Go to content

Annual Report 2015 - 2016

Board members - 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016

Craig Smith
Dip Law (BAB) Dip Crim (SYD
Chair

Craig was reappointed by the NSW Attorney General as Chair for the Board from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

A solicitor and former Judicial Registrar, District Court of New South Wales, Craig has 42 years’ experience in the administration of justice in New South Wales. He has worked in various government legal and policy positions, including senior positions with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He was Director Court Services and then Director Judicial Support before his appointment as Judicial Registrar in 2010.

Craig has served as Chair of the Legal Aid NSW Board since 18 February 2013.

(Attended 4 meetings)

Bill Grant
OAM, LLB
Chief Executive Officer

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.

(Attended 4 meetings)

Dr Peggy Dwyer
BA LLB (ANU) Ph D (University of Edinburgh
Board member

Peggy was reappointed by the NSW Attorney General as representative of the NSW Bar Association from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Peggy appears in a wide range of criminal matters, including jury trials, contested hearings, appeals, Children’s Court matters and State Parole Authority hearings. She has a busy practice in coronial proceedings, appearing as Counsel Assisting the Coroner (in the Northern Territory and NSW) and counsel for interested parties.

Peggy also appears in disciplinary tribunals including the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Medical Council, for both prosecution and defence.

(Attended 2 meetings)

Ainslie van Onselen
LLB (UWA), MAppFin, GDipAppFin (Finsia), GAICD
Board member

Ainslie was reappointed by the NSW Attorney General as representative of Consumer and Community Welfare Interests from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Ainslie has practised as a commercial litigator for over 18 years and is admitted to practise law in several jurisdictions across Australia. Ainslie was the former Director and National President of the Migration Institute of Australia, former columnist for the Legal Affairs section of The Australian newspaper, former panelist on The Contrarians - Sky News and a former Associate Professor of the University of Western Australia.

Ainslie is currently the Global Director of Women’s Markets, Inclusion and Diversity at the Westpac Banking Corporation.

(Attended 2 meetings)

Michael Coleman
M Comm, B Comm, FAICD, FCA, FCPA
Board member

Michael was appointed by the NSW Attorney General as a representative who possesses skills and experience that would benefit Legal Aid NSW, from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019. The Board also appointed Michael as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee from 29 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Michael is a Chartered Accountant. He retired from KPMG in 2011 after a career including 30 years as an audit partner and practice leader, having led both Audit and Risk Management and Regulation. He is a board member of Macquarie Group and Macquarie Bank, where he chairs the Audit Committees. He is a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Audit Committee; a member of the Advisory Board of Bingo Industries Limited and has a numerous roles with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

His current roles include Adjunct Professor, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales; Chairman of Planet Ark Environmental Foundation; a board member of Osteoporosis Australia and of the Belvoir St Theatre Foundation.

(Attended 1 meeting)

Emeritus Professor Richard Henry
AM, MB BS, MD, FRACP, Dip Clin Epi
Board member

Richard was appointed by the NSW Attorney General as a representative who, in the opinion of the NSW Attorney General, possesses skills and experience that would benefit Legal Aid NSW, from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Richard is Emeritus Professor and Pro-Chancellor of University of NSW Australia. He was Professor of Paediatrics at both the University of Newcastle and UNSW and held senior leadership roles in both the university and health sectors. From 2006–2012, he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice-President at UNSW. Since his retirement from UNSW, he has worked as a consultant in health and higher education. Current unpaid roles include Pro-Chancellor at UNSW, Director Children’s Cancer Institute, Trustee Sydney Grammar School, Chair Board of Centre for Social Impact and Director Paediatrio and is on the Board of Paediatrio, Paediatric Research Integration.

He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to paediatric respiratory medicine.

(Attended 1 meeting)

Sue Gilchrist
LLM, BA LLB (Hons)
Board member

Sue was appointed by the NSW Attorney General as a representative who, in the opinion of the NSW Attorney General, possesses skills and experience that would benefit Legal Aid NSW, from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Sue is the Regional Managing Partner, Asia and Australia of Herbert Smith Freehills. Sue is also a senior Intellectual Property disputes partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and is experienced in all intellectual property areas. Sue was the lead partner acting for Apple in the Apple v Samsung patent and design litigation relation to tablets and smartphones.

