FEN's conferences explore the connections between faith and ecology based around particular themes.

Ten ways to protect biodiversity: event #1

Lisa BuxtonExecutive Officer at Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, brought the Acknowledgment of Country

Our event was opened by the President of the United Nations Association of Australia NSW Division, Patricia Jenkings.

Keynote 1: Marita Macrae has been active in professional and volunteer bush regeneration mostly in the Pittwater area. She was a co-founder of Pittwater Natural Heritage Association in 1994 and is currently vice-president of the Avalon Preservation Trust. Other environmental memberships include the Australian Conservation Foundation, National Parks Association, Birds Australia and Australian Bush Heritage Fund. Her many Awards for bush regeneration include an OAM in 2004. Marita has been a Pitwater Environmental Foundation director since inception and is the current Chair.

Keynote 2Jayden Walsh is a self-taught naturalist who developed a passion for wildlife watching in 2013. His knowledge about birds in the Sydney basin is particularly strong and he has run wildlife tours and lectures for around 4 years. His days are spent studying a Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation and he spends his nights looking for rare and threatened species in his local area. Recently during his gap year Jayden ran as a candidate for the Northern Beaches Council election and traveled to Cape York with a group of birdwatchers.


The Reef- deep listening, heeding the science, acting faithfully.

Gudju Gudju Fourmile, a Gimuy Walibara Yidinji elder. Cofounder of Abriculture- advancing Traditional ecological knowledge and tribal ecology in partnership with Western science.

Myree Sam, a member of the Sui-Baydham Clan. First Nations Education consultant for Catholic Education Services in Cairns, where she works directly with teaching staff in schools, building understanding and cultural awareness to best inform teaching practice. Myree spoke about First Nations Sustainable practices/protocols and connectedness to Land Sea and Sky. 

Dr Jon C. Day, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the ARC Centre for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. He was formerly one of the directors with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and was involved in many aspects of planning and managing the Great Barrier Reef. His responsibilities included biodiversity conservation, park planning, World Heritage, Indigenous Partnerships, Reef rezoning and commencing the first GBR Outlook Report.  Jon spoke about the many challenges facing the Reef.

Faiths Regenerating Wonder and the Will to Care.  Australia’s Life Support Systems are on Life Support was how ecologist Professor Lesley Hughes titled her presentation at this World Environment Day webinar held by the Affinity Intercultural Foundation in collaboration with FEN. She gave us a punchy overview of a February 2021 report on Ecosystem Collapse from the Tropics to Antarctica in which she was one of 38 scientific authors.  Followed by religious reflections by two FEN members.  A reminder of how interconnected we humans are on all of Earth’s ecosystems here in Australian and globally.  Please watch this webinar with your faith community on any of these platforms:

YouTube. Facebook. Twitter

Deep and DeepER listening to Nature (2020)- a celebration of biodiversity

Andrew Skeoch's presentations, Q&A and the religious responses

Healthy Earth, Endless Growth - Are they compatible? (2015)

Can our finite planet sustain endless growth? After a keynote speech by scientist and author Dr. Haydn Washington on the topic of the growth economy, five respondents from different faith traditions commented from their own faith perspectives.  A statement resulting from the conference, and the collected comments of participants, can be read here.

Mining (2012)

What impact does Australia’s dependence on the mining of fossil fuels have on its ecological, social and economic systems?

Fasting and Feasting (2009)

Food is an important part of all religious traditions and involves ritual around both fasting and feasting.  It is a gift that connects us.

Climate Change (2007)

Climate change is  a challenge to the moral integrity of our nation,  a challenge not just to politicians but to Australian society and its faith communities.

Water (2004)

Essential in the lives of all Australians. Water is Life! This resource is to be used wisely for the common good, neither squandered nor become the preserve of a minority.  Only the final conference statement is included here.

Wonder (2003)

People wonder with amazement at Earth’s complexities and so their will to care about the health of our planet grows.


Food as a basic human right is a gift to be shared. Safe food is a moral and spiritual issue.

Earth Our Common Home

Earth is the only known home of all peoples and all known life. It is part of the faith story of all our religious traditions.