Queensland Law Society

Nominees

Nominations for the 2020 Future Leaders Committee (FLC) election closed 4pm AEST Wednesday 30 September 2020.

At the close of nominations, we received a staggering 68 nominations.

As the number of nominations exceeded the number of committee vacancies, the Future Leaders membership will go to the polls.

On this page you will find a list of eligible FLC candidates listed in the order drawn by automatic lot in accordance with rule 9.2 of the Election by-laws of the Future Leaders Committee Charter, together with their profile photo and bio. The aim is to build familiarity between candidates and members and support informed decision-making for voters.

In another QLS first, we asked the candidates to submit a campaign video on why they should have your vote. Click on the image to watch the videos on our YouTube channel.

Video

Note that this was purely optional with a tight turnaround period, so not all candidates were able to submit their videos. We highly encourage you as voters to check out their profiles below or visit the candidates own social platforms to get to know them better!

 

Rebecca Murray

Jag MacDonald

Kiarah Kelly

Ben Ryan

Erica Flude

Jessica Grumelart

Thomas Allan

Ella Thomas

Tanneil Tinker

Mitchell Page

Kate Pidgeon

Bianca Van Heerden

Zoe Navarro

Ben Tuckett

Chloe Blaney

Storm Scarlett

Helen Driscoll

Danielle Hanson

Emma Scott

Alexander Whitney

Timothy Wallace

Angus Murray

Kevin Zhang

Tiffany Marsh

Jessica Daniels

Hugh Powell

Ellen Wood

Tayla Mojidi

Mathai Joshi

Christopher Wilkins

Jamie Jaafar

Amy Zanders

Abbey John

Alexander Joseph Pasquale

Milad Gerayelou

Minnie Hannaford

Rebecca Pratt

Lindsay Mengel

Bronte Crowley

Courtney Brown

Sarah Ford

Tile Imo

Megan Dudley

Brodie Barker

Jenawai Lee du Preez

Francois Malan

Ashley Chandler

Martin Mallon

Sangeetha Badya

Joshua McDiarmid

Harrison McDonald

Adam Saunders

Antoni Berardone

Joshua Williams

Ashkan Tai

Maddison Harrington

Steven Erickson

Joanna Bielby

Shaan Swaris

Kate Schurmann

Jonathan Nyst

Kerala Drew

Concettina Verma

Matthew Hollings

Georgia Athanasellis

Matthew Armstrong

Rebecca Wilson

Simon Playford

 


Rebecca Murray

Rebecca Murray

Fear of isolation is common among young professionals and may be an obstacle to innovation. I want to help young lawyers overcome fear of isolation, especially sole practitioners and lawyers in government. These groups particularly face professional isolation, where access to a support network of legal colleagues is often more difficult. Legal careers come in all shapes and sizes and we should encourage those lawyers wanting to take "the road less travelled". That's the path I took and I've never looked back! If elected to the QLS Future Leaders Committee this is what I will focus on. I am Director and founder of the firm RTI Consultants and specialise in Right to Information and Privacy law. I believe these niche areas of law are fundamental to the operation of a democratic government. When I'm not working, I watch bad reality tv shows, read crime novels and eat chocolate!


Jag MacDonald

Jag MacDonald

Service to the Legal Profession and the Community. I am co-director of MacDonald Law. We are a '2 office' boutique firm with a regional focus. The key to our firm though is everyone is under 30. We are young, nimble and happy to get the job done. We are a general practice; however I focus on criminal and civil litigation. I love my firm and I want nothing more then to throw off the old shackles of the Law (where graduate lawyers need to spend the first 10 years of practice working their way up to simply have some freedom). We can do this a new way and that is what I want to champion on the Committee.


Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah Kelly

My belief that me, my loved ones and my clients have a right to chase an awesome life inspires everything I do. I'm running for the FLC because it should be filled with people who believe what I believe- that the future leaders of this profession are innovative, question why things are done a certain way, seek out working practices that work for us, are hardworking and have goals that are bigger than ever. I live to bust millennial work myths. Brisbane Family Law Centre is out-of-court and entirely-fixed-fee. I can speak to- how to build a management presence in your early career, collaborative practice and personal branding. My experience includes- brand building, countless speaking opportunities furthering the cause of people like us, a Masters degree underway and my project last year to ensure new lawyers could 'Gather' with a purposeful space and a collection of tailored events.


