AELA’s Team

Who We Are

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) is run and managed by a dedicated team of volunteers and professional associates.

AELA’s Team

Michelle Maloney

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 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 on the website.

Lyb Makin

Lyb Makin

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

James Lee

James 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.

Maggie Shambrook

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.

Ed Morgan

Dr Edward Morgan

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.

AELA’s Board of Management

Michelle Maloney

Dr Michelle Maloney (BA/LLB (Hons) PhD)

Michelle is an environmental lawyer and activist, and is Co-Founder and National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. View Michelle’s profile and publications.

Phoebe Bishop

Phoebe Bishop (BSC/LLB)

Phoebe holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Science (Geography) from the University of Queensland. She has several years’ experience working in private legal practice, giving advice relating to environmental law, town planning, infrastructure and government law. Phoebe is originally from Brisbane but is currently living and working in Berlin.

Ross Williams

Ross Williams

Ross is of the Bindal and Juru peoples now known as Townsville to Bowen and Erub and Mer in the Torres Straits. He has worked closely with many groups and organisations in the areas of natural and cultural resource management for over 35 years. In that time, he has been passionate about supporting and assisting in the Caring for Country principles with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders throughout Queensland, Australia and Internationally. Ross is also dedicated and passionate about assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to be the best they can be through building self-confidence and social and cultural resilience.

Jules Livingstone

Jules Livingstone, Sydney, Australia

Jules completed a BA/LLB at UNSW and worked abroad for fifteen years before returning to study a Research Masters of Environment at ANU, focussing on resilience as a strategy and policy driver for climate change adaptation. Passionate about education, he is now completing a Masters of Education (Social Ecology) at UWS. He works as a strategic consultant specialising in climate change adaptation and education for sustainability.

Lyn Ellison

Lyn Ellison

Lyn holds a BA (Hons) in Social Policy and Administration from Leeds Metropolitan University and an MA in Women’s Studies from the University of York. She is currently a final year LLB student, and also working as a Legal Assistant and Privacy Officer, at Southern Cross University. Lyn is also a law student volunteer at the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre.
Lyn’s background is in not-for-profit management, specifically organisational development and planning, program review, and transition-out activities. Lyn has been involved in AELA as Volunteer Manager for around two years and has recently filled a casual vacancy on the AELA Board.

Advisory Groups

The Australian Earth Laws Alliance has established a number of expert groups to provide advice and support for AELA’s work to promote Earth-centred law and governance. AELA is privileged to have experts from a number of fields supporting our work. Current members of our advisory groups are set out below:

First Nations Peoples Advisory Group

Mary Graham

Mary Graham, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Queensland and a Kombu-merri person through her father’s heritage and Wakka Wakka clan through her mother’s heritage.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Mary has worked across several government agencies, community organisations and universities. Mary has been a dedicated lecturer with the University of Queensland, teaching Aboriginal history, politics and comparative philosophy, Mary has also lectured nationally on these subjects, and developed and implemented the core university subjects of ‘Aboriginal Perspectives’, ‘Aboriginal Approaches to Knowledge’ and at the post-graduation level ‘Aboriginal Politics’.

Ross Williams

Ross Williams is of the Bindal people in the region now known as Townsville. Ross has three decades’ experience working to support indigenous people’s engagement with natural resource management programs for the Queensland State government, as well as working with his own and other indigenous communities on economic development and caring for country projects. Ross is motivated by a strong desire to help indigenous groups, especially young indigenous people, create their own economic futures through local community development and economic projects.

Dr Anne Poelina, Managing Director of Madjulla Inc.; a Nyikina Traditional Custodian from the Mardoowarra, Lower Fitzroy River in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia; and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Notre Dame University.
Valentine Nona, Djiru Aboriginal Community and Director, Jina-Gunduy

Science Advisory Group

Ian Lowe

Professor Ian Lowe is an emeritus professor in the School of Science at Griffith University, an adjunct professor at two Australian universities and was the president of the Australian Conservation Foundation from 2004-2014. His principal research interests are in policy decisions influencing the use of energy, science and technology; energy use in industrialised countries; large-scale environmental issues and sustainable development. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001 for services to science and technology and for contributing to public understanding of environmental issues. Professor Lowe was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2002 for contributions to environmental science and won the Eureka Prize for the promotion of science. for further information about Ian, please visit his Griffith University profile page.

Will Steffen

Professor Will Steffen is a climate change expert, a researcher at the Australian National University and a Councillor on Australia’s foremost Climate Change research organisation, the Climate Council.

His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate change and Earth System science, with an emphasis on sustainability, climate change and the Earth System. He is the author of numerous publications on climate science and co-author of the ground breaking work which created the concept of Planetary Boundaries. For further information about Will, please visit his Climate Council profile page.

Brendan Mackey

Professor Brendan Mackey is the Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program and has published over 150 academic publications including journal articles, books and book chapters. Brendan is a member of the International Council for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He also serves on various governmental advisory bodies including the science advisory group to the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative.

For further information about Brendan, please visit his Griffith University profile page.

Law and Regulation Advisory Group

Rob Fowler

Professor Rob Fowler is an Adjunct Professor in the Law School at the University of South Australia. He has been involved for over 40 years in the field of environmental law, beginning at the Law School at the University of Adelaide in 1975. Since the end of 2014 Rob has been the Convener of the Australian Panel of Experts in Environmental Law (APEEL), a voluntary collaboration of sixteen internationally-recognized environmental law experts that is being supported by the Places You Love Alliance. The purpose of the Panel is to design the framework for the next generation of Federal environmental laws in Australia. He continues to research and write on various aspects of environmental law and is currently writing a book on Australian Federal Environmental Law. For further information about Rob, please visit his profile page.

Christine Parker

Professor Christine Parker is a Professor at Melbourne Law School. Christine has a deep interest in both conceptualizing and communicating how law and regulation can help individuals and especially businesses live more sustainably and well in our ecological systems. She is developing an academic research project in this area and has helped develop and show a live multi-media eco-music performance, called ‘Music for a Warming World’ ( about our individual, social and political responses to climate change. Her current research focuses on animal welfare and sustainability issues in the food system.

Bronwen Morgan

Professor Bronwen Morgan is Professor of Law at UNSW Australia. She is interested in the interaction between regulation and rights, especially in the context of social activism. She has most recently explored the rise of the regulatory state in the developing world, access to urban water services in comparative perspective, and legal and regulatory support structures for social activists and social enterprises responding to climate change in Australia and the UK. She has a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, USA and lives in Sydney, Australia.

International Affiliations

Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
Ecological Law & Governance Association
Ecological Law and Governance Association
Yes to Life, No to Mining
Yes to Life, No to Mining – International Network
WEAll - Wellbeing Economy Alliance
WEAll – Wellbeing Economy Alliance
Intercontinental network for the promotion of social solidarity economy
RIPESS – Intercontinental network for the promotion of social solidarity economy