Anna Sideris, National Governance Officer
Anna is in her fifth year at the Queensland University of Technology studying a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Laws (Honours).
Anna also works part-time as a paralegal in the areas of environmental law, commercial law, and insurance. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental or property law and this goal has led to her decision to volunteer at NELA. Anna believes that the development of practical skills in a professional environment is a crucial aspect of developing as a future lawyer.
Anna is passionate about global environmental regulation and the application of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement in Australian Law. She ultimately hopes to implement large-scale change through legal reform.
Charlotte Traves, National Publications and Submissions Officer
Charlotte Traves is a fifth-year Arts/Laws (Honours) student majoring in International Relations and Politics. Charlotte works as a paralegal at Herbert Smith Freehills in the Environment, Planning and Communities (EPC) team. Charlotte’s interest in environmental law has developed during her experience as a paralegal, a role through which she has researched and examined the operation of current environmental legislation and policy and potential areas for reform. With this knowledge, Charlotte is passionate about investigating the effectiveness of environmental regulation in Australia, and developing methods of ensuring that Australia is able to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution as prescribed under the Climate Change Act 2022 (Cth). This inspired Charlotte to volunteer as a publications and submissions officer for NELA in 2023.
Emily Morison, National Policy Officer
Emily Morison is a lawyer in the Climate Change and Sustainability team at Gilbert + Tobin where she works with clients across a range of sectors to support their decarbonisation strategies, manage regulatory compliance risks, and capitalise on opportunities that Australia’s decarbonising economy presents. Emily also has experience in environment and planning law, and litigation, and has a particular interest in the intersections between climate change and the global biodiversity crisis, and the ongoing emergence of frameworks for assessing and managing biodiversity-related risks.
Emily is a former coordinator of the Climate Law and Governance Initiative, and Judge’s Associate at the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, Master of Law (JD) from Monash University and a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge.
Ethan Kumar, National Publications and Submissions Officer
Ethan is in his penultimate year of studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business (Public Relations) at the Queensland University of Technology.
Ethan currently works as a Real Estate and Environment, Planning and Communities paralegal at Herbert Smith Freehills. He also works as a research assistant on various projects relating to biodiversity conservation and broader environmental compliance.
After completing his Judge’s Associateship at the Federal Court of Australia, Ethan intends to pursue a career working in environment and planning law-with a particular interest in helping corporations navigate developments in the global ESG landscape.
Jacky Le, National Communications Officer
Jacky is a sustainability enthusiast with a passion for making complex legal concepts understandable and accessible to all. Jacky strongly believes effective communicative strategies can play pivotal in driving towards a better sustainable future. To pursue this passion, Jacky has taken on work opportunities that focus on engaging stakeholders with different communicative strategies that highlight the value of sustainability standards in WA’s resource sector.
Jacky also holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Communications (honours) from Edith Cowan University and is currently completing his Juris Doctor at The University of Western Australia.
Outside of work and law studies, Jacky enjoys reading about legal innovation, spending time with his rescue dog, and planning trips to tropical islands.
Jonathon Nati, National Conference Officer
on is an undergraduate Law and Psychology student with minors in Property and Environmental Management. Having worked as a clerk for a year in conveyancing and property law, he has transgressed this skillset to be applied within his current role in property development and subdivision throughout the Greater Sydney Region.
Jon is motivated to innovate and implement proficient methods of sustainable land and housing uses as an ambassador for the environment within these fields. His passion to his work is exemplified through other pursuits in hospitality, event coordinating, and work with the NSW floral industry.
His overarching motif for environmental advocacy is fuelled by the pursuit to influence a positive change by setting a competitive standard within these commercial industries by way of environmental prioritisation.
Joshua Woodyatt, National Conference Officer
Joshua is a recent graduate of the Australian National University, where he studied a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of International Security Studies (majoring in German Language and Culture).
Having first studied climate law at university, Joshua has since written, published, and presented internationally on a breadth of climate-related topics both legal and political. As a Research Associate with the ANU Centre for European Studies his work focuses particularly on Germany, the German-speaking world, and the European Union, and their significant (and often-overlapping) roles in the global energy transition.
Alongside his research pursuits, Joshua also serves as Communications Manager and Club Magazine Editor of the ANU Football Club. He was motivated to volunteer with the NELA to put this slightly-scattered skillset to use, and to chip in towards advancing the NELA’s important work promoting environmental law issues.
Judith Zhu, National Policy Officer
Judith is a research consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, where she conducts interdisciplinary research and manages projects across a wide range of research areas aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, providing recommendations to clients on topics such as renewable energy, circular economy, and net zero transitions.
Judith is passionate about sustainability and helping deliver practical and holistic solutions to the earth’s most complex sustainability issues through the legal system and civic action. As the National Policy Officer, Judith is committed to promoting good governance and management within NELA. Outside of work, she enjoys birdwatching and spending time in nature.
Michelle Neil, National Memberships Officer
Michelle is a recently graduated and newly admitted lawyer with experience working in property, commercial and estate planning law.
Law is Michelle’s second career after working nearly 20 years in the veterinary and wildlife industry. Michelle has worked as a vet nurse, wildlife rescuer and rehabilitator, and research volunteer at such organisations as the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
It is Michelle’s passion for wildlife and the environment that led her down the legal path, and ultimately joining the team at NELA.
