About us

 

Our Mission

We represent our member groups and supporters and organise a grassroots community campaign to deliver strategic and effective advocacy for the protection of WA’s South-West forests. We are founded on the principle of working for the forests. We believe that forests have their own intrinsic value and that we are all diminished when we think of the forests only in terms of their commercial values.

Our mission is to see WA’s native forests fully and securely protected and managed to maintain and restore their ecological values, and to empower the next generation to successfully defend them against future threats.

Our Mission

We represent our member groups and supporters and organise a grassroots community campaign to deliver strategic and effective advocacy for the protection of WA’s South-West forests. We are founded on the principle of working for the forests. We believe that forests have their own intrinsic value and that we are all diminished when we think of the forests only in terms of their commercial values.

Our mission is to see WA’s native forests fully and securely protected and managed to maintain and restore their ecological values, and to empower the next generation to successfully defend them against future threats.

WAFA’s Story

WAFA was established in 1990 to provide an umbrella organisation for the many groups working to protect WA’s native forests. We are grassroots, not-for-profit and committed to the protection of the forests for the forests’ sake. Since formation, we have worked towards our ultimate goal of the full protection of WA’s native forests and woodlands from logging and clearing.

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What we’ve accomplished

In 2001, following an extraordinary decade-long community campaign we protected 230 000 hectares of old-growth forests. Since then we have made significant additional gains for forests and wildlife. We have:

  • Achieved a freeze on logging of high conservation value two-tiered karri forests

  • Identified and protected key areas of old-growth and other high conservation value forests that missed out on reservation in 2001

  • Secured the protection of all large marri trees for wildlife during most jarrah logging operations

  • Required industry to protect old trees with obvious nesting hollows and to carry out fauna surveys to protect special nesting and food supply areas in karri clear-felling operations

This equates to many thousands of the oldest and most ecologically valuable trees being protected during logging operations every year.

we have also:

  • Prevented the logging industry from pushing back on our gains, specifically efforts to wipe 50 000 ha of Fauna Habitat Zones off the map and take 100 000 ha of forests out of national parks
  • Stopped imminent logging in Lewin, Channybearup, Nelson, Barrabup and Dalgarup forests
  • Exposed the wrongful export of whole logs from public forests by Nannup Timber Processing Pty Ltd, the second largest sawmilling operation in the South West, causing its contract to buy marri sawlogs to be withdrawn. (NTP has now changed hands and is being run by QLD company, Parkside Timber)

our priorities:

We are working towards the permanent, secure protection of all native forests in the South West from logging, clearing and inappropriate fire, and the transition of the timber industry to sustainable and ecologically beneficial farm forestry and plantations.

our campaigns:

our next steps:

  1. Correct the definition of ‘old-growth’ to fully protect all old-growth forests
  2. Protect all other high conservation value forests for climate and for life
  3. Beginning the Forests For Life Farm Forestry and Landcare Plan

 

Our vision

WA’s native forests and woodlands are protected from logging, clearing and inappropriate burning. The transition of the timber industry is rapidly and equitably completed to sustainably managed plantations and farm forestry on previously cleared land.

Specifically:

 

    • Mature native forests and woodlands are protected in secure reserves.

 

    • Degraded native forests are protected in a new land category called Future Forests where they can capture and store carbon and recover their ecological values over time.

 

    • The farm forestry and plantation sectors are developed on previously cleared land to capture and store carbon, manage salinity, improve water quality and provide sustainably produced timber.

 

    • Bibbulmun / Noongar controlled organisations are empowered through resourcing and regulation to operate as custodians of the forests and associated ecosystems.

 

    • The annual prescribed burning target is abandoned, and planned burns are strategically focused with guidance from Bibbulmun / Noongar fire practitioners and fire ecologists.

 

    • The State Government enters into a financial arrangement with the Federal Government to protect native forests to mitigate and improve resilience to climate change. The Federal Government allocates funds for the active custodianship of forests for climate and in turn, it counts the associated carbon storage and avoided emissions towards its national emissions reduction targets.

