Tony Rossi Speech - Opening of the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference

Rebecca Abbott
Cheryl Axleby 



Rebecca Abbott, Director of Abbott Witness Services, is a qualified and experienced social work practitioner who specialises in preparing and supporting people to give evidence in court. She engages collaboratively with solicitors, counsel and court staff to familiarise and support people to present their evidence in a calm and confident manner which ultimately assists the court.

Rebecca has a Bachelor of Social Work Degree (1993) a Graduate Certificate in Loss, Grief and Trauma Counselling (2003) and a Masters of Social Work (2011).   She is also a lecturer and tutor in Social Work at UniSA and Flinders University.



Cheryl is a proud Narungga woman with family ties across South Australia and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Incorporated.

In a career spanning 35 years, mostly in the not for profit sector; and 10 years working within SA Government, Cheryl has been working towards achieving Social Justice and equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in SA.  During her with career with SA Government, Cheryl was a strong advocate for Cultural Inclusion within Government services delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

       FULL BIO >
The Hon Judge Michael Baumann AM
Kylie Beckhouse  



Judge Baumann commenced his appointment as a Federal Magistrate on 19 June 2000 and became a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia on 13 April 2013. 

Michael Baumann was admitted to practise as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1979. From 1995 to his appointment, Mr Baumann had been Chair of Legal Aid Queensland. He served as President of the Queensland Law Society from 1993 to 1994.



Kylie is the Director of Family Law at Legal Aid NSW and in this role oversees the largest family law practice in Australia. She is also responsible for family dispute resolution services.

Kylie has specialised in family lawyer for over 23 years and is both an accredited specialist in family law and an independent children's lawyer. 

She is a member of the NSW Children's Court Advisory Committee, Family Courts Children’s Committee, Family Courts Self Represented Litigant’s Committee, Law Society of NSW's Family Law Issues Committee, and National Legal Aid’s Family Law working group.


       FULL BIO >

Dr John Boersig        Chris Boundy


Dr John Boersig was appointed as CEO of Legal Aid ACT  in 2013. He previously worked as an Assistant Secretary in the Attorney-General’s Department, making a significant contribution in the area of Indigenous law and justice and service delivery and human rights.

 His key achievements include leading the transition to contracted Indigenous legal aid services, which resulted in a smaller number of better equipped organisations providing legal assistance services, and overseeing the expansion of the Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Program, which improved access to legal and other services throughout rural and regional Australia for women and children who are victims of family violence.


Chris is a legal practitioner and was admitted in South Australia in1980. He worked initially as a barrister and solicitor in private law firms with broad general practice interests.  Later, he developed a keen interest in medical professional indemnity matters, and for some years led a team of doctors and lawyers advising SA Health in relation to claims ands risk management in public hospitals.

He is currently the Manager of Access Services at South Australia’s Legal Services Commission, supervising and directing the work of more than thirty practitioners in its legal advisory division.


       FULL BIO >

Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine
      The Hon Catherine Branson QC


Tessa has worked in health, justice and human rights organisations in Australia and internationally. She was previously Deputy CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service and was the inaugural Fulbright Professional Scholar in Nonprofit Leadership.

Her PhD in Law and Sociology from the London School of Economics was published as a book, ‘Protecting the Public? Detention and Release of Mentally Disordered Offenders’ by Routledge in 2010. She is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course; is on the Board of Gondwana Choirs, the leader in Australian choral performance; is a member of the Executive of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance; and plays ultimate frisbee.




Catherine Branson is a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the immediate past President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is also a former President of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA).

Earlier in her career she held the positions of Crown Solicitor of South Australia and CEO of the Attorney-General’s Department (SA) before leaving public employment to practice as a barrister at the Adelaide Bar.  She was appointed a Queens’ Counsel in 1992.


       FULL BIO >

Clare Byrt     The Hon Justice Natalie Charlesworth


Clare Byrt is the Principal Registrar of SACAT, managing the business of the Tribunal and its staff. 

Clare Byrt joined SACAT following her role as the South Australian District Registrar of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Clare was also Chair of the Administrative Law Committee of the Law Society of South Australia. 



Justice Natalie Charlesworth graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) in 1991, the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in 2001 and the Australian National University with a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in 2002.

