ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation is seeking nominations for the next three-year term of the ACF Council.

Being a councillor involves providing strategic direction and guidance to the ACF board and staff; electing members to the board; co-opting a small number of councillors to fill gaps in expertise or diversity on the council; attending at least two council meetings each year in Melbourne as well as the AGM; and participating in events, committee meetings and member state based meetings where possible.

“As an ACF councillor, you will shape our strategic direction, appoint our board, develop ACF policy and engage with our members,” ACF chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said. “To reconstitute the world, our council should be diverse and vibrant and represent all of the Australian community – with the diversity of youth, wisdom, gender and ethnicity.”

Ms O’Shanassy said the environment movement was the largest the world had ever seen, and compared it to abolitionism.

“Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers,” she said. “This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots.

“Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself…

“And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organised themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit.

“And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, non-governmental organisations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.

“Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.”

The term for the council will be from November 2015 to November 2018. Nominations close on 31 July 2015.