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Our staff

Meet our team

Anna, Victoria Civil lawyer (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I am a legal practitioner from Sydney and came on board with Your Story Disability Legal Support in February 2020. I am based in Melbourne at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and will be travelling around Victoria to help people engage with the Royal Commission.

Before this, I spent 3 years living in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, about 500km north of Alice Springs, where I worked as a lawyer with victims of domestic violence at the Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit. I am passionate about engaging with communities to improve outcomes for people experiencing hardship and adversity.

Before becoming a lawyer, I studied and worked on social impact documentaries in Sydney, which I see as another important tool for social change and challenging the status quo. I am looking forward to supporting people to share their stories with the Royal Commission, and for the Commission to lay down a pathway for change that will lead to a more inclusive society that is safe for all.

Bonina, Western Australia Civil lawyer (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I am passionate about social justice and disability rights, and am excited to join the Your Story team.

I am originally from Perth, but have spent the last 2 years studying a Master’s in Human Rights at the University of Oslo in Norway (UiO). My thesis considered the question of constitutional recognition of First Nations peoples from the perspectives of international law and multinational federalism.

While in Norway I worked part-time as a research assistant at UiO and had the opportunity to help with the editing and publication of a multi-authored book volume on Disability Social Rights (Edward Elgar).

Before moving to Norway, I worked as the Associate to the Hon. Justice Banks-Smith at the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Aside from work and study, I am passionate about mental health, mindfulness and yoga, and in 2018 I completed yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India.

Brittany, Outreach coordinator (with National Legal Aid)

I have worked at Legal Aid NSW since early 2018, I was motivated to seek a job at Legal Aid as a result of my upbringing in South-Western Sydney where there is a high proportion of socially and economically disadvantaged people.

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in December 2019. Working with people with disability is a cause very dear to my heart as my brother has duchenne muscular dystrophy. I am proud to be part of a service that strives to give help to people with disability in a conscious and trauma informed way.

Most of my spare time is spent cooking, eating or planning my next travel destination!

Daniel, Client Information Officer

I grew up on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast where I completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in communication. After spending some time travelling, I have settled in Brisbane where I am currently studying a Bachelor of Behavioural Science/Bachelor of Social Work.

Before joining Your Story, I worked on a project for the Department of Justice and Attorney General in Queensland which involved collaborating with the community legal sector in Queensland to consider the impacts of Queensland’s Human Rights Act on that sector.

It was through this project that I learnt about Your Story Disability Legal Support and a role within this service which aligns with my commitment to advocate for social justice and my motivation to work in a team that supports vulnerable members in our community.

I have been a member of the Your Story team since June 2021.

Danielle, Social worker (with National Legal Aid)

I have worked as a Social worker in 3 different NSW health services for over 15 years. My work has been in community and inpatient settings-medical, trauma, cardiac and mental health. But, my main specialty has largely been within Adult Mental Health services. One of my sub-specialties was teaching dialectical behavioral therapy skills to clients, who had borderline personality disorder.

Aside from my longstanding career as a social worker, I used to sing in a band and did my first triple pirouette at aged 21. But, those days are long gone, as most of my time is taken up with raising a young family and trying to escape to the country or seaside.

David, Tasmania Jurisdiction solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in July 2020. I have previously worked as a customer service officer at Centrelink, and as a duty solicitor at the Hobart Magistrates Court.

I come to this role from (an almost) 3 year stint as a mental health and disability solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania. This role involved representing people with mental illness, and cognitive disability in hearings about whether they would be permitted to make their own decisions. I was exposed to the systemic vulnerability and disadvantage experienced by people with psychosocial and cognitive disability, even when engaging with services set up for their benefit.

I pursued this position because I hope the Royal Commission can empower people with disability to control their own lives and inform the development of the law to better serve the interests of people with disability. The Royal Commission is the result of years of hard work and advocacy and could mark a turning point for disability rights in Australia. I am very proud to be part of that effort.

Dayle, Victoria Jurisdiction solicitor (with National Legal Aid)—Tue and Wed

I was admitted to practice in 2016 and I have spent the last three years with Victoria Legal Aid as a Legal Help Lawyer. Before starting my career as a lawyer,  I worked as a restorative justice practitioner for the Department of Justice in Queensland (where I grew up), and for Corrective Services in Western Australia. I also worked for Tasmania prison service as a policy officer before leaving the workforce for several years to have my two children and to complete my law degree. We are now very much settled in Melbourne.

