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Annual Report 2021 - 2022

Professional and personal achievements

Specialist expertise

There are 64 lawyers working for Legal Aid NSW who are accredited specialists. Two of our civil lawyers have specialist accreditation, 18 of our family lawyers are accredited family law specialists and 4 are accredited children’s law specialists, and 40 of our criminal lawyers have specialist accreditation.

Significant appointments

Annmarie Lumsden, Criminal Law Director, was appointed as Director of the NT Legal Aid Commission in December 2021.

Senior Indictable lawyer and former Manager of Professional Development Emma Manea was appointed as a Magistrate of the Local Court in February 2022.

Port Macquarie Solicitor in Charge Juliana Crofts was appointed as a Magistrate of the Local Court in March 2022.

Senior Solicitor Te’res Sia was appointed as a Magistrate of the Local Court in April 2022.

Senior Solicitor Aaron Tang was appointed as a Magistrate of the Local Court in June 2022.

Outstanding staff achievements

The Disaster Response Legal Service was a finalist in the 2021 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service in the Recovery and Resilience category.

Danielle Captain-Webb, Solicitor in Charge of the State-wide Advice Team, was appointed as a Councillor of the Law Society of NSW in November 2021. Danielle is the first Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to be appointed to the Council of the Law Society, which has been established for 137 years. Danielle said that she “looks forward to ensuring that the profession is a culturally safe place for Aboriginal lawyers and the Aboriginal community more broadly.”

Five in-house solicitors were appointed as judicial registrars of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in 2021–2022 and two were appointed to roles as registrars of the Children’s Court.

Civil lawyers Kai Wu and Mukesh Mahajan were selected for specialist accreditation in dispute resolution by the Law Society OF NSW.

Rachael Thomas, Solicitor in Charge of our Lismore Office, was the recipient of the Criminal Law Director’s Medal for 2022. During the devastating flood crisis in February and March 2022, Rachael maintained her focus on our clients and made sure our services continued to be available and accessible. Rachael was a model leader during this very challenging period – compassionate and supportive of staff, she was a logistics manager, a counsellor, a friend and a mentor to many.

Naomi Cheetham, Manager Planning and Review was selected as the first Legal Aid NSW secondee to the Behavioural Insights Unit at Customer Service NSW for a six-month immersion program.