AEFA is made up of a group of multi-disciplinary young professionals based in Melbourne.  All AEFA members share a passion for improving environmental conservation and concern for today's current efforts. 

The Team
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Clara Simpson

Filmmaker • Educator

Clara is a passionate environmentalist who believes education and connection to nature is the key to making positive change.  Drawing on her background in Ecology, Filmmaking, and Education, she founded AEFA as a way to make a positive difference. Previously Clara has developed environmental programs for secondary students and produced a range of film content including documentaries, narratives, and educational videos. Clara’s studies (Bachelor of Science at the ANU, GradDip of Film and Television at the VCA and GradDip of Secondary Teaching) and professional experience have allowed her to develop a unique range of skills in both Environmental education and video production. Clara's passion for the environment is maintained through frequent weekend hikes and overseas bird and animal watching trips.

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Blake Curtis

Filmmaker • Lecturer

Blake is a professional film maker with over 10 years experience in the industry. In that time he has worked for numerous corporations and production companies, lending his knowledge and expertise to help convey the best way to deliver acute video messaging. Holding both a Masters of Film & Television from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Bachelor Degree in Media Studies (with Honours) from La Trobe University, Blake believes that his film training can be best utilised to help educate and inform an audience about the growing need for environmental change.

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Alex Gellespie

Film Producer

Alex is a professional film producer with over 10 year experience working in the commercial film industry in Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland. Inspired by her love of the outdoors and the ocean Alex is also a keen environmentalist. In early 2019 Alex volunteered as the festival producer for festival21, a massive grass-roots celebration of food, culture and a sustainable future which took place at the Melbourne Meat Market in early 2019.

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Tim McNamara

Lecturer • Osteopath

Tim has been studying, working and educating in the field of health sciences for over a decade. He is currently a practicing Osteopath in the Melbourne CBD and a lecturer across a myriad of health related subjects at multiple Victorian tertiary institutions. Tim has an ever-growing passion for aiding others to make positive, practical choices in their life that are environmentally beneficial. He believes that education through film can have a dramatic impact in reaching the wider community, creating long lasting change that benefits both human and environmental health.

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Esther Reis

Project Manager

Originating from Canberra, the bush capital, Esther has always had a strong interest in conservation. This has been further developed in recent years while exploring the diverse flora and fauna of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Having graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Project Management (with Honours), she proceeded to pursue interests in sustainability within the construction industry and currently provides consulting services on a number of high profile projects within Melbourne.​ Esther has a wealth of program management experience and a deep understanding of complex stakeholder engagement, both of which are integral to her ability to deliver on the educational initiatives that AEFA strive to achieve.

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David Burke

Human Rights Lawyer

David is a Melbourne based lawyer working primarily to protect the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. For over five years, David has worked to promote the rights of people seeking asylum and refugees in a variety of contexts including migration casework, judicial review cases, program building and academic publication. David believes that protecting the environment is an essential step for the enjoyment of many human rights, such as the right to health, life and food and water. David aims to increase the awareness of the impact of climate change on human rights, particularly the growing number of people displaced around the world. With a background in litigation and pro bono program building, David's focus is on stakeholder relationships and organisational planning.

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Andrew Tangas

Social Policy

Andrew is passionate about creating partnerships for social and environmental good. He has a wealth of experience in developing strategic and funding relationships between not-for-profit organisations and stakeholders in the public, private and philanthropic sectors. Andrew has worked in government relations and corporate partnerships roles in a number of nonprofits in Australia and the United States, and is currently the Government Relations and Advocacy Officer at Orygen, Australia's leading youth mental health research organisation. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Sociology) at La Trobe University, and recently completed a Master of Social Policy at the University of Melbourne, including a thesis on the perceptions of universal basic income in the Australian media. 

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Emma Healy

Educator

Emma has been a primary school teacher for the past 5 years. She realises that this generation of children will be the most important yet in the environmental challenges we face. Throughout her time as a teacher, Emma has been dedicated to educating the next generation on the environmental mistakes of the past as well as ingraining positive environmental habits for the future. She has implemented multiple waste management strategies in her classroom and school and through programs such as Behind the News she has seen the positive impact that film can have on people. Emma believes that at AEFA, she can use her knowledge of education to contribute to this influence by reaching the wider community through film.

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Ashleigh Stewart

Public Health • Epidemiology

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Hannah Morrice

Public Health • Environmental Law

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Hayden Smith

Photographer • Drone Pilot 

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Darcy Denton

Solar Engineer

Ash works in public health epidemiology at the Burnet Institute. She is completing her PhD at Monash University on mental health service access among criminal justice-involved populations. Ash is passionate about reducing health and social inequalities experienced by the most vulnerable members of our community. Her dedication to this developed throughout completing her Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne and during her role as a registered nurse. Ash believes that a sustainable environment is essential to reducing health and social inequalities, she hopes her work with AEFA can communicate the benefits of climate action and drive transformative change towards a sustainable environment for all. 

Hannah is a Research Fellow at the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, University of Melbourne and is currently undertaking a Masters of Environmental Law. Hannah developed a keen interest in the environment at a young age through numerous family hiking trips. While completing her undergraduate degree in geography and international policy, Hannah volunteered with the AYCC, further developing her passion for climate change. Hannah currently volunteers as Programming Manager of festival21, a bi-annual event run at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre which aims to create a positive conversation about how food can help solve our biggest global challenges; climate change, non-communicable diseases and social cohesion. ​

With professional training in both cinematography and photography, Hayden's main goal is to showcase a different perspective of normally impossible to reach landscapes. His work ranged from feature films and documentaries to sustainability-based projects. Hayden's recent work has seen him exploring the remote Victorian wilderness and creating unique and stunning content for Parks Victoria.

Darcy’s strong passion for the environment and sustainability was fostered at an early age and has been at the core of his decision making with every aspect of his career path. He has previously worked an environmental engineer focusing on conservation biology and environmental protection and currently works as a renewable energy engineer, where the pursuit of a sustainable economy no longer at odds with the natural environment is a leading driver in his work. An avid bushwalker, surfer and all-round lover of nature, Darcy seeks to use his career experience to help better the common cause shared by the diverse team at AEFA where he can.