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.

Get Involved

Recent Achievements

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 policy change to end native forest logging in the remaining South West
    forests by January 2024
  • 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.
  • Prevented the logging industry from undoing forest protection measures, 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 in the lead-up to the current Forest Management Plan
  • Stopped imminent logging in Helms, 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 vision

The South West forests are securely protected in Class A conservation areas where they are co-managed and co-vested with Noongar / Bibbulmun people and recognised for their profound intrinsic values.

WA fully funds a proforestation program where remaining forests are protected, and where possible, cleared land is restored to reconnect forest ecosystems for wildlife habitat, biodiversity, climate, water, culture and communities.

WA Forest Alliance Mount Frankland - credit Gary Muir

Our vision

The South West forests are securely protected in Class A conservation areas where they are co-managed and co-vested with Noongar / Bibbulmun people and recognised for their profound intrinsic values.

WA fully funds a proforestation program where remaining forests are protected, and where possible, cleared land is restored to reconnect forest ecosystems for wildlife habitat, biodiversity, climate, water, culture and communities.

the alliance

The WA Forest Alliance is an umbrella organisation made up of more than 25 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, please fill and send an application form. There is an annual fee on a sliding scale based on the size of your organisation, starting at $22/year.

Current Member Groups:

Committee & staff

Jess Boyce

Acting Director

Jess joined WAFA in 2022 as Volunteer and Events Manager, bringing with her experience in event management and community engagement through the arts, having worked in not-for-profit community arts centres and grassroots artist-run-initiatives. 

Jess is passionate about the role of inclusive, diverse and creative communities in environment and climate justice.

Dr Jane Hutchison

Convenor

Member Group represented: Jarrahdale Forest Protectors

Jane was active in the Campaign to Save Native Forests from the late 1970s, including in the non-violent direct action against Alcoa’s Wagerup Refinery (with Giz Watson). In WAFA, she is particularly involved in the campaign to stop expanded mining in the Northern Jarrah Forest.

As an academic, Jane researched the political economy of labour organising, people’s politics, gender and development, and development effectiveness in Southeast Asia. She was a member and Chair of the Oxfam Australia Board (2004-14) and served two years on the Oxfam International Board of Supervisors. Now retired, she is Adjunct Associate Professor in Politics and International Studies at Murdoch University.

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.

Serena Terry

Committee Member

Member Group represented: Barrabup Conservation Group

I have lived in the south-west of WA for over 20 years. Watching the forest become terribly degraded over that time has been heart wrenching. All that I moved here for was disappearing.

As a horticulturalist I could see old growth being bowled over and diminished rapidly. When alerted to the plight of Barrabup 03, I felt that action needed to be taken and joined the Barrabup Action Group. The success in saving the Old Growth from logging came from knowing the forest and the years of experience WAFA gave in support.

It also led to me joining forces with WAFA to help stop native forest logging.

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.

Carole initiated and organised the Fire & Biodiversity Forum, held at the Margaret River HEART in 2021, and the Fire & Air Forum, held at the University Club UWA in 2023, both now available online.

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.

Craig Sisson

Committee Member 

Member group represented: Busselton Dunsborough Environment Centre

While I come from a health, science (other than environment) and small business background I have
always had a keen interest in the environment and enjoyed time in our WA bush.

The question we
must find an answer to is; How do we stop our governments allowing, and being actively involved in
the destruction of our forests as well as making what is left uninhabitable for a large amount of our
flora and fauna?

My photo is taken in front of Bunbury Outer Ring Road construction, another 71 Hectares of
quality woodland and wetland lost.

Donna Chapman

Senior Graphic Designer

With many years working in the design industry and a strong passion for protecting our planet and wildlife, Donna has lent her skills to many different causes over the years, from ocean to forest campaigns, from climate action to citizen science, and the protection of wildlife.

Her design and social media knowledge have been the tools to help educate a broader audience.
Exploring the connection people have with the forests, Donna hopes to create visuals that tell the story succinctly, inspire action, and empower people to protect what they love.

 

Jason Fowler

Senior Campaigner

Jason became involved in the conservation sector over 15 yeats ago and has worked on the creation of new marine parks across the Kimberly and Northern Territory.

He has also branched out to campaign for the protection of various river systems and threatened species in Northern Australia and has extensive experience in stakeholder negotiation and working with traditional owners. 

Jason has a marine biology degree from James Cook University and has worked in cetacean research but today describes himself as a conservation ecologist due to the multi-faceted environmental challenges we face.

More recently, Jason has moved to the Great Southern region and owns a tree farm near Denmark which inspired him to join WAFA and use his skills to help protect WA’s majestic forests.

Lucy Nicol

Media Officer 

Lucy worked as a current affairs journalist for community television before studying her masters in documentary film.

She was the sound recordist on the social impact film Black Cockatoo Crisis.

Her favourite work days are the ones engulfed by the sounds of the Forests or a political protest.