Michelle’s long-term goal is to be more actively involved in environmental and animal law reform in both Queensland and Australia.
Nabeela Raji, National Education Officer
Nabeela Raji is a recently admitted Australian lawyer, currently providing legal research and consultancy services in the areas of energy, climate change and environmental law and policy. Nabeela has also worked across a broad range of advocacy and law reform initiatives in the areas of human rights, transitional justice and constitutional reform as a lawyer in Sri Lanka.
Nabeela’s childhood exploring the wildlife sanctuaries of Sri Lanka on photography expeditions and love for hiking and spending time outdoors in nature led to a keen interest in the role of law in protecting the environment. Nabeela’s passion, combined with growing momentum on the urgency of combating climate change in Australia, has influenced the direction of her career to date and motivated her to join NELA as an appointed officer. Nabeela hopes to contribute her legal experience and interest in environmental law towards advocacy and finding solutions in the climate change space in Australia and overseas.
Natasha Catalano, National Conference Officer
Natasha is a final year law student who is passionate about the environment, animals and social justice. Natasha is currently a Paralegal at a commercial law firm where she is involved in the international projects team and aspires to explore the environmental side of the work, in particular native title.
During Natasha’s spare time she volunteers at a local cat shelter, where she explores her passion for animal rights and helps take care of the furry feline residents. Natasha is also an active member of the Curtin Student Law Society, which has developed her passion for social justice and organisation. She has previously assisted in organising events for fellow law students, and currently manages the sponsorship arrangements, to ensure the society can provide the most quality events and education for students.
Natasha was extremely keen to be a part of NELA where she could explore her passion for advocating awareness on environmental issues in the law space.
Nayonika Bhattacharya, National Publications and Submissions Officer
Nayonika is a final year Arts/Law student at the University of New South Wales and currently works in family law, property law, wills & estates. Her passion to work in a field of law that has a highly positive impact is what led her to volunteer and join NELA. Beyond this, Nayonika is an Ambassador for Hockey NSW and the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Neve Worthy, National ESG & Sustainability Officer
Neve recently graduated with a Juris Doctor from the University of Western Australia. She is currently undertaking her Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Neve also holds a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science).
Neve has experience working as a vacation clerk in the ESG and sustainability space. She now works as a law graduate.
Neve began volunteering with NELA in 2022. Her passion is climate change advocacy, particularly the impact of climate change on people and the environment
Reid Thornett, National ESG & Sustainability Officer
Reid is a Law Graduate at Bennett – Litigation and Commercial Law.
Reid holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) from the University of Notre Dame.
Reid is passionate about the global decarbonisation narrative and the transition of society towards a sustainable future. He is particularly interested with contemporary legal issues and perspectives related to sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG). He otherwise enjoys dissecting complex theories and finding succinct ways to communicate them to multidisciplinary audiences.
His long-term goal is to become a recognised legal leader in sustainability.
Ruby Ioannou, National Publications and Submissions Officer
Ruby is currently studying full time at the University of Queensland, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts/Law (Honours) majoring in French and International Relations.
Growing up on Magnetic Island – a refuge of biodiversity – Ruby was surrounded by rich, tropical landscapes and nature. This upbringing instilled her with a profound appreciation and understanding of wildlife, marine and environmental conservation. She has also learnt of the importance of sustainability and slow fashion through her mother’s eco-printing business, which uses natural dyes derived from local leaf and plant matter to produce textiles and garments.
These experiences have inspired Ruby to meaningfully contribute to climate advocacy, prompting her commencement as a volunteer publications officer at NELA in 2023. Passionate about legal research and law reform, Ruby is ultimately committed to finding and presenting balanced, informed solutions.
Shannon Peters, National Publications and Submissions Officer
Shannon Peters is a solicitor practising in planning and environment law in NSW and is also a Sessional Teaching Academic at Macquarie University.
In 2018, she completed her Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University. After graduating she worked as a Tipstaff in the NSW Land and Environment Court. In 2021 she completed her Master of Environmental Laws at Pace University, specialising in Global Environmental Law. While undertaking her masters, she was also the Graduate Fellow for Pace University’s Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies.
Since her undergraduate studies, Shannon has been passionate about contributing to organisations that focus on the protection of the environment, which has motivated her involvement with NELA.
Tom Irwin, National Marketing Officer
Tom is currently in his third year studying commerce full time at the University of New South Wales. He has completed his major in marketing and is now exploring environmental science pathways to complete the degree.
He is passionate about the natural world and what both corporations and regulatory bodies can do to conserve and rehabilitate the environment. He believes that marketing is a key communication channel that is necessary to connect scientific and legal expertise to the organisations that have the power to make change.
Tom currently works as a marketing intern and has experience in marketing strategy and digital content marketing in large corporate firms. He wishes to combine this experience with his passionate for nature in order to limit human impact on the environment and restore some of the damage humans have already done.
Xavier Tan-Smith, National Secretariat Officer
Xavier is currently studying full time in his second year completing a bachelor of commerce majoring in business law and finance. He plans to pursue a career in law with a direct entry into the postgraduate Juris Doctor degree at the University of Western Australia. Xavier is currently working part time in strata management and runs a small tutoring business.