About PICS

We believe that Phillip Island is a special place.

The Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) is a non-profit community organisation that works collaboratively to promote environmental protection and conservation of natural resources on Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia. Phillip Island Conservation Society began in 1968. Its history is a record of what commitment and optimism can accomplish. To join the work of PICS, contact us.

What we do:

  • Actively provide support and mentoring to local community groups to launch campaigns like Preserve Western Port Action Group.
  • Coordinate Coast Care Groups to manage coastal erosion,& pest invasion, remove weeds and coordinate rubbish clean up events to keep our coastlines protected, clean and safe.
  • Distribute environmental information & educational information on our fragile marine and land environment.
  • Give a strong voice to government on local issues such as inappropriate development and the increasing stress on limited and insufficient resources and facilitates for residents and tourists.
  • Host free keynote speakers on topics like environment, wildlife, sustainability and climate change as part of our education program.
  • Monitor planning issues and make submissions when necessary to relevant authorities and VCAT.
  • Participate in key community groups
  • Provide comments to media

A History of the Phillip Island Conservation Society Inc (PICS)

PICS has been active for over 50 years and was one of the first community conservation groups in Australia. The history of the first 40 years of the society’s activities can be read in the book: An Island Worth Conserving; a History of the Phillip Island Conservation Society 1968-2008 by Christine Grayden. This book won the community/collaborative section of the Victorian Community History Awards in 2009 and can be read by downloading the pdf from the Reports section. Campaigns during that time included:

  • Working with the Saltwater Creek Action Group to save Saltwater Creek from a residential marina development
  • Working with the Nobbies Action Group to try to stop a large-scale and inappropriate private building on Crown Land at Point Grant (the Nobbies area)
  • Growing and planting thousands of trees on the island with the community as part of the Bicentennial Celebrations in 1988.
  • Participating on various committees involved in the management, planning and protection of Western Port and to stop large-scale industrial development in Western Port
  • Negotiating with developers and council on permit applications and planning scheme amendments to ensure that the environment is always considered in planning matters
  • Taking many inappropriate planning proposals to VCAT
  • Participation in the Foreshore Advisory Committee to develop an appropriate foreshore management plan for Phillip Island
  • Representation on the Penguin Reserve Committee of Management (1984-1996) which closed the Ventnor Road on the Summerland Peninsula at dusk, initiated the fox eradication program and called on the Minister for Conservation to begin buy-back of the Summerland Peninsula for wildlife
  • Representation on the Phillip Island Nature Parks Board (1996-2002) which manages around 20% of Phillip Islands crown land in reserves, including the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island, Summerland Peninsula, coastal, wetland and bushland reserves.

and many more activities and campaigns… Since 2008 the society has concentrated on inculcating the ideals of good planning to try to ensure that wildlife habitat on the island is not just maintained but improved; that rural land and landscape values are maintained; that town boundaries are locked in so that no more residential estates intrude on rural land; that noise pollution is taken seriously by the council and the Environment Protection Authority; that botanical surveys are made of valuable public land (funded by our tax deductible Public Fund) and acted on through weed control and revegetation; that our Coast Action areas of Red Rocks and Saltwater Creek, and our Friends of Scenic Estate Reserve area are all maintained, revegetated and that weeds, rubbish and litter are controlled. The formation of the PICS group Preserve Western Port Action Group (PWP) in 2014 at a large public meeting called by PICS to discuss the proposal to make Western Port Victoria’s next biggest container port led to a huge campaign. This campaign to stop the container port development is recorded in Politics, Planning, Passion and Perseverance by Phyllis Papps and can be downloaded as a pdf in the Reports section. Now PWP is fighting against the proposal to have a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) placed at Crib Point with the attendant infrastructure and negative environmental impacts. Currently PICS is working with the Bass Coast branch of the National Trust to develop a Significant Tree and Vegetation Register for Phillip Island which could be extended to all of Bass Coast Shire. The aim is to have the register incorporated into the Planning Scheme to give the registered trees and vegetation an extra layer of protection. PICS is also working on the development of an urban canopy program for the island’s township areas. PICS tackles many other issues, great and small, and is entirely made up of volunteers. Our activities are funded through membership subscriptions and donations, including through tax deductible donations to our Public Fund. We are grateful to both state and federal governments for grants which have enabled us to do important revegetation and infrastructure projects. We are also grateful to the Bass Coast Shire Council which supports us through community grants and with practical help and advice from their environment and planning departments’ staff. Our 50 year plan can be found in the Reports section of this website.


Greg Johnson

President & Media Contact

Terry Nott

Vice President
Sharyn Cornthwaite

Sharyn Cornthwaite

Correspondence Secretary

Carmen Bush

Minutes Secretary

Matthew Ingham

Meg Anderson

Meg Anderson


Penny Manning

Jane Jobe

Jane Jobe


Pauline Taylor

Graeme Burgan

Graeme Burgan


Phil Wright


Anne Davie


Dr Laura Brearley


Interest Groups

Below are volunteer groups that PICS auspices and we encourage you to show your support by volunteering some of your time.


Red Rocks Saltwater Creek Coast Care (RRSWC)
Preserve Western Port (PWP) Action Group
Friends of Scenic Estate Reserve (FOSER)



The Eco Arts Culture Hub of the Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS), supported by a grant from the Bass Coast Shire Council, is presenting For Our Future, an environmental program of Eco Arts events and activities for the Bass Coast community. It is underpinned by the practice of Deep Listening and is designed to inspire environmental stewardship in community, deepening our sense of connection with each other and the Living World. For Our Future brings together the Arts, Science and Culture and is intercultural, intergenerational and interdisciplinary.

For Our Future is offering community activities and an educational stream of Eco Arts activities and events across the Bass Coast.

The program is a twelve month project which will run from November 2022.

For Our Future – Eco Arts Collaboration

A twelve month project commencing November 2022.

Our Constitution

Please feel free to download a copy of our constitution here