Our staff

We are a multi-disciplinary office with staff from diverse backgrounds and with a range of skills

Below you can meet our Management Team, Legal Team and Operations Staff. To meet our Board, click here »

Management Team

Sue Higginson
Chief Executive Officer

Sue Higginson

Sue is responsible for the delivery of EDO NSW's public interest environmental legal services. She has carried many public interest environmental cases through many different courts in Australia, has acted for hundreds of community groups and individuals, has delivered legal workshops to communities all over NSW and beyond, and has represented EDO NSW and its clients on many advisory groups and forums.

Sue pioneered the first branch office of EDO NSW in the Northern Rivers, providing expert environmental legal services to rural, regional and remote communities.

Before joining EDO NSW, Sue worked as a solicitor in private practice in a regional community in a number of areas including property and criminal law. Her work included acting for members of the community at the intersection of environmental protest and the criminal law.

She has also taught Environmental Law at University and presented guest lectures at many Universities.

Sue is passionate about public interest environmental law and providing access to environmental justice. Before becoming a solicitor Sue worked in the environment movement for a number of years. She has done extensive work in relation to forest conservation in North East New South Wales.

She has a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours.

 

Elaine Johnson
Principal Solicitor

Elaine Johnson

Elaine joined EDO NSW in January 2011 as a Solicitor in the Sydney Office. She provides clients with advice and representation on a wide range of environmental legal issues including administrative law, planning, pollution, biodiversity, mining and coal seam gas. Elaine has represented clients seeking better environmental outcomes through civil enforcement, such as the Delta and Macarthur Bushwalkers water pollution cases. She acted for Fullerton Cove residents in obtaining the first coal seam gas injunction in NSW, and helped gain better environmental conditions for a coal mine in the Ashton merits appeal. Elaine also represented the Mackay Conservation Group in successfully overturning Federal approval of Australia’s largest coal mine, the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.

Elaine holds a Bachelor of EnvMgmt/LLB (Hons) from Macquarie University, and has worked as Associate Lecturer with Macquarie’s Centre for Environmental Law. Other previous work experience includes as a solicitor in private practice at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, in government at the Office of Environment and Heritage, and as the Environment Liaison Officer for combined environment groups. Elaine also spent 18 months volunteering with the Landowners’ Advocacy and Legal Support Unit at the Public Solicitor’s Office in the Solomon Islands.

 

Rachel Walmsley
Policy and Law Reform Director

Rachel Walmsley

Rachel Walmsley is the Policy and Law Reform Director at EDO NSW. She has over 15 years’ experience working on environmental law and policy in Australia and overseas. She has written extensive law reform submissions and discussion papers, and advised governments and NGOs on a range of environmental law issues including planning, natural resource management and biodiversity laws. Rachel is Co-consulting Editor of the Australian Environment Review, a member of the Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law (APEEL), and a member of IUCN – World Commission on Environmental Law. Rachel is also a legal advisor to the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and guest lectures in environmental law.

Rachel is a member of a number of government and non-government advisory committees on biodiversity, natural resource and environment issues. Previous work has included advising the peak environment groups of NSW on environmental legislation before the NSW parliament, undertaking research for the Australian Centre for Environmental Law (ACEL) at ANU in Canberra, and conservation field work for a British conservation organisation in Tanzania and the UK. Rachel is a practising solicitor with a Masters in Environmental Science and Law from University of Sydney, a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in international biodiversity law, and a Bachelor of Arts from ANU.

 

Megan Kessler
Scientific Director

Megan joined EDO NSW in August 2011. Her role involves management of EDO NSW’s Scientific Advisory Service, including the provision of in-house objective scientific advice to EDO NSW staff and our clients and using our Expert Register to source external scientific expertise for public interest legal matters.

Megan has a Bachelor of Science (natural resource management) from Macquarie University, a Master of Marine Science (fisheries management) from UNSW, and a PhD on tourism impacts on humpback whales off Sydney and in Tonga from Macquarie University.

