New AEGN CEO announced

4 June 2024

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Pictured: Claire O’Rourke, photo by Sarah Tedder

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Claire O’Rourke as Amanda Martin’s successor as CEO.

In 2022, Claire published her first book, Together We Can: Everyday Australians doing amazing things to give our planet a future (Allen & Unwin). Claire is a member of Groundswell Giving’s Major Giving Circle advisory group, in 2023 was an advisor to participants in Startmate’s Climate Tech Fellowship and is a mentor in Small Giants’ 2024 Climate Leadership Accelerator program. She has strong and relevant local and international networks.

The Board believes Claire’s authentic leadership, focus on impact and communications skillset makes her the ideal CEO for the AEGN’s next stage of growth and influence.

“I’m deeply honoured and enormously excited to step in to lead the AEGN at this pivotal moment. I have big shoes to fill, and I thank Amanda Martin for her leadership and vision as the organisation has developed.

We are all part of a global ecosystem, and the changes we are making now in Australia really matter: our children, our communities and the planet depend on us. I am committed to playing a small part to ensure Australians, guided by First Nations people, are supported to do what it takes to create a thriving environment, economy and society.

I hope to deploy my experience, knowledge, relationships and boundless energy for a better world to take this critical organisation to its next level of growth and impact. I can’t wait to connect and collaborate with you all!”

— Claire O’Rourke

It is the mark of an outstanding leader that an organisation grows and develops to a point where it has a strong foundation and is ready for a new phase. Amanda Martin OAM has been the AEGN’s Founding CEO and has worked with the Board and members for over 16 years to grow the organisation from a small group of philanthropists with a passion for environmental protection to a dynamic network of more than 200 members, including individual philanthropists and structured philanthropy (foundations and trusts). This is truly an amazing achievement.

Amanda’s contribution will be honoured at farewell events on the evening of 17 July in Melbourne and the evening of 24 July in Sydney. Join us to farewell and celebrate Amanda’s contributions to the AEGN and environmental philanthropy, and meet and welcome Claire as the incoming CEO.

Claire will commence on 2 September 2024 and will spend some time in July doing a deep dive with Amanda to ensure a smooth transition. Amanda will leave us on 2 August and the AEGN’s Head of Operations, Charmaine Smith, and Head of Programs, Kate Allsopp, will be Acting Co-CEOs in August.

“I am thrilled that Claire will be my successor as CEO of the AEGN. Claire has the skills, energy, talent and experience to pick up leading the AEGN in a way that will ensure the organisation and our members are as effective as possible in this critical decade. I look forward to joining members, staff and partners in welcoming Claire, and handing over the leadership reins.”

— Amanda Martin

The AEGN Board understands the challenges that lie before us as we seek to support a fast and fair climate transition and protect Australia’s unique biodiversity through strategic philanthropy. Increasingly using our influence and collaborative funding initiatives will be part of this future.

Prof Catherine Brown OAM
AEGN Chair

Media enquiries: Charmaine Smith, mobile 0408 976 074


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