Meet our new Co-CEOs

Our new CEO team

Elizabeth and Nicola have a combined 32 years of experience working as lawyers using the law to deliver environmental justice. They have worked as lawyers in environmental litigation, law reform and in-house counsel across private practice, government and the non-profit sector.

Nicola Rivers is a lawyer with 18 years’ experience and is currently EJA’s Director of Advocacy and Research. Elizabeth McKinnon is a lawyer with 14 years’ experience, who was formerly a public interest environmental litigator at Environment Defenders Office Victoria and most recently General Counsel at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Together, they have extensive experience delivering powerful legal strategies for positive social change that benefits nature and community.

A message from Nicola and Elizabeth

As lawyers, passionate about justice and protecting the places and wildlife we love, we are thrilled to take on the role of Co-CEOs at EJA. Our vision is to build on the incredible work EJA is already doing, using legal expertise as a powerful force for change, empowering communities to protect their environment, and building a better legal system that delivers justice to nature and community.

We are a public interest legal organisation that does things a little differently. We partner with communities to drive complementary legal and policy reforms that deliver long-lasting protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places and wildlife we love.

As Co-CEOs at EJA, we will continue to empower communities with legal and advocacy tools to protect their health and the places and wildlife they love; hold business and government to account in court; use strategic litigation to set vital legal precedents; and drive critical law reform.

Co-leadership of EJA will significantly strengthen both the organisation and the broader environment movement. It means two sets of skills, experiences, networks and passions. It also means high quality decision making, super-charged brain power and elevated energy at the senior ranks of EJA. And it sets a positive example for our organisation, our movement and the broader public about female leadership and job-sharing at the leadership level.

“The work that EJA does is the reason I went to law school in the first place – to protect the places and wildlife we love. One of my earliest memories is of my dad showing me the cockle middens in the sand dunes at the Coorong and explaining their significance as Ngarrindjeri cultural sites. I was enraptured and knew then that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting Australia’s beautiful naturally and culturally significant places.” 

– Elizabeth McKinnon

“I have felt a strong connection to nature since I was a child when we escaped the city to explore the wilds of the country and the coast. When I realised communities and nature were facing great environmental injustices, I was driven to act. I am proud to now lead an organisation that delivers environmental justice for the people, places and wildlife we love.”

Nicola Rivers