Ben Ryan

Ben Ryan

I have been proud to work with the QLS through the ECL Committee for the last year. Having also been involved with the ECLs events for several years I know the importance of building a collegiate and supportive network. The Future Leaders Committee poses a fantastic opportunity for all future leaders to shape and support our evolving profession into something we can all be proud of. There is no doubt that our industry has undergone significant change and that there is still room for significant growth. While working as a commercial lawyer in Brisbane can be stressful, I have always enjoyed spending time with other early career professionals and contributing to our professional development. We are lucky to have a fantastic network of individuals in Queensland who have been in the trenches together, taking time to share stories and support one another in this highly competitive industry is a must.


Erica Flude

Erica Flude

In my short career so far I am proud to be a pro bono solicitor for the Animal Law Institute and to have previously assisted QPLICH with the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic in a pro bono capacity. Being able to use my skills as a lawyer to provide assistance to those in need and those without a voice is something I highly value. I am also an events volunteer for the RSPCA, assisting with animal handling at a variety of events such as the Big Adopt Out and the Million Paws Walk. I currently practice general corporate law in an in-house capacity with TAFE Queensland. As a generalist legal practitioner, I am lucky to have the opportunity to work on a variety of matters in different areas of the law including regulatory compliance, real property, commercial transactions, intellectual property and ADR.


Jessica Grumelart

Jessica Grumelart

Hi! I'm Jessica and I'm a solicitor practicing in the area of family law (2 years PAE). Since admission, I have worked in boutique firms and volunteered with Caxton Legal Centre, at first in their civil law team and now in their family law team. I am also a member of the Women's Legal Association of Queensland and the Brisbane Junior Chamber of Commerce. I am currently completing my Masters of Law with the College of Law. Outside of my law life, I have two cavalier king Charles spaniels, am an avid reader (not just of cases!) and enjoy hiking mountains. You will often spot me in a Gorman dress connecting with peers over good coffee. In my experience, junior lawyers often bring a vibrant and progressive perspective to their role, which I am looking forward to capturing as part of this committee. For more about me, see jessicagrumelartfamilylawyer.com.


Thomas Allan

Thomas Allan

I am passionate about the maintenance of the separation of judicial power from legislative and executive power. Day-to-day, lawyers are the perfunctory embodiment of the discharge of judicial power. Lawyers influence public confidence in the judicial arm. Properly discharged, lawyers should cause such confidence to wax not wane. Some of the COVID-19 policies recently enacted aptly illustrate the importance of the judicial arm. From practice in commercial litigation, it is my opinion that there are 3 areas which warrant inquiry and improvement: 1. The decline in the calibre of education in the law by tertiary institutions. 2. Poor treatment of junior practitioners and support staff by law firms. 3. Mental Health. If elected, the QLSFLC would be an appropriate platform to better understand these problems that seem, at least anecdotally, to be plaguing a not insignificant number of people and work toward achieving a gradual cultural change in these areas.


Ella Thomas

Ella Thomas

During her year as the Associate to His Honour Judge Harrison of the District Court in 2014, Ella was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia shortly thereafter. In 2015, Ella began working as a family law solicitor in Cairns before relocating to the Gold Coast in 2017, where she has continued to practise exclusively in family law. In her spare time, you will find Ella exploring southern Queensland/northern New South Wales (now within the Covid border bubble) with her family, two dogs and surfboards in tow.


Tanneil Tinker

Tanneil Tinker

I am a newly admitted solicitor and I practice in the area of Wills and Estates and Succession Law in regional Queensland (Cairns). I am 42 years of age, a mother of two teenage children and have worked in the legal industry for almost 20 years. I have worked as a qualified paralegal for over 12 years prior to my admission in April this year. I have always had a passion for the law. Once my children were at a manageable age, I commenced my legal studies at Southern Cross University while working full-time in a law firm on the Gold Coast. I graduated with honours after five years and was one of the first solicitors to be admitted during the Covid-19 pandemic. For these reasons I believe I could bring a unique perspective to the Future Leaders Committee and be an asset to the team.


