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Annual Report 2014 - 2015

Executive directors

"Our senior management team is diverse and highly experienced; each director contributes to the strength of our organisation and helps to achieve our goals."

Bill Grant

Bill Grant, CEO, Legal Aid NSW

Chief Executive Officer (SES Level 6)

Budget total: $266.7M
Total staff (FTE): 945.85
Total actual: 1,046

Bill recommenced as CEO of Legal Aid NSW in December 2011. Bill was appointed by the then Attorney General after a four-year absence from the organisation. He previously served as CEO of Legal Aid NSW from 2001 to 2007.

Bill was Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia from 2008 to 2011 and previously held the position of Deputy Director-General of the NSW Attorney General’s Department from 1992 to 2001.

This year, Bill ensured that Legal Aid NSW delivered a range of new programs, some of which are part of broader government reforms as well as objectives within the Legal Aid NSW Plan.

These included services for particularly vulnerable clients such as regional Aboriginal communities, disadvantaged families in the child protection jurisdiction, and women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Bill also successfully negotiated a new five-year National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services that will come into effect on 1 July 2015.

Steve O’Connor

Steve O'Connor, Deputy CEO

Dip Law (BAB) Dip Crim
Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Band 2)

Budget total: $164.9M
Total staff (FTE): 822.9
Total actual: 910

Steve returned to Legal Aid NSW in September 2012.

In addition to his role as Deputy CEO, Steve undertakes the role of Chief Audit Executive.

A major achievement this year has seen Steve actively overseeing and supporting the conduct of a pilot of Activity Based Costing at a number of regional and Central Sydney pilot sites. A positive review of the pilot recommended planning for implementation from July 2015 across Legal Aid NSW.

Richard Funston

Richard Funston, Director Criminal Law

Accredited Criminal Law Specialist
Director Criminal Law (Band 1)

Budget total: $85.2M
Total staff (EFT): 249.05
Total actual: 280

During his 18 years with Legal Aid NSW, Richard has held leadership roles across the organisation including Solicitor in Charge of the Children’s Legal Service, Director Grants and Director Strategic Planning and Policy.

Richard’s previous experience includes eight years with Victoria Legal Aid and four years as Principal Solicitor of the Inner City Legal Centre in New South Wales.

Richard’s key achievements include providing more job security for staff within his practice and offering staff more opportunities for professional development.

In his role as Chair of the Health and Safety Committee, Richard promoted good psychological health for all staff.

During the year, Richard also chaired the Legal Aid NSW Reconciliation Action Plan Implementation Working Group, and the NSW Legal Assistance Forum Prisoners Group.

Kylie Beckhouse

Kylie Beckhouse, Executive Director Legal Services Family Law

Accredited Family Law Specialist
Executive Director Legal Services Family Law (Senior Officer Grade 2)

Budget total: $49.7M
Total staff (FTE): 220.21
Total actual: 250

Kylie has practised as a family lawyer, first in private practice and then at Legal Aid NSW, for the last 22 years. She was appointed Executive Director of the Family Law Division in May 2009 and in this role has been responsible for many innovations in the delivery of family law services. She is an accredited specialist in family law and an independent children’s lawyer.

Kylie is appointed to the Family Law Council of Australia and the NSW Children’s Court Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Law Society of NSW Family Law Issues Committee and the National Legal Aid Family Law Working Group. She currently serves on the Family Court’s Children’s and Self Represented Litigants committees.

In 2014 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate the administration of child legal representation schemes in overseas jurisdictions and has published a paper on her findings.

Achievements this year include leading national improvements in the representation of children through training and the development of resources and guidelines.

Monique Hitter

Monique Hitter, Executive Director Legal Services Civil Law

BSW Dip Law
Executive Director Legal Services Civil Law (Senior Officer Grade 2)

Budget total: $19.0M
Total staff (FTE): 136.8
Total actual: 145

Monique has worked as a lawyer since 1997 in the community, government and private sectors.

Monique developed the model for the Cooperative Legal Services Delivery Program and managed its pilot in 2004. It is now implemented in many regions across New South Wales.

Monique has been the Director of the Civil Law Division since July 2007. She is also a member of the Women’s Advisory Council for Corrective Services NSW.

This year, Monique has established important new areas of services within her practice, including the Civil Law Service for Aboriginal Communities, the Civil Law Children’s Service, and specialist employment law services.

Wayne Gale

Wayne Gale, Director Information Technology Services and Records

BA (Computing) MCom (Accounting)
Director Information Technology Services and Records (Band 1)

Budget total: $3.0M
Total staff (FTE): 34.87
Total actual: 37

Wayne was appointed to his position in January 2007. Wayne’s career in information technology spans 29 years including senior roles both in the private sector providing information technology services and solutions to Government, as well as working in the government sector.

This year, Wayne and his team established our data centre presence in the NSW Government Data Centres, providing Legal Aid NSW with a lower risk environment for operating its core information technology infrastructure.

Wayne oversaw a program of work taking the first steps towards acquiring and implementing a future case management system for Legal Aid NSW.

Wayne and his team progressed a range of governance improvements throughout the year, including a business-led data governance framework for Legal Aid NSW, and enhancements to our information security management system.

Annmarie Lumsden

Annmarie Lumsden, Director Strategic Policy, Planning and Community Partnerships

Accredited Criminal Law Specialist
Director Strategic Policy, Planning and Community Partnerships (Band 1)

Budget total: $32.0M
Total staff (FTE): 29.81
Total actual: 32

Annmarie has been a member of the Executive team since June 2006. Her previous positions include Director Grants, Executive Officer to the CEO and Solicitor Advocate in the Criminal Law Division.

Before Annmarie came to Legal Aid NSW in 1998, she had previous experience at Legal Aid ACT, in government and in private practice.

Annmarie was elected as a Councillor of the Law Society of NSW in November 2014. This year she is on the Law Society’s Professional Conduct and Family Issues Committees. She has been a member of the Criminal Law Committee since 2001.

Achievements this year include supporting Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services in the rollout of the government’s Safer Pathway reforms and developing a data governance framework.

Vicki Leaver

Vicki Leaver, Director People and Organisational Development

BA Dip Ed
Director People and Organisational Development (Human Resources) (Band 1)

Budget total: $1.8M
Total staff (FTE): 17.5
Total actual: 18

Vicki was appointed as the Director, People and Organisational Development in July 2011.

Before joining Legal Aid NSW, Vicki held senior roles at RailCorp and the Department of Health.

Vicki’s achievements this year include the comprehensive roll out of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 and related workforce management activities. These included reviewing and updating all role descriptions and introducing a capability framework, new workforce management business rules, and new recruitment practices.

Vicki introduced a leadership program to support the Executive team as part of the Senior Executive reform process.

Clare Hamilton

Clare Hamilton, Executive Director Finance

B Bus (Accounting) FCPA
Executive Director Finance (Senior Officer Grade 2)

Budget total: $266.7M
Total staff (FTE): 17
Total actual: 17

Clare was appointed to this position in 2008.

Clare’s experience over 30 years includes senior finance and corporate services roles in a diverse range of NSW public sector agencies.

Clare has consistently met financial targets in difficult funding climates, and has a record of successfully implementing change in Finance and other corporate services areas.

This year, Clare led her team through a restructure process to better align Finance functions. She also introduced Finance partnering so the team could provide more support to other areas of Legal Aid NSW, and implemented a number of improvements, streamlining work practices and increasing service delivery efficiency by the Finance team.