Before I joined Victoria Legal Aid, I spent a year as a volunteer at Flemington Kensington Community Legal Service where I worked with the police accountability project. I also volunteered at the Disability Discrimination Legal Service over that time.

I am so happy to have joined Your Story Disability Legal Support. I feel privileged to be part of a team that is committed to providing better access to justice for people with disability, particularly during the uncertain period we are living in now, in 2020. I know I will learn a lot from my new colleagues, including my job-share partner, Michelle Bowler.

Eleanor, New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory Civil lawyer (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I grew up in Sydney and studied Law and Art Theory at the University of New South Wales and College of Fine Arts. 

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in March 2020. Before this, I worked at a community legal centre as a generalist lawyer. I loved going to our outreach services and developing relationships with the clients and communities in our catchment. Before this, I worked in policy and human rights - mainly in the areas of disability discrimination, racial discrimination, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights. I strongly believe that everyone has the right to access quality legal services and hope that my work can play a role in achieving this.    

Fiona, Manager stakeholder relations (with National Legal Aid)

I feel very privileged to work for Your Story Disability Legal Support (Your Story) and have been in the role since January 2020. I'm committed to finding ways to encourage people to access our service and resources and to continuously improve how we deliver our service.

I have extensive international (including a short stint in Afghanistan) and local experience in the fields of government policy, stakeholder engagement and complaint management, primarily carried out in the criminal justice sector. I also have expertise in police misconduct and corruption.

I have a hearing loss and wear two hearing aids. I would love to get more experience in Auslan.

Helay, Client Information Officer (National Legal Aid)

I grew up in Perth, where I worked at Legal Aid Western Australia for several years, before moving to the Sunshine State (Queensland) in early 2017. I commenced work in the Information and Advice services team at Legal Aid Queensland, and later joined the Your Story Disability Legal Support Team in October 2020.

I’m a Law graduate with a dedication to many social causes, including advocating for social equity and access to justice for the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society. It’s a great privilege to work with a passionate and like-minded team, and to be part of a service which strives to assist people in sharing their experiences in a dignified, respectful and trauma informed way.

Hiran, South Australia Legal coordinator (with National Legal Aid)

I grew up and currently reside in Adelaide, South Australia. I completed a Bachelor of Laws/Health Sciences double degree from the University of Adelaide in 2016 and have also completed a Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies. After graduating I worked as a solicitor at a private law firm in Adelaide and then joined the Legal Services Commission of South Australia as a Legal Adviser which I had been doing for the last 2 years. I really enjoyed working in this role and providing legal advice to a broad cross section of society particularly focusing on civil, family and criminal law matters. I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in May 2021 and look forward to being able to assist individuals to share their stories with the Royal Commission which will hopefully provide positive change for people with disability in the years to come.

Jacinta, Mobile solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I joined Your Story in August 2020 as a solicitor. I'm based in Sydney, where I completed a Bachelor of International and Global Studies and Juris Doctor at Sydney University. I interned with the Federal Court's international law program, and after being admitted to practise in 2016, spent three years working with asylum seekers, refugees, and domestic violence victims, both in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. I also volunteered with child asylum seekers in Myanmar and Thailand. Most recently, I worked with a private company, running NDIS and character cancellation appeals in the AAT. I love doing anything active, and on the weekends you'll usually find me on a bushwalk, snorkelling, or falling over in yoga.

I'm passionate about ensuring that justice is accessible to people of all colours, backgrounds and abilities, and I'm grateful to be part of Your Story. It it is a privilege to be  learning more about the disability space from such incredible people.

Jack, Mobile Solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I was born in Pinjarra, Western Australia, but grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I completed degrees in both Law and Psychology at the University of Adelaide. I moved to Sydney in early 2021 after accepting a job at Legal Aid NSW in the Your Story Disability Legal Support Team. Before beginning at Legal Aid, I worked as a researcher and paralegal for solicitors and barristers across Adelaide and volunteered with JusticeNet SA. In my spare time, I enjoy cinema and art, as well reading about history.

Since completing my practical legal training at the Legal Services Commission South Australia in Adelaide, I have had a passion for improving access to justice and making Australia’s legal system as easy to navigate as possible. I am now honoured to have the opportunity to help people with disability share their story with the Disability Royal Commission and hope it leads to real change.

Jake, National coordinator Your Story Disability Legal Support (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I grew up in Melbourne and studied community development at Swinburne and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing, Economics & Finance) at RMIT.

I have been and continue to be a project coordinator, community development worker & disability advocate, with experience working in disability advocacy and support.

