Australia, lets get this done.

A little over a year ago, in the middle of the Australian bush, I stood amongst all the people in the world that I love the most, and married my wonderful wife, Mel.

Mel is white, I’m not – which should be totally irrelevant.

Except that, not that long ago, it wasn’t.

Sixty years ago, in Australia, had Mel been Indigenous, we would have had to beg for legal permission to get married. In many US states at the same time, we could’ve been arrested for living together.

It was a combination of brave people putting their love first, campaigning, voting and parliamentary courage that moved history forward and overturned those unjust laws.

Today, just like then, we have the opportunity to move history forward. As the country of the fair go for all, it’s time our LGBTI friends, colleagues and loved ones had the same rights to marry as the rest of us.

Leaving aside the inherent unfairness of the rights of the few again being decided by the will of the many, we have a unique opportunity to be our best selves, to do what’s right and to vote Yes.

In sixty years time, our grand kids will look back at the bans on marriage equality, the same way we look at the bans on interracial marriage and think to themselves, how was that ever a thing?

Personally, I look forward to being able to look them in the eye and tell them I helped end that injustice. I hope you’ll be able to do the same.
If you want to help, here are three things you can do (aside from voting Yes):

Prashan Paramanathan

Open your hearts and support solidarity visits to Immigration Detention

Open Hearts by SDS

“My attention was first drawn to the issues surrounding immigration detention in the UK when I started at SOAS University in London. A lot of my course was about globalisation, migration and how crucial the movement of people is for our society to flourish. I soon got involved with SOAS Detainee Support Group to learn more about these issues, and how to challenge detention as an immigration control mechanism. I was disgusted to learn that 30,000 people are locked up in immigration detention every year. They are held indefinitely, with no time limit and without the opportunity to trial.

SDS have been working together for 12 years, and in that time have engaged so many people to take a stand against detaining people who have a precarious migration status. The state of immigration detention centres is appalling; they are built to prison standards, and run by private security firms, which is not only wrong but also really expensive for the taxpayer.

I think what is really telling about this subject is that when something like the BBC Panorama documentary comes to light, the general public are shown the brutality of the system and how these people are berated, bullied and demoralised. The problem is that people don’t know how they can take action against this abuse. This is where SDS comes in; they offer support to people in detention, regular visits, and emotional and practical support. Along with helping people in detention in the here and now, the group campaigns for the abolition of detention, run workshops around the UK on immigration detention and protests at detention centres and the Home Office.

For anyone who feels they don’t know enough about this issue, want more information, or feel they have the capacity to start visiting someone detained in one of the UK’s immigration removal centres, I would urge getting in touch with SDS.”
Mia Barrow-Sullivan, SDS Member

For more on SDS and this fantastic cause, check out their crowdfunding campaign:



The Magic of Mullumbimby, brought to you by the Brunswick Valley Historical Society!

Brunswick Valley Historical Society Team

Brunswick Valley Historical Society Team

“In 2007, I became a member of the Brunswick Valley Historical Society Inc, which operates the Mullumbimby Museum, when I was researching the history of a local school that was about to celebrate its centenary. I was amazed at the local resources that the museum held and decided in 2009 to become more involved in the society and the running of the museum. I love volunteering at the museum as we have a great band of volunteers that enjoy working with and supporting each other.

The society’s collection had a big gap in that there was very little information, photos, memorabilia of the alternate culture which began around Mullumbimby in the early 1970s. The arrival of the Hippies changed this sleepy agricultural area forever. Hence we commissioned a local filmmaker, Sharon Shostak (who herself grew up with the Hippies), to make our first documentary Mullumbimby’s Madness – The Legacy of the Hippies which documented the arrival of the Hippies and their beginnings of settling in. From this documentary, the museum was donated a wealth of photos, interviews etc.

The overwhelming success of the first documentary encouraged us to commission Sharon to make a second, which is the subject of the crowdfunding, Mullumbimby’s Magic – The Culture of 70s – 80s. We are amazed at the scale of the task which has grown considerably from our first imaginings. To cover our selected topics more and more people have come out of the woodwork to tell their stories and share their photos. Already several important people in the movement have passed on and we are so grateful to get the stories while we can for prosperity.

The alternate culture has had a profound effect on the region and we are delighted to have it documented as we move to a changing and more technological society.

