with a stunning 3-course meal. The dinner will start with canapes and champagne, followed by a three course meal with table wine included. All dietary requirements will be catered for.

Where: Gandel Atrium, National Museum of Australia

When: 7pm Saturday 1 June 2019

Why: It is the major fundraising event for the Conservation Council and it is a lot of fun.

Early bird bookings will open soon on our website. Stay tuned.

            Partner, 2019 World Environment Day Dinner

A year in review

The Conservation Council ACT Region has reached the end of a very busy and productive 2018. To wrap things up nicely, here’s a recap of our achievements in 2018 and a sneak peek of what’s in store for 2019.

Looking back on 2018

We have been able to achieve big for the environment in a tough year:

  • We contributed to the successful nomination of removal of mature native trees as a key threatening process under the Nature Conservation Act 2014. This is the first threatening process listed under the Act and will bring better protection of these important trees and allow more seedlings to grow to replace them.
  • We saw our ACT zero net emissions target reduced to 2045 – and now we are on our way to becoming the clean energy capital.
  • We gained a further commitment that central Molonglo remains protected from future urban development.
  • We welcomed new environment groups to our ever growing network, with thousands of supporters like you protecting our environment.
  • Our office was the hub for rallies and causes such as the School Strike for Climate, Artivists and other environmental groups in Canberra.
  • We engaged and empowered hundreds of people to engage with our environment and live more sustainably through sharing resources, news and events.
  • We continue to be active in national campaigns to protect national environmental laws and end fossil fuel subsidies – we work with national groups and other Conservation Councils to ensure the ACT has a voice on the national agenda.
  • We met with Ministers, government officials, held information forums, had fun bringing together the conservation community at our events and wrote submissions on everything from city plans and cat containment, to landscape scale environmental assessments, offsets and more!

What’s in store for 2019

Environment Exchange 

The Conservation Council Environment Exchange is back in 2019! Starting in February, we will be running a monthly forum to bring together the Canberra community to discuss a particular environmental issue. Each event has a theme and one or more speakers sharing their stories to start productive discussions to create a more sustainable world. Our first Environment Exchange in February will explore the ‘gas issue’ in the ACT and beyond. Take a look at our 2019 Half Yearly Program.


Heritage Walks

The Conservation Council is running Heritage Walks as part of the 2019 ACT Heritage Festival. This program involves guided walks at Red Hill, Kama Reserve, Mulligans Flat and Kinlyside Reserve during April 2019.


Save the date: 2019 World Environment Day Dinner

Saturday 01 June 2019, 7:00 – 10:00pm, National Museum of Australia

The theme for the 2019 World Environment Day Dinner is Optimism and Defiance and our guest speaker is Dr Bob Brown. World Environment Day Dinner is our annual fundraising event and 2019 is a particularly significant year for the environment. Join us to celebrate Canberra’s environment community!

Registrations will open in February 2019 so stay tuned for more details.

That about wraps it up – happy holidays!

We would like to thank you all for supporting the Conservation Council ACT Region and wish you all a merry and sustainable Christmas and a happy new year!

Looking forward to 2019, we need your ongoing support to ensure we can continue to protect our endangered woodlands and keep on being a strong voice for climate action.

We ask you to please consider donating today so we can be a better voice for the environment in the ACT.

Walk the Border – Light wrap up

Sunday 25 November wrapped up our 2018 Walk the Border – Light!

To celebrate the first anniversary of the successful completion of the Conservation Council’s 2017 21 day fundraising walk around the 306 km ACT border, the Conservation Council ACT Region hosted a series of four half-day walks on the ACT’s border on each of the Sundays in November.

The walks were in some of the more accessible areas of the ACT’s border and provided an opportunity for members of the public to experience some of the history and environments associated with the ACT’s boundary in a half day format – a light version of the 2017 walk.

