Our story

Since The Greens’ humble beginnings almost 40 years ago, we’ve grown into a party that stands up for the environment, our society, and always for what’s right.

The Greens NSW was launched in Sydney in August 1984 at a public meeting in Glebe Town Hall. Soon after, in January 1985, The Greens was registered as a political party. 

A key figure in these early days was Tony Harris who called the first public meeting, registered the party and became the first Registered Officer. 

Tony suggested adopting our four founding Principles. He also argued successfully for a structure that embodied grassroots democracy and made the local groups and their members the foundation of the party. Tony died in 2013, still a member of The Greens. His vision remains very much alive.

Much has changed in 40 years as other streams of Green politics have joined the originals. In the early 1990s activists who had grouped around the legendary Tasmanian campaigner Bob Brown joined the evolving federation which already included interstate and local Greens groups.

And so in 1992 the Australian Greens was launched with The Greens NSW as a founding member. 

Those first Greens were a diverse bunch. We were environmentalists, anti-war activists, forest protesters, anti nuclear campaigners and advocates of alternative lifestyles.

Also in our ranks were ecofeminists, pioneering critics of our hyperconsumerist economy, and social ecologists

This political biodiversity remains today even after we have joined the mainstream political process. 

It makes for exciting and original discussions at our policy forums and at our State Delegates Council (SDC) meetings which are open to all members.

In those early days we recognised that no one had all the answers about how to transition to an ecologically sustainable society. This meant we needed to listen to each other and explore new ways of doing politics and creating a society based on the founding principles.

And so it continues.

Our Four Pillars

The Greens are founded upon four pillars of Ecological sustainability, Grassroots participatory democracy, Social justice, and Peace and non-violence.

Dr John Kaye MLC, 1955-2016

John Kaye was a Greens MP who left a lasting legacy and is remembered fondly both within the The Greens and beyond.


The Greens NSW is comprised of 60 autonomous Local Groups. Our constitution governs how our confederation works as a whole.