 After a decade of working in journalism, Charlesworth J commenced her legal career in 2002 as an Associate to the Hon Justice John Mansfield AM of the Federal Court.

       FULL BIO >
   John Corker     
  Suzan Cox QC  


John Corker has been the Director of the Australian Pro Bono Centre since January 2004. 

Previously John was a senior associate with national law firm Clayton Utz, General Counsel for the Australian Broadcasting Authority, Corporate Counsel for Imparja Television in Alice Springs, solicitor at the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and a barrister at the Victorian bar. 




Suzan graduated from UNSW with BA, LLB, 1978; LLM (Criminal Law) NYU 1985. 1980-90 Solicitor, Office of the Public Solicitor, Port Moresby, Senior Criminal Solicitor, Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, Senior Criminal Solicitor, North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (now North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency), and practised at the Melbourne Bar.

From 1990 until 2002 employed by the NT Legal Aid Commission as the Family Law Manager, Criminal Law Manager and Deputy Director. In 2002 was appointed Director of the NT Legal Aid Commission and in 2004 was appointed Queens Counsel.

The Hon Justice Jeremy Curthoys
      Meredith Dickson 


Jeremy Curthoys was appointed to the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 10 February 2014, after serving two and a half years as a Judge of the District Court.

Justice Curthoys graduated with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence (Honours) (1978) and a Bachelor of Laws (1979) from the University of Western Australia.  He also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Laws from Murdoch University.




  Meredith Dickson is currently the Vice President of the South Australian Bar Association and a member of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of South Australia.

Meredith is a founding member of Elizabeth Evatt Chambers, and has practised as a barrister for over 15 years. She specialises in Family Law and has over 25 years experience within the legal profession.

       FULL BIO >

The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
      James Farrell 


The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Isaacs in November 2007 and re-elected in 2010, 2013 and 2016. 

Mark held various portfolios in the former Labor Government, and was appointed Attorney-General in 2013. Following the 2013 Federal Election he was appointed Shadow Attorney-General.



James Farrell is the Director of Community Legal Centres Queensland, where he provides leadership and support to Queensland’s community legal centres. 

James has worked as a manager/principal lawyer, volunteer and/or board member at many community legal centres, and is currently a director of the National Association of Community Legal Centres, a director of Relationships Australia Queensland, and chairperson of the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum.

      FULL BIO >

Tim Graham
 Kristen Hilton


Tim is the Executive Director of JusticeNet SA, the primary clearinghouse for coordinated pro bono legal services in South Australia.

Before commencing this role in 2009, Tim worked in private legal practice in South Australia and Tasmania, primarily in the areas of civil and commercial litigation and administrative law.

Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Flinders University in 1995 and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Tasmania in 2002. Tim was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 2003.  



Kristen Hilton believes that every person, regardless of their gender, sexuality, age, ability, race or religion should have equal opportunity to live a meaningful life underscored by respect and value.

Kristen grew up as one of five girls in country Victoria and moved to Melbourne to complete a Law/Arts degree at Melbourne University. Kristen worked in corporate law as an industrial relations lawyer before pursuing a career in social justice and human rights. Kristen was the CEO of the Public Interest Law Clearing House (now Justice Connect) before joining the executive team at Victoria Legal Aid. 

       FULL BIO >

Greg Howe     The Hon Justice Duncan Kerr, Chev LH


Greg is, with John Corker, the Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee for the 6th National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference in Adelaide.

Greg was elected in November 2008 as the South Australian Representative to the National Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and remains a member of the Executive. He has also been a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Access to Justice Committee since 2010.





The Hon Justice Kerr became a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in May 2012.

Before his appointment he practised as a barrister and specialised in public law, constitutional and administrative law, refugee and human rights law and appellate work. Justice Kerr was appointed Senior Counsel in 2004. He was also Adjunct Professor of Law, Queensland University of Technology and President of Greening Australia Ltd.




       FULL BIO >

Sheldon Krantz 
      Daniel Madhavan


Professor Krantz currently serves on a pro bono basis as the Executive Director of the DC Affordable Law Firm, a tax-exempt nonprofit created by the Georgetown University Law Center, DLA Piper and Arent Fox to provide low fee legal services to modest income Washington, DC residents who do not qualify for free legal aid but cannot afford the rates that lawyers normally charge.

