Nicola Rivers, Co-CEO

Nicola has worked with Environmental Justice Australia 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 a range of issues such as climate and water law, and national biodiversity laws. Prior to joining EJA, 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

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 where she was a public interest environmental litigator. Most recently, she has been in the role of General Counsel at the Australian Conservation Foundation, where she led ACF in Federal Court litigation to Stop Adani as well as advising across a range of operational and governance issues. Elizabeth has also been the Chairperson of Environment Victoria, Victoria’s peak environment body, and sits on the editorial panel of the Australian Environment Review. Overall she has 14 years of experience using the law as a tool for change in the Australian 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. Prior to joining EJA, Thea worked as a lawyer, then as an environmental consultant in contaminated land site assessment and environmental audit, before joining Deloitte in their consulting team. Her experience at Deloitte in both Australia and the UK working with large corporates to improve business operations and processes 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) from the University of Melbourne and has been admitted to practice in Victoria.

Ariane Wilkinson, Senior Lawyer

As a lawyer for Environmental Justice Australia, Ariane uses her legal expertise to advise and act for communities impacted by fossil fuel extraction and the impacts of climate change, and advocates to reform Australia’s laws to make sure they protect the right of all Australians to clean air, clean water and a safe climate future. Before joining our team, Ariane practiced law in the not-for-profit legal sector in Queensland, advising clients on environmental and human rights law, and representing traditional owners in native title negotiations with energy and resources companies.  She also worked in private practice for top-tier law firms as a planning and environment lawyer and legal researcher in environmental litigation and major project approvals.  She was also a judge’s associate in the Supreme Court of Queensland and the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland. Ariane holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Science (Environment) and in 2013 was the Griffith Law School nominee for the Griffith Arts, Education and Law Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year.

Bronya Lipski, Lawyer

Bronya’s work as an environmental lawyer focusses on pollution and environmental public interest advocacy. Born and raised in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, she is passionate about legal empowerment of the community and has a diverse background that includes activism, youth work and filmmaking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons).

Bruce Lindsay, Lawyer

Lawyer 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.

Nick Witherow, Principal Lawyer

Nick began his professional life as an ecological consultant conducting vegetation assessments throughout South East Victoria. After obtaining his law degree in 2011 Nick  worked in private practice until joining EJA in 2018. As an environmental lawyer at EJA Nick works on litigation on the impacts of climate change and emissions from coal power stations. Nick also provides Victorian communities with advice and representation on matters with regional, state or national significance. Nick holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) from Melbourne University.

Danya Jacobs, Senior Lawyer

Danya is a senior lawyer working on biodiversity and nature protection, with a focus on public land, forests and threatened species. In 2019, she was awarded the Law Council of Australia’s Mahla Pearlman Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year. Her legal practice includes eight years litigating on behalf of community groups in State and Federal Courts against government entities and corporations. She has previously practiced in contractual disputes, defamation and intellectual property. Danya regularly advises and appears for environment groups, from local community groups to large non-government organisations. She also acts in criminal law matters for individuals charged while protesting against logging in Victoria’s native forests. Danya holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Geography). Before coming to the law, Danya worked for environment and human rights organisations in Australia and overseas.

Emily Giblin, Lawyer

Emily Giblin is a lawyer working on nature protection matters, with a focus on forests and threatened species. Before joining EJA, Emily practiced public interest law in the community legal sector in the UK and Queensland. She has also previously worked for several years in commercial litigation in private practice. At EJA, Emily works for community groups on civil litigation matters in the Supreme and Federal Courts. She also acts for individuals charged while protesting against native forest logging. Emily holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Arts from Monash University.

Virginia Trescowthick, Lawyer

Virginia Trescowthick works with environmental groups and local communities across Victoria, providing advice and representation to safeguard health, protect nature and tackle climate change. Prior to joining the team, 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) from the University of Melbourne.

Nicola Silbert, Lawyer

Nicola is a lawyer focussing on the rivers program at EJA. She previously worked as an environmental lawyer at the Environmental Defenders Office in the ACT. Nicola holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Monash University. She is currently completing a Master of Laws at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where her research examines the impacts of climate change litigation.

Jocelyn McGarity, Lawyer

Jocelyn lives in Newcastle and works to protect communities and the environment impacted by coal pollution. Jocelyn supports communities across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter by giving legal advice, strategising litigation opportunities and assisting with community campaigns and law reform. She believes in helping her region achieve a just transition to a clean energy economy. Prior to joining the team Jocelyn worked for the NSW government, predominantly prosecuting environmental crime and, before that, as a State strategic and statutory planning officer. As a former volunteer at the Environmental Defender’s Office as well as other community legal centres, Jocelyn is a strong advocate for access to environmental and social justice. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science.

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, principally environmental. 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 one of Australia’s largest national conservation organisations, 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. Outside work Mandy enjoys a spot of camping.

Max Smith, Campaigner

Max is the new campaigner in our Clean Air team. Max has joined us from the Australian Conservation Foundation, where he was a community organiser working to #StopAdani and #Repower Australia with clean energy. Before that, Max worked in various capacities as a campaign organiser. Max has a law degree, and volunteered at the EDO back in 2012/13, but he’s never been admitted to practice as a lawyer. He preferred the idea of being a grassroots campaigner! Max is a graduate of the Change Agency’s Community Organising Fellowship and a holds post-graduate qualification in community advocacy.

Livia Cullen, Communications Director

Livia is a communications and community engagement specialist with a background in environmental and human rights campaigns. She has worked for Amnesty International and the Australian Conservation Foundation and is the former Director of the Environmental Film Festival Australia and has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Media and Communications. Livia is passionate about using the power of storytelling to create social change and has a special talent for turning jargon into powerful and engaging stories. Whether it’s a huge petition, a media-grabbing stunt or a giant people’s march, she has moved thousands of people to act on social justice issues.

Greer Allen, Development Manager

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

Sasha Brady, Engagement Officer

Sasha works across fundraising, events and communications, helping to ensure our records are up to date, and our supporters are engaged. Prior to working at EJA Sasha worked at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and has experience running events and campaigns for Amnesty International and the Progressive Law Network. She has also worked as a legal intern at Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council (GBK) on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Currently in her final year of her Law/Arts degree at Monash University, Sasha is passionate about pursuing a career in public interest law. In her free time she loves reading, hiking and collecting an unsustainable amount of houseplants.