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Our people

Our board

Lane Crockett, Chairperson

Lane is head of renewables business at the Impact Investment Group, a  fund management group focusing on shifting capital to investments that blend financial returns with deep social and environmental impact.

Previously, Lane was the Executive General Manager for Pacific Hydro. He led the growth of the company to become a clean energy utility with a portfolio of more than 300MW of operating wind and hydro power facilities and a growing base of retail electricity customers.

He has over 25 years of experience in energy industries in Australia, Asia, the UK and New Zealand and worked in energy regulation and risk management. He has a Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical and a Graduate Diploma in Commercial Law.

Ann-Maree Smith, Treasurer

Ann-Maree Smith is the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of Conservation Volunteers Australia and New Zealand. She has held a number of board and/or executive finance, governance and compliance roles with not-for-profit charitable organisations.

Ann-Maree is a Fellow member of CPA, member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and associate member of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Elizabeth McMeekin, Secretary

Libby is an experienced fundraising and direct marketing consultant, working with both not-for-profit and commercial organisations.

She is currently the Client Relationship Manager of Bluestar Direct, a specialist provider of direct marketing services.  She holds a BA, Certificate in Direct Marketing and Certificate in Fundraising.

Arjuna Dibley

Arjuna Dibley is a former corporate lawyer and now a researcher who specializes in climate change law and economics.

He is currently a research fellow at Stanford University. He has experience working with for profit and not for profit boards on strategy, corporate governance and legal issues.

Kate Allsopp

Kate is a manager with Sustainability Victoria.  She has worked across a number of sectors in leadership roles including manufacturing, banking and the not-for-profit sector, including as CEO of the Alternative Technology Association and National Accreditation Manager for the Clean Energy Council.

Kate holds a B. Eng in Chemistry (Hons) and a MEnv in Eng.

Sally Romanes

By training Sally was a corporate and commercial lawyer, however, she now works on specific projects ranging from the arts to business transactions, in both for-profit and not-for-profit areas.

She was a core member of the community group which campaigned successfully to create an arts and cultural precinct at the Abbotsford Convent and was a founder Director of the not-for-profit Abbotsford Convent Foundation from 2004 until 2017.

Sally has specific experience in fundraising, corporate governance and the operation of enterprises in the primary production sectors. Sally holds an LLB (Hons).

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly is a lawyer and CEO of First Nations Legal and Research Services. He has over 10 years’ experience working to advance Traditional Owner rights and interests.

Tony has extensive board and governance experience and is currently a director of the National Native Title Council. Tony also has an environmental science background and has worked as a park ranger in the Northern Territory.

Our staff

Nicola Rivers, Co-CEO of EJA looks to camera

Nicola Rivers, Co-CEO

Nicola has worked with EJA for over a decade as Director of Advocacy and Research, working to improve environmental laws.

She led EJA’s clean air campaign which saw her engage with grassroots environment groups and local communities around Australia to protect our right to clean air.

She has also led our federal and state advocacy work on issues such as climate and water law, and national biodiversity laws.

Previously, she worked as a senior lawyer in federal and state governments. Nicola is a Fellow of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and holds a Masters in Environmental Management.

Elizabeth McKinnon, Co-CEO of EJA looks to camera

Elizabeth McKinnon, Co-CEO

Elizabeth McKinnon is an experienced environmental lawyer with a passion for using litigation to create change.

After a stint in private practice, Elizabeth moved to Environment Defenders Office Victoria as a public interest environmental litigator.

She was previously General Counsel at the Australian Conservation Foundation, where she led ACF in Federal Court litigation to Stop Adani and advising across a range of operational and governance issues.

Elizabeth has been the Chairperson of Environment Victoria and sits on the editorial panel of the Australian Environment Review. She has 14 years of experience using the law as a tool for change in the environment and climate movements.

Thea Lange, Chief Operating Officer

Thea joined the Board of EJA in 2012, then transitioned into the newly-created Chief Operating Officer role in 2017.

Previously, Thea worked as a lawyer, then as an environmental consultant in contaminated land site assessment and environmental audit, before joining Deloitte’s consulting team.