Mitchell Page

Mitchell Page

When I began studying at QUT in 2015, I quickly discovered that the study and practise of the law is about more than just the work you do while sitting at a desk or standing in a courtroom. What it's really about is connecting with the people you work with and making a positive impact on the profession. While many things have changed for me in the past five years - this mind-set hasn't. Since being admitted in November 2019, I have become a Committee Member of Queensland Young Lawyers and volunteered regularly with LawRight's Self-Representation Service. Through these positions, I have tried to make a positive change in the profession and the community in my capacity as an early-career lawyer. I primarily work in Insurance Law and aim to specialise in Professional Indemnity matters. Outside of the law, I enjoy playing bass guitar, basketball, and following the NRL.


Kate Pidgeon

Kate Pidgeon

I am nominating for the Future Leaders Committee because I want to make the legal profession more inclusive and welcoming for junior lawyers. I am a 2020 Graduate at Ashurst, currently in the Real Estate Team after a rotation in Corporate Transactions. Last year, I was an Associate in the District Court, where I served on the Social Committee. I have always actively sought to strengthen the social and professional communities that I have been a part of. My particular strength is in organising accessible and welcoming events that have a wide reach and attendance. I was on the Executives of both the UQ Law Society and the Justice and the Law Society, have undertaken extensive pro bono work, and am a Social Impact Champion at Ashurst. Outside of the law, I volunteer as a Surf Lifesaver. I would strive to embody the Society's values of respect, integrity and service.


Bianca Van Heerden

Bianca Van Heerden

It was my love for all things true crime that led me to a law degree at Griffith University. I have practiced in Criminal Law at Ashkan Tai Lawyers since my admission in October 2017. As a junior lawyer, the jump between a clerk to a solicitor felt enormous. I was very fortunate to have an extremely supportive employer who had an open door - ask anything policy but I often spoke with other junior lawyers who felt that they lacked guidance and support. I have found that to sustain a career in law, it's crucial to have a strong support network and access to resources that assist in professional development, especially in the early stages of our careers. This is why I want to join the Future Leaders Committee. When I am not listening to true crime podcasts outside of work, I am probably planning my next overseas trip.


Zoe Navarro

Zoe Navarro

I have 9 years PAE and am the Director of Navarro Lawyers in Townsville, practising in criminal and domestic violence law. The firm employs a junior Solicitor and law students. I am a current committee member of the Townsville District Law Association. My desire to join the Future Leaders Committee stems from my own experiences as a Junior Lawyer working in private practice in Townsville and Brisbane. My experience whilst not unique, involved immense pressure and stress on the job, with very little guidance and support from the profession at large, and pleas for help going unanswered. I have witnessed how those pressures can lead to good Lawyers making bad decisions that impact their career for years to come. I will strive to help implement an effective Mentoring Structure that I hope will help stamp out the bad culture in our profession and improve our standing with the general public.


Ben Tuckett

Ben Tuckett

Ben Tuckett has worked in the community legal sector as a lawyer since 2014. Ben is the Managing Lawyer of LawRight's Court and Tribunal Services, which includes offices in the Federal Court, Supreme and District Court of Queensland and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. LawRight's Court and Tribunal Service has in-house legal teams, a dedicated pool of student volunteers and clinical placement students and also partners with universities, private law firms and barristers to provide pro bono legal assistance to individuals involved in current or potential legal proceedings that are unable to afford private legal representation. Ben was the winner of the 2019 Lawyers Weekly, 30 under 30 award in the Community Legal Centre Lawyer category and was recognised in Australian Lawyer's 2020 Rising Stars' list. Ben also sits on the Management Committee of the Prisoners' Legal Service and is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable Queenslanders.


Chloe Blaney

Chloe Blaney

I became a lawyer in 2014 to "do good" with the skills I was fortunate enough to learn at university. Since then, I have gained invaluable experience in law firms in Brisbane whilst volunteering at the Women's Legal Service. In March 2020, I became a full-time community legal centre lawyer with TASC in Ipswich, where I currently hold the position of Senior Lawyer. CLCs give members of our community (who otherwise could not afford to see a lawyer) access to justice. I have practised in many areas of the law but the majority of my work is in family, civil and domestic violence. I also undertake Mental Health Tribunal work. Mental Health is close to my heart. I completed a Mental Health First Aid course (aimed at the legal profession) last year because I wanted to gain skills to help members of our profession achieve better mental health.