Megan has previously worked with Landcare Australia and on marine and fisheries issues, energy conservation and threatened species management.

 

Emily Ryan
Outreach Director

Emily Ryan

Emily joined EDO NSW in 2011. Acting as the Outreach Director, Emily is responsible for the development and delivery of EDO NSW's Outreach Program, which includes legal workshops, seminars, professional development training, conferences and a range of plain English publications designed to educate the community and professionals about environmental and planning laws and how they can be used to protect the environment. She also provides clients with advice on wide-ranging environmental and planning law matters, and lectures in planning law and sustainable energy law at UNSW.

Emily is admitted as a solicitor in NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Southern Cross University, and is currently undertaking a Master of Environmental Law at the University of Sydney.

Emily is the President of NSW Young Lawyers and the Young Lawyer Councillor on the Law Society of NSW Council, and is a member of the International Bar Association.

 

Blake Powell
Operations Manager

Blake Powell

Blake joined EDO NSW in April 2016. As Operations Manager, she is responsible for the effective management of the operational aspects of the organisation, including governance, financial management, compliance, administration, human resources and provision of information and support to the CEO and Board.

Prior to working with EDO NSW, Blake was Business Operations Manager for Migration Support Programs, NSW, at Australian Red Cross. She also worked with PYXERA Global managing multi-million dollar international programs in Guatemala, Jamaica and Angola, on supply chain development and the reinvestment of profits from natural resource extraction into community and local economic development. Blake holds an MA in International Service and Development from Roehampton University, UK, and an MA in Theoretical Linguistics from Northwestern University, USA.

 

Legal team

Rana Koroglu
Senior Solicitor

Rana Koroglu

Rana is part of EDO NSW’s litigation team working on environmental, administrative and other civil enforcement proceedings, in both Federal and State jurisdictions. She also provides legal advice and representation to groups and individuals seeking to protect their local communities, water sources and biodiversity from the impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas development.
 
Rana joined the EDOs of Australia in October 2013 as an advice and law reform solicitor at EDO Qld, specialising in legislative protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Prior to joining EDO Qld, Rana practised as a solicitor in native title, as well as in private practice in corporate and commercial litigation. Rana holds degrees in Laws (Honours, QUT) and Arts (UQ).
 
Rana is a Fellow of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership.

 

Nari Sahukar
Senior Policy and Law Reform Solicitor

Nari Sahukar

Nari joined EDO NSW in March 2011 as Acting Policy Director, and has resumed a permanent role as Policy and Law Reform Solicitor since April 2012. Nari works with EDO NSW colleagues and Environmental Defenders Offices of Australia to promote good environmental regulation. He assists community and environment groups and State and federal government agencies with policy and law reform advice. This includes writing submissions, discussion papers, legal advice and briefing notes in areas such as planning and development law, mining law, biodiversity protection and climate change and energy.

Nari has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons 1) from Macquarie University, Sydney, and is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales. Prior to joining EDO NSW, Nari was a Deputy Director of Policy at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. He has also worked with the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (a native title representative body), and LawAccess NSW (State Attorney-General's Department).

 

Dr Emma Carmody
Policy and Law Reform Solicitor

Emma Carmody

Emma joined the law reform team in 2011. She has particular expertise in water law and policy, treaty implementation in Australia, administrative law and constitutional law. Her work for EDO NSW includes provision of legal advice, assisting with litigation, writing submissions responding to government inquiries and appearing before parliamentary committees.

Prior to joining EDO NSW, Emma worked as an independent consultant, collaborating with NGOs and government departments to improve environmental policy. She also has several years’ experience as an in-house environment and planning lawyer at both local and State government levels.

Emma studied Arts/Law at the University of NSW, where she was awarded the Stephen Seidler Memorial Prize for the Best Achievement in Environmental Law. She went on to obtain a BA (Hons 1) in Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney, followed by a Diploma in Advanced Written French (Equivalent Hons 1) from the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne. She holds a doctorate in Creative Writing (English/ French), awarded by the University of Adelaide.

