The Total Environment Centre (TEC) believes in a fairer, greener world. We’ve worked with you for over 40 years to preserve the ecosystems that support living landscapes and healthy communities for all Australians. With over 100 eco victories behind us, and more community-focused campaigns ahead, TEC has the roadmap for our journey into the future. Come with us!
TEC was forged by the campaigns to save the rainforests in the 1970s, which naturally segued into our work to preserve clean air and stop coastal sand mining. These building blocks were essential to maintaining our natural heritage and a sustainable Australia.
Since then we've learned to be open and flexible, embracing new challenges, community concerns, and political shifting sands. We constantly think about the future, how to conserve our resources, mobilise the community, advocate to government and business, and respond to the opportunities presented by new green technologies.
In recent years TEC’s award winning educational communications projects – the documentary film Waste Not, the mobile Ocean Action POD, and the HotHouse event series - have expanded our traditional campaign activities across social media and other platforms into schools, universities, art galleries and public festivals.
Under the stewardship of our executive director Jeff Angel, TEC has remained a lean, independent and campaign-focused not-for-profit, with a reputation for calm measured policy advice, persistent campaigning and integrity, equal to none.
As NSW MP, Michael Daley, said in Parliament in mid 2016 – “You can’t buy Jeff Angel.”
After 40 years of environment activism, this is one thing about TEC that is not going to change.
Total Environment Centre is an incorporated non-profit association and a registered charity. We rely on donations to keep campaigning for a fairer, greener world. All donations over $2 to TEC are tax deductible. Do you believe in our campaigns? You can make sure that this vital work continues by donating today.
Meet the team
Jeff Angel – Executive Director
Jeff is famous for both his uncompromising integrity and his ability to reconcile people and interest groups with no apparent common ground for the good of us all. Softly spoken, diplomatic and scrupulous, he is also a dogged and fearless campaigner. Jeff has forged alliances between countless factions in government, industry, business, and community, producing one constructive outcome for the environment after the other, since becoming involved in the campaign to protect the rainforests 36 years ago when he was at university studying Economics. Jeff’s achievements range from pushing policy and legislation to protect clean air, restore urban rivers, conserve our coasts, wetlands and wilderness, combat climate change, reform business and government to embrace environmental sustainability, prevent broad-scale land clearing, save our common green spaces, and more. He is also Convenor and CEO of the Boomerang Alliance of 42 groups, which has won the container deposits campaign and is tackling marine plastic pollution. Jeff published 'Green is Good' (ABC Books) in 2008 and is a regular and highly respected media commentator.
Ruth Hessey – Communications Director
Since coming to Total Environment Centre after 20 years as a journalist with media outlets such as SMH, Vogue, and the ABC, Ruth has expanded her skills in all directions. She wrote and directed the award winning documentary film Waste Not for TEC in 2012 (screened in over 30 countries and all over Australia), and has learnt to shoot and edit film and videos despite no previous aptitude for new technologies. She was named one of Sydney’s Most Influential, Creative and Inspiring People in 2012 by Fairfax Media. She also project managed the Waste Not educational website, and wrote the study guides which have been used by hundreds of schools. She says, “TEC attracts bright imaginative people with high ideals, and compassionate hearts. It’s a total pleasure to work here.”
Andrew Tovey - Director of public programs (HotHouse, Smart Locale)
There is no one who enjoys a weekend in the workshop hammering brilliant ideas together from bits of old scrap more than Andrew. He brings a wide range of skills and enthusiasm to his work as Director of the HotHouse and Smart Locale sustainability programs for the Total Environment Centre. HotHouse stages creative events to inspire people with a vision for a brighter, smarter, better future, exploring how innovation and positive solutions can meet the sustainability challenges of tomorrow. Smart Locale catalyses projects employing localised technology solutions for smarter and more sustainable Sydney communities today.
Previously Andrew worked as a freelance sustainable events consultant on high-profile outdoor endurance events, and the Green Globe winning Peats Ridge Festival. Originally from the UK, Andrew completed internships with the National Trust for Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland, following a Masters of Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde, and a Bachelor of Geography from the University of Edinburgh in 2007. Andrew has lived in the Inner West of Sydney since 2010 with his partner Rebecca.
“I love escaping to the Australian bush at the weekends and going to work everyday in a job that is helping to make the world a better place!”