Her experience at Deloitte in Australia and the UK was invaluable, but she is glad to be at EJA working to support and sustain the environment’s legal team.

Thea holds a combined Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Hons) / Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and has been admitted to practice in Victoria.

Hollie Kerwin, Principal Lawyer and Climate Lead

Hollie is an experienced litigator and advocate working to address the climate crisis. She worked at the Human Rights Law Centre and Victoria Legal Aid on strategic litigation and campaigns for legal change including in response to Robodebt, in support of the rights of people with disabilities, people seeking asylum, and on behalf of communities calling for the clean-up of Rio Tinto’s abandoned mining operations.

Previously, Hollie was an advisor and litigator for the Victorian government and a Federal Court Associate.

She has been published and speaks on many areas of law and received awards including the Blackburn Medal for Research in Law and the Thomas Richards Prize for Current Issues in Administrative Law.

Bruce Lindsay, Senior Specialist Lawyer and Justice Lead

Bruce researches and writes on topics from environmental offsets, water law and native vegetation clearing.

He also engages with community members and stakeholders on our campaigns, and leads our Yarra River Protection Act campaign.

As well as his law degree, Bruce holds a PhD in Administrative Law, a BA (Hons) in Political Science & Government, and a Masters of Environmental Science. He has previously worked as a student advocate, a project officer at Trust for Nature and a lecturer in Law at Deakin University.

Danya Jacobs, Special Counsel

Danya works to protect nature and halt extinction. She has a focus on public land and law that regulates government action.

In 2019, she was awarded the Law Council of Australia’s Mahla Pearlman Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year. Danya was instrumental in winning the landmark Possums Case in the Federal Court in 2020.

She has litigated on behalf of community and environment groups to protect forests and threatened species from logging and mining for a decade and has practiced in contractual disputes, defamation and intellectual property. Danya holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Geography).

Charley Brumby-Rendell, Senior Lawyer and Clean Air Lead

Charley is a senior lawyer working with local communities and environmental groups to address pollution.

Prior to joining EJA, Charley worked at Victoria Legal Aid on strategic litigation and social justice campaigns such as the Robodebt test case as well as advocating for the rights of tenants and people with disabilities.

Charley has also represented and advised the Victorian government in administrative law matters and worked for a community legal centre.

Charley has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts.

Ellen Maybery, Senior Specialist Lawyer and ecosystems lead

Ellen was previously the Deputy Principal Legal Officer at First Nations Legal & Research Services. She represented Victorian Traditional Owners in land rights-related litigation, negotiation and advocacy and provided corporate governance advice to Traditional Owner corporations. Prior to this, Ellen worked as a lawyer for Linklaters LLP in London and Allens in Perth, on corporate, M&A, litigation and Brexit matters.

Ellen has trained as a mediator and was previously a board member of the London community organisation Barnet Mencap. Ellen has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters of Environmental Law at the University of Melbourne.

Retta Berryman, Senior Lawyer - Climate

Retta has a particular interest in the positioning of climate change as an issue affecting the human rights of marginalised communities.

Retta has considerable public law experience, having worked as a legal advisor and litigator for the Victorian government for a number of years. She has specialised knowledge of domestic human rights instruments in Australia including experience conducting litigation under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).

She started her career in a specialist community legal centre providing advice and contributing to law reform campaigns. Retta holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Juris Doctor.

Brittni Dienhoff, Lawyer - Climate

Brittni works closely with local communities to tackle the climate crisis.

Previously, Brittni worked in private practice providing complex climate risk advice to public and private sector clients across an array of industries.

Her litigation experience has included working with Traditional Owner groups across Australia on land rights issues, and at the Human Rights Law Centre.

Brittni holds a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and has contributed to publications by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and The Chancery Lane Project.

Katelyn Jones, Lawyer - Climate Justice Legal Project

Kat is a proud Gubbi Gubbi woman raised on Dharawal and Dharug land. She is committed to centreing intersectionality in her practise as a lawyer, and believes amplifying the voices of people with lived experience is the key to effecting meaningful change.