He also serves as the Co-Director of the Justice Lab and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown. The Justice Lab was established to conduct research, provide technical assistance, and develop new approaches relating to the access to justice crisis in the United States.



Daniel Madhavan is Chief Executive Officer of Impact Investing Australia, a position he has held since October 2014. He is also Executive Chairman of the Impact Investment Readiness Fund and Advisory Board Chairman of the Impact Entrepreneurship Program, Compass. 

He also holds non-Executive Director roles with Impact Capital Australia, Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation and Y Generation Against Poverty (YGAP). Prior to joining Impact Investing Australia, Daniel spent 12 years in various roles at JB Were, including Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO. 

       FULL BIO >

Alastair McEwin 
      Jay McGrath


Alastair McEwin is Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner. He commenced in this role in August 2016.

 Alastair’s educational background is in arts, law and business administration. Following his undergraduate studies in Adelaide, he spent time in Vancouver, Canada, pursuing postgraduate studies. Prior to moving to Sydney to commence as a consultant with Accenture, a global management and IT consulting company, he worked as Associate to the Hon. Justice John von Doussa at the Federal Court.



Jay McGrath studied Law at the University of Adelaide commencing her career as a criminal defence lawyer in Adelaide as well as spending time in Los Angeles at the District Attorney's Office. On returning to Adelaide she established her career as a prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions prior to being appointed a Magistrate in 2011. 

In this position she has taken a special interest in the area of domestic violence and the operation of the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 which commenced in December 2011.


       FULL BIO >

Fiona McLeod SC 
      Katie Miller


Fiona McLeod SC is the President of the Law Council of Australia and practises at the Victorian Bar, appearing in trials and appeals in public law, human rights, commercial, constitutional and common law matters. She has practised at the Victorian Bar since 1991 and was appointed senior counsel in 2003.  

Ms McLeod is the Past President of the Australian Bar Association and was the Chair of the Victorian Bar in 2013. She has been a Director of the Law Council since 2010 and was elected to the Executive in November 2012. 



Katie joined Victoria Legal Aid in August 2016 with more than a decade of experience in supporting the public sector. At the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office and the Australian Government Solicitor, Katie assisted clients in administrative law, public sector governance and integrity.

Katie is also a Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist in Administrative Law and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In her roles as the Law Institute of Victoria Immediate Past President and Chair of the Accredited Specialisation Board, she developed invaluable insights into the legal assistance sector and the legal profession.



       FULL BIO >

The Hon Justice Greg Parker
      Matthew Keeley


From 1970 Greg worked in the Commonwealth public service, initially in the Department of Immigration and later Social Security. He was closely involved at Social Security in the early 1980’s with the departmental response to the Commonwealth administrative law reforms.

That kindled Greg’s interest in law. He studied law at Adelaide University while continuing to work in the public service. He was admitted to practice in 1990 and immediately joined the SA Crown Solicitor’s Office.



Matthew Keeley is Director of the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law. Matthew is a human rights lawyer, CEO and researcher of long standing with a background in advocacy in both international and domestic fora.  He has practised law in the UK, Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales and cyberspace. He is passionate about legal service design and using the access to justice evidence base and technology to enhance legal assistance, especially for the most disadvantaged. 

Matthew would like to read more but he is a father of two teenagers (with another couch surfing in his living room) so occupies his time away from the Centre mostly with dishes and laundry. 

       FULL BIO >

Sue Garlick
      Tony Rossi



Sue Garlick is Deputy Director of LawRight (formerly QPILCH).

LawRight coordinates the pro bono efforts of 40 Queensland law firms and over 150 barristers, and collaborates with Law Schools, professional bodies and community organisations to target civil legal services to vulnerable clients.

Sue has developed a range of access to justice innovations, including the Legal Health Check and LegalPod, a pro bono legal service for young people transitioning from state care.  



Tony Rossi is currently the President of the Law Society of South Australia and Principal of Rossi Legal. Tony graduated with an Honours Degree in Bachelor of Laws in May 1982 and has been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of South Australia and Federal and High Courts of Australia from December of that year. 