The four walks included ecosystems ranging from ACT’s nationally significant grassy woodlands to the heavily modified rail corridor. All the walks reflected the history of the original boundary surveyors and their legacy as well as touching on things like Australia’s most notorious spy scandal.

We had a great start to the program with a walk from Woods Lane to Hume. In fine weather, the walkers took in lots of history and some big views; they explored the old speedway, the Environa historic development, and passed the important Jerrabomberra East grasslands. Walkers were given an insight into the impacts of human development on the natural environment and learnt about Hume’s role in one of Australia’s most significant spy scandals.

It was a mild and sunny day for the second walk. 15 participants got to experience the views and history of the zig zag section of the ACT’s border in North Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve. There were lots of lockspits (lines of rocks used to show a change in the direction of the border) from the original surveying team from 1911 but only a few of the original wooden surveying pegs. Some good wild flowers were out but no native orchids were found. A big highlight was the sighting of a small number of golden sun moths, a nationally endangered moth species found only in grasslands.

The third walk brought together a big group of 32 walkers, from the very young to a strong 87 year old. They joined our President, Rod Griffiths, for the third of the Walk the Border ACT – Light, which explored ACT’s far eastern point. Brooks Hill Reserve has some magic trees including the CT blazed tree at the most easterly point of the ACT and some great views.

The final walk in this program was another gorgeous day for the last of the Conservation Council ACT Region‘s Walk the Border -Light walks for 2018. A great small group was treated to sightings of classic ACT/NSW border markers and some spectacular views towards the south of the ACT. Very poignant was the memorial to the team of 200 workers who helped construct the Queanbeyan to Cooma railway in the late 1800’s. It was also good to meet the participants of the Save Kosci protest walk who have been doing a great job highlighting the threats that feral horses pose to Australia’s alpine regions.

Thanks to all the walkers for their good company. All of the walks have highlighted the history of the establishment of the ACT and many varied environments it contains. It again reminds us of the beautiful and diverse Bush Capital in which we are so lucky to live!

More photos and some stories are at Walk the Border 2017 and on the Walk the Border Facebook page.

Canberra School Strike for Climate creates national momentum

Wednesday 28 November saw young people from across Canberra walk out of school to call for real climate action to protect our future. They are joining almost 30 strikes across Australia this week. This strike made history because never before have students in Australia gone on strike from school to demand urgent climate action.

This strike was inspired by 15-year old Greta in Sweden, who refused to go to school to protest the inaction on climate change. Her story was picked up by a group of year 8 students in rural Victoria and now students all across Australia are taking part in strikes across the country.

Hundreds of school students lined up outside Parliament House on Wednesday to protest climate change. The students waited in the rain outside parliament for a couple of hours before being let in.

Students were met by parliamentarians, including Labor MPs Lisa Owens and Ged Kearney, and Centre Alliance MP, Rebekha Sharkie. They were publicly congratulated by federal Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, and invited to Wayne Swan MP’s office to present their policy positions.

They weren’t given the opportunity to speak to Scott Morrison and government ministers about taking emergency action against climate change. Instead, they wrote messages to our political leaders, urging them to take action on climate change.

This comes after the prime minister told students to be less activist and go back to school. On Tuesday, however, the Senate approved a motion to support the students in their decision to strike from school and hold a series of planned national protests. Students across the country have left school this week, with protests also happening in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart today.

This youth activism creates a strong sense of hope: Australian students are building a powerful movement that is putting pressure on our politicians to do what it takes to stop the climate crisis and protect our futures. It represents the beginning of a new age of activism from Australia’s youth who are sick of not having their voices heard.

Click on the links below to hear some of the students’ messages:


We’re looking for a new Executive Director

The Conservation Council ACT is looking for a new Executive Director. An Expression of Interest (EOI) closes Friday 15 December and full applications on 11 January 2019. Potential applicants are strongly advised to submit an EOI first.

The Executive Director reports to a Board and will lead the organisation to deliver the vision and strategic direction of the Conservation Council ACT Region as it continues to tackle the effects of climate change and protect the environment that underpins our unique and special Bush Capital.