My more recent work has involved coordinating projects which aim to:

  • build the capacity of organisations to be more accessible and inclusive
  • empower individuals through self-advocacy, participation and co-design of resources
  • work with government and organisations towards increasing the participation of people with a disability in employment and volunteering.

Jo, Client information officer (with National Legal Aid)

I joined the Your Story Disability Legal Support in March 2020.

For the last 6 years, I have worked across Legal Aid Queensland in various teams including the Family Dispute Resolution team, and Litigation support to lawyers and frontline services.

I have worked closely with police, social workers, community organisations and other stakeholders to give information and support to vulnerable people.

I have worked in frontline services for over 12 years and am passionate about helping to build the bridge in connecting people most in need. I’ve worked in various locations including remote and rural. I’m excited to continue this journey with Your Story Disability Legal Support."

Jo, Northern Territory Legal coordinator (with National Legal Aid)

I grew up in Sydney and studied Arts/Law at UNSW. I then worked in commercial litigation at Minter Ellison and completed a clerkship with the Honourable Justice Lucy McCallum at the Supreme Court of NSW.

In 2015, I moved to Darwin and worked as a civil lawyer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency for 3 years. Most recently, I worked in the Louisiana Access to Justice Department in the United States, working with stakeholders to support children, persons with a disability, and self-represented litigants across Louisiana.

I returned to Australia, and the NT, in early 2020 to join the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission as part of Your Story Disability Legal Support.

Joanna, Queensland Civil lawyer (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I grew up on the South Coast of New South Wales, near Jervis Bay, and worked in personal injury law at Slater + Gordon Lawyers for eight years.  During this time, I completed a Master of Health Law at the University of Sydney.

I then moved to Cairns and worked as a core member to the multi-disciplinary high-risk domestic violence response team.  In this role I gained wide-ranging knowledge and experience in recognising and responding to domestic violence, which developed into a passion for advocating for victims.

In 2018 I started working as a solicitor for the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS), practicing in the areas of domestic violence, family law and child protection.  As part of this role I had the opportunity to travel throughout the Cape providing legal advocacy and community legal education to Indigenous communities throughout Far North Queensland. I remain employed by QIFVLS and am now part of the Your Story Disability Legal Support team.

Josie, Tasmania, Civil lawyer (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I am a Northern Territorian. I grew up in rural Darwin and completed my Law degree in Darwin. I started working as a lawyer at a Territory firm and worked mainly in employment and workers compensation law, acting for severely injured people suffering great hardship and consequential mental health problems. Before that I had worked in the Supreme Court as a Judge's Associate and as a law clerk for a prominent Aboriginal andin         human rights barrister and advocate. Through this I was involved in helping people in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the early stages of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support when I moved to Hobart in February this year. I am very excited about the role and the opportunity to help empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with a disability.

Kate, Mobile solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I studied Law at the University of Sydney. Following graduation, I worked for a Judge at the Supreme Court of NSW and went on to work as a lawyer for the Commonwealth public service for a number of years. Since 2015 I have worked at a community legal centre and in various roles within Legal Aid NSW. I have volunteered in Australia and overseas on a number of social justice projects.

Katrina, Infoline director Your Story Disability Legal Support (with National Legal Aid)

I started with Your Story Disability Legal Support as part of the original project team in September 2019. I joined the Your Story project team from my role at Legal Aid Queensland where I look after the legal information and advice services including our client contact (call) centre.  I have been working at Legal Aid Queensland for over 15 years now representing parents, children and young people in the area of child protection. Before joining Legal Aid I was the principal lawyer at the Women's Legal Service Queensland and I also worked at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Legal Service for a number of years.  

I became a lawyer because I passionately believe that everyone should have access to the legal help they need. At Your Story we have been looking at ways to reduce bureaucracy and paperwork, increase accessibility and incorporate trauma informed processes into our service delivery. I love working at Your Story and I'm looking forward to working with the national team to keep on improving and expanding our services.

Kelly, Client information officer (with National Legal Aid)

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in November 2019 after completing a Bachelor of Laws. As well as a legal qualification, I also hold a Bachelors’ in Education and Human Services and have carried out both paid and volunteer roles within these fields.

Over the past year, I have worked and volunteered with Basic Rights Queensland—who give advice and advocacy for social security and disability discrimination matters. I have also volunteered with LawRight, a community-based legal service helping clients with referrals to specialist pro-bono legal advice and representation.

I worked in education for many years, as a teacher and in other roles. I also worked with the Department of Child Safety. My passion is to collaborate with, and advocate for, the people I work with.