Previously, Kat worked at Consumer Action Law Centre, including as a lawyer on the Koori Integrated Practice Project in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.

Kat is one of the youngest speakers to have ever presented at the World Mediation Forum.

Kat holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons). Her honours research focussed on health and justice impacts experienced by incarcerated First Nations women based on intersecting race, gender and economic discrimination.

Virginia Trescowthick, Lawyer - Justice

Virginia Trescowthick works with environmental groups and local communities across Victoria, providing advice and representation to safeguard health, protect nature and tackle climate change.

Previously, Virginia worked as a lawyer in private practice, as a judge’s associate in the County Court of Victoria and as an adviser in the Victorian State Government. Virginia holds a Juris Doctor from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons).

Jocelyn McGarity, Lawyer - Clean Air

Jocelyn lives in Newcastle on Awabakal and Worimi Country.

Jocelyn works in the Coal Pollution Team to protect communities and the environment impacted by pollution from coal fired power stations.

She supports communities across the Hunter region by giving legal advice, strategising litigation opportunities and assisting with community campaigns and law reform projects.

Prior to joining EJA, Jocelyn worked for the NSW Government, as an in-house prosecutor at the Environment Protection Authority and before that, as a strategic and statutory planning officer at the Department of Planning and Environment. Jocelyn holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science. 

Chloe Badcock, Lawyer - Clean Air

Chloe is an environmental lawyer working on pollution and environmental public interest advocacy.

Chloe has been involved with a number of environmental organisations in campaigning, fundraising and research roles.

Prior to joining EJA, Chloe worked as a government prosecution solicitor and as a Judge’s associate in the County Court of Victoria. Chloe holds a Bachelor of Laws.

Elke Nicholson, Lawyer

Elke’s work as an environmental lawyer is focussed on protecting Victoria’s waterways under the Rivers Project at EJA.

She previously worked in personal injury law, primarily representing survivors of institutional child abuse.

Elke holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies). She is a member of Melbourne Activists Legal Support and the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

Before starting a career in law, Elke worked on adventure-based youth development programs across NSW and Queensland.

Nicola Silbert, Lawyer

Nicola is a lawyer working in the ecosystems and clean air teams. She was previously a lawyer at the Environmental Defenders Office and was researcher (associate) to Justice Preston, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW.

Nicola has a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Monash University and a Master of Laws (with Distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Natalie Hogan, Lawyer - Ecosystems

Natalie works with environmental groups and members of the community to help restore and preserve our essential ecosystems and advocate for stronger protections for flora and fauna.

 Prior to joining EJA, Natalie was a criminal lawyer and worked at state and federal government prosecution agencies in Queensland and Victoria.

 Natalie holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) / Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Queensland.

Laura Dreyfus, Lawyer - ecosystems

Laura is a lawyer working with communities in the Northern Territory to protect nature and advocate for stronger legal protections for our ecosystems.

Before joining EJA, Laura worked as a civil lawyer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in the Northern Territory and as a medical negligence lawyer at a plaintiff law firm in Melbourne.

Laura holds a Juris Doctor (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Hons).

Shannon McGrellis, Paralegal

Shannon provides legal and administrative support to the Climate and Coal Pollution teams in their strategic litigation and community engagement work.

Prior to joining EJA, Shannon worked in the native title space in the southern Queensland region, supporting traditional owners to achieve self-determination through native title recognition. She is a law graduate with additional experience in biological sciences and has worked hands on in citizen science projects in Queensland and Western Australia.

Olivia Sasse, Paralegal

Olivia is studying a Bachelor of Law/Arts, majoring in ancient history, and has previously worked in intellectual property law and refugee law.

After exploring the potential use of earth observation technology for environmental purposes, Olivia became motivated to make a tangible difference in the path Australia takes towards environmental sustainability and disaster mitigation.

Olivia has questionable salsa dancing abilities but is learning to care for her first pot-plants and reduce her food-waste to make up for it.

Jay Peluso, Community Outreach - First Nations program

Jay is a proud Ngadjuri man. He is incredibly passionate about global health and particularly the health of First Nation’s people.