 

WA Forest Alliance Mount Frankland - credit Gary Muir

Our vision

WA’s native forests and woodlands are protected from logging, clearing and inappropriate burning. The transition of the timber industry is rapidly and equitably completed to sustainably managed plantations and farm forestry on previously cleared land.

Specifically:

 

    • Mature native forests and woodlands are protected in secure reserves.

 

    • Degraded native forests are protected in a new land category called Future Forests where they can capture and store carbon and recover their ecological values over time.

 

    • The farm forestry and plantation sectors are developed on previously cleared land to capture and store carbon, manage salinity, improve water quality and provide sustainably produced timber.

 

    • Bibbulmun / Noongar controlled organisations are empowered through resourcing and regulation to operate as custodians of the forests and associated ecosystems.

 

    • The annual prescribed burning target is abandoned, and planned burns are strategically focused with guidance from Bibbulmun / Noongar fire practitioners and fire ecologists.

 

    • The State Government enters into a financial arrangement with the Federal Government to protect native forests to mitigate and improve resilience to climate change. The Federal Government allocates funds for the active custodianship of forests for climate and in turn, it counts the associated carbon storage and avoided emissions towards its national emissions reduction targets.

 

the alliance

The WA Forest Alliance is an umbrella organisation made up of more than 20 forest conservation groups in Perth and the South West.

The Alliance works together for the protection of WA’s south-west forests and wildlife. If your conservation group would like to join the Alliance, contact us for application form. There is an annual fee on a sliding scale based on the size of your organisation, starting at $20/year.

Current Member Groups:

Albany Community Environment Centre
Balingup Friends of the Forest
Barrabup Conservation Group
Blackwood Environment Group
Bridgetown Greenbushes Friends of the Forest
Busselton Dunsborough Environment Centre
Collie Conservation Group
Conservation Council of WA
Denmark Environment Centre
D’Entrecasteaux Coalition
Friends of the Greater Kingston Forest
Friends of the Earth WA

Friends of Porongurup Ranges
Jarrahdale Forest Protectors
Great Walk Network
Greater Beedelup National Park Society
Margaret River Regional Environment Centre
South Coast Environment Group
South West Environment Centre
South-West Forest Defence Foundation
Stop the Forest Losses
The Wilderness Society WA
Warren Environment Group
Quinninup Environmental Documenting

Current Member Groups:

Albany Community Environment Centre
Balingup Friends of the Forest
Barrabup Conservation Group
Blackwood Environment Group
Bridgetown Greenbushes Friends of the Forest
Busselton Dunsborough Environment Centre
Collie Conservation Group
Conservation Council of WA
Denmark Environment Centre
D’Entrecasteaux Coalition
Friends of the Greater Kingston Forest
Friends of the Earth WA
Friends of Porongurup Ranges
Jarrahdale Forest Protectors
Great Walk Network
Greater Beedelup National Park Society
Margaret River Regional Environment Centre
South Coast Environment Group
South West Environment Centre
South-West Forest Defence Foundation
Stop the Forest Losses
The Wilderness Society WA
Warren Environment Group
Quinninup Environmental Documenting

Committee & staff

Jess Beckerling

Convenor

Member Group represented: South Coast Environment Group

Jess has been involved in forest conservation since she joined the Giblett forest blockade near Pemberton as a teenager. She has extensive and detailed knowledge of the South West forests, their ecology, biodiversity, climatic and water interactions, flora and fauna, and the threats that they face.

Jess has a degree in Environmental Management from Murdoch University and has experience and networks across the environment movement in Australia. She believes in the power of grassroots campaigns to make changes, even where the odds are stacked firmly against us, and that with conviction, courage and compassion, solutions can be found that provide for everybody’s needs.

Giz Watson

Secretary

Member Group represented: Albany Community Environment Centre

Giz Watson joined the Campaign to Save Native Forests in the late 70s when she became aware of the destruction of the northern jarrah forest for bauxite extraction and the planned massive expansion of this mining. She was part of the direct action campaign that occupied the construction site of the Wagerup alumina refinery near Waroona.

