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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.


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 background in art, music and film studies and holds a Master of Environmental Management from the University of New South Wales. James is a Project Manager with the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) and works on ecological governance and Earth Arts projects. He 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.


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 project. 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.


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

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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’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.


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

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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.

Peter Thiedeke - Earth Arts and Transmedia Projects

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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

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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.