Greening Australia Director Jonathan Duddles shares his Fellowship experience

20 May 2018


What was your Churchill Fellowship topic?

I was awarded a Fellowship in 2014 to investigate how successful environmental charities have created a culture of philanthropy to build financial resilience and long-term environmental outcomes. I travelled to the UK, France, and the USA. 


What motivated you to apply for a Churchill Fellowship? 

Over the past decade there has been a steady decline in government funding globally for public good outcomes.  Greening Australia as a national not-for-profit had just transformed from a federated structure to a single national organisation and I was interested in how we could transform and diversify our funding model.  I was especially interested in what we needed to change internally in order to attract new private funding opportunities.


How did the Churchill Fellowship benefit you?

It expanded my learning way beyond what I could have anticipated and built new and lasting relationships with international peers, partners and new conservation funders.  Since my Churchill trip I have returned to the USA three more times in the past two years to further develop relationships and continue the learning as each trip brings direct benefits to me, to the organisation and to the sector.  


How did the knowledge gained from your Churchill Fellowship benefit your work in the not-for-profit industry?

The Churchill Fellowship enabled me to identify new private / public funding models, understand the role of philanthropy to catalyse new opportunities and create compelling and impactful programs with our team that attract funding from multiple sources.

The experience inspired our organisation to develop an international program for building global networks, learning and funding opportunities, with at least five other staff travelling to North and South America and Europe through the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and other scholarships.  


What major achievements or milestones have you reached since going on your Fellowship?

Greening Australia is an organisation with a bold vision to transform landscapes for people and nature to thrive.  Since the Churchill Fellowship we developed a successful Reef Aid program, secured Sir Richard Branson to launch it, raised over $24m in less that three years from a standing start, improved water quality on the Great Barrier Reef at trial sites by 97%, and last month won the Environment Minister’s Banksia Sustainability Awards for partnerships and impact on the Reef.  While obviously the work of many, I believe that my Churchill Fellowship influenced and informed this vision and rapid success.


What's next for you?

There is an emerging interest globally in impact investment to solve environmental challenges in the context of climate change. Yet there are very few deals available in the conservation sector that deliver a compelling return on investment for investors. I am keen to grow my knowledge and experience in this area of conservation funding over the next few years.  


More about Jonathan Duddles 

Jonathan has a unique mix of skills and over 30 years’ experience in the community, business and local government sectors. His experience ranges from business development and fundraising to governance and leadership.

In a national role as Director of Development for Greening Australia, Jonathan leads a skilled team to build relationships and secure funds to tackle Australia's greatest environmental challenges through government, philanthropy, corporate partnerships and conservation finance. Jonathan is a Churchill Fellow and Chairman of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.

Jonathan was CEO of Greening Australia in Tasmania and Victoria before it became a national organisation, developing a skilled and experienced team to restore landscapes at scale for people and nature to thrive.  Prior to Greening Australia, he was a civil engineer working as a consultant and with the Centre for Appropriate Technology, an Indigenous organisation in Central Australia and Cape York, delivering community planning, appropriate housing and civil infrastructure. 

Jonathan is passionate about connecting people who want to change the world with those that can. 

Read Jonathan Duddles’ Churchill Fellowship Report

In partnership with the Churchill Trust, Community Sector Banking is sponsoring two new Churchill Fellowships in 2019 to benefit the not-for-profit sector: 

  1. The Community Sector Banking Fellowship to identify successful approaches to developing leadership, people and culture that position the not-for-profit sector for future challenges.

  2. The Community Sector Banking Churchill Fellowship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to investigate ways in which relationships between indigenous Peoples and communities and the not-for-profit sector can be mutually beneficial 

Find out more about the Community Sector Banking Churchill Fellowships


Applications open again on 1 February 2019 visit



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