Storm Scarlett

Storm Scarlett

My service to the legal profession has so far included volunteering for pro bono clinics and LawRight events, advocating for diverse workplaces, and striving to develop my legal skills to achieve efficient and practical results for clients. I am always alert to ways in which the legal profession can be improved and I am keen to get more involved with shaping the future of the legal profession. I practise in Restructuring & Insolvency and Commercial Litigation. During my grad program I also did rotations in Corporate (Energy & Resources) and Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety. Outside of the legal profession, I can be found listening to live music, making my own music, exploring the world (pre-Covid), hiking, camping, playing soccer or playing tennis.


Helen Driscoll

Helen Driscoll

Law firms of tomorrow look vastly different from the law firms of today. I am excited to be a part of this tremendous group of emerging lawyers ready to tackle challenges and shape future of the profession. In serving my peers and colleagues, I want to create more opportunities to understand how to take control of our careers in the critical zero to five year period. This includes early career specific professional and personal development, as well as strategic decision making to facilitate career direction. In the community I am committed to humanising our profession and changing the perception of law to one that is a helping profession. Lawyers help and enable, not hinder. I am presently Plaintiff solicitor at McInnes Wilson Lawyers. Outside of the billable hour, I have a wicked upper cut (boxing fanatic) and play piano assisted by master page turner, my tiny Chihuahua and partner-in-crime.


Danielle Hanson

Danielle Hanson

I am a senior criminal lawyer at Potts Lawyers based on the Gold Coast. I have practised exclusively in crime since my admission in December 2015 and enjoy challenging the stereotypes of my role. When I'm not in court advocating for my clients, you can find me volunteering as a lawyer for Griffith University's Innocence Project, where I mentor students working to exonerate the innocent. In 2018, I became a co-founder of Society Events - an organisation that hosts informal networking events for professional women on the Gold Coast encouraging women to raise each other up. I also co-host an Instagram page @lady.crim.lawyers which provides our audience with an insight into life as a criminal lawyer and mentoring advice to our student and early career lawyer followers. I am very passionate about lifting the voices of women and minority groups within the law to make it an inclusive place for everybody.


Emma Scott

Emma Scott

I advocate for those in the legal profession and early in their career to be more connected and supported, not just with those in the legal industry but with other professionals and the wider community. I practice and believe that instead of shouting about injustice, future leaders should be listening to new ideas about how we can provide better service to our clients and the greater community, but not at the cost of our mental or physical health. I believe that we plant the seeds now for what we wish the world to grow into. Family law makes up most of my files, but I also do Conveyancing, Estates, and Property law matters. I am a fitness enthusiast and think that being active should be a part of everyone's routine, given that we tend to sit at a desk all day with more than the average level of cortisol!


Alexander Whitney

Alexander Whitney

I am a senior associate at West Garbutt. We specialise in taxation law, advising taxpayers on federal and state taxes and advocating on their behalf in tax disputes and litigation. In addition to my Bachelor of Laws, I hold a Bachelor of Arts and I am a Chartered Tax Advisor. I was previously employed by one of Queensland largest law firms in their tax team, advising external clients and internal clients on a range of tax matters. I am passionate about the law as a profession and the role of lawyers in ensuring a just society governed by equitable laws, and it would be my privilege to assist the Queensland Law Society in furtherance of those interests on behalf of young lawyers.


Timothy Wallace

Timothy Wallace

As a lawyer whose calling to the law occurred in the middle of an already established career, I believe the experience I have will provide me with a unique perspective both to share with and be informed by the Committee in fulfilling its functions. Prior to admission I was a Japanese language teacher. As a direct result of my teaching experience I have an interest in safeguarding the rights of children and other vulnerable members of the community. I have an interest in elder law advocacy and being a proponent for the rights of disabled people. I am currently working with a boutique personal service law firm which deals with general law and body corporate matters. Being part of a tight-knit group with a focus on not losing sight of the person within the law makes me feel that I am well-placed to commence my legal career.