Sue is the Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

In her role as Regional Managing Partner of Herbert Smith Freehills, Sue is involved in Herbert Smith Freehills’s pro bono and diversity initiatives.

(Attended 1 meeting)

Darryl Browne
LLB
Board member

Darryl was appointed by the NSW Attorney General as a representative of the Law Society of NSW from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Darryl is an Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates. His forte is estate planning but he also conducts estate and other litigation for clients. He advises clients concerning commercial law issues (including business acquisitions, leases, employment issues and planning matters) as well as with conveyancing and related real estate transactions.

Darryl is a member of several Law Society of NSW committees. He is Director (Councillor) of the Law Society New South Wales, Chair of the Ethics Committee and Deputy Chair of the Elder Law and Succession Committee.

Note: New Board members, except for Darryl Browne, attended their first meeting on 29 June 2016.

Associate Professor Anna Cody
LLM (Harvard), GDip LP (UTS), LLB (UNSW), BA (UNSW)
Board member

Anna was appointed by the NSW Attorney General as a representative of bodies providing community legal services from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Anna is an Associate Professor and Director of Kingsford Legal Centre which specialises in discrimination and employment law. The Centre is part of the University of New South Wales Law Faculty where Anna teaches law. She has worked at the Centre for over 15 years. In 2007, Anna won the NSW Women Lawyers achievement award in the government/ community lawyer section. From 2011 to 2013, Anna was the Chair of Community Legal Centres NSW and member of the Board of LawAccess NSW. She was also the Deputy Chair of the NSW Legal Assistance Forum. Anna is currently a board member of the National Association of Community Legal Centres.

(Attended 1 meeting)

Rachel Francois
BA (UNSW), LLB (UNSW)
Board member

Rachel was appointed by the NSW Attorney General as representative of Unions NSW from 23 June 2016 to 22 June 2019.

Rachel is a barrister at the NSW Bar. Rachel specialises in discrimination law and consumer protection cases and also practises in administrative law and commercial litigation. Rachel was employed by Legal Aid NSW as a lawyer in civil litigation between 1996 and 2000. During that time, Rachel was a member of the PSA Departmental Committee and a delegate to the Peak Consultative Committee.

Rachel was a member of the NSW Bar Council in 2007 and was junior counsel assisting ASIC in its investigations into the corporate wrongdoing of HIH Insurance and James Hardie. Rachel’s more recent cases include the class actions against Cash Converters in relation to alleged unlawful interest rates and the landmark sexual harassment decision in Richardson v Oracle (2014) 223 FCR 334.

(Attended 1 meeting)

Outgoing members of the Board

Andrea Durbach BA LLB, DipLaw

Andrea served on the Board for 10 years from 19 February 2007 to 17 February 2016.

Andrea is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales and Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre. She is a member of the Advisory Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions.

(Attended 2 meetings)

Philip Bickerstaff MCom

Philip served on the Board and as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for 11 years from August 2005 to 17 February 2016.

Philip retired from the New South Wales Public Sector in 2005 after 37 years, 29 of those with NSW Treasury.

(Attended 3 meetings)

Mary Macken MA LLM FAICD

Mary served as the Law Society representative for seven years from 1 July 2009 to 17 February 2016.

Mary is a past President of the Law Society of NSW and a practising lawyer 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).

(Attended 2 meetings)

John Bordon BA LLB (UniSyd) LLM (UNSW)

John was the Unions NSW representative for seven years from 1 July 2009 to 17 February 2016.

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 NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. He has also served on the Serious Offenders Review Council and the Immigration Review Tribunal.

(Attended 3 meetings)

Annette Bain MA Dip Ed BLegS GAICD

Annette served on the Board for three years from 18 February 2013 to 17 February 2016.

Annette is an international pro bono advisor, and has over 20 years’ experience working in the private and not-for-profit sectors on strategies for increasing access to justice and social change.

(Attended 3 meetings)

John McKenzie B Comm LLB, Accredited Criminal Law Specialist

John served on the Board from May 2013 to 17 February 2016.

John was appointed Legal Services Commissioner in 2015. Before that John was the Chief Legal Officer for the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd for eight years. Before that he was Principal Solicitor of the Many Rivers Aboriginal Legal Service in Newcastle (2001–2006) and Solicitor in Charge of Gosford Legal Aid office (1994–2000).

(Attended 2 meetings)