Emma was admitted as a solicitor in NSW in 2003. She is a Fellow of the Peter Cullen Trust. 

 

Brendan Dobbie
Solicitor

Brendan Dobbie

Brendan joined EDO NSW in August 2015 as a Solicitor in the litigation team. He provides clients with legal advice in relation to all aspects of state and federal environment and planning law, and conducts environmental litigation primarily within the Land and Environment Court of NSW.

Before taking up his current role at EDO NSW, Brendan worked in corporate practice as a solicitor in the Planning & Environment group at Clayton Utz in Sydney.

Brendan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Law (BA Comms/LLB) from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Masters of Environmental Governance (MSc) from the University of Freiburg, Germany. He has also commenced PhD studies with the University of Freiburg looking at illegal logging policy in South East Asia. Brendan volunteered and worked as a solicitor for EDO NSW for a period in 2014, and is a founding member of the award winning sustainability science communication group, the Freiburg Scientific Theatre.

Brendan is also a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law.

 

Stacey Ella
Solicitor

Stacey Ella

Stacey started work with EDO NSW in June 2015 as a Solicitor in the litigation team. She advises and represents clients in a broad range of environmental and planning law matters.

Stacey has previously worked as a lawyer in the Environment and Planning team at commercial firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth and was a tipstaff to the Hon. Justice Malcolm Craig at the NSW Land and Environment Court.  

Stacey is admitted as a Solicitor of NSW and the High Court of Australia. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) from the University of New South Wales and a Juris Doctor from the University of Technology Sydney. 

Stacey is currently a member of the NSW Young Lawyers Environment and Planning Law Committee.

 

BJ Kim
International Programs Coordinator

BJ Kim

BJ is the International Programs Coordinator at EDO NSW. He is responsible for developing and delivering EDO NSW’s International Program. The International Program is focussed on building the capacity of environmental lawyers across the Asia-Pacific. This involves providing partner organisations with training, technical advice and support (in the areas of litigation, policy and law reform, outreach, governance and scientific advice), Australian volunteer placements, and links to international environmental networks.

BJ graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University and is admitted as a lawyer in NSW.

Before taking up the International Programs role, BJ was a Solicitor with EDO NSW’s litigation team for 2 years, worked in corporate practice, and was also an adviser on an AusAID funded project in the Attorney-General's Department in Papua New Guinea.

 

Kira Levin
Solicitor

Kira Levin

Kira Levin joined EDO NSW in November 2014. She is EDO NSW’s criminal law expert. Kira coordinates a community-funded legal service providing advice and representation to environmental campaigners charged with offences arising out of their involvement in non-violent direct actions. She regularly appears in sentencing and defended hearings in Local Courts across NSW as well as District Court Appeals. Her role also involves assisting individuals and community groups with complaints against law enforcement bodies, providing advice and representation in civil proceedings and helping community members to understand their rights.

Kira holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from La Trobe University. Throughout her legal career Kira has worked within the community sector and contributed to providing legal services which aim to assist people to understand and protect their legal rights. Prior to moving to NSW and joining EDO NSW, Kira worked as a lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid and at a Community Legal Centre in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne.

 

Emily Long
Solicitor

Emily Long

Emily joined EDO NSW in February 2016 as a Solicitor in the litigation team. She works part-time as a member of the litigation team advising and representing clients in matters involving administrative law, planning law, and biodiversity conservation law. Emily also provides assistance with the international program on a project-by-project basis.

From July 2014 to June 2015, Emily volunteered with the Landowners Advocacy and Legal Support Unit in Honiara, Solomon Islands, providing legal advice and representation to customary land owners. Prior to this, Emily worked at the Supreme Court of Victoria as a Research Associate to the Honourable Justice J Forrest for the duration of the Kilmore East/Kinglake Black Saturday Bushfire Class Action. Other previous work experience includes as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service in Collingwood, Melbourne, and as a solicitor in private practice at Minter Ellison, Melbourne.

