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A word from Amanda

December 2018

Dear AEGN members and friends,

What a year it has been. There has been much thoughtful, strategic and impactful funding by members, resulting in excellent outcomes that help to build the environmental future we all want to see. We are trying to track and report the results of the clearing house and member events where projects have been showcased but here is just a snapshot of a few great outcomes.

Many of you have participated in several inspiring funder collaborations this year. Twenty six funders joined Rob Purves in funding the Tree Clearing Alliance, which in May saw strong clearing controls reinstated in Queensland to protect precious habitat. A further nine AEGN members contributed critical funding to Hands Off Our Charities, an alliance of environment, social and faith-based organisations who have worked tirelessly to see change to a series of bills that would have significantly restricted the ability of charities to undertake advocacy. As you know, much improved legislation was passed only a few weeks ago. And AEGN board and staff were thrilled when seventeen of you provided over $1M in funding to the AEGN Sustaining Fund, unlocking a further $1M in matched funding. The Sustaining Fund provides important financial stability to the AEGN with 10% of the balance of the fund helping to cover our operating costs each year.

So thank you all for your fantastic funding. While you take a well-deserved rest over summer you might like to settle down and peruse some news and updates from members.

On Sunday 18 November a group of AEGN members and Reichstein Foundation donors gathered on board Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior to learn about the critical role of advocacy and direct action in changing our world for the better. John Spierings, Executive Officer of the Reichstein Foundation, made a stirring call to action for funders to step up and to be open, transparent and bold in their funding and in their actions. I recommend reading John’s powerful speech here.

Louise Arkles, Program Manager at the Ian Potter Foundation travelled to the US Environmental Grantmakers Association annual retreat in North Carolina as well as meeting with philanthropic foundations in both the US and Canada. She shares the key themes that resonated through the EGA retreat and meetings with philanthropists as well as what inspired and excited her here.

AEGN members – the Morris Family Foundation and the Garry White Foundation – piloted a small grants scheme to nurture and build awareness of sustainable food systems. You can learn about the pilot through a short video.

Eytan Lenko shares an update below on the Frack Free NT project which received funding from eight AEGN members who heard about this work on the Central Australia Field Trip.

In recent months AEGN members have hosted an inspiring range of organisations to share their work covering issues from marine permaculture, biodiversity and landscape protection through to fracking and climate issues in WA and the NT. In the new year Sue McKinnon will share her experiences at SOCAP18 – a gathering of over 3000 impact investors, entrepreneurs and social impact leaders in the US this October. If you have an organisation or project that you would like to showcase to the membership through an event and would like some advice on how best to do this, please contact Ione ione@aegn.org.au or Kris kristine@aegn.org.au .

And take a look at some great projects for funding, shared on the clearinghouse by AEGN members, read about our newest members, the Fremantle Foundation, browse through our new publications and services and of course, if you haven’t already, do please complete the AEGN members survey – doing this before Christmas puts you in the running for a $500 Paddy Pallin voucher.

Finally, letting you know that the AEGN office will be closed from Friday 21st December to Wednesday 2nd January. Wishing you all a fun, restful and safe festive season with friends and family and some time away in nature. And I hope to see you next year at our conference, themed Ramp It Up, in Melbourne 2nd April, or at one of our other 2019 events.