Koala Chaplaincy Project

Forest Advocacy Ministry

The Koala Chaplaincy Project, funded by the Quakers and Uniting Church*

About the Koala Chaplaincy

Forest defenders on the NSW Mid North Coast are in need of support. After many years of community campaigning, a Great Koala National Park (GKNP) was promised by the present NSW government, but this has yet to be delivered. Indeed, industrial scale logging activity has increased within the proposed Park boundary. There have been significant wins in forest protection, but also many losses, which can leave emotional scars.

The Koala Chaplaincy project aims to:

  1. Provide pastoral care* to people of any belief system who are defending our forests,
  2. Support collaboration between groups who work to defend the forests,
  3. Advocate for Aboriginal sovereignty within the context of Great Koala National Park.

*Pastoral care is the offer of emotional, social and spiritual support through non-judgmental and confidential listening.

Key people

The key people involved in the chaplaincy are Rev Dr Jason John (Forest Chaplain), Jeff Kite, and Jessi Levy (student minister and pastor at Bellingen Uniting Church). They are supported by other members of the Forest Advocacy Ministry Committee. We aim to build a wider network of care and support for forest defenders.


The chaplaincy is funded by the Jan de Voogd Peace Fund, which is a bequest administered by the Quakers in NSW, and the Uniting Church. The funds are used to employ the part-time Forest Chaplain and to cover other project expenses.

About Jan de Voogd

Jan de Voogd was a Quaker Peace activist. He died in 2021 leaving his estate to be spent on projects which foster peace and social justice, reflecting the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Sustainability. Read about Jan’s life and work and how the Koala Chaplaincy project furthers his legacy of compassion

Resources for forest defenders and supporters

See our resources here.


Please help us to continue to support the work of forest defenders:


We direct 10 percent of donations to acknowledging the unceded sovereignty of the Gumbaynggirr People in the region where we have held our activities, and ensure that leaders who share their welcome and wisdom with us are adequately compensated for their time.