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.


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 digitise 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 is 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 consumer psychology and how money and moral identity effect pro-social and altruistic behaviour.  Bronwyn lives on a 5000-acre grazing property near Bungendore in regional NSW.

Dr Kate Galloway – Deputy Chair

Kate Galloway is Associate Professor of Law at Griffith University, formerly 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.

Susanne Behrendt – Secretary

Susanne is the GM Finance & Operations and Company Secretary of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML).

On a day-to-day basis Susanne looks after all aspects of the organisation’s administrative services, including finance & accounting, HR, IT and legal affairs. As Company Secretary Susanne supports the Board in their role as the governing body of IML and ensures that they meet all compliance obligations.

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. 

Pepe Clarke

Pepe leads the terrestrial conservation work of the Pew Charitable Trusts in Australia, with a particular focus on advocacy to support large-scale conservation and land management in remote Australia.

Based in Brisbane, he has a background in environmental law, policy and public advocacy, as well as professional experience in strategic planning, organisational development, fundraising and financial management.

Pepe previously worked as Global Head of Policy for Birdlife International, Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council, Regional Legal Advisor (Oceania) to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Programs Director for the Environmental Defenders Office (NSW).

He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I), Bachelor of Environmental Science, Master of Laws and a Masters of Conservation Leadership.

Catherine Hathaway

Cate is the Chief People & Transformation Officer with GrainCorp. Cate is responsible for transformational change, people and technology.   Cate is a highly experienced HR and Communications practitioner with strong expertise in leadership, talent management, workplace health & safety and employment relations and has over 20 years’ experience with companies including Boral, Westpac and Equifax. 

Cate is a Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute and member of its Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Panel.  She is also a member of the School of Business, External Advisory Committee at Western Sydney University.

Dr Jan McDonald

Jan McDonald is Professor of Environmental and Climate Law at the University of Tasmania. She holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Queensland, an LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis and Clark Law School, and a PhD from Bond University. A member of the Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law, she has broad expertise in environmental, marine, and climate law, with a particular interest in addressing the impacts of climate change.

Jan also has a range of governance experience. She has held positions as Head of School or Associate Dean at three universities and is currently Associate Dean (Governance, Equity and Culture) for the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania. In 2008, she established the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University, leading a consortium of 8 universities with $30m Commonwealth funding.

Joe Morrison

Joe Morrison is a Dagoman and Torres Strait Islander man with over 25 years’ experience working with Indigenous people in northern Australia and more recently with Indigenous people globally. He has advocacy, policy, research and practical experience in climate change, traditional knowledge conservation, fire management, water policy, governance and leading complex institutions.

Joe has a BA in Land Management from the University of Sydney and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of New South Wales for his contribution to Indigenous land and sea management, policy development, advocacy and related areas.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Joe was the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Land Council and the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance for 18 years. He is currently a Director of Centrefarm Ltd, NAILSMA Ltd and is advising a US-based Foundation, Nia Tero on working with Indigenous people to secure their guardianship of important land and seascapes internationally.

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a consultant specialising in governance, resilience, strategic planning, and capacity building, as well as sustainability, climate change, biodiversity conservation and environmental and planning law. Prior to this, he was the Director of EDO NSW for 14 years.

Jeff is a solicitor with a Masters of Law from Sydney University (majoring in Environmental Law and Policy). He regularly teaches postgraduate and undergraduate courses at Macquarie and Sydney University.

Jeff is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (having been Chair for 8 years), and the Board of the Haymarket Foundation. He was also a long-time Board member of the Total Environment Centre, the Environmental Planning and Law Association, and CLC NSW as well the Strategic Council for the Climate Institute.

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.

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.