What is FWP? For Wild Places exists to make trail running JOIN VOLUNTEER a meaningful expression of environmental can help our wild places survive and thrive. activism, so that together, each of us
WHO WE ARE

What is For Wild Places?

For Wild Places is an Australian charity that strives to make trail running a meaningful expression of environmental activism so that together, we can help our wild places survive and thrive.

For Wild Places does this through a range of core projects, which focuses on three core places, as well as other ecosystems and landscapes within Australia that are under threat from practices such as native forest logging, mining, coal seam gas extraction, and more broadly, the climate and biodiversity crisis.

ABOUT US

The Past

For Wild Places came to life in March 2020, in the early days of COVID-19. Trail runners from across the continent gathered at a very windy Marrawah on Tasmania/lutriwita’s west coast to participate in the second takayna Ultra (now takayna Trail), an event organised by the Bob Brown Foundation, to raise funds to protect takayna/Tarkine, and have it listed as a World Heritage Area, returned to indigenous ownership.

After we’d all revelled in the endorphins and defrosted from the wet and wild winds of the Roaring 40’s, event co-founder Simon Harris reached out to a number of people who’d participated, floating the idea that we start a new organisation to bring this concept of sports activism to other wild places under threat across Australia. The initial group of roughly 10 people condensed down to a group of five, which consisted of the first For Wild Places Board of Directors. This included Simon Harris, Fredrik Henttonen, Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom, Majell Backhausen and Hilary McAllister.

With 2020 being the year of lockdowns and cancelled plans, the first year consisted primarily of brainstorming, planning and developing the foundations of what the organisation would become. In March 2022, the Pilliga Ultra, For Wild Places’ first big event, took place in the Pilliga Forest on Gomeroi Country in collaboration with The Wilderness Society. The event raised over $100,000 to support the Wilderness Society’s campaign to protect the Pilliga forest against Santos’ proposed Narrabri Gas Project.

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The Present

During 2023, For Wild Places said farewell to three of the original board members, welcoming new members, Liz Mackevicius, Stacee Kingston and Lauren Bradbury. Hilary McAllister stepped down, resuming the position as FWP CEO. 2023 was a productive year for For Wild Places, with several grants bringing new projects to life, including TRACTION (Trail Action) and CAMP FWP. The Board also welcomed two new members, Shane Winzar and Josh Fletcher, and with the ongoing support of Minter Ellison Lawyers, For Wild Places transitioned from a Pty Ltd to a Company Limited by Guarantee and became a registered charity.

Heading into 2024, we have our sights set on bringing the second Pilliga Ultra to life in September. While we continue to negotiate the delicate balance of incomings and outgoings as an environmental not-for-profit, we will maintain our core projects whilst seeking funding through grants and partnerships to bring new initiatives and events to life.

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The Future

It is difficult to predict what the future will hold for FWP. As the necessity of what we do increases, the funding available to keep building the movement decreases. While we are mostly a volunteer-powered organisation, we hope to maintain some part-time employees to continue mobilising our community of like-minded activist runners and ensuring the longevity of For Wild Places. We are only four years old, and we have achieved a considerable amount at this time. But there is always more work, places to be protected and people to empower. And we will continue to use our love of trails and wild places as fuel for the ongoing fight to protect precious places under threat.