AELA’s Team

Dr Michelle Maloney – Co-Founder and National Convenor

Mish head shot_June 2012 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.

Lyb Makin – Law and Governance

Lyb Makin is a lawyer with a background working in sustainable community development, aboriginal land rights and corporate governance.

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 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 works with AELA as a New Economy Project Manager and provides LEEFI clients with governance support and advice.

James Lee – GreenPrints and Earth Arts

  James Lee has a Bachelor of Music Composition (WAAPA), a Graduate Diploma in Film and Television (AFTRS) and a Masters of Environmental Management (UNSW). James is interested in the social, cultural and institutional drivers of both positive and negative relationships between human societies and their environments.

James’ background in music, art and the environment has lead to an interest in artistic engagements with environmental issues, particularly through acoustic ecology. James assists with research in AELA’s GreenPrints program and helps with website design and maintenance.

Annabelle Nilsson – Challenging Consumption

  Annabelle Nilsson (BA/LLB(Hons)) is an indigenous land rights lawyer currently advising on the co-management of environmentally protected land and sea areas. Her legal experience includes the practice of planning, environment, native title and property law within private practice, the Commonwealth government, and international and domestic NGOs.

Annabelle is passionate about challenging consumption as a means to addressing one of the drivers of climate change and leads the planned obsolescence law reform and community engagement campaigns of AELA’s Challenging Consumption project. Annabelle currently resides in Cairns with her family and enjoys immersing herself in the natural wonders of Far North Queensland.

Mahesh Kandasamy – New Economy

Mahesh Kandasamy is a Community Enterprise Consultant. She specialises in the design and build of enterprises that are ethical, cooperative, local and community owned. She holds 20 years of experience working within the Banking and Social Enterprise sectors. Her passion is to support the creation of a world that is fair, just, sustainable and fun to live in. This she believes is possible through the development of a New Economy – one that puts the planet and the people at the centre.

Mahesh is a Program Manager at AELA and is involved in varied Earth Jurisprudence projects, with particular focus on the New Economy and Eco Spirituality.

Mahesh holds a Masters in Sustainability and Social Change, Grad Cert in Social Impact and a professional qualification in Management Accounting.

Mahesh lives with her family in Central Victoria where she enjoys bringing people together for deep dialogue and inquiry around meaningful lives over delicious home cooked meals.

Julia Grieves – Earth Ethics and Exploring Eco-spirituality

photo julia grieves snipped Julia Grieves has a Masters of Environmental Management and Sustainability from Monash University and recently completely a professional internship with AELA. Julia is project 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.

Dr Jenny Brown – Earth Arts Curator

Dr Jenny Brown has worked in training and welfare (technical colleges, community organisations and universities), and arts and culture (local government, regional roles and statewide strategies). Jenny works as AELA’s Earth Arts Curator, leading in the design and development of RONA18 and supporting the Earth Arts Collective.In the late 1980s Jenny worked in broadcasting regulation where there was little or no public participation in the public inquiries the organisation administered at a time when neoliberalism was taking hold. As a result of this experience, she was led to work more directly in the community to learn how to effectively engage people with the opportunities they have to be involved with the governmental structures that shape their lives. These community experiences as part of her twenty year socio-politically engaged practice has informed a theoretical search that culminated in her thesis: “Governmentality, economics, active citizenship and art: Reparations of an allodoxic media”

Jenny’s work stakes out claims for both functional and aesthetic forms in a sophisticated multimedia practice that combines video, film, photography and installation, often with simple means and modes of expression. The work is animated through complex political situations that intertwine these two areas. Since 2014 Jenny’s works have focussed on supporting the coal mining impacted community members of Wollar and Bylong. Since 2006 Jenny has built two houses that have focussed 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, which can alleviate crippling mortgage traps. This in turn could shift significant numbers of citizens to vote for social responsibility rather than financial security.

Maggie Shambrook – Community Development

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 community development processes, working on projects within AELA’s ‘Supporting Earth Friendly Governance’ stream of work and providing community development training and support for AELA volunteers.

Dr Edward Morgan – Science Coordinator

Ed Morgan profile photo 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.

Peter Thiedeke – Earth Arts and Transmedia Projects

photo Peter Thiedeke Peter Thiedeke has a Masters in Interactive Digital Media and a diverse history, working internationally as a Photographer and Creative Director producing award winning stills and moving image work across the physical and digital worlds.

With a roundly unique perspective, he has worked extensively with advertising and digital agencies large and small, publishers, record companies, musicians, designers, web developers, entrepreneurs, architects, creative collectives, universities, galleries and museums. His clients span the globe from London, Paris and New York to Sydney, Tokyo and Buenos Aires. Peter works with AELA on a range of projects, including RONA16 and a new project creating short films about Earth jurisprudence. You can see some of Peter’s work on his website –

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

IMG_0961 (2) 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.