Southern Cross Credit Union, a north coast credit union, is currently running a competition for not-for-profit community organisations where they are asking the public to vote for their favourite organisation. Three groups will be granted $5000 each for their project and our documentary Mullumbimby’s Magic – The Culture of the 70s-80s can be voted for at and look for Brunswick Valley Historical Society Inc. ”
Susan Tsicalas, Treasurer, BVHS inc

For more on this cool cause, check out and support their crowdfunding campaign below:

Homeward Bound: Jessica’s Leadership Voyage



In February 2018, I’ll join 80 women from around the world on a voyage to Antarctica with Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative for women in science aimed at building a more equitable and sustainable future for our planet.

As a museum curator, I draw on my background in environmental science and science communication to develop exhibitions that celebrate and inspire people to conserve Earth’s amazing biodiversity in the face of global environmental change. I’m also passionate about sharing stories that showcase the voices of women in science.

I currently live in Western Australia, but I’m originally from the Unites States. Disheartened by the state of politics back home and recent policies that undermine both women and climate science, I’ve been searching for an opportunity to step up and contribute my voice to the larger conversation about these issues. I first heard about the Homeward Bound program through an article in the local newspaper. When I read about the vision of this global initiative and the inaugural journey to Antarctica, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.

I’m incredibly excited to be taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime leadership journey and opportunity to experience Antarctica and the affects of climate change firsthand. It’s also quite humbling to be part of this impressive cohort of women in science. What excites me most about the Homeward Bound vision is the chance to help build a network of like-minded and empowered women in science, representing 13 different countries from around the world. In an effort to raise funds to participate in the program, I’ve also teamed up with four other amazing women here in Western Australia to form Team WA Homeward Bound 2018.

Having recently turned 50, I feel a strong desire to challenge myself and to ‘play a bigger game’ by getting involved in a larger global network. Participating in this program will strengthen my leadership voice to speak up on behalf of our changing planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants. As the Homeward Bound tagline states, “Mother Nature needs her daughters.”

Jessica Brainard


Check out Jessica’s awesome crowdfunding campaign in support of Homeward Bound and her voyage to save the environment below:

World Suicide Prevention Day: The Sunlight Centre Launch



“Every day over eight people in Australia take their own lives. I have worked in crisis areas for mental health for over 15 years, and I have seen the pain people go through on a daily basis. People can go through a combination of Depression, Anxiety, Loss, Grief, and more, and when this trauma grows to a certain level they can start to see suicide as an option to end their pain.

That is where the Sunlight Centre steps in.

We want to launch our full-time therapy support centre for any anyone with suicidal thoughts and/or go through self-harm. It will be a self-referral, free service of solution focused therapy to help them through their darkest times. Every donation helps us to help someone move from their darkness into their own personal Sunlight.

Young people, under 18, are presenting with self-harm behaviour more and more to their family, schools and doctors. The Sunlight Centre will help support families and schools with our workshops and also create a safe place for our clients to get through such a difficult time.

We are proud to announce that we have found a small location to start seeing a few clients a week, but we know that is only the beginning. With the help of Crowdfunding we can rent a larger building so we can start to reach out to more and more people, and start to lower Suicide Rates in Queensland.

Situations don’t get better by chance, they get better by change, thank you for helping to be the change.”
Ken, The Sunlight Centre

For more on this inspiring cause, check out The Sunlight Centre’s crowdfunding campaign page and video below!

Bike for Life: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty for Disadvantaged Kids in Cambodia

Victoria & Boon from People Stories

Victoria & Boon from People Stories

“After decades of my corporate life, I embarked on my volunteering experiences in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia in 2017.   While I have met many beautiful people and learned about their stories along the way, I personally encountered some of the poorest families especially in Cambodia. Some of them struggle to put food on the table, let alone supporting their children for education.

Access to and completion of school remains a dilemma in Cambodia. Poverty drives many children away from school, with some children (that I know of) as young as 12 years old having to enter the labour market. I have personally seen many of them walking to school around 6am for 30mins or more and returning home under the hot sun in midday. Sadly, some don’t even have any shoes! My heart goes out to every one of them!

I wanted to do something about it! A team of my close friends voluntarily got together and are fully motivated to share the authentic life moments of these everyday people with love and compassion through the art of photography and storytelling. Hence the establishment of PeopleStories ( However, that wasn’t enough and we wanted to do more!

