CounterAct provides training, capacity building and resources to environmental and social justice campaigners across Australia.

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Civil disobedience in the public interest

Posted on July 27th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, News, Resources, Uncategorized. No Comments

It’s a challenging process to write a submission for a parliamentary inquiry that seems so likely have a forgone conclusion.

The committee that is examining the tax deductible status and regulations of environment groups telegraphed their desired outcomes long before receiving any evidence. Luckily for us, the mining companies were a bit slow on the uptake so they were allowed late submissions, and then we were – which is exciting – as we thought we’d missed the chance with a full plate, and only slightly less resources than the mining industry.

Over 99% of the more than 9000 submissions supported the environment movement, and the incredible history and gains that have been made for everyone in this country – through a range of protest, lobbying, advocacy, markets and divestment campaigning and yes, tree planting.

Apparently the last one is the only one that … Read More »



Defending the commons

Posted on July 20th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Case study, Events, News. No Comments

This article was originally published here in New Matilda: Environmentalist and non-violent direct action trainer Nicola Paris hits back at a parliamentary inquiry threatening green groups’ tax exempt status.

More than thirty years ago people in Tasmania made history as nonviolent protest changed the nature of political debate on the environment in this country.

In recent years, politicians from both sides of the political divide have honoured that victory.

The Franklin River is enjoyed by people today, because of those hardy souls who made history decades ago.

This week in Hobart, key figures from that campaign, and other organisations protecting Tasmania’s iconic wild places, will appear before a hostile parliamentary inquiry seeking to strip environmental organisations of their public support.

The intent of the inquiry has always been clear – even before being telegraphed by outspoken right wing warrior MP, George Christensen.

It’s about removing funding … Read More »



Honouring the rebel

Posted on May 11th, by Counteractive in Events, News, Surveillance. No Comments

There is this strange feeling in my gut. It’s like a mix of old pain from long ago, and too much caffeine, and an uneasy churn. And it tastes brittle and metallic in my mouth.

It is a quiet unease rising that I don’t have the tools to deal with.

It seems to be how I feel about the state of progressive politics in Australia right now.

I’m in a room with 1000 people who are supposed to be our best and brightest and I am shit scared.

Whilst I am fully aware of the unsustainability of working in panic mode, I FEEL LIKE THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE.

More panic? Probably not.

More something? Hell yes.

Our world is being shot down in flames by inequity and arrogance so breathtaking that…it’s literally breath taking.

And it feels like we are overwhelmingly unprepared and out gunned. Despite the … Read More »



2014. Game on.

Posted on December 31st, by Counteractive in News. No Comments

Watching the sunset slide into the ocean in the last days of 2013 I’ve been allowing myself quiet times. Lying on a beach. Indulging in bad movies. Hanging out with lovely long time friends that aren’t activists and not talking politics all the time. Thinking. Reflecting. And bracing.

2014 is going to be the most important year we have ever had. With thousands more clearly seeing the damage to be wrought by the Abbott government we will see the beginning of rapid growth of the social movement that we will need to build in order to win. It is going to set the scenes that will see the battle lines move out of the political arena and to the frontline for years to come. We may see people jailed in this country for speaking for environment and social justice. We are … Read More »


We won… six months on

Posted on October 24th, by Counteractive in Campaigns, Resources. No Comments

Well it has been a long time coming, but we have finally launched the updated version of the Camp Walmadan booklet, complete with the ‘WE WON’ wrap around copy, with reflections and stories from the successful campaign to stop Woodside’s proposed gas refinery on the Kimberley coast.

A huge shout out to our lovely and patient designer friend Lilia who did such a fab job and everyone who shared their stories… as well as those that didn’t have a chance.

Celebration is important, and we wanted to make the resource available for everyone to share, but add in some positive stories – as we all know, wins like this don’t come around every day.

It is timely as ‘Heritage Fight‘ – the remarkable documentary of the Goolarabooloo people and Broome community is currently showing on NITV, and Part One is available for a … Read More »


Walking on country, coming home

Posted on August 23rd, by Counteractive in Campaigns, News. No Comments

I wanted to volunteer on the Lurujarri trail, near Broome for many reasons… to see friends, to walk the country I worked with others to save, to challenge myself physically, to hear the stories and connect to the living environment, and to acknowledge that I live on stolen land – and that it is necessary for all of us in similar positions to contribute in some way.

I have been thinking about what solidarity looks like, about what it means to be an ally to the original peoples of this country.  It is as simple and hard as listening… and so much more. There is definitely more to write on this, but as I was thinking about it, I came across this new resource which looks wonderful.

So what is the Lurujarri trail?

You can read more about it here – the short … Read More »


It is all sinking in, and taking off

Posted on April 24th, by peacefulcommunityaction in Campaigns, News. No Comments

Well it has taken a while to sink in – one of the largest environmental and community wins in Australia’s history has been achieved. Despite the company rhetoric and the majority of the mainstream media there is a growing awareness that this campaign was led by, and the win should be claimed by the remarkable community of Broome, who held their ground in the face of Woodside’s proposed gas plant and some of the biggest multinational oil and gas companies in the world.

Of course they were ably supported by supporters around the world, and organisations such as as Sea Shepherd, Australian Conservation Society and many others. Peter Robertson from Wilderness Society lays out the facts clearly – if it wasn’t for the determined community resistance, this project would have gone ahead long before the economic climate changed.

Even the … Read More »