Environmental Defenders Office is the largest environmental legal centre in the Australia-Pacific, dedicated to protecting our climate, communities and shared environment by providing access to justice, running groundbreaking litigation and leading law reform advocacy.

We receive funding from a variety of sources including:

Donations

Environmental Defenders Office is a registered charity which relies on the generosity of donors to fund our groundbreaking litigation and law reform work.  

This includes: 

  • Donations from individuals and community groups 
  • Gifts in wills 
  • Major gifts from individuals and grants from charitable trusts 
  • Income from community fundraising events such as Tasmania’s Point to Pinnacle, our Northern Territory Art Auction and the biennial Sydney Gala dinner.

We receive pro-bono support from a variety of sources, including the services of distinguished counsel who advise and appear on behalf of our clients in court on a pro-bono basis.

We attract dozens of legal volunteers each year, who help our solicitors in their case work. We are grateful to all the volunteers who donate their time and skills to our work across the country.

We also acknowledge the pro-bono assistance of leading scientific experts who contribute their research, expertise and independent advice to our office and clients.

People like you drive the fight for environmental justice, and right now you have the opportunity to double the impact of your donation.

A generous donor will match your gifts to our Environmental Defence Fund, to help us build our legal team and deliver more groundbreaking legal solutions to the unrelenting challenges of climate change and species extinction.

State Government Funding

We receive funding from various state and territory governments specifically for our important work providing access to justice and legal services to people in the broad Australian community. 

As an accredited community legal centre, EDO provides expert legal and scientific advice and education to people from all walks of life across the country.  

We provide free workshops, factsheets, handbooks, and other legal tools to help all Australians understand the law and participate in legal processes.

All the funding provided by state governments is used to provide legal services and education to the community. It is not used for litigation. 

Client Fees

Our clients are bushfire survivors, young people, farmers, conservation groups, Traditional Owners, and people from all walks of life and all manner of places – from the heart of the outback to the centres of our biggest cities.

In some cases we will receive a fee from clients for providing legal services. This is often at a highly reduced rate given our clients are often everyday Australians or people from vulnerable communities who cannot afford commercial legal rates. In many cases we offer our services for free to clients.

In some cases we are also paid for writing expert reports on law reform and related issues, and for providing legal education workshops to clients including community organisations and local government.

At the end of 2019, eight separate Environmental Defenders Offices across Australia joined to form a single organisation – the largest public interest environmental law CLC in the Australia/Pacific region. For more information on funding and governance prior to this merger see our annual reports.