The climate crisis threatens the future of life on earth. To help solve it, an energy revolution is moving the world beyond fossil fuels. How, and how fast that revolution happens will determine the future of humanity…

Mission

Driven by the imperative of climate justice, the Sunrise Project’s mission is to scale social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.

How we work

The Sunrise Project is a network of changemakers who believe in the power of social movements to change the world. From ending slavery to civil rights to women’s suffrage: social movements have achieved impossible things to make the world a better place. Now, more than ever, we need to nurture and scale powerful movements to solve the climate crisis.

Sitting at the intersection of social movements and philanthropy, we’ve developed a ‘directed network’ model that supports networks of people and organisations to work together to achieve large-scale change that wouldn’t have been possible by individual organisations acting alone.

We essentially do six things:

  • Analysis to understand the political, social and economic systems driving the climate crisis;
  • Strategy design for multi-partner efforts that create systemic change;
  • Partner with philanthropy to resource these strategies;
  • Fund a diversity of organisations and support them to work together for collective impact;
  • Support organisations and movements to sharpen their strategies and build their capacity to achieve real world outcomes; and
  • Drive strategic interventions that will hasten the transition beyond fossil fuels.

Read more about the work of the Sunrise Project


Governance of the Sunrise Project Australia

The Sunrise Project Australia Limited (Sunrise Australia) is an Australian registered charity and operates in accordance within the Australian legal and regulatory framework.  Sunrise Australia’s financial accounts are audited annually by independent certified accountants and are made publicly available on the Australian charity register.

The board of Sunrise Australia is supported be several sub-committees, including a Finance, Risk Audit and Compliance (FRAC) Committee, a Grants Advisory Committee and a DGR Public Fund Committee.

You can find our current board members here and our annual reports here.

Governance of the Sunrise Project

Sunrise Australia is a member of the Sunrise Project, a global network of independent organisations that share a common mission and common values. Driven by the imperative of climate justice, the Sunrise Project’s mission is to scale social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.

The Sunrise Project is a global network of independent organisations that share a common mission and common values. The Sunrise Project currently comprises:

  • The Sunrise Project Australia Limited (Sunrise Australia), incorporated in Australia
  • The Sunrise Project International Stichting (Sunrise International)
  • The Sunrise Project Inc. (Sunrise Inc.), incorporated in the United States

Each organisation is a fully independent legal entity with its own board of experienced Directors, who bring deep expertise across climate change, social movements, law, finance, organisational leadership and governance.

Further information:

People


People

People are our most valuable asset and we’re passionate about nurturing a culture that supports great people to do great work. The diverse and growing team of passionate changemakers are distributed around the world and work with a wide network of partner NGOs to deliver world changing strategies. If you’re interested in joining the team, please keep an eye on our jobs page for future opportunities.

You can see more details the Sunrise Project leaders and team via the links below.


The Sunrise Project Australia Board

Claire Mallinson

Board Chair
Read Claire's bio

Claire Mallinson

Board Chair

Claire joined the Board in December 2019, she is passionate about the Sunrise Project’s mission and purpose and brings strategic expertise, business acumen and leadership experience. Claire has a deep understanding of campaigning and the power of activism across international boundaries with over 30 years of senior leadership experience with environmental, human rights, disability and cancer research INGOs/NGO’s in Australia and around the world.

Claire was the National Director (CEO) of Amnesty International Australia (AIA) for twelve years and part of Amnesty International’s Global Leadership Team for a decade. Whilst National Director of AIA Claire oversaw the growth of AIA’s supporters by 400% and the delivery of significant human rights wins in Australia, Asia Pacific and globally.  She built, led and developed key partnerships including business leaders, major funders, Indigenous communities and elders and civil society leaders and activist groups and was part of the Board team that developed and implemented major governance reform. Claire is an advisor, coach and mentor to CEO’s, senior executives and Boards and is a Member of AICD, Chief Executive Women, and Women on Boards.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and work and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

Director
Read Catherine's bio

Catherine Fitzpatrick

Director

Catherine joined the Board in July 2019. She has a deep understanding of activism, strategy development, communications and audience understanding, having worked for more than three decades for non-governmental organisations in Australia, the Pacific, Canada, Asia and Europe.

Catherine first got involved in activism during the Franklin campaign in the 1980s working for the Wilderness Society. Since 1996, Catherine has campaigned full-time on climate and energy issues, first with the David Suzuki Foundation in Canada, leading their successful air pollution and climate campaign. From 2002 to 2021, Catherine worked for Greenpeace in Australia, China, Europe and Southeast Asia on climate, renewable energy, communications, and audience engagement and segmentation.

