Right now, ACF is looking for grassroots leaders, emerging campaigners, storytellers, fundraisers, investigators and community organisers keen to develop skills, get hands-on experience and act for our forests, rivers, people and wildlife.

The ACF Fellowship Program is a six month training and volunteering program for 23 people keen to gain invaluable experience as part of Australia’s biggest environment organisation.

If you’re ready to grow and support our movement so we can take on the big polluters and protect our living world, then apply for the ACF Fellowship program.

Applications are open from Friday 8 October and close at 11.59pm on Sunday 7 November 2021.

Everything you need to know about the program and how to apply is below:



The ACF Fellowship program is a structured learning and volunteering opportunity for emerging leaders. The purpose of the ACF Fellowship program is to:

  • Help support ACF’s growing movement of local groups in their efforts to build people power, change the story and advocate for our living world.
  • Support the development of up-and-coming campaigners, organisers, communicators and other experts in social change.

The ACF Fellowship program offers a range of roles across three streams: Community Organising Fellowships, Campaigning Fellowships, and Narrative & Communications Fellowships. Each volunteer placement will be a part of a team of highly-engaged volunteers that will help us harness the energy of ACF supporters taking action in their communities. If you would live outside of the locations stated in the position descriptions, we encourage you to still apply.

What will you gain from the Fellowship?

Through the ACF Fellowship, you’ll be part of a supportive workplace where you’ll be:

  • Participating in a comprehensive induction program on all aspects of ACF and social change theory.
  • Learning from experienced campaigners, community organisers, fundraisers, investigators, digital specialists and media and communications experts.
  • Developing and applying your skills in a volunteer placement.
  • Receiving coaching and support from your supervisor, with clear direction and timelines about your responsibilities.
  • Reflecting regularly on your practise with other Fellows in your cohort.
  • Being a part of a movement of people who show up, speak out and act to stop pollution and destruction so our living world can thrive.

What about training? 

Through the ACF Fellowship, you will have the opportunity to attend regular training delivered by experienced campaigners, community organisers, activists, advocates and non-profit professionals. Some topics you might explore include:

  • An understanding of ACF: our history, organisational structure, mission and theory of change
  • Tech tools used in our work, including NationBuilder, SupporterBase, Zoom, Facebook and Slack
  • How to create and tell your story of self
  • Approaches to social change and the importance of systemic change
  • Leadership skills and leadership in teams
  • Facilitation techniques
  • Australian democracy and parliament
  • A history of the environment movement in Australia
  • Decolonising the environment movement and building inclusive movements (exploring race, gender, class, ability and more)
  • Campaign planning, and data and evidence-based campaigning
  • Working in advocacy and managing up
  • Sustainable activism and self-care
  • Work preferences, and project and workload management skills

You will receive ongoing training throughout the entire Fellowship, as well as training within your role.

What does the commitment involve?

The commitment is for two days per week from February to July 2022, kicking off with a group induction from 27-31 January 2022. There are 23 roles across Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.


Placements to the program in any stream will be considered for candidates who demonstrate:

  • Passion for our living world and addressing climate change.
  • Paid or volunteer experience in social change.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Approachable and friendly nature.
  • An ability to work independently and efficiently.
  • Familiarity with technology and the ability to quickly learn new programs.
  • A commitment to the values and mission of ACF.

Candidates’ role preference and unique skills will also be considered by the selection panel when allocating candidates to specific roles. In your application, make sure that you refer to the above selection criteria, and any specific requirements or criteria listed with the position description of the role you prefer.

The Fellowship is suited to driven, passionate and committed people who reflect the diversity of backgrounds and experiences in our communities. If that’s you, but you’re worried you don’t have all the skills outlined in the position descriptions, please apply anyway!

Roles available


Community Organising stream

We have twelve roles available* in the Community Organising stream:

Welcome Team Leader x 2

Melbourne and Sydney

People Power Coach


People Power Coach


Training Support Coordinator x 2

Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane or Sydney

New Group Support Coordinator x 2

Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane or Sydney

Group Health Coordinator x 2

Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane or Sydney

Nature Outreach Events Coordinator x 2


Placements to the Community Organising stream will be offered to candidates who demonstrate the general criteria above, as well as:

  • Willingness to build and lead a team of volunteers
  • Public speaking and facilitation skills.


Campaigns stream

We have seven roles available* in the Campaigns stream:

Campaign Coach

Sydney or Canberra

Campaign Coach


Campaign Coach


Mobilisation Support Coordinator x 2


Digital Campaigns Producer 


Community Investigations Team Leader

Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane or Sydney

Placements to the Campaigns stream will be offered to candidates who demonstrate the general criteria above, as well as:

  • An interest and familiarity with politics
  • A flexibility to adjust priorities to the changing demands of a campaign. 


Narrative & Communications stream

We have four roles available* in the Narrative & Communications stream:

Social Media Volunteer Team Leader x 2

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Canberra

Story Coach x 2

Melbourne or Sydney

Placements to the Narrative & Communications stream will be offered to candidates who demonstrate the general criteria above, as well as:

  • A passion for storytelling and the power of stories to create change in the world.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Desirable: familiarity with news media and social media.

*Please note that there are 23 roles in the cohort in total, but some Fellows from the winter cohort may decide to continue on.