We are hoping Bike for Life crowdfunding campaign will enable us to deliver 93 bikes to a specific primary school in the rural area of Siem Reap. These bikes will not only give the disadvantaged children the mobility needed, but change their lives as they become more educated.”

For more on this awesome cause and to support it, check out Victoria and PeopleStories’ crowdfunding campaign:

Followings for Busubi Empowered Communities: “Anyone can make a massive impact in a short amount of time”

Lauren Exton
“I’m Lauren Exton, former television & radio producer in Australia, current PR manager for an entertainment company in the USA – and Followings is technically my side project, but absolutely dominates my thoughts and schedule!

A series of life-altering service trips to Uganda showed me just how great the need for community engagement is in the rural villages. I also witnessed enormous growth in myself and others on the trip and I was drawn to offer an opportunity for people around the world who might not realise they have everything it takes to be a change-agent. When all you have to do is take 10 days off work, and fundraise $6000 – anyone can make a massive impact in a short amount of time.

Most people don’t know just how much they are capable of, so if I can help them see just how amazing they are – for me that is the greatest gift of all.

With 50% of Uganda’s population under the age of 15, and only 8% of girls currently completing high school – it’s obvious to me that we need all hands on deck, and that’s part what I’m trying to do with Followings. Whether people come on the trip, or donate to someone who is – they’re making change.

I opened up world-wide applications for the first 10 day trip in August 2017 and we had a full team of 10 (Australians & Americans) in just a few short weeks! We have weekly conference calls for the 12 weeks leading up to our November trip, and by the first week of September the team had already raised 10% of the $63,000 goal! (I’m still pinching myself!)

The money raised will build a Learning & Community Centre in the rural Ugandan village of Busubi, and also covers the trip costs for the 10 hardworking fundraisers/volunteers who will tirelessly co-create & facilitate 6 intense days of community engagement with local villagers while on the ground.

We’ll return again in April 2018, and again in October 2018, with 2 more trips in 2019, and a goal for the centre to be accredited to facilitate university courses and become fully self-sustaining by 2020.

Thank you Chuffed for this amazing opportunity – and for all your support along the way – you have been UNBELIEVABLE in every way!”

For more on this awesome cause and to support their crowdfunding, check out the Followings campaign page:

Summoning up the kind of podcast we want to hear in this world!

Kellen, Addie, Ambria, Hope. Team members not pictured: Andee, Hope, and Cindy (yes, there are two Hopes).
 Kellen, Addie, Ambria, Hope. Team members not pictured: Andee, Hope, and Cindy (yes, there are two Hopes).

“Just a few short weeks ago, Ambria, one of our creators, was complaining online that there aren’t a lot of political podcasts with multiple women in them. Shortly after, she had connected with several other women who wanted to join her in making the kind of podcast we all want to hear so badly.

After we organized ourselves and our ideas, we decided to launch a funding campaign. It has been wildly successful, and we hit our goal of $1,000 within 18 hours. Even more shocking, our biggest donations were $100 each, so our campaign has succeeded because a large amount of people want to invest in this podcast. All of the hosts are part of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and we were astounded by the support we received from this wonderful community.

However, we also received support from tons of wonderful people outside of the DSA. We learned something important during this campaign. Not only do women desperately want to see more women contributing to the political discourse – men do, too!
Podcasts are super popular among leftist millennials right now, and for good reason. Our news media companies have become increasingly consolidated, and podcasts offer a platform for us to have a real dialogue. There is a whole network of podcasts that allow us to build our own commentary and focus on what interests us the most as young, civically engaged people. However, finding a political podcast with a woman as a regular host is surprisingly challenging, and finding one with more than one woman is rare indeed.

We feel so lucky. This group ended up being a bunch of random women who found each other online. We are spread out between Illinois, New York, California, and South Carolina. We had no way of knowing what it would be like to work with each other. We have been so inspired by each others’ dedication, hard work, intelligence, and biting humor. We are ‘Season of the Bitch’ and we cannot wait to share Season of the Bitch with the world!”

