The Environmental Defenders Office is governed by a skills based Board of directors with a commitment to the mission of the organisation.

The Board provides strategic direction, oversees the organisation’s performance and compliance and ensures the effective governance, culture and leadership of the company.

Board

Dr Bronwyn Darlington – Chair

Bronwyn Darlington has more than 25 years industry experience in a variety of sectors, including senior roles in mining, engineering, agriculture, local government, community legal practice,  finance, and textile and apparel design and manufacturing. She also has significant small business experience as a serial entrepreneur.   Her latest deep tech venture, Agscent Pty Ltd, is applying nanotechnology to digitize the breath of cows in order to detect pregnancy at a very early stage. 

Bronwyn also teaches at the Sydney University Business School. Courses have included Startups and New Opportunities and Business Innovation and Sustainability.  Bronwyn currently leads the ‘Finding Opportunity in Disruption’ module of the Global Executive MBA (US) and the business lead on the interdisciplinary Unit ‘Inventing the Future’ which brings post graduate students and academics together from Business, Science, Engineering and Design to invent a deep tech solution to a critical real-world problem.  Bronwyn’s key teaching contribution focuses on problem definition from a consumer/customer perspective, innovative business model design and commercially viable start up execution.

Bronwyn has Ph.D. in marketing with a particular focus on how consumer psychology and how money and moral identity effect prosocial and altruistic behaviour.  Bronwyn lives on a 5000 acre grazing property near Bungendore in regional NSW.


Brent Wallace

Brent was the co-founder of Galileo Kaleidoscope (GALKAL) a 21-year-old company known for its strategic marketing, brand, and customer research solutions. In 2018 Galkal merged with Fiftyfive5 to create Australia’s largest and fastest growing independent Insights, Data and Strategy firm.

Brent holds a Bachelor of Commerce and has over 30 years’ experience in marketing, advertising, and brand development across a wide variety of consumer categories. He has held senior positions in London and Sydney advertising agencies and was until 1996 Managing Director of Ogilvy & Mather in Australia, part of the O&M global network and owned by WPP plc.

Brent has considerable experience in the strategic development of brands and leveraging their asset value on behalf of shareholders and has worked closely with many of Australia’s blue chip companies and their leadership teams.

Brent is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD), and is a Non Executive Director & Chairman of the Board of Blackmores Ltd (ASX Top 200).

Brent has also been a Governor (since 1993) and past Board Director of the global environmental group – WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature). The global launch of Earth Hour was one of Brent’s key achievements at WWF.


Deb Nesbitt

Deb Nesbitt is a former EDO ACT Deputy and Public Officer and is a Master of International Law. Deb has worked as a journalist and communications adviser in and around the Federal Parliament for the past 25 years, including in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. She is a former ABC reporter for Radio National, Radio Australia, the Parliamentary Bureau, and Triple J. She’s reported on environmental law and policy for Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg Law over the past 15 years. She’s also worked for a number of NGOs, including the ACF and the Law Council, and federal agencies including the Clean Energy Regulator and the Climate Change Authority. Deb is a Founding Member of the Australian Asia-Pacific Media Initiative.


Kate Galloway

Kate Galloway is associate professor of law at Bond University and holds an adjunct position at the University of Western Australia. Kate specialises in land law including Indigenous tenures, and property rights in resources and their effect on the environment. She holds undergraduate degrees in law and economics from the University of Qld, a Master of Laws by research from QUT, and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

A former solicitor in Brisbane and Cairns in both private practice and a land council, over her career Kate has served on management committees of various community legal services in North Queensland most recently on the EDO North Queensland. She has served for many years on the Equity and Diversity committee of the Queensland Law Society.


Lesley Hughes

Lesley Hughes is Professor Emerita in biology at Macquarie University. Her principal research interests have been the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems and the implications for conservation. She is a former Lead Author in the IPCC’s 4th and 5th Assessment Report, a former federal Climate Commissioner, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and a Councillor and Director of the Climate Council of Australia. She has recently been appointed as a member of the Climate Change Authority.


The Hon. Michael Barker

Michael is a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia having retired from the bench in 2019. While on the bench, Michael gave judgments across a broad range of legal areas, including migration, native title, trade practices, industrial law, corporations law, insurance, bankruptcy, insolvency, and consumer law. Michael was also the coordinating judge of the National Native Title Practice Division of the Court.

Prior to that time Michael served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and as President of the State Administrative Tribunal.

Michael was the first convenor of the Environmental Defenders Office Western Australia. 


Phil Vernon

Phil is an experienced financial services CEO and was the Managing Director of Australian Ethical Super for over 9 years. Phil brings to the Board skills in superannuation, investments, sustainable finance, strategy, and business transformation. Phil is also a not-for-profit company director focused on climate change and positive environmental solutions. In addition to the Environmental Defenders Office, Phil currently sits on the Board of Beyond Zero Emissions.

Phil is passionate about transforming the corporate model and financial system to better serve society and the planet.


Rachel Eberhard

Rachel is an independent environmental consultant and QUT researcher with over 20 years’ experience in natural resource management. Rachel specialises in policy, planning, and evaluation of large scale natural resource management initiatives such as land management to improve water quality for the Great Barrier Reef. She combines a scientific approach to rigorous evidence with a strong interest in the social and institutional processes of decision-making. Rachel has a bachelor of agricultural science, Masters degrees in natural resource management and not-for-profit business, and a PhD in the governance of water resources.

Rachel is based in both Brisbane and northern NSW where she has a conservation property. She was previously chair of EDO Queensland and ReefCheck Australia.


Key Staff

David Morris (CEO)

David is responsible for the delivery of EDO’s public interest environmental legal services. He joined EDO NSW as CEO in October 2017 after four years practising public interest environmental law in the Northern Territory as Principal Lawyer and Executive Officer of EDONT.  In August 2019 David became CEO of the new national EDO.

At EDONT David had a broad environmental law practice which particularly focused on legal issues related to mining, gas, water, and cultural heritage. David regularly acted for NGOs, community groups and Aboriginal traditional owners. Under David’s leadership EDONT clients achieved successful litigation outcomes in the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal. At EDONT David played a leadership role in policy and law reform advocacy and taught environment and planning law subjects at Charles Darwin University.

Prior to working at EDONT, David held various environmental law roles in private practice and with government in Victoria. David was a lawyer in the Maddocks Planning and Environment Team and a prosecutor with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. He has regularly appeared in courts and tribunals.

David has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.