The Environmental Defenders Office is seeking applications from young people in regional or remote Australia to commence their career in environmental law with a training placement supported by the Sarah Flynne Memorial Scholarship.

What is the Sarah Flynne Memorial Scholarship?

The Sarah Flynne Memorial Scholarship is a joint scholarship between EDO and the Flynne family to honour the life and work of former EDO lawyer, Sarah Flynne.

Its purpose is to carry on Sarah’s commitment to environmental law by removing a barrier to entry into the legal profession for young people from a rural, regional, or remote area, and fostering a passion within them for public interest environmental law.

The Sarah Flynne Memorial Scholarship is open to any law graduate under the age of 25 from a regional or remote part of Australia. Its purpose is to allow for travel and accommodation while undertaking Practical Legal Training with EDO in one of our offices.

About Sarah Flynne

Sarah Flynne was a young lawyer working in EDO from 2017-2021 based in Boorloo/Perth. Sarah joined EDO in 2017 as a student volunteer and completed her Practical Legal Training and restricted practice with EDO’s WA Practice. EDO provided Sarah’s entry to the profession and was a central part of her legal practice.
Sarah was committed to environmental law, an active member of the National Environmental Law Association and a dynamic member of EDO’s staff. Sarah was passionate about working for a safe climate, protection of endangered species and community empowerment. Sarah’s enthusiasm, kindness, and joie de vivre was infectious, and her presence always brought a lightness and joy to those she worked with in the EDO and the community.
Sarah passed away suddenly in February 2022 and is deeply missed. This scholarship is a joint initiative between Sarah’s family and EDO to honour Sarah’s memory, and her drive and commitment to the environment and the practice of environmental law.

How does the scholarship work?

Each year, one successful applicant will gain a place to undertake a Practical Legal Training placement for up to eight weeks in an EDO office, with a grant of $3000 to pay for travel and accommodation. This is a one-off payment of $3000 that can be used at your discretion. In return, you will participate in a reflection piece, where you share your experience and learning with EDO and the Flynne family, at the end of the scholarship.

You will be placed in one of our legal practice teams, working every day with communities using the law to protect people, wildlife ecosystems and Country. The placement will be hosted in a Nature and Healthy Environment and Justice team and offers rotations through other legal teams.

You will train alongside some of the most experienced and dedicated environmental lawyers in the Asia-Pacific region, tackling the climate and extinction crises through powerful legal interventions. You will be a valued member of our supportive and diverse team, working towards a world where nature thrives.

Who should apply?

The successful candidates will:

  • be a law graduate under 25;
  • be living 100km or more from an EDO office;
  • have their primary residence in a regional or remote area;
  • have achieved a high distinction average;
  • have completed an environmental law subject or related field (International Environmental Law, Human Rights Law etc)in their Bachelor of Laws;
  • Demonstrate enrolment in a PLT Course in Australia and demonstrate a commitment / capacity to finalise that course by 30th June the following year.
  • Have undertaken the environmental law or related subject in the PLT course (if available).

The successful applicant must be able to conduct at least 50 per cent of their scholarship placement in-person at an EDO office. Offices currently able to accept scholars are Meanjin/Brisbane, Gimuy/Cairns, Canberra, Garramilla/Darwin, nipaluna/Hobart, Boorloo/Perth and Gadi/Sydney.

How to apply

Candidates should address the above selection criteria in no more than a page, and answer the following two questions:

  • What drives you to be an environmental lawyer?
  • What you will do with the opportunity provided by the Scholarship?

Please also provide two references – written or video references preferred – however if you’d like to provide a reference by some other means please get in touch.

  • EDO particularly encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Pacific Island peoples, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people who identify as LGBTQIA+. 
  • Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs for applying and/or interviews.

Applications for the scholarship close on 12 January 2024, with the winner announced in February 2024.

Please apply here.

The Sarah Flynne Memorial Scholarship is supported by the Australian Environment and Planning Law Group of the Law Council of Australia.