Angus Murray

Angus Murray

I am passionately involved with the legal profession and nominate for the Future Leaders Committee to continue to contribute to the future of the practice of law. I am currently a Partner and Trade Marks Attorney at Irish Bentley Lawyers and I practice intellectual property, tax and insolvency litigation. I am also co-founder and Director of The Legal Forecast, a Vice President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties and the Chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia's Policy Committee. I hold a Master of Laws (High Distinction) and I co-developed and lecture LAW3481 - Emerging Legal Tech and Practice at USQ. I additionally contribute to the QLS as a member of the Innovation Committee. I believe that these experiences will invaluably contribute to the Future Leaders Committee and its ability to bolster and grow a collegial profession in Queensland.


Kevin Zhang

Kevin Zhang

I commenced practice in 2011 in personal injuries in a national firm and has since been developing skills and competencies as a generalist (civil). Since 2016 I have been self-employed as an independent consultant. I have a bilingual practice of local and Chinese clients. I hope to bring to the Future Leaders committee and the profession a passion in advocating for generalists in practice and career model beyond the traditional linear trajectory. I hope to be champion of a new generation of legal practitioners where opportunity to train and practice are often dictated by commercial realities (as was my own experience) rather than real passions and for whom diversity is embraced and traditions exist to be questioned. Outside of work I am a father to a toddler and a newborn "Coronial" (and juggling the associated callings between workplace and home) as well as a dilettante of literature, art and philosophy.


Tiffany Marsh

Tiffany Marsh

I have served the legal profession and our community by assisting a number of injured client's to navigate our challenging legal system so they can get their lives back on track. I practice solely in personal injuries law, focusing on motor vehicle, public liability and worker's compensation claims. I am also a committee member of the Queensland branch of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, who are dedicated to protecting and promoting justice, freedom and the rights of the individual - which is in line with my values and the reason I practice in my chosen area of law. I have a special interest in the rights of workers and particularly enjoy assisting clients who have been injured at work.


Jessica Daniels

Jessica Daniels

Jessica is a commercial litigation lawyer, having practiced in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast. However, her path was not always clear. After experiencing the loss of some loved ones and leaving law for a year to work as an Events Manager, Jessica has returned to the law with a strong passion to ensure that the legal industry moves toward a more mental health friendly environment. She has done this by becoming the Mental Health Officer at her current firm and wants to inspire the future leaders of the industry to promote mental well-being in the wider legal community. Jessica has served in the Bond Legal Clinic and the Citizens Advice Bureau and, outside of law, has served as a companion for isolated elderly people. Jessica's interests include psychology and mental health strategies, golf, gardening and anything that gets her close to animals and nature.


Hugh Powell

Hugh Powell

Hugh is a Senior Associate with Travis Schultz Law on the Sunshine Coast, having worked exclusively in the personal injury, insurance and compensation law arenas for nearly a decade. In 2019, Hugh was recognised by his peers as a Rising Star in the reputable Australian Doyles Guide Injury and Compensation Law category. He was a state finalist in the prestigious Ron Shorter Awards in 2018, which aims to assist the development of young insurance industry professionals. A natural leader and a person who is committed to working in the community, Hugh is a judiciary member of Sunshine Coast Rugby Union, a volunteer solicitor at Suncoast Community Legal Service, a former committee member of the Sunshine Coast Law Association and is studying towards a Master of Business Administration at the University of the Sunshine Coast.


Ellen Wood

Ellen Wood

Ellen is in her second year of practice working as a criminal defence solicitor with Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors. She is a passionate advocate for criminal reform and social justice issues and recognises the role she plays as a lawyer in the community and not just in the courtroom. Ellen is presently a member of the Early Career Lawyers Committee and would like to continue her activism for lawyers in early stages of their careers through being a criminal law representative of the Future Leaders Committee. She seeks this opportunity because she believes that young lawyers play an important part in contributing to broader discussion in respect of issues unique to the legal profession, as well as making submissions on legislative reform and policy developments. In her spare time, she is an avid hiker, volunteers with a community organisation assisting people living on the street and enjoys playing social sport.


Tayla Mojidi

Tayla Mojidi

Tayla is a member of FLPA, Sunshine Coast Legal Association, and passionate about giving back to her community and access to justice. Tayla comes from a rural area and has volunteered at community legal services for the past 6 years. Tayla mentors students from her past university, and has volunteered at her rural school giving career advice about the profession to budding lawyers-to-be. Tayla practices in Family Law and has practiced in both Family Law and Property Law for the majority of her career. Tayla is an avid martial artist with twenty years' experience, an avid boxer and enjoys a range of combat sports in her spare time. Tayla enjoys giving back and inspiring budding lawyers from the "wrong side of the track", and knows the importance of a good mentor and listening ear when tackling the path to becoming a lawyer.