The Executive Director will ensure the Conservation Council operates efficiently and effectively, applying sound business principles to the operations, whilst exploring opportunities for supporter growth and long-term organisational viability. The Executive Director, via leadership and innovation, will continue to influence communities and decision-makers in government and business. As the ‘face and voice’ of the Conservation Council, the Executive Director will be responsible for building, promoting and strengthening partnerships with government, and relevant sector and community stakeholder groups to drive leadership to deliver actions.

The Executive Director will be responsible for building on the significant achievements of the Conservation Council and further enhancing the organisation as a respected leader in being a voice for the environment.

This is a rare opportunity for an experienced, strategic, authentic and inspirational leader, who has strong people, public policy, and sophisticated advocacy and promotion skills to lead an organisation at the forefront of tackling threats to our climate and environment. You will be conversant with the current issues surrounding clean energy, climate change policies and protecting the environment and be able to articulate this into operational campaign models. Key to your success will be your entrepreneurial spirit and ability to identify, capitalise and deliver on the opportunities to lobby, advocate and influence. As a leader you will be inclusive, collaborative and credible, able to communicate with influence, inspiring confidence in staff and other relevant stakeholder groups, including potential supporters and donors in a call to action. You will be experienced in Board reporting with a strong understanding and commitment to good governance.

See the position description and for further information please contact:

  • President Rod Griffiths 0410 875 731 [email protected] or,
  •  between 15 December 2018 and 3 January 2019, interim Executive Director Clare Henderson on 0412 425 665 or [email protected].

Changes at Conservation Council

I have resigned as Executive Director to finish Friday 16 November. I informed the Board some time previously of my pending departure then formally submitted my resignation in October.

I commenced with the Conservation Council in October 2014 as Assistant Director then since May 2016 I’ve been Executive Director. There’s never a perfect time to leave but now there are many things in place.

In terms of advocacy and campaigning there are just under two years before the next ACT Legislative Assembly election, meaning there’s adequate time for the next Executive Director to consult on and identify the key environmental issues and start to articulate them to the political parties and candidates so that the environment isn’t a last-minute political football.

And we have a well-established core in the Board with some newer members and an overall good mix of skills elected at the AGM 13 November. Our finances are healthy-ish (we operate within budget even if our budget is too small) and we have increased staffing to provide media and communications and office management.

The Conservation Council is a great organisation with many moving parts covering governance, resources, advocacy, membership, representation… and each of those parts has its own set of components to be juggled and jiggled to keep everything running.

While being Executive Director has been busy and often challenging, it has been a privilege to hold the position. The support and engagement of our member groups makes the job easier and more satisfying and everyone in Canberra should be part of at least one local environment group! Join your local Parkcare Group!

There are many Conservation Council activities and achievements of which I have been privileged to be part. They are based on years of work and contributions from many people. Here are just a few from over the last year or two:

I will continue to be regular monthly donor to the Conservation Council. I want the Conservation Council to continue to have resources to be the voice for the environment in the ACT.

I also have great confidence the organisation will continue to do good work because of the great range of active member groups, the large band of dedicated volunteers and that we have fairly broad demographics (why not? the environment affects us all).

I will be taking a break which hopefully will include some rest and then will probably undertake some volunteer activities in various places. After I wrote to member groups that I was leaving I received quite a few suggestions for volunteer work. I might like to be on a few Boards. There’s plenty to be done!

Although I am officially finishing as Executive Director I will still provide assistance with handing over my corporate knowledge and might attend some meetings as representative if required.

It is often said that the most important task of a Board is to select the CEO so it is good that we have an experienced Board in place that is aware of the important roles of the Conservation Council. Clare Henderson will be acting interim Executive Director while the Board makes the appointment of the next Executive Director. The appointee is expected to commence in February 2019.

Thank you and best wishes.


Larry O’Loughlin