Our History

Until the 1st of May 2014 Environmental Justice Australia was known as The Environment Defenders Office, an independent, not-for-profit, community legal service, specialising in public interest environmental law.

EDO Victoria was part of a National Network of EDOs in each State and Territory - see EDO Network website

We aimed to redress the imbalance in access to legal resources that exists for individuals, community and conservation groups compared to government and business.

Our work included:

  • providing legal advice and legal representation to individuals, community groups and conservation organisations working to protect and enhance the environment.
  • contributing to environmental law reform and policy development by monitoring developments in Victorian and Commonwealth law and, where appropriate, making submissions to Government relating to existing and proposed legislation.
  • developing and promoting community legal education programs to assist communities and individuals to be involved at all levels in environmental decision-making processes.
  • conducting seminars, workshops and conferences.

EDO Awards

Many people made a valuable contribution to the EDO community.  These awards were our way of recognising how much we value the work of others and also acknowledging the extra mile that some go in supporting us and what we stand for.

Pro bono contribution award: Since we began, the EDO relied very heavily on legal and other professionals to support our work on a pro bono basis.  We couldn’t have done what we did without our colleagues in private practice and at the bar supporting us and our clients with their time and expertise at little and often no cost.

2013 recipient: Tiphanie Acreman, barrister 2012 recipient: Rupert Watters, barrister Inaugural recipients: Adrian Finanzio and Rupert Watters, barristers

Valuable volunteer award: The EDO benefited greatly from the enthusiastic contribution of a large number of enthusiastic law student volunteers.  Volunteers supported us through providing legal research and administrative support during their university year, by undertaking internships over summer and winter breaks and also by helping us out with managing events and workshops. 

2013 recipients: Elanor Fenge and Laura Holms 2012 recipient: Tom Dreyfus Inaugural recipient: Anthony Kung

The environmental justice award: This special recognition is reserved for someone we believe has made a long term contribution to environmental justice – righting environmental wrongs, fixing bad laws, championing public participation and generally standing up for the things we believe in, like and effective and accountable system of environmental regulation and the community’s right to know and to participate in decision making.

2013 recipient: Yasmin Kelsall 2012 recipient: Martin Boyer Inaugural recipient: Harry van Moorst


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