David Burgess – Natural areas
Few campaigners have traversed the environment movement so adventurously as Dave. His work in forest conservation took him to Papua New Guinea and West Africa as a younger man. Later, depending on who you talk to, he gained fame or infamy with his painting of ‘No War’ on the sails of the Sydney Opera House on the day Australia went to war with Iraq in 2003.
"I grew up on the northern edges of Sydney in a 'playground' that ran through sandstone country, bluegum and turpentine forests down to mangroves and the Hawkesbury. Over that time I saw much of that land turn into housing and industrial estates and its creeks become polluted.”
Dave first came across TEC in 1989 after seeing what the woodchip industry was getting away with in the forests around Eden.
“It was meeting people who valued the environment and were prepared to make personal sacrifices to protect it, that inspired me to join TEC."
Corinne Fisher - Campaign Coordinator for Stand Up For Nature
Corinne is one of our most engaging community activists. Her warmth and work ethic are second to none. Corinne not only inspires small armies of volunteers to work with us, she deeply appreciates their time and energy. She is currently the Campaign Coordinator for Stand Up For Nature, an alliance of environmental groups, including TEC, that was created to respond to the NSW Government’s proposed changes to biodiversity and land clearing legislation across the State.
In 2013, Corinne was awarded with the Nature Conservation Council's Dunphy Award for most outstanding environmental effort by an individual and in 2014, she was awarded a Pride of Australia Medal in the NSW Environment category. She was the founding convenor for the community-led state wide Better Planning Network, an organisation advocating for principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development. She has a Master of Environmental Studies and 20 years experience working with governments and communities on a range of social and environmental initiatives.
“I feel privileged to be able to work with TEC because the staff are all so genuine and committed. Empowering communities to translate their love of nature into action is the most wonderful part of my job.”
Leigh Martin – Community campaigner
Our busy resident ecologist, Leigh is a compelling public speaker with a BSc(Hons), PhD who has campaigned with Total Environment Centre since 1998. He has worked on campaigns to restore the iconic Snowy River, protect Sydney’s drinking water catchment, reduce air pollution, prevent the damming of the Williams River in the Hunter Valley and protect native vegetation and biodiversity in NSW. He also knows more about reptiles and gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals than anyone else we know.
He says the highlights of his work with TEC have been “our successful campaigns to restore environmental flows to the Snowy River, saving the Williams River from being dammed, and successfully campaigning for precious bushland on the Georges River to be included as National Park.”
He is a highly skilled exponent of percussive maintenance, which he applies to a wide range of problem solving situations.
Mark Byrne - Energy Market Advocate
Mark is a former urban planner who also has a Masters in International Law and a PhD in the humanities. He is the author of two books, six booklets, a dozen papers and countless newspaper articles. He is also a former lecturer and has facilitated about a hundred public events including energy conferences. He comes to the TEC after several years as an environmental educator with the NSW Environmental Defenders Office.
Lisa Wriley – Community Campaigner
Lisa has a rare gift for working with communities, and an awesome commitment to recycling which has seen her travel all over Australia dressed as Bev the Bottle. Bev has been dedicated to achieving a container deposit scheme for used bottles and cans for over 5 years, and a big part of the win which has seen CDS legislation sweep across Australia. But Bev is just one way Lisa works to help people take action towards zero waste and greater resource efficiency.
She loves animating the campaign world with characters and creative sculptures, running random refund days, and connecting with other people who are passionate and active on litter and waste issues through countless stalls.
With her background is in Education for Sustainability, Lisa also helps schools to set up Worm Tubs for their organic waste, and teaches composting skills at Kariong Eco Garden, and Central Coast schools.
"Working with great volunteers and carting giant bottles around to MP's offices is great fun!
Jenn Brewer – Office manager
Where would we be without Jenn? She keeps us all on track, running the office with meticulous care, guarding the recycling bins from error and thoughtlessness, organising our data bases, connecting with donors and supporters, sorting mail, making sure TEC runs smoothly so our campaigns do too. Jenn has been with us for 5 years, multitasking and multiskilled. We really couldn’t get by without her.
Jo Cory – Accounts Manager
Our gentle, hard working accounts manager, Jo joined TEC in 2013 to manage the financial challenges of this lean and clean little team. She says she enjoys supporting “such a passionate group of people who do much good work advocating for our environment.” Jo has nearly completed her CPA and looks forward to a future where accounting for the environment is standard. She enjoys being a mum, volunteering at the school, running, reading and is currently working on her new project – a bee hive. Like everyone at TEC, Jo lives the sustainable ideals so important us, in her day to day life.