Unprecedented. Disruption. Damage

Words that have echoed across the past year as climate-fuelled bushfires and drought wreaked havoc on people and wildlife, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic threw our societies, jobs and industries into chaos. The future has never seemed more uncertain. 

But in that uncertainty lies a challenge — to change the future for the better.

When the bushfires devastated Australia, ACF called for the renewable energy and climate solutions to make our country safer. When billions of animals were killed or harmed in the fires, we named the extinction crisis and called for the national nature laws to fix it. And when COVID-19 disrupted our lives, we called for a climate- and nature-positive recovery to help solve the economic, climate and extinction crises.

We are utterly amazed at how ACF staff, volunteers and supporters remained resolute as the world turned upside down. Focused on shared goals but agile in tactics, ACF pivoted to remain influential in newsrooms, respected in board rooms, persuasive in cabinet rooms and energising in the lounge rooms of our supporters. We remain determined to create a better future.


CEO Kelly O'Shanassy and President Mara Bún. Photo: James Thomas

ACF is at the heart of bold, collaborative change. We work with communities, business, governments, unions, farmers and civil society groups that want to create a better future. And we hold those that don’t to account.

We’re innovating to reach new audiences, like the ‘quiet Australians’ that are so crucial to advancing our nation to the better future we all want.

Like everyone, the pandemic has changed ACF. As a national organisation we were already digitally savvy, but we’ve moved all our ACF Community groups online, held digital town hall meetings, and this year we’ll hold our first online AGM, allowing supporters from across Australia  to participate.

ACF is at the heart of bold, collaborative change.

When the pandemic lifts, we are excited about ‘moving forward to work’ where the flexible practices and digital meetings we’ve all perfected become a norm, leading to less pollution and more time and money for our environment. Fear not, face-to-face contact will remain central to our approach as human interaction is vital for successful community organisations.

This year, the Board and Council have spent time improving ACF’s 50-year-old constitution, modernising it for our contemporary organisation while remaining true to our democratic roots and values. We’ve worked with governance experts and ACF members and will put the new constitution to members at the 2020 AGM.

We can’t thank you enough for speaking up, taking action and donating your time and money when this year has had a personal toll on everyone. And we thank our wonderful staff, our Board and Council members and our volunteers for rising to the challenge this year. Together we are an incredible team of more than 700,000 people all working for that better future.

Mara Bún, President
Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO


Header image: Kakadu wetlands.
Photo: Kerry Trapnell.

Kelly O’Shanassy

CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation.