Seminars and Events


Building Community Resilience in the Sharing Economy - Public Lecture

Community-supported enterprise + cooperatives + local investing + social enterprise + local currencies + micro-enterprise + sharing…. these all add up to local, resilient economies. But it can be difficult to picture how we’ll get there. The more our economies falter, the more we feel stuck - stuck in jobs we don’t like, stuck buying cheap unsustainable products, stuck patronizing the same old huge corporations, stuck in traffic…. How do we get from stuck economies to resilient sharing economies? With the help of lively cartoon images, attorney and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, Janelle Orsi, will help us visualize some of the next critical steps and how a new sharing economy can actually work.

Date: Thursday 13 February 2014

Time: 6pm - 7.30pm

Venue: University of Melbourne, Lecture Theatre 109



Use your CPD fees for a good cause

EDO CPD 2014: Public Law Update

Date: 17 March
Venue: DLA Piper, 140 William Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

For lawyers, getting the required annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points can seem like a bit of a chore. That’s why EDO is now offering a unique event, where getting your CPD points can also help to make the world a better place.

EDO has arranged for some of Victoria's top practitioners and experts to brief you on the most recent developments in public law, with all fees going to support the work of the EDO.

At a time when the Federal government has stopped all funding for EDOs around Australia, by attending our CPD event, you'll be supporting our crucial work helping communities around Victoria defend the places they love.

EDO gratefully acknowledges the generous support of each of the presenters for sharing their expertise, and of DLA Piper for providing the venue.

Current program highlights:

Jason Pizer SC - Appeals of VCAT decisions to the Supreme Court during 2013.

Associate Professor Matthew Groves - New developments on the law of standing.


2013 past seminars and events:


Legal frameworks for the rights of nature

Tuesday 01 October 2013

The work of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is working with communities in the United States and in countries around the world on grassroots organising, public education and outreach, research, and legislative drafting - assisting people, NGOs, elected representatives, and government officials to craft and adopt new laws that change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities. 
Through this work, the Legal Defense Fund has assisted more than three dozen communities in the U.S., and assisted the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador, to put in place a new paradigm to protect nature - a paradigm based on rights.

Speakers: Thomas Linzey, Director CELDF & Mari Margil, Associate Director CELDF

More information and podcast here


Regulating groundwater use for environmental protection

Wednesday 03 July 2013

Image Stygofauna Antrobia culveriGroundwater has an important role in the environment, supporting surface water systems and its own ecosystems. It is also under pressure like never before, from over-extraction and contamination, as it is used for drinking or agricultural use, or interfered with by mines and coal seam gas extraction.

With the increased pressure on groundwater, now is timely to have a discussion about whether the laws in place are adequate to protect our precious groundwater resources.



  • Dr W.F. (Bill) Humphreys – Senior Curator, Western Australian Museum, Collections and Research
  • Ian Potts – Member, Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal
  • Rebecca Nelson – Program Leader, Comparative Groundwater Law and Policy Program, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

More information, presentations and podcast here.


A National Environment Commission

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Image National Environment Commission 2013With public confidence in environmental decision-making low and continuing pressure from business to cut so-called ‘green tape’ there is a clear need for stronger Federal leadership and oversight of environmental decision-making in Australia.  Would Australia benefit from an independent voice for the environment and future generations?

Attendees heard from the New Zealand and Hungarian Commissioners of the Environment and Future Generations via Skype, about their roles and how effective they have been in advancing better environmental outcomes and holding their governments to account.


• Dr Jan Wright - Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, New Zealand
• Dr Marcel Szabó – Deputy-Commissioner for Fundamental Rights responsible for the protection of the interests of future generations, Hungary
• Professor Lee Godden – Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, University of Melbourne


What’s up with Offsets?

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Image Offsets Seminar 2013

In Victoria offsets have been widely used in the context of the regulation of native vegetation clearing. They are intended only to compensate for unavoidable ecological damage and loss. The logic of compensating for ecological damage faces the fundamental problem of equivalence between what is destroyed and the ‘gains’ represented by the offset.
Recent proposals to change native vegetation clearing rules in Victoria foreshadow a major weakening of these laws and much expanded use of offsets.

This seminar provided a critical look at offsets for biodiversity loss and whether problems in the system can adequately be dealt with, whether offset rules need to be overhauled, or whether the idea of offsets needs fundamentally to be reviewed.


  • Dr Sarah Bekessy -Senior lecturer in environmental studies at RMIT University.
  • Brendan Sydes - CEO Environment Defenders Office.


Special Event - This is not a Hoax!

Civil disobedience in a time of climate change.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Presented by the Environment Defenders Office as part of the Sustainable Living Festival.

Jonathan Moylan and reports of the recent Whitehaven Hoax raise difficult and important questions for us all - about law, politics and morality in the 21st century, a time where climate change poses new challenges for our laws and our leaders.

The Environment Defenders Office convened a panel of experts to explore these issues.

  • Jonathan Moylan
  • Associate Professor Peter Christoff - University of Melbourne
  • Roderick Campbell - Economist - Economists at Large
  • Kirsty Albion - Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Please note: this is just the introductory talks and not the question time that followed. The quality of the recording during Jonathan's talk is patchy - apologies for this.


Previous Years:

EDO Seminars and Events 2012

EDO Seminar Series 2011

EDO Seminar Series 2010

EDO Seminar Series 2009

EDO Seminar Series 2008

EDO Seminar Series 2007

Conference 2006