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.

Bruce Lindsay, Senior Specialist 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.

Hollie Kerwin, Senior Climate Specialist Lawyer

Hollie is a senior specialist lawyer working with people and communities to address the climate crisis. She is an experienced litigator and advocate, having 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 in Bougainville calling for the clean-up of Rio Tinto’s abandoned mining operations. Prior to this, Hollie was an advisor and litigator for the Victorian government and a Federal Court Associate. She has been published and speaks on administrative law, women and the law, the reform of Australian Royal Commissions and converting test case success into everyday change. She has received multiple awards including the Blackburn medal for research in law and the Thomas Richards prize for administrative law.

Danya Jacobs, Special Counsel

Danya is a senior litigator working to protect nature, halt extinction and safeguard our climate. 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 Call in 2020, now pending leave to appeal to the High Court. 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). Before practicing law, Danya worked for environment and human rights organisations in Australia and overseas.

Charley Brumby-Rendell, Senior Lawyer

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.

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).

Emily Giblin, Senior 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.

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 from Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) from the University of Newcastle. 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 QLD. She has a long-standing interest in social and environmental justice.

Brittni Dienhoff, Lawyer

As a lawyer in the climate team, Brittni works closely with local communities to tackle the climate crisis. Prior to joining EJA, 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 in the human rights space 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.

Retta Berryman, Lawyer

Retta is a senior lawyer in EJA’s climate team and 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 prior to joining EJA.  She also 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 in relation to renters’ rights and consumer laws.  Retta holds a Bachelor of Social Science from RMIT University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne.

Mark Campbell, Lawyer

Mark is a lawyer in the ecosystems team, focussed on assisting community environmental organisations to protect Australia’s unique biodiversity and threatened species. His litigation experience includes bringing matters under Australia’s major environmental legislation against both government and private entities. Mark has previously practiced in environmental and planning law, government sector litigation and international law. Mark holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Chloe Badcock, Lawyer

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 from Monash University.

Sasha Brady, Paralegal

As paralegal, Sasha assists in the delivery of legal services through offering legal and administrative support to the lawyers at EJA. Sasha completed her Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Arts at Monash University in 2020 and is currently undertaking the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice. Prior to working at EJA Sasha worked at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and was Vice-President and Treasurer of 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Deepa Subbian, Salesforce Database Administrator 

Deepa joined EJA in 2021 as a Salesforce Database Administrator. She is a certified Salesforce Administrator and Platform Developer I. Prior to joining she has worked for Breast Cancer Network Australia, and she continues to Volunteer at Blaze your Trail helping organisations to scale up their digital operations using Salesforce. She also has experience in SAP ABAP and worked for Cognizant Technology Solutions, India from 2011 to 2016 as a Software development consultant. She holds a Master’s degree in Computer Applications. Outside of work, she loves to paint creative arts, photography, web design and spending time with her family.

Kathryn Lewis, Media Advisor

Kathryn works with EJA lawyers and the media to tell the stories of people and places supported by our work. Previously, Kathryn was a health reporter at The Canberra Times and started her career as a reporter on the NSW north coast. As a Canberra local, Kathryn loves the outdoors and enjoys getting out to explore the many adventures the ACT region has to offer.

Georgia Rowles, Digital Marketing and Data Coordinator

Georgia is responsible for coordinating EJA’s digital communications and data. Georgia has previously worked at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition – Australia’s largest youth-led organisation campaigning for climate justice – as well as the Climate Council and the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival. Growing up in Mt Macedon with a love of hiking and the outdoors has led Georgia to devote her professional life to preserving our environment.

Hong Vu, Office Assistant

After studying fashion and textiles, Hong has worked in many different sectors of these industries; production/manufacturing, retail & wholesale. She has always cared about fashion’s impact on our natural world but soon 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 and is excited to be channelling her efforts more directly 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.