For more on this awesome cause, head to their crowdfunding campaign page below:

Sacrifice Zone: The story of the movie about the real gas crisis in Australia

Co-producer Megan, Anne and Margaret Fleck

Co-producer Megan, Anne and Margaret Fleck

“I’m a farmer from Coonamble, and I’ve been involved with the protection of the Great Artesian Basin for many years. I grew up in Sydney, and like most city girls, I just thought if you turned on a tap, water came out! Then I married a farmer, moved out to the country, and that was when I realised the true value of water, when the tank ran dry!

And so for many years I have been passionate about protecting our groundwater – it’s literally the only permanent water for a large area of rural Australia. It is our lifeblood.

As President of the Great Artesian Basin Protection Group I was involved with capping and piping the free-flowing bores and working on conserving this finite groundwater.  But then eight years ago I learned about coal seam gas mining from a friend in Queensland, and I travelled up to the Darling Downs to see what was happening there.

What I learned from the local farmers was devastating. CSG pollutes and wastes the water and destroys the pressure, without which we cannot bring the groundwater to the surface.

So I’ve spent the past eight years researching and studying coal seam gas mining – and what I’ve learned has horrified me. The damage that it causes to communities, to our land, our health, our agricultural industries, our rivers and Murray Darling Basin, but mostly to our Great Artesian Basin, has caused me to be deeply opposed to the rapid spread of this industry – and I have been fighting it ever since.

For many years I took the science and evidence of the damage that CSG mining would do, to the government, but they ignored me. They were determined to allow the industry to proceed, no matter what evidence we showed them.

The Great Artesian Basin Protection Group decided to team up with Cloudcatcher Media to make a documentary to share what we’ve learned with a broad general audience. I believe it’s vital for this movie to be shown to decision-makers and the wider public, so they can see the facts for themselves, and take action before the land and water of north-western NSW is destroyed.

Last week we held rough cut test screenings and got some very positive feedback. Now we need to raise enough money to get the film finished and distributed as widely as possible.”
Anne Kennedy, co-producer of Sacrifice Zone

Learn more about the Great Artesian Basin Protection Group and their awesome project by heading to their crowdfunding campaign page:

Community Leader: Kieron

Meet Kieron, our Chuffed Community Leader originally from Perth, Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career (or life) so far.

At uni I jumped around courses a little bit, starting in Construction Management and Economics. I realised that this wasn’t an area which I was passionate about so I moved into Nutrition Science as I have a love for sports and peak performance. I wanted to improve people’s potential in a range of areas. I worked a lot during semester time and saved extensively so I could travel in the breaks. I have been lucky enough to have seen a lot of the world, and seen some extent of the widespread inequity. I wanted to make a real difference so set up a non-profit organisation when I graduated. This non-profit would soon take me to India.

Why did you decide to become a Community Leader?

I was asked to sit on a panel with some other awesome Chuffed crowdfunders for the Social Impact Festival here in Perth. I got a lot out of sharing the potential that crowdfunding has to bring a project off of the ground. I wanted to continue this education so the Chuffed Community Leader role was perfect for me.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin?

I had a project that I wanted to start in India, as I was already there volunteering as a nutritionist. I couldn’t afford to put too much of my own money into it at the time so I thought that crowdfunding would be the perfect way to both create awareness and raise much needed funds (which allowed for aid to be purchased at a higher scale).

What social cause are passionate about and why?

Education is the key to increasing life outcomes of children, especially in developing countries. In order to learn and participate in classes with full concentration, a student needs to be fed adequately. I was shocked to learn the extent of malnutrition which faces Indian children (one in two). I knew the devastating effects that nutrient deficiencies have on physiological and psychologic development and just had to try and improve it.

What relevant fundraising or other experience do you have that you can share with participants in the workshop?

I used Social Media to raise $10k in 3 days for my own project. I have a strong interest in digital marketing and strategy which I deployed for my project. I would love to walk you through the process, even if you aren’t Facebook-savvy!

What social cause project or campaign on Chuffed will the funds raised through the workshop support?

#MILK4MARKS was my first campaign on and was really successful. The problem of malnutrition is not something that 5 figures can fix and for this reason it is still running now. The campaign is raising funds for a nutritional aid powder which I formulated, that contains the key vitamins and minerals which Indian children are most deficient in. You can check it out here.

Kieron is hosting our next Crowdfunding for Social Causes Workshops in Christchurch on the 30th of September! Details below: