Since 2004, Voiceless has worked at the forefront of creating a new social justice movement – animal protection.
There’s still so much more to do, but Voiceless is proud to have succeeded in achieving many of our original aims and objectives, which included:
- Shining a spotlight on cruel industries;
- Advancing legal protection for animals;
- Raising public awareness via the media;
- Increasing animal protection in science and technology;
- Empowering the animal protection movement and bringing it into the mainstream; and
- Educating future changemakers.
Shining a spotlight on cruel industries
Voiceless’s in-depth scientific and legal reports into key animal cruelty issues (such as the pig, chicken and dairy industries as well as labelling laws) have been widely read, discussed, reported on in mainstream media and quoted in Parliament on numerous occasions. Our social-media campaigns on issues such as battery hens, kangaroos and sow-stalls, have also reached hundreds of thousands, causing widespread discussion and coverage in mainstream media.
These campaigns involved the release of a number of key publications, including:
- Unscrambled: The Hidden Truth of Hen Welfare (2017);
- The Life of the Dairy Cow: A Report on the Australian Dairy Industry (2015);
- Science and Sense: The Case for Abolishing Sow Stalls (2013);
- From Nest to Nugget: An Expose of Australia’s Chicken Factories (2008);
- From Label to Liable: Labelling Report (2007);
- From Paddocks to Prisons (2005).
With public recognition and reward from the Voiceless Media Prizes, mainstream journalists are now covering key animal issues with greater vigour, pace and enthusiasm, ‘lifting the veil of secrecy’ on hidden cruelty as we intended.
Advancing legal protection for animals
From 2007-2017, the Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series was held across eight Australian cities, featuring nine international keynote speakers and animal law academics from across Australia.
The Lecture Series addressed a range of topics, including factory farming, ag-gag legislation, hunting and animals in politics.
The Series featured a number of high profile lawyers and public figures including The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG, Her Excellency Professor Marie R Bashir AD CVO and Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Today, Voiceless is continuing to ensure animals are protected by the law through our investment in animal law and policy initiatives.
For 17 years, Voiceless actively lobbied the Australian government to create positive change for animals in legislation and called for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare. We actively engaged with politicians to promote progressive law and policy, and wrote numerous in-depth submissions to government on a range of law and policy reform issues.
Raising public awareness via the media
With public recognition and reward from the Voiceless Media Prizes, mainstream journalists now cover key animal issues with greater vigour, pace and enthusiasm. They are ‘lifting the veil of secrecy’ on hidden cruelty as we had hoped and intended.
The Voiceless Media Prizes recognised the most accurate and influential reports on factory farming, kangaroo hunting, animal law, live export and other important issues that affect animals in Australia, across broadcast, print, digital and online media.
The successful nominees were stories that:
- Addressed factory farming, food labelling and certification, live export, animal law including enforcement and governance, hunting, animal experimentation, animals in entertainment, animals killed for fashion; or
- Built public understanding of animal sentience; or
- Examined the ethical relationship between human and non-human animals.
The winners were selected by a returning panel of judges, which included Professor J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature and Voiceless Patron. The Voiceless Media Prizes served to recognise the importance of raising these issues in mainstream media and to encourage accurate and hard-hitting journalism on animal protection matters. (Media Prize Archive coming soon).
You can find a list of Voiceless Media Prize recipients here.
Increasing animal protection in science and technology
From 2005 to 2012, Voiceless supported the Australian Museum’s Eureka Prizes for outstanding achievements by the scientific community. The Voiceless Eureka Prize awarded $10,000 annually to an individual or research team whose work had contributed or had the potential to contribute, to animal protection.
You can find a list of Voiceless Eureka Prize recipients here.
Empowering the animal protection movement and bringing it into the mainstream
Starting the first grants program for animal protection in Australia, Voiceless invested $2 million worth of seed grants and prizes in capacity-building organisations and advocates. We attracted a network of high-profile leaders in business, arts and science to lend their names and voices to the cause.
Between 2004-2017, Voiceless supported over 150 projects that contributed towards the alleviation of animal suffering in Australia. The projects were at the forefront of animal protection and included scientific research, public awareness campaigns, law and policy, television and print advertisements and the publication of books and magazines.
The program helped to strengthen the animal protection movement and grow a wide variety of professional, well-funded organisations and advocates successfully campaigning to make change.
In 2023, Voiceless launched a new grants program which is now open for applications.
Please take a look at the Voiceless Grants Program (VGP) and our history of grant-giving here.
Educating future changemakers with Animal Protection and Animal Law Education
From 2017-2021, Voiceless was proud to be the home of animal law and animal protection education, developing critical-thinking skills in our next generation of influencers and decision-makers.
Voiceless Animal Law Education (ALE) resources provide animal law teachers and students with the tools they need to understand key animal law topics and concepts, including materials exploring the moral and legal status of animals, animal law reform and policy and comparative animal law.
Voiceless Animal Protection Education (APE) resources provide secondary school teachers and students with the knowledge they need to consider, analyse and debate differing perspectives on thought-provoking animal protection topics, as well as the tools to question for themselves what it means to act with kindness, respect, integrity and compassion in our ever-changing world.
Since January 2022, Voiceless has been striving towards a brighter world for animals with a new strategy and organisational model.
Using the tools of ‘strategic philanthropy’, Voiceless is now the leading grants program for animal protection in Australia.
Adding to a previous $2 million dollars in grants and prizes that helped capacity-build the animal protection movement (2004-2017) and support sanctuaries (2019-2020), in 2023, Voiceless launched its open application process for the Voiceless Grants Program (VGP).
With few significant grant opportunities for animal protection in Australia, organisations, sanctuaries, and institutions are in dire need of funding. The VGP will seek to create lasting change for animals by funding and supporting the most impactful projects within organisations and institutions.
Learn more about how the Voiceless Grant Program supports impactful initiatives in line with our vision to create a just, equitable world where animals can flourish.