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Meet our speakers

Keynote plenary - Avelina Tarrago

Avelina Tarrago will present the keynote speech for the opening plenary session. Avelina is a proud Wangkamadla woman from central-west Queensland, who grew up in Brisbane. She was admitted to the... > more

Welcome to Country with Songwoman Maroochy

Traditional Welcome to Country by Songwoman Maroochy to welcome state conference participants to the conference. Songwoman Maroochy is the Songwoman & Law-woman of the Turrbal People – the... > more

Dr Ruth Knight

Dr Ruth Knight is a researcher and lecturer at QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. Ruth has extensive experience in nonprofit leadership roles and has spent many years... > more

Amanda Shipway

Amanda Shipway has worked for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General since 2009, her fist role with the DJAG was at Victim Assist Queensland where she worked for five years as the Victim... > more

Sarah Chase

Sarah has worked at the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) since 2010 and is currently the Principal Project Officer in Legal Assistance Strategy and Funding (LASF). Sarah’s career has... > more

Megan Topping

Megan Topping has worked for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG) since 2011 and is currently a Senior Project Officer for Legal Assistance Strategy and Funding (LASF). Previously,... > more

Sue Goodwin

Sodalite Projects' Sue Goodwin has almost thirty years of experience in education, social research and social planning in Australia and overseas, including experience across all three education and... > more

Rachel Healy

Rachel is a critical thinker and sharp analyst with a passion for social justice.  She has worked in senior state government roles in social policy coordination and development, program design,... > more

Kevin Yow Yeh

Kevin Yow Yeh is a proud Wakka Wakka and South Sea Islander man who grew up on Butchulla Country (Hervey Bay) and now resides in Meanjin (Brisbane) on Jagera Country. Kevin is a qualified Social... > more

Wyatt Cook-Revell

Wyatt Cook-Revell is proud to have family connections to Birri Gubba, Gooreng Gooreng, Wangan Jagalingou and Wakka Wakka peoples, and was born and raised on Yugara country. Wyatt is a final year... > more

Semara Jose

Semara is a proud Gudjula, Eastern-Kuku Yalanji and Darnley Island woman born and raised in Cairns, Far North Queensland and can be summed up in two words, Love and Leadership. With her keen interest... > more

Florence Onus

Florence is a descendant of the Birri- Gubba and Kairi/Bidjara clans of north east Queensland. She currently works with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal Service in Townsville,... > more

Andrea Kyle-Sailor

Andrea Kyle-Sailor is a proud Birri Gubba Traditional Owner and a proud Bwgcolman Historical Owner from Palm Island and reside permanently on Palm Island. She is a Community Development Worker for... > more

Aunty Margaret Hornagold

Aunty Margaret Hornagold is a proud Barada/Kabalbara woman, mother and grandmother who has worked in and across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy and service delivery for over 40 years.... > more

Candice Hughes

Candice Hughes is a proud Kamilaroi woman, mother and wife. She is a Solicitor with YFS, having worked across a number of CLC’s and as a sworn and unsworn member of the QPS. Candice is passionate... > more

Hedy Cray

Hedy is the senior partner in the Brisbane Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety practice and is widely considered to be the preeminent 'go-to lawyer' in Queensland on strategic matters. Hedy... > more

Matthew Bannan

Matthew Bannan has been at WorkCover Queensland for over 13 years, initially as a Physiotherapy Advisor and has subsequently lead teams through various areas of the business including common law,... > more

Neil Henderson

Neil Henderson is a member of the Australian Services Union (ASU). He has worked as a Union Official for nearly 40 years, including over 20 years in senior positions in the ASU National Office (... > more

Rebecca Sampson

Rebecca Sampson, Manager of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications, has been with QLeave for more than 12 years. Before joining QLeave she worked in communication roles in the not-for-profit and... > more

Emma Phillips

Emma Phillips is Principal Solicitor and Deputy Director at Queensland Advocacy Incorporated. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and a PhD in... > more

Helen Blaber

Helen Blaber is the Director and Principal Solicitor of Prisoners’ Legal Service (PLS). PLS is a community legal centre that provides advice and representation on legal issues which occur in custody... > more

Brian Sullivan

Brian is committed to an understanding of domestic violence as not only as gendered pattern of coercive violence, but as ongoing criminal justice, public health and human rights issues where the... > more

Thelma Schwartz

Thelma Schwartz is the Principal Legal Officer of the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS), which is an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled... > more

Magistrate Colin Strofield

Magistrate Colin Strofield was appointed as a Magistrate in March 2008. He was the Magistrate at Charleville for two years during 2009 and 2010. He was then transferred to the Holland Park Court... > more

Rikki-Jane Buckland

Rikki-Jane Buckland is a Senior Solicitor with the Gold Coast Community Legal Centre and practices exclusively in the areas of family law, child protection and domestic violence. She joined the... > more

Michelle Royes

Ms Michelle Royes is a Program Manager for Relationships Australia, holding oversight for their Queensland-based family support and domestic and family violence programs. Michelle oversees a range of... > more

Simone Matthews

Simone Matthews is a proud Kooma/Kamilaroi women. She is the Senior Principal Lawyer at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in the south east corner of Queensland, a role she has held... > more

Joanna Carey

Ms Joanna Carey is currently the Assistant Secretary, Engagement Branch at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.  Based in Brisbane but with a... > more

Dr Heron Loban

Dr Heron Loban is a Torres Strait Islander woman with family connections to Mabuiag and Boigu. Dr Loban is an academic, former lawyer and expert in Indigenous law and justice issues. As a lawyer she... > more

Commissioner Roslyn Atkinson AO

Roslyn Atkinson was a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland from 1998 to 2018. During this time she conducted many high profile civil and criminal trials and was lead author of the Supreme Court... > more

Commissioner Megan Mahon

The Legal Services Commissioner is an independent statutory officer appointed under the Legal Profession Act 2007 by the Governor in Council. Commissioner Megan Mahon was appointed as the Legal... > more