He is a senior member of the profession with extensive experience as both solicitor and counsel in most civil jurisdictions.


      FULL BIO >

   Myfanwy Wallwork       Lorraine Walker


Myfanwy Wallwork is the Executive sponsor in Australia for the Rule of Law at LexisNexis. She has created partnerships with the Australian Human Rights Commission and projects with the United Nations Development Program in Fiji, building on previous successes with both the Attorney-General’s Department and Judicial Department there.

Myfanwy also leads the Regulatory Compliance team at LexisNexis to deliver innovative solutions that empower customers to easily understand and take control of compliance obligations. Covering all jurisdictions and working with Australia’s leading legal and industry specialists, Regulatory Compliance helps manage regulatory risk by providing the most up-to-date, practical and actionable legal obligations register and alerts.



Lorraine Walker has been Chief Magistrate and Chief Coroner for the ACT since 2011.

Lorraine is a graduate of the University of Sydney. She has held positions as an RAAF Legal Officer, UK Crown Prosecutor, partner in a law firm and barrister. She currently also sits as Children’s Court Magistrate and Industrial Magistrate.

She has particular interests in the somewhat competing concepts of court efficiency and therapeutic justice.

Outside work, she runs a rural smallholding and has an aspirational interest in a self-sustaining lifestyle.

       FULL BIO >

   Bevan Warner       Daniel Webb


Bevan was appointed Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid on 4 August 2008. He has 20 years’ senior executive experience including in Corrections and in Aboriginal Affairs where he developed an appreciation of the diversity and underlying causes of the over representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice and child protection systems.

Bevan was formerly the General Manager of Legal Aid Western Australia.


  Daniel Webb is the Human Rights Law Centre’sDirector of Legal Advocacy. He leads much of the centre’s work defending the rights of people seeking asylum and people in all forms of detention. 

Daniel’s recent work includes High Court challenges to the Australian Government’s offshore detention regime (Plaintiff M68) and its secretive detention of 157 people at sea beneath the deck of an Australian customs ship (CPCF), as well as the #LetThemStay campaign run in partnership with GetUp! and the Australian Churches for Refugees Taskforce.

       FULL BIO >

   Mark Woods       Bruce Doyle


Mark is an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law and Family Law, and general litigator who has practised in regional Australia for over 30 years.

He is a past president of the Law Institute of Victoria, and among other responsibilities chairs its Access to Justice Committee which has oversight of the Institute’s Legal Assistance Scheme - a clearing house for referring pro bono cases to those lawyers willing to undertake them. He was founding chair of the LawAid Trust, which funds disbursements and the out of pocket costs of lawyers acting pro bono.



Bruce Doyle is well known in the Australian legal community as President of the Queensland Law Society (2011) and a Director of the Law Council of Australia (2010-11). He is also a former president of the Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland.

Bruce has been in legal practice since 1983 and has been accredited family law specialist since specialisation started in 1996. He has spent most of his career in private practice as a family lawyer, but he was also solicitor in charge of Family Law at the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission and Deputy President of the Queensland Children’s Services Tribunal.

Bruce practices in all aspects of family law resolving parenting and property issues. He has particular expertise in child support law. Bruce is also a mediator, arbitrator and collaborative lawyer.

       FULL BIO 

   Hugh de Kretser       Richard Brading


Hugh de Kretser is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre. For the past 13 years, Hugh has worked to protect and promote human rights in Australia through his position at the HRLC and previous roles as Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres (2007-2013) and Manager of the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre (2004 to 2007).

Hugh currently serves as a Director of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Melbourne Law School.



In 1994 Richard Brading founded the only community legal centre specialising in gambling law at Wesley Mission Sydney and he has helped people affected by problem gambling for over 20 years.  He has represented gamblers in a wide range of legal matters including public interest litigation, criminal prosecutions, bankruptcy, family law and civil law cases.  Richard is also a writer, researcher, trainer, advocate for law reform and is legal consultant to the BetSafe responsible gambling program.

As the former president of a disability organisation Richard has made an extensive contribution to the welfare of people with a hearing impairment.

       FULL BIO >

   Alice Cope       Sean Fewster


Alice joined the Global Compact Network Australia as Executive Manager in May 2013.