Previous Fellows have identified what a transformative experience the Fellowship has been, and how it has seen many go on to secure paid roles at BirdLife, the Victorian Greens, Tipping Point, Climate Reality Project, Amnesty International, AYCC and Monash’s Climate Change Communications Research Hub and ACF. Here are just a few of their stories:

"The ACF Fellowship gave me lived experience of working with a driven, capable network of professionals working to defend nature and climate. My skills were challenged and recognised, and I came out of the Fellowship more aware and more able to articulate my skills, passions, work areas of interest, preferred work styles and professional goals for the future. I remain grateful for the chance to meet inspiring colleagues - especially those whom I've worked with since in other roles.” 

 2017 ACF Fellow Kim Garratt. Kim has gone on to work with Birdlife, study investigative journalism and work with ACF in environmental investigations. 

"ACF is a great place to get skills and meet fabulous humans. For international students like me, it is a great learning space to understand Australian political advocacy and the democratic system, as well as the inclusive environmental movement. ACF want to include people from different backgrounds and I want to see more people from multicultural communities joining ACF to provide different perspectives to their work. I highly recommend people of colour, international students and people from different communities to apply." 

 2020 ACF Fellow Jing Yang. Jing is currently working for local government on a renewable energy and energy efficiency project.

"The ACF Fellowship turned up just at the right time, and has been a unique opportunity for me to immerse myself in a community organisation and the environmental movement... Everyone in the ACF staff and Community are so generous in sharing their experiences and insights, and supportive of my interest in learning as much as I can during this deep dive into the sector. Every day is different and I’m so inspired by the work I’m delighted to be part of now. With this experience behind me, I can’t wait to see what comes next."

 2020 ACF Fellow Kirsten MacLeod. Kirsten was able to use what she learned in her community organising fellowship in her paid work in the university sector and in disability inclusion. 

"I've found the Fellowship a really incredible opportunity to connect with like minded individuals, and be inspired by passionate and activated environmentalists. The Fellowship presented me with a unique opportunity to contribute positively to the environmental movement whilst at the same time developing new skills and gaining invaluable experience."

 2021 ACF Fellow Isabella Stacey. Issy is currently completing a narrative & communications fellowship as Social Media Moderator Team Leader, and will be staying on through to the end of the year. 

"The fellowship is a unique opportunity. ACF are willing to onboard you, train you and trust you. They go above and beyond to include volunteers in what they do, to make you feel important and empowered and give you interesting, challenging work."

 2020 ACF Fellow Julian Atchison. Julian has gone on to manage projects and events for a health science company. 

"The Fellowship has allowed me to expand my skill set relative to my current job. I've also been able to get my foot in the door with a respected and well known environmental organisation."

 2021 ACF Fellow Nola Vlasek. Nola is currently completing a data & digital fellowship, trialing a new system that will improve the accuracy of ACF's data. 

How does COVID-19 impact the program?

In light of COVID-19, processes have been put into place to ensure the Fellowship can be delivered remotely (if needed) until the crisis subsides. Depending on the state government restrictions, some of our offices are currently closed.

Successful applicants will be provided with the technology necessary to undertake the Fellowship from their homes if required, and induction into the Fellowship might occur virtually if we are unable to meet in person. In order to maintain connection with the organisation and the other Fellows, regular video calls (for both work and social purposes) will be ongoing. Whilst our offices are starting to open up again, we cannot guarantee that all roles will be able to take place in an office environment for the duration of the Fellowship.

We of course hope for a day soon where we can set you up fully in our offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.


ACF wants the Fellowship opportunity to be accessible and attractive to applicants of all economic backgrounds. However, we recognise that there may be significant financial barriers which may exist preventing individuals from volunteering two days per week in the environment movement.

In light of this, for the Summer 2022 Fellowship Cohort, ACF are awarding six scholarships (valued at $2,000 each) for the duration of the Fellowship.

The six scholarships will be awarded on application to any candidate who can demonstrate that they would be unable to participate in the Fellowship without financial support. See the terms and conditions here.

In candidates, we value lived experience in migration and/or seeking asylum amongst yourself or your family, speaking languages other than English in the home, applicants who are themselves or whose parents are casually or precariously employed, candidates who have experiences with Centrelink, and candidates from diverse and intersectional lived experiences.

Candidates coming from a low income community are not only desirable, but the financial barriers preventing individuals from volunteering for roles like this is a challenge this scholarship seeks to address.

In the cover letter of your application for the ACF Fellowship, we recommend:

  • Clearly stating that you wish to apply for a scholarship as well.
  • Outlining the demonstrable financial need for this scholarship - will you be unable to participate without it, will you face significant hardship but still able to participate, or will you still be able to participate without it (and without facing significant hardship)?
  • Noting any relevant personal circumstances that may have impacted your ability to engage in volunteering in the environment movement in the past, including (but not limited to): carer responsibilities, sole parent responsibilities, age, personal medical conditions, disability, culturally and linguistically diverse background, racial status or ethnicity, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, refugee status, relocation from a regional or remote area, gender identity, sexuality, socioeconomic status or similar.
  • Elaborating on how you might use your participation in the ACF Fellowship to positively benefit environmental action within your community.
How to apply

Applications open on Friday 8 October, 2021. Each applicant will apply to their preferred stream, and will then be considered for all roles within that stream. Applications to the ACF Fellowship close at 5pm on Sunday 7 November, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.

ACF acknowledges the structural barriers that make gaining experience in any field of work more difficult for many communities in Australia. We highly encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, people from culturally diverse backgrounds, LGBTIQA+ people and others who may face structural barriers in our society to apply for this opportunity. If you have any questions not already addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact Mel Abel at [email protected]. No really, we’re here to help!

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Apply now!