She has continued to campaign to the end of logging, degradation and clearing of WA’s native forests; particularly as a Greens MP in the WA Parliament and in training and in supporting activists in nonviolent actions.

Rebecca Chapple

Treasurer

Member Group represented: Conservation Council of Western Australia

Rebecca is a qualified bookkeeper and registered BAS agent who loves to use her skills to help organisations aligned with her values. She has her own bookkeeping business serving mostly the Fremantle community and is also a mum to her four year old son.

Rebecca is passionate about the conservation of our unique South West Forests and works in the background so that those working on the frontline can focus on the big issues.

Caralynn Hoft

Committee Member

Member Group represented: The Great Walk Network

I have been living in Witchcliffe; building a house, raising a family and teaching in the community for 33 years and walking with the Great Walk Network for 32 years. The Great Walk Network started as a protest walk from Denmark (WA) to Perth to raise awareness about the logging in old growth forests. We have continued to walk with a focus on the land on which we walk and the way we live.

I am now the Convenor of the Great Walk Network and I believe in the power of community to create positive change. I have attended many blockades over the years, the first one being the Tuart Forest in Layman’s Road, Busselton in 1988 and the most recent currently at Helms Forest near Nannup.

Aileen Lynch

Committee Member

Member Group represented: Busselton Dunsborough Environment Centre

I have spent most of my life living in the SW and treasure our forests and wildlife. I believe it is essential to protect and preserve these precious places. I chose to join WAFA because of its long-standing history of pursuing these objectives.

Dr Carole Peters

Committee Member

Member Group represented: Margaret River Regional  Environment Centre

Educator, writer, researcher and activist with interests in feminist and qualitative research, social justice and the environment. During a twenty year career in Gifted and Talented education, including teaching, curriculum design, administration, project leadership, workshop facilitation and consulting, Carole encouraged creative and critical thinking techniques and a problem solving approach to learning. Her PhD thesis (2005) investigated leadership, diversity, organisational culture, workplace politics and change.

Carole’s environmental activism stems from her concern for the unnecessary logging, burning and clearing of our forests, particularly after witnessing insensitive clearing for housing developments and broad scale burning to meet quotas, including the devastating escaped burns that resulted in the 2011 Margaret River region wildfires, in our southwest biodiversity hotspot.

Richard Wittenoom

Committee Member

Member Group represented: Bridgetown Greenbushes Friends of the Forest

Richard Wittenoom is a Consulting Engineer who has been principal of his firm for 53 years. At 82 he is still practising full time, now in Bridgetown where he moved in 2002. He joined Bridgetown-Greenbushes Friends of the Forest in 2006 and has been President since 2008. With strong support from WAFA and forest supporters he led a vigorous campaign against logging of the pristine Warrup Block which was successful in preserving some of the best forest in the block. He is now focused on preservation of the Kingston Fauna Habitat Zone and Bridgetown’s other key forests, Dalgarup and Kingston National Parks.

As well as infrastructure development in Australia, Richard’s firm has been active in development assistance consulting in the Indian-Pacific region, ranging from expertise in building for cyclonic winds in Sri Lanka and Australia to village water supply in Thailand, dairy industry development in Burma and regional forest preservation projects in Philippines.

Kerry Bemrose

Kerry Bemrose

Committee Member

Member Group represented: South West Environment Centre

Kerry Bemrose represents the South West Environment Centre on the WAFA committee. Kerry has extensive experience in environmental issues in the South West region, particularly related to land clearing, wildlife, forests and urban bush land matters.

Shona Hunter

Shona Hunter

Staff

Creative Community Organiser

Shona is a changemaker, parent and ethical entrepreneur and is dedicated to “being the change”. Her work at WAFA began in 2017, and she is focussed and determined to achieve the full permanent protection of all native forests in WA, and believes that community is the key to that. With a background in theatre, social justice advocacy, non violent direct action, and social entrepreneurship, Shona has the life experience, skills and community connections that are essential for organising. Shona believes that people have more power than they realise, and strives to empower individuals to make the change that they are passionate about.