Michelle Bowler, Victoria Jurisdiction solicitor (with National Legal Aid)—Mon, Thurs, Fri

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in July 2020, in a job share capacity with my colleague Dayle. We are based at Victoria Legal Aid. I have worked at Legal Help, Victoria Legal Aid, for many years, giving information and advice to callers including callers to prisoner legal help and disaster legal help. before joining Victoria Legal Aid I worked in several community legal centres. I also worked for One Parent Families, a charity in the UK helping single parents. I live in Ballarat, Victoria. I have 4 young children including a child with a disability. In my spare time I teach yoga and I am particularly interested in making yoga accessible and teaching trauma sensitive yoga. I am currently enjoying working from home, especially when my kids are at school, and am excited to be a part of Your Story Disability Legal Support.

Oliver, Mobile solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Service in July 2020.

I studied Arts/Law at UNSW and then worked as a policy graduate at the Commonwealth Attorney-General's department, including promoting law and justice in the Pacific. After stints as a university tutor and at the Public Defenders office NSW, my most recent role was as a project officer and advocate at People With Disability Australia. I help people with disability with issues like health, housing and safely giving evidence to the Disability Royal Commission.

I am a proud person with disability, and I am passionate about disability rights. In my career I have strived to work toward social justice. Working at Your Story Disability Legal Service enables me to use my legal skills for a cause I care deeply about.

Petra, Client Information Officer

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in June 2021 as a client information officer. Before moving to the sunny Queensland, I worked and studied in New Zealand, where I completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Sociology, and an applied Masters of Social Work.

My previous role was at a community mental health organisation, and it involved ‘walking alongside’ individuals on their journey to mental health recovery. I have also worked in disability employment services for over 3 years, and in various voluntary roles, including with refugee services and anxiety helpline.

I am excited to be working for a cause that promotes social justice and helps people with disability (and their allies) share their experiences with the Royal Commission.

Rachael, Infoline project officer (with National Legal Aid)

While I was born in central Queensland, I have spent the majority of my life living and working in Brisbane. Being Queensland born and bred, I am a staunch Maroons supporter!

I have been working with Your Story Disability Legal Support since it started operation in September 2019.  Before this, I worked mainly in client service roles with Legal Aid Queensland and have done so for the past 25 years.  A strong social conscious and desire to support vulnerable people in need has always been, and remains, my motivation.

Since starting with Your Story Disability Legal Support, I have been involved in establishing the information line and overseeing the client information officers who work on that line.  As a team, we continue to strive to ensure the information line operates in a trauma informed and culturally safe way and that we provide quality information and advice services to people wishing to share their experiences with the Royal Commission.  I am acutely aware of the importance of this Royal Commission for people with disability, their supporters and carers and I am proud to be part of a service which supports them to share their story.

Rachael, Mobile solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in November 2019. For the 3 years before that, I worked across Legal Aid NSW in various other teams. In the domestic violence unit I worked closely with police, social workers, community organisations and other stakeholders to provide a trauma informed service to people experiencing domestic and family violence. As a relief lawyer, I travelled to remote and regional locations across NSW, meeting people from all walks of life, giving them advice, minor assistance, legal information and casework.

I have Law and Psychology degrees from Macquarie University and in 2018 graduated with a Master of Laws. I continue to have a keen interest in psychology and am continuing studies in this area.

Ruth, South Australia community engagement cultural officer and advisor

I am a Wirangu/Kokatha woman from the west coast of South Australia and have a large extended family across the state. I was born in Ceduna and have spent most of my time living and working in Adelaide and Canberra in government and non-government organisations.

I am a mother, a grandmother and great grandmother. These roles have been my greatest joys in life— particularly my great grandson.

I have worked in Aboriginal affairs all throughout my career and the passion is still as strong as it was when I first started working.

I have a son who is blind and hearing impaired. He is an inspiration to the family. He does blind cricket, blind tennis and marathon running. Which is why this role is very dear to my heart and I hope it leads to positive changes.

Sara, Northern Territory Civil lawyer (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I grew up Darwin and have lived in the NT ever since bar a brief sojourn to the Gold Coast for University. Before joining the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) as part of the Your Story Team, I worked in various roles for the Northern Territory Government. Most recently, I managed a team that collated and reported against my former agency's progress on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

My job is to give legal advice, information and community legal education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people and children in the Northern Territory who may have information and wish to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. I moved to NAAJA to take up this role and am very excited to progress the important work of elevating the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability.

Sheeneeya, National Helpline Worker, (with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services)

I’m a proud Yorta Yorta / Dja Dja Wurrung woman born and raised in Melbourne.

