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Annual Report 2010 - 2011

Board members

Hon Peter Collins

Hon Peter Collins AM QC (Chair)AM RFD QC BA LLB (Syd)


Appointed by the Attorney General as Chair. Peter was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for more than 22 years, during which time he held the senior portfolios of Attorney General, Health, and Treasury (and three other Ministries) after which he was Leader of the Opposition.

While at Sydney University Law School, he was a Professional Assistant with the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department and later, after admission to the NSW Bar, became a founding member of Edmund Barton Chambers where he practised for three years before entering Parliament.

He has also served as a Navy Reserve Lawyer since 1992, twice as Fleet Legal Officer, and in 2007 served in Baghdad, Iraq, leading an Australian Defence Force legal team.

He serves on several boards in the public, non-government and private sectors. (6)


Alan Kirkland

Alan KirklandBA LLB MBA (EXEC)


Appointed by the Attorney General as Chief Executive Officer in 2008 (see Executive directors for biography). (6)

Philip Bickerstaff

Philip Bickerstaff, MComMCOM


Phillip retired from the NSW Public Sector in 2005 after 37 years, 29 of those with NSW Treasury. He was appointed to the Board in 2005 and chairs the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee. He is also a member of the Board of the Festival Development Corporation, Ryde Family Support Service and Fairfield Community Resource Centre. (6)

Andrea Durbach

Associate Professor Andrea Durbach BA LLB, DipLaw (SAB, USyd)BA LLB, DIPLAW (SAB, USYD)


Andrea is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, UNSW and Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre. Previously, she was Director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clearing House. She is also Chair of the Legal Aid NSW Human Rights Committee and member of the Advisory Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. (6)

John Bordon

John Bordon BA LlB(Syd) LlM(UNSW)BA LLB (SYD) LLM (UNSW)


John is nominated by Unions NSW. In the past he has held a number of positions on the staff of Legal Aid NSW. Currently he is a senior member of the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal. He has also served on a number of other bodies including the Serious Offenders Review Council and the Immigration Review Tribunal. (5)

Ian McClintock

Ian McClintock BA LLB (UNSW) SC, BarristerSC BA LLB (UNSW)


Nominated by the NSW Bar Association, Ian practises as a barrister principally in criminal law. Ian was involved in the first years of establishing Redfern Legal Centre. He worked as a Legal Aid lawyer in the 1980s, in the Attorney General’s Department in the Criminal Law Review Division before returning to Legal Aid and then going to the bar. He is a founding member of Forbes Chambers which specialises in criminal law. (6)

(Alternate: Phillip Boulten SC)

Rev Harry Herbert

Rev Harry Herbert BA BD STM Dip.Legal StudiesBA BD STM DIP. LEGAL STUDIES


Appointed by the Attorney General to represent consumer and community welfare, Harry is Executive Director of UnitingCare NSW, ACT. He also chairs the NSW Responsible Gambling Fund and is Co-Chair of the AGL Customer Council, and is a member of the Boarding House Expert Advisory Group. He is the longest serving member on the Board. (6)

Maria Girdler

Maria GirdlerBA LLB (UNSW)


Nominated by Community Legal Centres NSW and appointed by the Attorney Geneal to represent bodies that provide community legal services, Maria is the Manager of Macquarie Legal Centre, and has held this role for 13 years. Before that she worked at Macarthur Legal Centre for two years.

Maria has held various roles at the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Human Rights Commission, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and a number of State and Federal government departments. (5)

(Alternate: Patrick O’Callaghan)

Mary Macken

Mary Macken, MA LLM (Syd) FAICDnMA LLM (SYD) FAICD


Nominated by the Law Society of NSW, Mary is the Immediate Past President of the Law Society of NSW and a practising solicitor in New South Wales, England and Wales.

Mary initially specialised in the commercial property field. Since then, her roles have included Manager of Legal Services, Landcom and Corporate Counsel, State Transit Authority (Sydney Buses). Mary is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of NSW, the Australian Lawyers Alliance and the City of Sydney Law Society. (6)

Barbara Ramjan

Barbara Ramjan BA(Hons)(UniSyd); GradDipCrim(UniSyd); BTeach(UWS); MHL(UniSyd)BA (Hons) (SYD); GradDipCrim (SYD); BTEACH (UWS); MHL (SYD)


Appointed by the Attorney General, Barbara is the newest Board member and attended her first meeting shortly after her appointment in October 2010.

She has appeared as a Guardian ad Litem in the Children’s Court and Administrative Decisions Tribunal, as well as filling this role in many other courts and tribunals. Barbara is a member of the Children’s Court Advisory Committee, providing advice to the Attorney General and the Minister for Community Services on the workings of the Court. (4)

(Numbers indicate meetings attended in 2010-2011).

Meetings of the Board

Six meetings were held in 2010-2011. Finance and budget matters took up approximately 30% of the Board’s time; strategic matters about policy, planning, law reform, 30% and governance matters such as risk assessment and advice on operational matters, 40%.