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About FFF

Our vision: healthy people on a healthy planet

What is the Frank Fenner Foundation?

The Frank Fenner Foundation is a unique institution that aims to fill a gap in the public dialogue, understanding and policy response to human-driven and global-scale threats to Earth, its life forms and systems.

It is named after the late Professor Frank Fenner AC in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the health of humankind and of the natural environment.

It is an independent, non-profit and organisation with active links to the research, education, government, commercial and community sectors.

See our online magazine "A Frank Life" here: A Frank Life Magazine

See our journal "Nature and Society" here: Nature and Society Journal

You can download the FFF constitution here

The Foundation is:

  • Politically independent: we are non-partisan and seek to work with all opinion leaders and decision makers
  • Evidence based: we base our work on comprehensively researched science
  • Collaborative: we openly work with and support others to achieve shared goals

The Foundation aims to:

    1. Promote understanding across the community of the human place in nature and of the full spectrum of ecological and related health issues that confront our society today.
    2. Promote informed dialogue among influential thinkers and leaders about the social changes necessary to achieve a biosensitive future.
    3. Facilitate or undertake inter-disciplinary research to improve understanding of the human situation in the biosphere.
    4. Establish collaborative partnerships with other research and educational institutions, government agencies, the business sector and community organisations in the context of human and ecological health.


What is biosensitivity? Click here to watch a video made by volunteer Zenia Xie to learn more!


"Microbes to Macrobes: The Story of Frank Fenner" is a documentary made by Richard Jasek, and we highly recommend it for an understanding of Frank Fenner.


Frank Fenner Foundation is a Registered Environmental Organisation and is recognised by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient (ABN 52 456 986 523).

The TAKE2 program initiated the Victoria’s Climate Change Pledge. This is an Australian state government led voluntary climate change pledging initiative.Targeting business, local government, communities, universities, schools and individual to work towards a net zero emissions by 2050. Member organisations advocates for climate change all with demonstrable leadership in sustainability. This program aims to provide organisation with opportunities to take action on climate change. Help protect the future of our communities and environment.

To participate, sign up on the TAKE2 website and make the universal pledge. On there create a profile page for your organisation, displaying actions you plan to do as well as the actions you have already taken. Share and promote your profile page with employees, customers, suppliers and others. Being a TAKE2 member provides a great opportunity to demonstrate to your networks the dedication and action you are taking towards combating climate change and achieving Victoria’s goal of net zero emissions.


Frank Fenner Foundation Submission to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government Housing Choices Engagement Project, providing feedback on the Housing Choices Discussion paper, November 2017

By international standards, the city of Canberra and the ACT more broadly, are examples of mostly well planned development. The initial Garden City concept understandably has changed over time; although there has been much well-considered planning and implementation, there has been some development which is not well supported by many citizens and apparently out of step with the initial vision.It is important to recognise that Canberra has some of the most far-sighted strategies for the future, including 100% electricity obtained from renewable sources, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the encouragement of innovative design and businesses, a longer term waste management goal and, generally, maintenance of a verdant and healthy local environment.

Frank Fenner Foundation (FFF) has submitted some thoughts around integrating an urban framework based on biosensitivity principles into future planning for the ACT. This involves the transition to a society that  prosperous, cohesive, just and in tune with and respectful of nature and other living beings, and where human activities are ecologically and economically sustainable and socially equitable, based on a deep understanding and acceptance of the human place in nature and within safe planetary boundaries.


FFF Chair Peter Tait was awarded the prestigious public health award, the Sidney Sax Medal, for efforts to promote and protect the public's health, including promoting planetary health. "By which I mean, living respectfully in tune with Nature", Peter said. "This really is a team award; totally unlocked for and unexpected. I stand on the shoulders, of Giants. Tony McMichael, Stephen Boyden, and many others, who have shaped my thinking for decades."


The FFF supported puppeteer Marianne in a successful grant application for 2018, and will continue working with her on our education projects next year. Here she is with some of her puppets. Exciting stuff!

Next FFF Member talk: 

Wednesday 4th April, 5:30pm to 7pm

Marine Debris, a discussion with Eav Brennan, exploring meaningful solutions to Marine Debris as a complex problem.

Eav’s Engagement project – FFF’s priority project

This year, the FFF engagement strategy will focus on the respected nature, a well Earth, human connectivity and cultural change themes of the biosensitive urban framework. Using this strategy, we will target formal school groups and broader communities to create resources and activities to facilitate people to find their own solutions to the environmental challenges they face. We hope to use the existing materials of the FFF and promote or modify them to reach a broader audience. Through a diverse set of means – from games, to research groups, to food blogs, the FFF engagement program hopes to develop something that inspires
everyone to work for a biosensitive future.


 A story
The story of life on Earth, and of human civilisation as part of this story, is of overarching significance for every one of us – and for society as a whole. Yet it is known and understood by only a very small section of the human community. If this story were embraced by the dominant cultures of the world, the future prospects for humankind would be very much brighter. We refer to this story as the bionarrative.
Why is understanding this story so important? Here, very briefly, are some of the reasons.
First – at a general level, the bionarrative conveys a sense of perspective crucial for understanding the true nature of the human situation on Earth today.
More specifically, the bionarrative:

  • tells us about the history of life on Earth and about the coming and going, especially over the past 600 million years, of myriads of life forms, leading to the rich network of interacting and interdependent living organisms that make up our world today (Appendix 1).
  • tells us about the fundamental physiological and ecological processes and principles on which we, and all other living organisms, depend (Appendix 2).
  • reminds us that all plant and animal life and human civilisation depend on photosynthesis in green plants.
  • tells us about the evolutionary emergence of Homo sapiens some 300,000 years ago. Our species has been in existence for less than 0.01 per cent of the time of life on Earth (Appendix 3).
  • tells us how humans possess an attribute unique in the animal kingdom – the ability to invent, memorise and communicate with a symbolic spoken language
  • tells us how this aptitude for language led to the accumulation of shared worldviews, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes in human groups. That is, it led to human culture.
  • shows how human culture has recently emerged as a powerful new force in nature. It has led to activities that have been to the benefit of humans (cultural adaptations) and to activities that have been greatly to their disadvantage (cultural maladaptations) (Appendix 4).
  • alerts us to the need to be constantly vigilant – to ensure that the worldview, assumptions and priorities of the culture in which we are immersed are not leading us to behave in ways that are against nature or are causing unnecessary threats to human wellbeing or survival.

 Jeremy Leggett's latest missive

Jeremy Leggett  is a British social entrepreneur, scientist, historian futurist and author with a vision  for a  renaissance in civilisation triggered by renewable energy and its intrinsic social benefits. He founded the  Solarcentury, an international solar solutions company (1997–present), and is founder and Chair of SolarAid, a charity funded with 5% of Solarcentury’s annual profits that builds solar lighting markets in Africa (2006 – present).  He was winner of the first Hillary Laureate for International Leadership in Climate Change (2009),  has authored  four books on the climate-and-energy nexus.

The history and future of the global energy transition available on video
March 1 2018

The video of Jeremy's presentations to the recent conferences on 'Making Solar Bankable' can be seen here. Powerpoint versions of this presentation and 'How can investors help oil majors to commit to Paris' are available on his website, including source urls to maximise the usefulness to people who might wish to use them in some way to get the message/s out.