RISE: OUR CRITICAL DECADE | Grow, gather and give for the environment

Multiple venues — including virtual and in person events
Event details
Monday 29 March to Wednesday 31 March
12.00pm to 8.30pm AEDT
Multiple venues — including virtual and in person events
Register to attend
AEGN hosted
Monday 29 March 12:00 pm to Wednesday 31 March 8:30 pm

Members can access member reflections and unedited recordings for the virtual segments of our annual conference 2021.

If you can see the photo link, member reflections and recordings below — you are already logged in. Email us if you need assistance logging in:

Rise urgency
Increase giving, influencing, impact investing and action
Seek effectiveness and equity
Engage in hope and action

Eytan Lenko, Lenko Family Foundation; and Amanda Martin OAM CEO AEGN

About the conference

As we usher in this new decade, the climate and biodiversity crises are upon us and inequality is gathering pace. Yet the solutions are ready and global momentum for action has never been greater. This is the critical decade for action. The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded the global community respond and collaborate in record time. Philanthropy can be the engine room of social change, driving innovation, policy development and best practice for business and governments to join.

At this vital juncture in time join Australia’s premier donor network of climate and environmental philanthropists as we explore the answers to these questions: How can this period of grand disruptions deliver a pathway out of the climate and biodiversity crises? How can effective philanthropy grow and collaborate so that it addresses the systemic issues of climate, environment, inequality and social justice?

Together we will

  • Grow — Get inspired to grow philanthropy and create positive change.
  • Gather — Together with other fellow members and funders in a COVID-19 safe place: State-by-state and online.
  • Give — Collaborate with over 40 philanthropists as they showcase their favourite project or organisation and invite you to join them.

At the event

Adrian Appo OAM

Adrian Appo OAM

A Gooreng Gooreng man from South East Queensland, he joined Yajilarra Trust last year and works on their First Nations investment and 10 year spend down strategy.

Dr Anne Poelina

Dr Anne Poelina

A Nyikina Warrwa Indigenous Australian woman in the
Kimberley region of Western Australia, Dr Poelina has spent
30 years as an active
Indigenous community leader.

Sonia Medina

Executive Director of the
Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s Climate portfolio,
her work there spans energy decarbonisation, air quality, industrial decarbonisation and land use.

The Hon. Matt Kean, Minister for Energy and Environment

The Hon. Matt Kean

Minister for Energy and Environment, Minister Kean has overseen one of the most significant shifts in clean energy policy in the country.

Bruce Pascoe

A Yuin Bunurong and Tasmanian man whose ground-breaking
work has transformed the understanding of so many about the way the First Australians lived on and managed country, pre-colonisation.

Jack Pascoe standing in front of trees

Jack Pascoe

A Yuin man living in Gadabanut country who is the Conservation and Research Manager at the Conservation Ecology Centre. His key interests lie in the ecology of apex predators and fire.


Monday 29 March
Virtual event

Keynote panel

5.00pm to 6.30pm AEDT

It is the critical decade: How can philanthropy be truly transformative?

At its best philanthropy, acting in partnership, can be a powerful driver of social change. Join us as we hear from leading philanthropists and practitioners who really are changing the world. We pose them two thought-provoking questions:

  1. Given it is the critical decade for action on climate change and nature conservation, what does this urgency mean for your world-changing work?
  2. How can philanthropy be truly transformative to usher in a brighter and equitable future for people and planet?

These leaders will share their insights from decades at the very cutting edge of their field — from closing coal plants, building a pathway to a clean economic future, protecting wildlife, and championing Nature’s rights.

Sonia Medina, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Dr Anne Poelina, Nulungu Research Institute.

Tuesday 30 March
Virtual event


These sessions are a treasure trove of excellent funding opportunities, themed around the issues and selected by members as the most effective and innovative environmental projects and organisations around Australia. Members and their favourite organisations will deliver a series of lightning fast pitches, aimed at inspiring further funding and support.  

  • 12.00pm to 1.30pm AEDT

    Climate change

  • 2.00pm to 3.00pm AEDT

    Indigenous land and sea management, agriculture and advocacy

In person event
  • 5.00pm to 8.30pm AEDT


Melbourne dinner: With Bruce Pascoe and son Jack

We are delighted to announce a father and son line up for our Melbourne dinner – Bruce and Jack Pascoe. They will share their thoughts on the critical role of First Nations knowledge in healing country, restoring biodiversity, and transforming the way we harvest the land. Join us for our 13th annual conference dinner – with a GREEN and BLACK dress code. While we cannot all meet together this year we can gather in our states to meet friends and colleagues old and new. It has been a long time, so join us for drinks, followed by dinner with plenty of opportunity to catch up with other members.


  • Dinner cost: $150.00
  • Venue: Cargo Hall, 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf 
In person event

Brisbane dinner

Further details about this event to be advised.

  • 5.00pm to 8.30pm AEST


Wednesday 31 March
Virtual event


These online sessions will give members an opportunity to present some of their favourite funding opportunities, highlighting the best, most effective and innovative environmental projects and organisations around Australia. These live online sessions will feature presentations from members and their chosen organisations, who will give a lightning fast overview of their project. 

  • 12.00pm to 1.30pm AEDT


  • 2.00pm to 3.00pm AEDT

    Sustainable food systems

In person event
  • 5.00pm to 8.30pm AEDT


Sydney dinner: With The Hon. Matt Kean, Minister for Energy and Environment

Minister Kean has overseen one of the most significant shifts in clean energy policy in the country. He is also responsible for the recovery of the state’s wildlife from the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, and for the overall management of our precious environment. The Minister will join us for a Q&A with the incredible harbor and bridge as our backdrop.

There will be a bespoke, sustainably sourced menu, video art installations inspired by nature, and the iconic Sydney Harbour and bridge as our backdrop. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet up in person with members you have not seen for many months. We look forward to catching up!


  • Cost: $150
  • Venue: Yallamundi rooms, Sydney Opera House

Post conference debrief

Wednesday 7 April 12.00pm to 1.00pm  AEDT
Experts from the field discuss critical environmental issues of the decade and how funding can make the most impact.

Climate change funder group — April

Tuesday 13 April 3.00pm to 4.00pm  AEDT
This meeting will focus on transport – a key gap identified in the Climate Change Strategic Funding Framework…