2014 BBF Annual General Meeting Chair's Report

Bob Brown Foundation Inc. Annual General Meeting 26th September 2014


Chair’s Annual Report

This year the Bob Brown Foundation hit its straps!

We grew rapidly in supporters, donations and campaign effectiveness.

The efficient board, and the wonderful management wrought by Steven Chaffer, were fundamental to this growth. Paul Thomas made a remarkable contribution to our day-to-day running. Two other foundation board members who gave great service to BBF in the hard initial years - Naomi Edwards and Rosalie Woodruff - resigned during the latter part of the year. We are enormously grateful for their contributions.

As Chair, I wish to also thank all my ongoing board members - Roland Browne, Ben Oquist, Paul Thomas and Prue Cameron - for their contributions.

Steven's report will show how prodigiously we have grown.

Perhaps the highlight of 2013-14 was the foundation's campaign to thwart the Federal Government's attempt to have Tasmania's tall forests stripped of their World Heritage status. This was in no little part due to the work of our newly-appointed Campaign Manager Jenny Weber who, amongst other things, went to the World Heritage Committee meeting in Doha with other environmentalists. Jenny also established our campaign base in Hobart. We will look at opening other such offices on the mainland in 2015.

A stimulating pointer to the future durability of the BBF was the success of the Upper Florentine forest and Hobart Town Hall rallies organised in Tasmania by Jenny and Steven and a band of other good helpers, towards saving that World Heritage status, while Paul and I were away greylavanting on the mainland.

Feedback from the public, and comparisons with similar groups, points to the key ingredient in the foundation's rapid growth and success being our action orientation. People want action to save their natural and human heritage.

Plunderers of what is left of the wild planet, and more particularly what is left of wild Australia, including Tasmania, fear such action by committed and motivated citizens. Hence their reaction: in Tasmania we are facing draconian anti-protest laws. The board is taking this threat seriously and will meet it with all due expediency while keeping firmly committed to our founding aims and ethos of protecting nature's realm. We welcome any input from our members and supporters.

In the coming year we intend to raise our role in campaigns to save Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness, to create the Great Forest National Park to protect Victoria's faunal emblem Leadbeater's Possum, and to help indigenous owners of threatened forests and rivers in Sarawak. But these campaigns will not stop the BBF from helping to save other threatened places and wildlife. Our only limit is our income.

The 2014 Environmentalists of the Year awards were exceptional and deserved better media attention. We thank WIN TV and The Age Online for their coverage. The board will consider making next year's awards in Melbourne or Canberra and would welcome any assistance to do so.

Our foundation is flying because of you all - our members and supporters. So here is a big and special 'thank you' for your generosity and help in making last year such a success. We aim to make 2015 even more successful.

Bob Brown.
Chair 2014

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