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AELA’s Team

Dr Michelle Maloney - Co-Founder and National Convenor

Mish Headshot May 2018

Dr Michelle Maloney has a Bachelor of Arts and Law (Hons) from the Australian National University and a PhD in Law from Griffith University. As Co-Founder and National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, Michelle manages the strategic direction and governance of AELA, including the extensive partnerships and networks that AELA has with the legal, academic, indigenous and environmental advocacy communities. Michelle also designs and manages AELA programs and events, including AELA's Rights of Nature Tribunals, and coordinates the work of more than 25 fantastic multi-disciplinary professional and student volunteers around Australia.

Michelle is the Australian representative on the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, a member of the Steering Group of ELGA, the Ecological Law and Governance Association and is co-founder and on the Steering Group of the New Economy Network Australia (NENA). Michelle lives in Brisbane, (Queensland) with her husband, daughter and Raz the Wonderdog.

Read Michelle's profile and publications.


James Lee - Manager, AELA Programs and Operations

James Lee has a background in art, music (BMus) and film studies (GradDip Film & TV) and holds a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). James has a strong interest in interdisciplinary approaches to addressing ecological challenges and exploring the role that cultural practices can play in informing and supporting Earth-centred governance.

James manages a range of AELA programs, including ecological governance/GreenPrints, the Australian Centre for the Rights of Nature, AELA Education and selected Earth Arts projects. James also oversees AELA's operational systems, including membership, event coordination, communications, and website development across several AELA programs.


Annabelle Nilsson - Challenging Consumption

Annabelle Nilsson (BA/LLB(Hons)) is passionate about challenging unsustainable consumption to reduce its destructive effects on our environment and health.

Annabelle leads the planned obsolescence law reform and community engagement campaigns of AELA's Challenging Consumption Program. Annabelle has spoken at numerous conferences about the opportunities within Australia's legal system to prioritise the manufacture, distribution and sale of products with optimal lifetimes.

In addition to working with AELA, Annabelle also works as a lawyer advising on the co-management of environmentally protected land and sea areas by Aboriginal and government parties. Her legal experience includes planning, environment, native title and property law within private practice, the Commonwealth government and international and domestic NGOs.

Annabelle currently resides in Sydney.


Julia Grieves - Earth Ethics and Exploring Eco-spirituality

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Julia Grieves has a Masters of Environmental Management and Sustainability from Monash University and is a Program Coordinator for AELA's Earth Ethics and Ecospirituality Programs. Julia has a strong interest in the relationships between spirituality and human behaviour; particularly the role of these relationships in regards to the environment, human responses to climate change and cultures and practices of sustainability.

Julia managed the 2017 Earth Ethics Conference and is currently designing the 2019 Earth Ethics Conference, scheduled for Melbourne on 28th and 29th November 2019.

Dr Jenny Brown – Earth Arts Curator

Dr Jenny Brown is AELA's Earth Arts Curator, and has lead the design and management of AELA's "Rights of Nature Australia 2018" (RONA18) Arts Program, including the RONA National Exhibition 23-28 October 2018 in Brisbane, and the Regional Events Program in various locations around Australia, during October 2018.

Jenny's curatorial projects include the presentation of 50 indoor and outdoor exhibitions for the BHP Steelworks closure in Newcastle; the Franklin Furnace/MOMA New York performance works at Sydney College for the Arts; and a sculpture trail involving twelve commissioned artists, five university departments and over two-hundred people from the community.

Since 2014 Jenny's 22-year socio-politically engaged practice has focused on supporting the community efforts in the mid-western region of NSW against coal mining. As part of this, she recently presented work at the Cementa_15 Contemporary Arts Festival Kandos and the New York Anthology Archives, which was featured in the national journals Artlink and Southerly. Since 2006 Jenny has built two dwellings that focus on setting precedents in housing policy to provide people with the knowledge and the confidence to investigate the possibilities for cheaper and more environmentally sensitive designs for their houses. These projects can alleviate crippling mortgage traps, and in turn this could shift significant numbers of citizens to vote for social responsibility rather than financial security.


Lyb Makin - Law and Governance

Lyb Makin
Lyb Makin is a lawyer with a background working in sustainable community development, aboriginal land rights and corporate governance. Lyb has an Arts/Law degree with first class honours (Macquarie University) and is currently working towards a Masters degree in Environmental Law and Policy (UNSW).

Lyb's love of the natural world, permaculture based systems thinking, good food and wine has inspired her to work with small, grass-roots co-operatives. The focus of much of her current work is in helping new co-operatives to get established and successfully work towards their vision - and create more just and sustainable communities.

Lyb has previously worked for a number of organisations in the not-for-profit space including The Wilderness Society, West Coast Environmental Law (Vancouver), Down Syndrome NSW, Chalk and Fitzgerald Lawyers, Indigenous Corporate Partners and the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals.

Lyb works with AELA to support community groups and community projects with governance support and advice.


Maggie Shambrook - Community Development and New Economy

Maggie Shambrook
Maggie Shambrook is a community development practitioner with over 30 years of experience, including locality development, social research, organisational development, management of community centres, managing social justice programs and overseeing varied service delivery. Maggie is passionate about social justice and local scale governance, and enjoys the challenge of applying her skills and knowledge in an ever-changing environment.Maggie provides invaluable support to AELA’s multi-disciplinary team by providing advice about community engagement and supports AELA's New Economy projects.

Dr Edward Morgan - Science Coordinator

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Dr Edward Morgan PhD (Natural Resource Management) (GU), MSc (Environmental Science), MSci (Chemistry). Edward is a Research Fellow at Griffith University and volunteers to support AELA's GreenPrints program and other projects that require expertise bridging the natural and social sciences. Edward's research interests include the interaction between science and society for sustainability; governance and planning for water sensitive cities and adapting to climate change; environmental justice and the role of communities in transforming governance.

Luke Day - IT and website support

Luke Day has been working in the web development and information technology areas for over seven years and has also worked for a number of volunteer and non-profit organisations over the last fifteen years. He has worked on a wide range of projects ranging from South Pacific aid initiatives, student government planning and online international research tools and applications, but has always had a passion for protecting the environment and wild places since his childhood days growing up the Glasshouse Mountains. Luke currently assists AELA with day-to-day web content management and publication tasks as well as coordinating on overall web design and web and technology strategy for the future.

Patricia Sauer - Book keeper and administration

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Patricia Sauer has 20 years' experience in book keeping, business management, human resources and office administration.

Patricia is an invaluable member of the AELA team and provides support to a range of AELA's programs.



Student Interns - 2018

AELA is supported each year by amazing, committed Student Interns. In 2018 we've been delighted to have the following fabulous folks working with us:

  • Isaac Beales, Law Student, Griffith University
  • Cassie Heaslip, Law Student, Griffith University
  • Scott Wallace, Law Student, Griffith University