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Environmental Defenders Office

New national, legal watchdog for the environment

One Environmental Defenders Office

You have most likely heard about the official launch of a national Environmental Defenders Office that came into effect from 21 November. This marks the beginning of Australia’s new national, not-for-profit legal watchdog for the environment. The state-based organisations will roll into the new national entity in stages with the merger fully completed by Wednesday 25 December.

“The environmental problems facing Australia aren’t bound by state or territory lines,”

David Morris, CEO of the Environmental Defenders Office.

The merger is a great outcome for AEGN members too. It demonstrates the power of environmental philanthropy and highlights the results members can achieve through collaboration with other AEGN members.

At the 2019 AEGN conference, David Morris and Rob Purves AM presented the Environmental Defenders Office merger pitch during the conference showcase segment. An important part of the pitch was the follow up, which started immediately after the session. A briefing document was handed out so members could share the information with their Board, family and friends.

To keep the momentum going other activities included; posting to the Clearinghouse and a follow up email from the Purves Environmental Fund to the member’s mailing list. The Environmental Defenders Office also ran direct engagement with members who already expressed an interest to be involved and held pre-launch briefings in capital cities in October.

Around $2.5 million has been raised for the merger to date, including several major grants of $300,000 to $500,000+ and many smaller donations. Every bit counts! Funds will be used for the actual merging process of eight state-based offices and the capacity building to support a larger organisation. This includes streamlining operations, building uniform and merged digital infrastructure, and future-proofing the organisation by building a diverse and stable funding platform with a dedicated back-end national team for communications, marketing and fundraising.

We look forward to seeing more great work from the Environmental Defenders Office .

Case study
In 2015, this concept was kicked off by a conversation led by John Hepburn of Sunrise and the EDO network and followed by small grant from the Reichstein Foundation and several other AEGN members to help the individual Environmental Defender Office groups explore the potential of a merger.

From little things big things grow!

We are developing a full case study in 2020. Contact us if you would like to be involved.