He has the honour of working with Aboriginal peoples on projects that empower the community through the restoration of native ecosystems.

Jay would like to complete an honours degree by investigating and exploring the links between climate change and criminality amongst Aboriginal youths.

Tessa Fluence, Communications Manager

Tessa Fluence leads EJA’s communications team.

She has green thumbs and big dreams for a better world. She is passionate about sparking participatory movements to shift the public conversation, re-engage people in our democracy and reconnect communities with each other and our planet.

As a word nerd and multidisciplinary change maker, she has worked in NGOs for over a decade in engagement, communications strategy, narrative research and campaigning. She also has a PhD in cultural studies and a background in law, academia and social change.

Mandy Johnson, Office Manager and Publications

Mandy Johnson keeps the office running and ensures our publications speak directly to people who need to understand legal issues in protecting the environment.

Mandy has been working with not-for-profit organisations since 1996. Before starting with EJA in 2005, Mandy worked for a firm providing legal and consulting services tailored for not-for-profits. She previously spent seven years at BirdLife Australia, including three years as Supporter Services Manager.

Mandy holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing.

She is an Accredited Editor with the Institute of Professional Editors, one of only 311 nationally.

Greer Allen, Development Manager

Greer started fundraising because she wanted social and environmental movements to be well resourced and widely supported.

With over eight years of fundraising and philanthropy experience, she has a passion for building strong relationships with donors and sharing the impact of their support.

Before joining the team, Greer managed carbon reduction projects in local government, taught in remote Indigenous communities, and built bicycle-powered generators for outdoor cinemas and live events.

She studied at the University of Newcastle, majoring in Human Geography and Economics.

Emer Diviney, Fundraising Specialist

Emer has nine years’ experience working in development roles and over 25 years’ involvement in the not-for-profit sector as a program manager, researcher, policy advisor, campaign and event manager.

Using a ‘strategy first’ approach Emer has supported organisations across education, health and human rights to attract committed, long term investors and supporters.

Emer studied community development and applies a community approach to her fundraising strategies. She believes that mobilising individuals and their networks in the pursuit of social and environmental justice is at the core of her work.

Kathryn Lewis, Media Adviser

Kathryn works with EJA lawyers and the media to tell the stories of people and places supported by EJA’s work.

Previously, Kathryn was a journalist at The Canberra Times and started her career at a regional newspaper on the NSW North Coast.

Sam Sweeney, Digital Campaigner

Sam believes deeply in the power of words and stories to connect people, imagine a better future, and create change. Luckily, as a digital campaigner, she spends much of her time thinking about exactly that.

Her background is in climate justice activism and community organising, previously the Communications Manager at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Sam has a Bachelor of Arts and is currently completing a Masters of Environment at the University of Melbourne.

Beyond her work with EJA, Sam is a writer and keen open water swimmer, regularly throwing herself into the lovable, icy waters of Port Phillip Bay in Naarm/Melbourne.

Hong Vu, Office Assistant

After studying fashion and textiles, Hong has worked in many different sectors of these industries.

She has always cared about fashion’s impact on our natural world but realised she wasn’t giving it enough oxygen, so began her journey to working for an organisation like EJA.

Hong is now studying Environmental Sustainability, channelling her efforts into what she cares about. Outside of work, she loves composting (#1 passion), growing food, camping, any kind of water body and the fresh forest air that stings your nasals.

Aaron Goldberg, IT Projects Officer

Aaron has over 20 years’ experience in I.T desktop, infrastructure and application systems in corporate, education and Arts based organisations. In recent times, becoming conversant in Mac, SaaS and SQL systems, along with security and I.T policy audits.

 He has volunteered for organisations such as the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, the South-Side Greens for 2014  council elections, the Victorian Greens in their 2017 campaign and Get-Up for the 2019 Federal election.

 He holds a Bachelor of Computing from Monash University and is certified for ITIL v.3.0. and ACS’ inaugural Green I.T course

Outside of work he is a full writer/member of APRA/AMCOS, having toured dive-bars of the world with indie-pop band the Earthmen and hopefully his new experimental rock band Ekranoplans.

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