Cumulus Consulting

Professor Lee Godden

I am a leading environmental and natural resource lawyer and researcher. 

I have over thirty years of experience advising governments, international organisations and companies in these areas, including heading major government reviews.

Qualifications: BA (Hons), Grad. Dip. Ed., BLS,  MA, PhD

Specialisations: environmental law, regulation and development, major strategic and government reviews, climate change, sustainability and renewable energy, international policy leadership and development. 

Key experience:

  • Successfully led a series of major research projects in agreement- making and negotiation in mining, energy and natural resources law to timely completion over three to five year time frames; involving large-scale industry and government partnerships.
  • Undertaken in-depth analysis of water law reforms and market mechanisms in Australia, USA, and South Africa and co-convened an Australia-wide water governance research network for three years.
  • Undertaken comprehensive analysis of climate adaptation, natural hazards (disasters) and land use planning laws, producing a series of technical reports and plain language ‘co-produced’ reports with relevant government departments resulting in an evidenced-based guide for future resilient and adapted development and infrastructure.
  • Led a major commonwealth government law reform review of the Native Title Act 1993, producing 3 major papers with the final report (Connection to Country: Review of the Native Title Act 1993, Report No 126 (2015)) tabled in federal parliament.
  • Initiated, planned and facilitated a range of 1-2 day workshops bringing together senior stakeholders in the government, community and industry in the resources and environmental spheres to develop policy briefings and group submissions.
  • Planned and implemented field research; conducted extensive interviews and surveys across Australia and internationally.
  • Undertaken a comparative analysis of hazardous waste regulatory regimes in all Australian jurisdictions, internationally and in EU, the Netherlands and UK to develop strategic options for improvements to local regulation.
  • International Advisory Board membership in water and energy law and International research reviewer and assessor.
  • Research centre director at Melbourne Law School since 2008 and taught and developed undergraduate and postgraduate level subjects and programs since 2002; Director Office for Environmental Programs (multidisciplinary, 8 faculty program).

Web: LinkedIn



Dr Angus Frith

I've had nearly thirty years of experience as a legal practitioner and academic, working largely in the field of Indigenous land rights and native title.  I have worked with Aboriginal communities across Australia regarding the recognition, enforcement and governance of their land rights.  

I've worked on litigation, governance, establishing and modifying entity structures, natural resource management and agreement making, as well as advising on native title and natural resources law, tax and governance.

Qualifications: LLB, BSc, MEnvSc, PhD


  • native title, land management and regulation 
  • setting up organisations and governance 
  • corporate and community training
  • facilitating community consultation and decision-making processes
  • agreement-making

Key experience

  • Appeared for native title applicants seeking the recognition of native title rights and interests.
  • Drafted whole of country Indigenous land use agreements, establishing on-going relationships between native title holders and government.
  • Evaluated the operations of two native title corporations, including conducting multiple interviews with key Aboriginal and government stakeholders.
  • Made many submissions on law reform, particularly in the native title field, including supporting the National Indigenous Working Group in its opposition to the Howard Government’s Ten Point Plan in response to the Wik decision.
  • Represented many native title applicants in litigation in the Federal Court, and in negotiation and mediation.
  • Attended many native title claim group meetings, often involving scores of people, to provide advice and seek instructions.
  • Developed and taught training programs for native title corporations and native title representative bodies covering the establishment of entities, governance, and the performance of native title obligations.
  • Developed and taught ‘Managing Public and Native Title Lands’ and ‘Native Law and Practice’ subjects at both JD and Masters level at the Melbourne Law School.
  • Held board positions on non-government organisations, including ANTaR, ANTaR Victoria, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Fitzroy Legal Service.

Web: LinkedIn



Dr Elizabeth Macpherson

I have fifteen years of experience advising governments, private sector and communities on natural resources, environment and indigenous policy and regulation in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. I am a current expert member of the United Nations' Harmony With Nature Knowledge Network, and a former Assistant Director at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

I have a PhD on indigenous rights and water law from the University of Melbourne and am a Law Lecturer at the University of Canterbury. I am fluent in English,  Maori and Spanish.

Qualifications: BCA, LLB (Hons), PhD


  • natural resources regulation and development
  • indigenous land and resource rights
  • governance and policy development
  • implementation of international best practice water policy and regulation (with a focus on South America)

Key experience

  • Undertaken an in-depth analysis and empirical investigation of legal and policy frameworks determining the allocation and management of water across four jurisdictions (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Colombia).
  • Conducted many cases before the courts on indigenous and natural resource matters, including appearing in New Zealand’s Waitangi Tribunal and Maori Land Court and as instructing solicitor before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia.
  • Managed major law reform projects, including heritage, indigenous heritage, governance, planning, land and natural resources legislation and drafted and reviewed numerous policy documents concerning indigenous peoples and natural resources.
  • Provided strategic advice to government on cultural water regimes drawing on comparative New Zealand and Latin American studies.
  • Acted as legal advisor and government relations advisor to St Kilda Mums, a major not for profit providing material aid to mothers throughout Victoria.
  • Held board positions on non-government organisations, including The Canterbury Law Review, of which I am also co-editor.
  • Taught indigenous rights, human rights, environmental law, natural resources law and land law and the University of Canterbury.
  • Strong theoretical and practical understandings of the institutional and corporate structures used by Aboriginal people in Victoria to facilitate their participation in land and resource management, together with economic development.
  • An excellent understanding of the legal frameworks governing resource use and management by Aboriginal people in Victoria, including the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic), as well as Victorian land and resource management legislation.
  • An excellent understanding of laws regulating the use of water in Australia and elsewhere, including state-based and commonwealth water legislation, and comparative water law frameworks (especially New Zealand, Chile and Colombia).
  • Substantial experience of and expertise in cross-cultural research methodologies, which involve collaboration and participation with indigenous people.

Web: LinkedIn



Dr Lily O'Neill

I am an environmental and natural resource researcher and policy analyst with over fifteen years of experience in negotiations and agreement making between Aboriginal traditional owners, private companies and the state. 

I am also a former practising lawyer at a major Australian law firm, and have a PhD in agreement making over natural resource extraction from the University of Melbourne.

Qualifications: BA/LLB (Hons), PhD


  • natural resources regulation and development
  • negotiation, agreement-making and dispute resolution
  • indigenous land and resource rights; 'social licence to operate'
  • strategic reviews, planning and risk management 

Key experience: 

  • Undertaken in-depth analysis of major mining and resource extraction land access negotiations and agreements in order to evaluate these agreements against objective benchmarks (for example legislation and market compensation).
  • Evaluated the community consultation process for the James Price Point/Browse LNG project, including conducting multiple interviews with key stakeholders, resulting in an evidenced-based guide for future developments.
  • Led strategic planning for the Collingwood Children’s Farm, a major Melbourne not-for-profit, resulting in increased services to children, and other key visitor groups.
  • Undertaken organisational strength assessments of community representative organisations.
  • Undertook a comparative analysis of hazardous waste regimes domestically and internationally in order to improve the transportation, re-use and disposal of these wastes locally.
  • Conducted litigation on behalf of hundreds of personal injury and class action clients, including appearing in the Magistrates, County and Supreme Courts, and conducting numerous negotiations and mediations.  
  • Taught at Melbourne Law School at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Web: LinkedIn