Catherine currently works for the Tara Climate Foundation as their Regional Finance Strategies. She is deeply committed to supporting the mission and work of the Sunrise Project through her work as board member and Vice-Chair.

Erna de Vries

Director
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Erna de Vries

Director

Erna is a retired petroleum geologist and financial analyst with a keen interest in sustainability and corporate ethics. She studied Earth Sciences and worked as a geologist with international oil and gas companies including Shell, BHP and Ampolex. After working in the Netherlands, UK and Brunei, her career brought her to Australia. Erna obtained her MBA in Sydney and went on to work as a senior executive in corporate and institutional banking with Bankers Trust and then Westpac as Head of Resources Research and Commonwealth Bank as a senior risk manager. She has been involved in the financing decisions of many major mining and energy projects. For the last 15 years Erna has been an active volunteer in various local community campaigns.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and work and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Giles Gunesekera

Director
Read Giles's bio

Giles Gunesekera

Director

Giles is the Founder and CEO of Global Impact Initiative. Giles has over 25 years’ experience of building and developing teams and businesses for global enterprises. Giles has held senior roles in the financial services industry spanning recruiting, training, product, distribution and leadership.

Giles has received an Outstanding Alumnus award from Oxford for creating an innovative, sustainable business that generates positive social impact. His business, Global Impact Initiative (GII) is one of only forty-one (41) Global Compact LEAD companies, recognised for their high levels of engagement in the United Nations. GII has been a UN LEAD since 2019 and is the only Australian firm to be recognised as a UN LEAD. The business works under five key pillars of Gender Equality, Indigenous Communities, Health, Affordable Housing and Climate.

Giles is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia, Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, and Member of the Australian Institute of Training and Development. Giles is an Industry Fellow at the Business School of the University of Technology, Sydney.

Giles has a unique blend of leadership and business skills gained in the corporate environment married with financial and governance skills gained in the Not-for-Profit sector. Giles holds numerous Volunteer Not-for-Profit Directorships ranging from International Aid, Human Rights, Disabilities, Education, Arts and Sports. Giles is on Advisory Boards for the United Nations for Climate & Health and Sustainable Finance. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Securities and Investments Institute of Asia Pacific.

Giles has formal academic qualifications from Oxford University, Melbourne University, Monash University and the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and work and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Jason Field

Director
Read Jason's bio

Jason Field

Director

Jason is a Koori with ancestral connections to the people Bidjigal and Walbunja peoples. Over nearly thirty years Jason has worked in the areas of human rights and Indigenous policy and programme delivery.

Jason has diverse Indigenous policy interests including land and sea management, education, stolen generations, housing and the protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rights to their country, knowledge and heritage. He has worked at the local, regional, state, national and international, having participated in various United Nations fora including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and as an adviser to the federal environment department for the negotiations of the Nagoya Protocol.

Jason is currently the Executive Officer with the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University and is an aspiring PhD candidate.

Kiera Peacock

Director
Read Kiera Peacock's bio

Kiera Peacock

Director

Kiera is a Partner at Marque Lawyers, a boutique B Corp law firm in Sydney, specialising in commercial litigation and public law, with a focus on political law. She has run a number of cases seeking to use the law as a force for good, from clarifying the law on misleading electoral advertising, to challenging government laws restricting phone voting during Covid. Kiera is passionate about climate, advocacy and the strategic power of NGOs. Over the last couple of years she has been deeply immersed in the community independents political movement, working with incredible local political campaigns seeking to improve democratic participation and elect a genuine community representative.

OUR TEAM

Kajute O’Riordan

Special Projects, Operations
Read Kajute O'Riordan's bio

Kajute O’Riordan

Special Projects

Kajute has over 10 years of experience developing, building and leading organising campaigns. Most recently, he was a key lead for GetUps 2019 organising mission which supported 1000s of GetUp members to make almost 1 million persuasive calls into marginal electorates. In total, GetUp volunteers have made over 2 million calls including crucial get out the vote efforts during the Marriage Equality postal vote. Before that, he worked in international development as well logistics on major events in South Africa and Australia.

The Sunrise Project

Driven by the imperative of climate justice, The Sunrise Project scales social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible.

CONTACT

The best way to contact us is by email at [email protected]
Telephone: (02) 8057 5189

Annual Reports

Jobs

We respectfully acknowledge the Indigenous peoples and local communities of the lands on which we live and work.  We recognise the leadership of these communities in the struggle for climate justice and our responsibility to uplift their voices and histories.