Our Theory of Change

Friends of the Earth has a unique view on social change; we believe it takes the work of people committed to both proactive and reactive campaigning to deliver real outcomes.

There has tended to be a split between organisations that are working at a reactive level (ie campaigning to stop inappropriate developments and resource extraction) and those that are working at a more proactive level (ie. on community development and sustainable employment initiatives). 

FoE believes that the poor social and environmental outcomes that we see are manifestations of underlying social dysfunctions, it therefore makes sense to integrate both proactive and reactive work - to focus on both 'constructive' and 'oppositional' politics. At a basic level, while we are saying 'NO' to something, we also need to be saying 'YES' to something else.

Our theory of change demonstrates in FoEB through being a co-operative which a central Hub monitors and guides administrative and campaign Collectives and decisions made at Hub meetings are made by Active Members.  

To explain further, when you join a FoEB collective as a volunteer to support the work of that collective, you can join in making decisions of that collective. You can also be a Financial Supporter of FoEB by making monthly donations (Active Friend) or annual subscriptions.

When you are both a Financial Supporter of FoEB and a volunteer within a collective, you can apply to become an Active Member of the co-op, which then allows you to contribute to Hub meeting decisions. These meetings include delegates from each collective and make all decisions affecting the organisation by consensus. 

Once you have attended a certain number of Hub meetings, you can nominate as a member of the Board of Directors, or in FoE's case, our aptly named Interested Followers.

We see that this calls for commitment and dedication from people in our asking you to be the change you wish to see. It sounds tricky, but we'd be excited to welcome you into journey of change that comes with the Friends of the Earth Brisbane community.


Friends of the Earth-Brisbane is a community based social change cooperative working on local, regional, national and international issues. We are working towards the creation of an ecologically sustainable and socially just society through community action.


  • We recognise the interdependence of all life on earth
  • We uphold the principles of non-violence
  • We acknowledge the rights of all indigenous peoples to self determination
  • We acknowledge and abhor the past and continuing dispossession and marginalisation of the indigenous people of
  • Australia and of other indigenous peoples throughout the world
  • We reject patriarchy and any other form of elitist hierarchy in our society
  • We reject racism, sexism, colonialism and all other such forms of discrimination and oppression
  • We acknowledge, respect and value cultural diversity and different knowledge systems
  • We support the concepts of inter-generational equity and intra-generational equity (supporting the rights of communities to pursue their own development path without compromising the opportunities of other communities or future generations to pursue their own development paths)
  • We do not endorse political parties
  • We aspire to achieve egalitarian participation in work and decision making within the cooperative
  • We work cooperatively using a consensus model as described in these rules
  • We individually and collectively take full responsibility for ourselves and for the consequences of our actions
  • We seek to develop a community of activism based on nurturing and respect for members and for the public at large
  • We actively encourage skill sharing
  • As part of our insistence on transparency of process and organisational honesty and integrity, we critically evaluate our processes and activities
  • While acknowledging our agreement to join Friends of the Earth Australia Inc., we remain a self-managed, independent cooperative

Aims and Objectives

  • Stimulate a movement of social change towards a socially just and ecological sustainable society.
    Halt the destruction of ecosystems and the corresponding loss of biological diversity and ecological processes.
  • Restore and encourage the restoration of degraded ecosystems
  • Encourage the ecologically sustainable and socially just use and distribution of the earth’s resources
  • Encourage local community self reliance and autonomy
  • Encourage the development of a well informed and active community
  • Provide the organisational framework and infrastructure to support the social change, community development and ecological restoration/conservation aspirations of members