Prior to joining the GCNA, Alice was a Policy and Sustainability Advisor at the UN Global Compact in New York, where she focused on business and human rights and supply chain sustainability. Alice was Lead Author of the UNGC’s Exposure Draft of the Business Reference Guide to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Alice also managed government relations for the UNGC for the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum.

Alice has also consulted to the private sector on business and human rights and national and international corporate responsibility standards and frameworks. Before moving into corporate responsibility, Alice was a Senior Associate at law firm Allens, specialising in corporate advisory and M&A.


Sean Fewster is the chief court reporter for The Advertiser and Sunday Mail newspapers in Adelaide, South Australia. He has spent the majority of his 19-year career covering legal and justice issues - his interest in which was piqued, in childhood, by his father's work as an SA Police officer. He is the author of the bestselling book City of Evil: The Truth about Adelaide's Strange and Violent Underbelly, and hosts a weekly segment called "Around The Courts" on Adelaide's talkback radio station, FiveAA.

Sean features regularly on documentaries aired by Foxtel's Crime Investigation Australia network and has spoken at victimology, forensics, homicide, legal aid and courts public relations conferences around the country. He is also a member of the board of the Carly Ryan Foundation, which promotes internet safety for children and teens.

      FULL BIO >

   Raquel Dos Santos       Annette Bain


Raquel Dos Santos is a lawyer and the coordinator of the Self Representation Service at LawRight (formerly QPILCH), the leading organisation coordinating pro bono civil legal services in Queensland.  Raquel joined LawRight in early 2014 and has since managed its pro bono practices in the Federal Courts and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.  Before joining LawRight, Raquel was a pro bono coordinator at Allens, where she also practiced in the energy and resources and construction litigation groups.  Raquel’s experience includes professional engagements in the not-for-profit, corporate and public sectors, based in Australia, the U.S and Brazil.

Raquel completed a Juris Doctor at Bond University in 2010 and a Bachelor of Law in 1998 at UFSC, Brazil, where she started  her legal career as an officer of the Santa Catharina Supreme Court.  


Annette Bain is the inaugural Pro Bono Counsel - Asia at international law firm DLA Piper.  Based in Hong Kong, Annette is also responsible for the firm's pro bono practice in Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.  In this new role, Annette draws on her extensive knowledge of pro bono which includes pro bono collaboration and innovation with large law firms, the corporate sector, government, NGOs and the community in Australia and Asia.  Her past appointments have included NSW Legal Aid, NSW Premier's Council on Homelessness, Commonwealth Attorney-General's International Pro Bono Advisory Group, and Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program Advisory Committee.

In 2012 Annette co-founded the Asia Pro Bono Conference.  She continues to be at the forefront of developing pro bono infrastructure at an international level.

      FULL BIO >

   Kate Fazio      


Kate Fazio is the Manager of Digital Innovation Strategies at Justice Connect. Justice Connect provides legal services to people and community groups  with unmet legal needs through its specialist legal programs and by brokering pro bono referrals through its network of 10,000 pro bono lawyers.

With a background as a corporate lawyer, Kate has worked at Justice Connect for nearly 5 years. Kate spent four years managing Not-for-profit Law’s legal capacity building programs. With Not-for-profit Law, Kate developed the Information Hub (, an online self-help website including over 300 resources and interactive web applications  for charities and not-for-profits across Australia that receives 300,000 visits per year. The Information Hub has been twice shortlisted for the ANZIA awards.




Social Events

​The conference program will feature a welcome reception on Wednesday evening 22nd March plus an optional conference breakfast on Friday 24th March and a dinner on Thursday 23rd March . Details will be posted when at hand.

The opening drinks function on Wednesday 22 March (from 530-700 pm) will be hosted by one of the conference’s generous sponsors, the prominent firm Fisher Jeffries (a member of the Gadens National Practice), at their offices at 19 Gouger Street, Adelaide.  All delegates will receive a complimentary invitation to this function.

The conference dinner will be held (at a venue to be advised) on the evening of Thursday 23 March.  Tickets will be available for purchase at later date, as will tickets for the conference breakfast (at the Convention Centre) on the morning of Friday 24 March.