Our story

Our story

It all began in 1976 with a meeting of just 16 people in the home of Tasmanian GP Dr Bob Brown. The passionate campaign that emerged to save the Franklin River rocked the political orthodoxy and defined a generation.

​In total, 6,000 Australians registered to blockade construction of the Franklin dam, each willing to be arrested for the cause.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke & Dr Bob Brown
Karen Alexander, Bob Hawke, Hazel Hawke, Bob Brown. Photo: Ross Scott

The new opposition leader, Bob Hawke, voiced his support for the Franklin River, securing his party a victory in the federal election.

A majority of everyday Australians had cast a vote for the environment.

The Tasmanian Premier mounted a High Court challenge. But in 1983, a final decision was handed down: “There shall be no dam on the Franklin River". This vital ecosystem would remain intact.

To this day, our story of success continues.

  • In 2012, we negotiated protection for over 500,000 hectares of native Tasmanian forest.
  • In 2013, we helped protect the biodiversity and culture of the Kimberley from a gas export megahub.
  • In 2016, our independent spill modelling sealed BP’s exit from the pristine Great Australian Bight.
  • In 2018, we blew the lid off Queensland’s hidden deforestation crisis and improved the badly broken laws.
  • In 2020, we got the third multinational oil company - Norway's Equinor - to drop their plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
  • In 2021, we successfully advocated for the creation of Australia’s largest national park: Munga-Thirri—Simpson Desert. It took over a decade of campaigning. At four times the size of Yellowstone in the US (or more than half the size of Tasmania), it’s considered an ‘intact wilderness’—one of only a few still in existence on our planet.

There’s never been a more important time for our movement.

The threats to our living world have already begun to impact the lives of everyday people. So we’re reaching out with a simple but powerful message:

“It’s time to support the life that supports us.”

From the corridors of power, to the front page of the paper, to the streets of your town, we use every available platform to give nature a voice at the negotiating table.

We have campaign centres in every state capital, plus Launceston and Newcastle. From these centres, our dedicated volunteers and skilled staff coordinate campaigns and unite local groups. Across Australia, our community organising program, Movement For Life, is training tomorrow’s environmental leaders.

Right now, everything is at stake: our clean air and water, the fertile soils that grow our food, global security, our great cities. All the good stuff. To win, we need you.

If you’re already a member… thank you.
If you’re thinking about joining… welcome.
If you’re a lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry… good luck.