Right now, ACF is looking for grassroots leaders, emerging campaigners, storytellers, analysts 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 21 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 Wednesday 30 September and close on Friday 30 October, 2020.

APPLY for the fellowship

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 four streams: Community Organising Fellowships, Campaigning Fellowships, Digital & Data 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.


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, 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.
  • NationBuilder, Action Centre, 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 2021, kicking off with a group induction from 29 January - 1 February 2021. There are 21 available roles across Brisbane, Canberra, Gladstone, 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 eight roles available in the Community Organising stream:

Welcome Team Leader

Ultimo, NSW

Welcome Team Leader

Carlton, Victoria

Recruitment Coach

West End, QLD

Recruitment Coach

Ultimo, NSW

Training Support Coordinator

Carlton, Victoria

Group Health Coordinator

West End, QLD

New Group Support Coordinator

Carlton, Victoria

Network & Alliance Support Coordinator

Carlton, Victoria

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 four roles available in the Campaigns stream:

Campaign Coach

Carlton, Victoria

Mobilisation Support Coordinator

Carlton, Victoria

Campaign Coach

Civic, ACT

Campaign Coach

West End, QLD

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. 

Digital & Data stream

We have two roles available in the Digital & Data stream:

Impact & Evaluation Analyst

Carlton, Victoria

Data Officer

Carlton, Victoria

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

  • Strong digital skills.
  • Strong analytical skills.

Narrative & Communications stream

We have seven roles available in the Narrative & Communications stream:

Story Strategy Coach

Carlton, Victoria

Story Collection Coordinator

Carlton, Victoria

Social Media Moderator Team Leader x 2 

Carlton, Victoria

Audience Outreach Support Coordinator

Carlton, Victoria

Communications & Behaviour Research

Civic, ACT

Community Comms Coordinator (Gladstone)

Gladstone, QLD

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.

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, Climate Reality Project, Amnesty International, AYCC, 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 doing a Narrative & Communications Fellowship with ACF, working to engage wildlife photographers to advocate for threatened species. 

"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 has been able to use what she's learning in her community organising fellowship in her paid work in the university sector. 

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. Currently our Brisbane and Canberra offices are open with some restrictions, but our other offices are not yet.

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. In order to maintain connection with the organisation and the other Fellows, regular video calls (for both work and social purposes) will be ongoing. Some of our offices are starting to open up again, but we cannot guarantee that all roles will be able to take place in an office environment.

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 2021 Fellowship Cohort, ACF are awarding four Economic Equity Scholarships (valued at $2,000 each) for the duration of the Fellowship.

The four 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.
  • Exploring 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 Wednesday 30 September 2020. 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 Friday 30 October 2020. 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 Beth Koch at volunteer@acf.org.au. No really, we’re here to help!

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