Emily holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She is currently undertaking a Masters of Environmental Management at the University of New South Wales.

 

Nina Lucas
Outreach Solicitor

Nina Lucas

Nina joined EDO NSW in January 2014 as the Outreach Solicitor in the Northern Rivers office. She delivers community legal education and other legal services to rural and regional NSW, including workshops, seminars, and publications. She also provides clients in the region with advice on various environment and planning law matters.

Nina was admitted to legal practice in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws as well as a Master of Laws from the University of Queensland. 

Nina previously worked as a litigation lawyer for the Queensland Department of Environment. She also has experience in private practice, native title law, and spent a year in Samoa as the Environmental Compliance Officer with the Samoan Ministry of National Resources and Environment in 2012. Nina served as a member of the EDO Qld Management Committee for 3 years. 

Nina is on the NSW Young Lawyers Environment and Planning Law Committee.

 

Ross Mackay
Solicitor

Ross Mackay

Ross started work with EDO NSW in August 2015 as a Solicitor in the litigation team. He advises and represents clients in a broad range of environmental and planning law matters.

Ross has previously worked with Aboriginal Traditional Owners throughout New South Wales in the native title representative body system, and has advised resource industry clients across the Hunter region. His experience lies in conducting negotiations between local communities and the resources industry, and helping local communities engage in planning and environmental approval processes, including cultural heritage assessment and protection.

Ross was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Philosophy (Law), and most recently completed a Master of Laws (Mineral Law and Policy) with Distinction as an Aurora Project scholar at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Ross currently serves as Chair of the NSW Young Lawyers Environment and Planning Law Committee and as the Young Lawyers Representative on the NSW Law Society Indigenous Issues Committee.

 

Belinda Rayment
Solicitor

Belinda Rayment

Belinda joined EDO NSW in January 2012 as a Solicitor in the Sydney Office. She currently works part-time providing clients with advice on a wide range of environmental legal issues including planning, pollution, administrative law, mining and coal seam gas.

Belinda holds a LLB (Hons) from University of New England and a Masters in International Environmental Law from Macquarie University. Belinda previously worked in a private practice specialising in local government and planning law and as Associate to Justice Talbot of the Land and Environment Court. She has also worked as a volunteer solicitor at Kingsford Legal Centre.

Belinda’s main area of interest is climate change law, particularly mitigation of sea level rise and carbon pricing.

 

Sarah Roebuck
Solicitor

Sarah Roebuck

Sarah joined EDO NSW in October 2013 as a Solicitor in the Sydney Office. She provides clients with advice and representation on a wide range of environmental legal issues including administrative law, planning, pollution, biodiversity, mining and coal seam gas.

Sarah has represented community groups in judicial review appeals in the NSW Land and Environment Court and the Federal Court of Australia. Before taking up the role at EDO NSW, Sarah worked in corporate practice as a Solicitor in the Environment & Planning team at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law (BA/LLB) from Macquarie University and completed a semester of her final year of law in Sweden. Prior to completing her studies, Sarah volunteered at EDO NSW as a student in 2009. She has also volunteered as a solicitor at Kingsford Legal Centre and the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre.

Sarah currently serves on the Board of Directors at Solar Citizens.

 

Jemilah Hallinan
Legal Outreach Director - currently on parental leave

Jemilah Hallinan

Jemilah joined EDO NSW in 2006 and is currently the Legal Outreach Director at the Sydney office. She is responsible for the development and delivery of the EDO NSW Outreach Program which includes legal workshops, seminars, conferences and a range of plain English publications designed to educate the community about environmental laws and how they can be used to protect the environment. She has written extensively on a number of environmental law issues, including planning, mining and private conservation. From time to time, she guest lectures in environmental law at universities throughout Sydney.

Jemilah is admitted as a solicitor in NSW. She has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) from the University of Western Sydney.

 

Operations Staff

EDO NSW is supported by an outstanding operational team

Administration
Meg Goodwin
Kirsty Jordan

Fundraising
Jerry Lloyd

Communications
Christopher Madden