Each year we give out three awards to outstanding clients, partners, volunteers and barristers who have gone above and beyond in their environmental justice work. We have three categories: The Environmental Justice Award, Volunteer Award, and ProBono Award. Our winners for 2021 are:
The Environmental Justice Award – Brendan and Melissa Kennedy and the Tati Tati community
This special recognition is reserved for someone who has made a long-term contribution to environmental justice.
We awarded the Environmental Justice Award to Brendan Kennedy and Melissa Kennedy and to the entire Tati Tati First Nations community. They have been working to develop a plan to implement cultural flows for the first time at the culturally significant site, Margooya Lagoon in north-west Victoria. The state of Australia’s natural places is not just an environmental crisis, it is an enormous injustice to First Nations people who rely on these places for the health of their people and culture. This is ground-breaking work and Brendan and Melissa’s leadership in this area is an incredible contribution that we are honoured to be a part of.
Volunteer award – Ally Valerio
Volunteers are the backbone of our work for environmental justice. Our legal work would not have the impact it does without them. Our volunteer award highlights the contribution of particular volunteers who have gone above and beyond during their time at EJA.
This year the winner of our volunteer award is Ally Valerio. Ally began interning with us in December 2019 and has continued to volunteer her efforts with us until very recently, mostly remotely throughout the entire pandemic. She has been a huge asset to our legal work, all while juggling her honours thesis and other commitments – thank you Ally!
Pro bono award – Emily Porter
A huge thank you to the all of the barristers and legal partners who have offered our clients their services pro bono or at generous reduced rates this year.
The 2021 winner of our pro bono award is Emily Porter. Emily acted entirely pro bono for the Fingerboards EES hearings. After stepping in at the last minute she dedicated many weeks of long hours to the case preparing experts, cross-examining the proponents’ experts, leading evidence, and making submissions, and was an outstanding advocate. Thank you Emily.