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AELA’s Team

AELA's Core Team

Michelle Maloney May 2018

Dr Michelle Maloney

Co-Founder and National Convenor

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 the Australian Peoples' Tribunal for Community and Nature's Rights, and coordinates the work of more than 20 fantastic multi-disciplinary professional and student volunteers around Australia. Michelle is the Co-Founder and Director of the New Economy Network Australia (NENA); Co-Founder and Director of Future Dreaming Australia; Senior Adjunct Fellow, Law Futures Centre, Griffith University and a member of the Advisory Council, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. Michelle lives in Brisbane, Australia with her family and Ziggy the Wonderdog.

Read Michelle's profile and publications.

James Lee

Manager, AELA Programs and Operations

James Lee holds a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and has a background in art, music (BMus) and film studies (GradDip Film & TV). James has expertise in interdisciplinary approaches to addressing ecological challenges and his work explores the role that cultural practices can play in informing and supporting Earth-centred governance. James manages a range of AELA programs, including Greenprints Research, 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.

Sarah Bashforth

Administration Manager

Sarah has more than a decade of experience in providing high level administrative support, having worked as a paralegal and office manager. Sarah manages AELA's administrative and events schedule, and supports AELA's National Convenor, staff and volunteers. She is passionate about protecting the environment and believes strongly in earth-centred governance. Sarah, originally from Brisbane, now calls Bundaberg home and is a volunteer for her local Landcare group. She is very proud to be a part of the AELA team.

Leeanne Leserve

Book keeper/Accountant

Leeanne has more than 17 years' experience in policy analysis, regulations and compliance, sustainability and financial reporting in the energy industry.  Leeanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle, Master of Environmental Law from the University of Sydney and is CPA qualified.


Kira Athanasiov

AELA Associate, Greenprints 'Banyo Verge Garden' Project, for Greenprints SEQ

Kira has over 15 years public sector experience, working in the Queensland Government in the fields of social justice, workers’ rights, and mental health. Kira is passionate about creating and living within a new, emerging society that is regenerative and empathetic to our ecological and social needs. Kira contributes her expertise into AELA's Greenprints Program, and works as the Community Coordinator for the Banyo Verge Garden and Greenprints SEQ. She works with communities and organisations within Brisbane to help to create and transform our society, and thrive within our ecological limits. Kira has extensive experience in community organising and is a regular contributor to 4ZZZ’s Community radio show, Eco Radio. Kira has lived in Brisbane/Meeanjin all her life and cares deeply about protecting and restoring the natural world.

Wamika Sachdev

Legal Associate, Gender and Earth Laws

Wamika Sachdev has a B.A, L.L.B from Gurugobind Singh Indraprastha University and an Advanced Masters in Public International Law from Leiden University’s Grotius Center, specialising in peace, justice and development. She is passionate about gender equality and environmental protection, and her work with AELA is examining the role of women in the rights of nature and climate change movements in Australia and internationally. Wamika is also the co-founder and host of the Legalladies podcast on Spotify.

Chenyu Li

AELA Earth Arts Associate

Chenyu completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) at the Australian National University and is currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Science toward neuroscience direction. Working at AELA's Earth Arts program with an unwavering commitment to the environment and a profound love for our planet, Chenyu likes to reach out to people to invite more and more people to get in touch.