I started with NATSILS in January 2021. In my previous roles I worked in the health sector at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service for 6 years in multiple roles. My most recent role was an in-home support worker / Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the community with help needed. Alongside all this I have started my own family, with another currently on the way.

I love working with mob and I strive to work to my best abilities.

Looking forward to this new pathway.

Shelley, Administrative support (with National Legal Aid)

I have been with Your Story Disability Legal Support since its inception in September 2019. My working background includes client focused service and legal resource and executive support roles within Legal Aid Queensland over the last 13 years.Currently, I provide administrative support to the team, which includes collecting data, analysing and producing statistical reports (you can find me in any remote corner of the office pouring over excel spreadsheets) and contributing to operational solutions that meet both client needs and the service's strategic objectives to ensure the delivery of an effective, trauma informed legal service.

Sifa, Senior mobile solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I moved to Australia in 2003 to study Law in Perth. I came to Sydney after I graduated and now proudly call it home.

My career has broadly focused on dispute resolution, initially working in private firms. In 2015 I started my first role in the public service, as a senior lawyer in the Office of solicitor assisting in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. I have worked in the public sector ever since, including at the Disability Royal Commission before I joined Legal Aid NSW and Your Story Disability Legal Support.

I am passionate about access to justice for vulnerable people in our society. I also volunteer in my community, including working with young African-Australian women to ensure that their lived experiences are recognised and represented in key national conversations.

Silva, Project officer (with National Legal Aid)

I have a history of frontline service delivery experience and leading teams across the NSW Justice department with previous experience in Corrective Services, Juvenile Justice, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal & NSW Trustee and Guardian. I am now on secondment to Legal Aid for the Royal Commission period as the Your Story project officer.

A proud advocate of women in martial arts. I also worked and lived in Japan for a number of years, working with and training the Tokyo riot police at the World Headquarters of Yoshinkan Aikido. There I lobbied for and was one of the first women worldwide to be allowed & accepted into an elite international 1 year, full time instructor training program run, by the International Yoshinkan Aikido Association in conjunction with the Japanese riot police organisation.

Steve, Queensland Jurisdiction Lawyer

I joined Your Story in January 2021.

I am originally from Victoria but have spent nearly all my professional working life in Queensland, mostly in Cairns.

Between 2014 and 2019 I worked for Legal Aid Queensland in Cairns and in private practice in my own firm in Cairns from the mid-nineties to 2006. I served 2 terms in the Queensland Parliament between 2006 and 2012. I was a policy adviser for a Federal Minister in 2012-13 and in the Office of the Premier of Queensland in 2019-20.

It’s great that through Your Story, people are being helped to engage with the Disability Royal Commission. I hope the Royal Commission will lead to an end to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

Susannah, Director Your Story Disability Legal Support

I started with the Your Story Disability Legal Support in November 2020, and it’s a team that I am incredibly proud to be a part of. I’ve had various roles at Legal Aid NSW including the Director of Client and Case Management System and the Solicitor in Charge of the Domestic Violence Unit. I have worked as a lawyer with children, young people and parents for fifteen years in the areas of domestic violence, child protection and family law. From 2014, I was involved in establishing Legal Aid NSW’s Domestic Violence Unit, and the Family Advocacy and Support Services in NSW.

I completed a bachelor of arts (sociology) and bachelor of laws (with honours) in 2004, as well as a diploma of frontline management and an executive Masters in public administration in more recent years. I am passionate about social justice and about legal services that work together with clients in a way that values respect, dignity and compassion. I love being able to contribute to systematic change, as well as to services that can create change through improving the experience that a client may have through a legal process (knowing that it can be a very challenging and sometimes traumatic journey).

Working with Your Story is a cause very close to my heart both professionally and personally, as my brother passed away from a degenerative metabolic disorder. Growing up with this experience taught me respect for the resilience of people with a disability and their families, as well as for the importance of high quality and trauma-informed support. And it’s a privilege to now be able to work with clients and colleagues in this area.

Will, Mobile solicitor (with National Legal Aid)

I joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in February 2020. Before this, I worked in other areas of Legal Aid NSW, working with vulnerable clients across NSW, and before that, I worked for courts, community legal centres, universities, and private law firms.

I have law, arts and international relations qualifications and I am admitted as a solicitor in NSW.

Throughout my working life I have always focussed my energies on improving access to justice for those who need it most. I have worked closely with people with disability, newly arrived migrants and refugees, prisoners, and vulnerable workers. I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to access and enforce their rights, and it is this fight for equity that motivates me to get the best outcome for my clients.