Environmental Defenders Office

The Environmental Defenders Office is a non-government, not-for-profit community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law. We provide expert legal advice to clients ranging from farmers and residents action groups to Aboriginal communities and national environmental organisations.

One of our core goals is providing access to justice, and so our Legal Education Outreach program takes a collaborative, community-focussed approach to building the capacity of people across NSW to promote, enhance and conserve our unique animals, plants, places and natural resources.

Through our free legal workshops, seminars and legal guides, we help people understand and navigate their involvement in decisions that affect their environment.

A recent major overhaul of NSW’s land-clearing and threatened species laws created a clear need in the community to understand the new regime and opportunities for them to have a say.

James N. Kirby Foundation’s investment assisted our Outreach Solicitors to deliver several community legal education workshops on the new native vegetation laws and Biodiversity Offsets Scheme. We partnered with the Nature Conservation Council to deliver workshops in Tweed Heads, Ballina, Lismore and Byron Bay. We also delivered this workshop in Orange, Lawson and Port Macquarie.

We also conducted workshops in Kingscliff regarding State Significant Farmland and Inner West Sydney on key aspects of planning law reforms.

Our Outreach solicitors are also training and developing the next generation of planning and environmental lawyers, delivering the Planning and Environmental Law courses at 6 universities across Sydney, as well as hosting international delegations, professional development sessions, presenting at conferences and to groups including local Aboriginal Land Councils.

We are very grateful for the James N. Kirby Foundation’s support of our work to educate and empower local communities and provide access to justice to Australians from all walks of life wanting to protect our precious environment.

David Morris
Chief Executive Officer