Executive Director and Founder
Isabelle is a prominent leader successfully driving system change on the critical issues of our time, helping build a fairer, safer and more inclusive Australia.
In 2017, Isabelle founded Grata Fund, a leading not-profit based at the University of NSW that acts as a campaigner, litigation incubator and funder for people and communities challenging systemic gridlocks across three key areas: human rights, climate injustice and democratic freedoms.
As Executive Director of Grata, she leads the strategy and collaboration with some of the nation’s top legal minds, civil society organisations and community advocates to support and design cases to advance and protect rights and freedoms. Grata has incubated numerous landmark cases that have set significant precedents and shifted the dial on important subjects, from challenging climate change injustice, to exposing abuse in offshore refugee detention centres, and establishing new rights to humane housing in remote First Nations communities. She has helped facilitate almost $2M in philanthropic case funding from passionate supporters.
Prior, Isabelle had more than 10 years’ experience as a director and lawyer at organisations including Getup, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre, and as a solicitor at Clayton Utz, where she acted for First Nations clients seeking stolen wages reparations in remote East Kimberley.
As Australian communities evolve, Isabelle helps government, law makers and decision makers understand key societal shifts in values and expectations and speed up change to avoid the civil unrest and inequalities that impact other countries. She is known globally for influencing the way the law, civil society and social movements work together to create a fairer world.
Isabelle was named the 2022 Emerging NFP Leader in Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, is a Churchill Fellow, and the 2021 Women's Leadership Institute of Australia Fellow, awarded to women "who are leaders in their respective fields, women who have innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change".
A mum of one, she is also part of the big conversations about providing more support for working mothers and female leaders.
General Counsel, Parental leave
Maria Nawaz is a human rights lawyer with expertise in human rights, discrimination law and women’s rights.
Maria is an experienced public interest advocate, having advocated for stronger human rights protections with individual clients and the community at the NSW, Commonwealth and international levels.
Maria was previously a Lecturer at UNSW Law, where she co-taught the UNSW Human Rights Clinic. She was the Law Reform and Policy Solicitor at Kingsford Legal Centre, where she led the centre’s law reform work on human rights, discrimination law, women’s rights, employment rights, as well as UN advocacy. She has also worked at Legal Aid NSW and the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.
Maria was the Deputy Chair of the Law Society of NSW’s Human Rights Committee, an Executive Councillor of NSW Young Lawyers, and Chair of the NSW Young Lawyers Human Rights Committee.
Chadwick is an experienced human rights lawyer and policy adviser, and has worked in the government, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Most recently, Chadwick worked at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as a Senior Solicitor, Strategic Litigation, where he led their projects on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), disability discrimination and technology and human rights. He also led PIAC’s Children in Care project, assisting young adults formerly in foster care and who were victims of crime to achieve social justice outcomes.
Prior to this, he was a commercial litigator, working in areas including business and human rights and anti-bribery and corruption. He also has particular expertise in refugee and migration law, having run litigation on behalf of asylum seekers in the Federal Court and High Court. Chadwick was also Associate to The Hon Justice Mortimer of the Federal Court in 2017.
Chadwick has also been a policy adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, providing policy advice on a broad range of matters, including on the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and asylum seeker policies.
Chadwick has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Laws specialising in International Law (with Distinction) from the Australian National University. He has also undertaken human rights courses from the University of Oslo, Norway.
Strategic Litigation Solicitor
Courtney is a human rights lawyer with experience in housing and tenancy rights, claims against police, consumer rights, social security law, discrimination law and advocating for support for victims of crime.
Head of Philanthropy
Hannah is a former lawyer with over a decade of experience working in philanthropy. She has experience in leading teams, operations, and securing and stewarding multi-million dollar partnerships for for-purpose organisations in both Australia and the UK. In 2020, Hannah completed McKinsey & Co’s Executive Leadership Program thanks to a scholarship from ACOSS.
Hannah is a member of the Advisory Board of The EastWeb Fund, a grant-making sub-fund of Australian Communities Foundation. Hannah has previously volunteered with Reprieve, supporting indigent defendants on death row in the USA. While working as a solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons, Hannah also volunteered with the National Children's and Youth Law Centre and the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic (now Justice Connect). Hannah is a passionate writer with her non fiction being published in a range of publications including Delicious, Australian Traveller and Gippsland Country Life magazine and her fiction being longlisted for The Richell Prize in 2020. Hannah lives with her partner and daughter in Melbourne’s inner north.
Assistant Campaigner/Executive Assistant
Elena has recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University, where she specialised in environmental law & policy.
Before joining Grata Fund, Elena worked at Marrickville Legal Centre as a client intake officer and has interned at the Community Empowerment Fund where she worked with local residents in North Carolina to reduce the racial wealth gap.
Prior to her work at community legal centres, Elena was an intern to the executive vice president of Duke University to design and implement policies to help the community achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. She also assisted local government and school districts in Florida to reduce municipal carbon footprints and ensure all communities had a voice in drafting policies.
Elena has recently collaborated with the Humanities Action Lab to create a museum exhibit that explores racial injustice through the lens of African-American gardeners in North Carolina. The exhibit, titled Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice, is currently traveling the globe.
Head of Strategic Communication
Belinda is a human rights specialist with over 10 years experience building and winning human rights campaigns. She has worked across a variety of human rights issues including Indigenous justice, LGBTQI rights, death penalty, people seeking asylum, freedom of association and assembly and workers rights.
Before joining the Grata Fund, Belinda worked at Amnesty International Australia as an Indigenous Rights Campaigner, Media Adviser and activism and mobilisation specialist. During this time she led a campaign to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in Australian prisons with a particular focus on alternatives to prison, conditions of detention raising the age of criminal responsibility. This work included human rights investigations that exposed abuses against children in the Western Australia Banksia Hill prison which garnered national attention and led to changes in prison and departmental practices.
Belinda has also worked on the campaign to prevent the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia, the 2017 marriage equality postal vote and the campaign to prevent the lashing of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.
Belinda initiated Amnesty International Australia’s Human Rights Observer program, built an online rapid response network, led the development of the global nonviolent direct action guide and pioneered direct networking between human rights activists in the Asia Pacific.
Prior to her work at Amnesty, Belinda worked in the union movement for the Community and Public Sector Union and a range of other human rights, environmental and public health campaigns.
Belinda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. She is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Political Economy.
Ruby Mitchell is a filmmaker, graphic designer and communications professional.
Ruby grew up in Moruya, on Brinja-Yuin and Walbunja Country on the far south coast of NSW and first picked up a camera at the age of 8 to secretly film her Mother’s tupperware party. Since then Ruby has always been fascinated by people and helping them tell their stories. She has now grown her services and specialises in documentary filmmaking, digital content creation and communications strategy. After completing a Bachelor of Communications at UTS and Cert IV in Graphic Design, Ruby went onto work as a Journalist at the ABC creating content for radio, television and print.
In 2020, Ruby established a small business dedicated to providing affordable and ethical videography, training and media services to community organisations and NGOs. She has also worked as a Communications Manager for a First Nations non-for-profit and has ample experience working alongside young people and vulnerable communities. Her most recent project include a feature-length documentary following young people in a bushfire recovery program in regional NSW.