Melliodora Fund - Australian Communities Foundation Subfund

Winning the 2019 Environmental Philanthropy Award

18 April 2019

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Impact case study: To turn around the sharp decline in Australia’s environmental health requires trained and committed organisers who can mobilise Australians around shared values and engage communities to make positive change.

From the civil rights movement in the United States to workers rights in Australia, effective organising has been at the heart of much significant social change.

The Community Organising Fellowship is growing a national network of community organisers through the most intensive training program for climate and environment campaigners on offer in Australia. Each year, this transformative program takes 25 community leaders on a six-month journey of learning and reflection. Participants develop skills and confidence to initiate, design and lead effective community campaigns for environmental justice.

What does the program include?

The program includes workshops, practical and applied campaign exercises, mentoring, coaching and expert guest speakers. Three residential workshops provide 17 days of structured learning, interspersed with application, reflection and evaluation. The extensive curriculum has been crafted in partnership with the Sierra Club, the world’s largest and oldest non-government environmental organisation, and is published as the People Power Manual, a series of training guides for graduates to share with their teams, organisations and communities.


Participants graduate with a strong network of peers across the nation, laying the groundwork for stronger collaboration with others in the environment movement and in all spheres working to reverse damaging environmental trends. They become leaders who can implement strategies that engage and energise at scale.

Growth since 2015

The Fellowship has trained 150 community leaders primarily working on climate and environment to harness and channel ‘people power’ strategically to articulate and assert widely held community values. Thanks to support from our funders, we now have skilled graduates throughout the country building and sustaining powerful community action networks of many thousands of Australians, working together toward a just and sustainable future.

Environment award recipient 2019

The Environmental Philanthropy Award recognises both outstanding environmental funding and the outstanding achievements delivered by projects or organisations as a result, and is a collaboration between Philanthropy Australia and the AEGN. The Melliodora Fund won this award at the 2019 Philanthropy Australia Awards for their support of the Community Organising Fellowship.

Meet more members

Tree clearing in Queensland

Purves Environmental Fund

Impact case study: A campaign to see tree-clearing controls reintroduced in Queensland has shown how philanthropy combined with smart activism can make a huge difference to our environment.

Bruce and Ann McGregor

Melliodora Fund - Australian Communities Foundation Subfund

Ann and Bruce McGregor established the Melliodora Fund in 2008 as a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation.