Along with a background in environmental law and policy (domestic and international) and disaster management, Felicity has both depth and breadth of experience across the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government. Her career commenced as a judge’s associate in the South Australian Supreme Court, during which time she worked overseas for war crimes evidence-gathering. In the Commonwealth government, her work spanned the fields of environment, health and gender/human rights. In the Australian Parliament, she worked first as a liaison officer for two Parliamentary Secretaries for the Environment, then as a senior researcher for the Senate environment committee. Committed to democracy, Felicity also worked in the New Zealand Parliament as a clerk of committee for government administration/foreign affairs.

Today, Felicity is a social-ecological legal researcher focused on environmental protection, community-led governance and nature restoration. She favours taking a holistic interdisciplinary approach to research, drawing on her legal, social science and linguistics backgrounds to understand the many perspectives that help inform analogous thinking. One particular interest involves community-driven, nature-embracing approaches to long-term recovery post-disaster; another focuses on community-driven nature restoration. This includes current research into the applicability of environmental restorative justice to the United Nations Decade on Ecosystems Restoration and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander approaches to Healing Country. Felicity is also bringing together all her interests in pursuit of deep research into complexity and the environment.

Felicity has a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) (environmental law prize) from the University of Adelaide; an environmental LLM (high distinction) from the Australian National University; and a resilience and sustainability Masters in Disaster Prevention and Recovery (high distinction) from the University of Newcastle. Felicity is a graduate of the Foundation for Young Australians, a forum for ‘emerging leaders in their fields, to consider the complex issues facing Australia’. She has been an Associate Fellow with the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), McGill University and has certifications in environmental law/disaster management from the Université de Montréal (Chaire Jean Monnet), UNITAR (New York), GFDRR and the World Bank.

Research interests:

  • Environmental, nature and animal law, policy and governance
  • Complexity and the environment
  • Civic engagement and nature: civic ecology, citizen-led environmental restoration, environmental restorative justice and restorative cities
  • Long-term recovery & resilience strategies, including for ‘long emergencies’ like climate change; especially focused on civic engagement and nature, such as gardens as places of healing & hope; and home arts as a form of resilience
  • Epistemic boundary spanning: Knowledge brokering, what brings together theory and practice across a broad range of disciplines