Mathai Joshi

Mathai Joshi

I am a solicitor practicing in Townsville, North Queensland. Upon completing my studies I was fortunate enough to gain employment at Arthur Browne & Associates as a trainee solicitor. Working for a firm in North Queensland has provided me with unique and rewarding opportunities which are less common in larger metropolitan areas and have greatly contributed to my personal and professional development. The camaraderie and collegiality amongst the local profession is fundamental to regional practice and should be actively encouraged across the wider profession and something I would seek to bring to the committee. As a committee member I would seek to ensure that the QLS continues to improve and innovate its support for regional practice so that the regional communities have access to high quality legal services. I would continue advocate for the QLS to always provide a platform to encourage, support, and inspire all members.


Christopher Wilkins

Christopher Wilkins

I am a corporate advisory and intellectual property lawyer that has a keen passion for learning and development. I enjoy keeping up to date on the latest developments of commercial law and regularly contribute articles to LinkedIn regarding any interesting insights that I may come across. As I work predominantly with start-up and technology-based companies I have a strong interest in the long-term planning and achievement of set goals in organisation. I also have a strong interest in watching stand-up comedy and international travel and expect to be relatively free from my hobbies for the foreseeable future.


Jamie Jaafar

Jamie Jaafar

The partners at BGM Family Lawyers often joke that I spend more time networking than I do working. That is kind of true. I completed my practical training by working at BGM Family Lawyers and was very lucky to stay on at BGM when I was admitted as a solicitor in July 2018. I love being in the office, and I love family law. But I also love the Gold Coast community and getting to know my local colleagues. I volunteer weekly at My Community Legal (Robina) and fortnightly at My Community Legal (Southport). I am passionate about early career professionals, our mental health, and our role in shaping the future of the legal industry. I would harness the opportunity to be a "voice" for Gold Coast early career practitioners on the Future Leaders Committee, with a focus on networking, professional development, and mental health.


Amy Zanders

Amy Zanders

I work as a solicitor in criminal defence. I was admitted in 2018. I have worked in criminal defence for over 5 years now in varying roles. I am currently the secretary of the Ipswich District Law Association, which involves organising events such as CPD seminars, bi-monthly meetings and assisting the president in his duties. Outside of the legal profession, I am interested in environmental/conservation matters, animal welfare and boxing/martial arts.
 

 


Abbey John

Abbey John

I am an Estate Planning Lawyer wishing to nominate to join a strong Future Leaders Committee that is ready to positively effect change in our community through this pivotal time. As an early career lawyer, I am excited by the possibilities available to us to have a voice and contribute towards shaping an ever-changing legal landscape. Now more than ever it's important that we embrace change and new opportunities to ensure no one is left behind due to geographical location. Eager to explore the technological advances available and encourage and empower solicitors to embrace the issues we face during this fundamental time of change. I have a particular interest in advances in technology, challenging the status quo and encouraging a new way of working so that together, we can transform the way we assist our community, members and the legal system.


Alexander Joseph Pasquale

Alexander Joseph Pasquale

If elected, I would advocate for better networking opportunities for early career lawyers (ECL) to access the legal profession and other professional bodies. I would push for greater development of ECL education options, as I am a huge advocate/user of Property Technologies. I practice in the area of Commercial Real Estate and frequently use electronic conveyancing, document automation and AI technology to assist with my daily tasks. I believe modern world competency skills are essential in ensuring ECL are skilled and trained in legal innovation with current technologies. I am also a supporter/advocate for both firm cultural change and pro-bono initiatives. At my current and previous firms, I have been a culture change champion regarding sexual harassment and bulling in the workplace.


Milad Gerayelou

Milad Gerayelou

I would like to address two important issues facing young practitioners. First, as young practitioners we are often required to work extensive hours for no additional or overtime pay. This means if a young practitioner is required to work more than the hours stipulated in their employment contract, they will not be paid any additional sum for those hours. Second, there is no set minimum wage for solicitors in the legal profession. We, as solicitors, have a "duty to the court and the administration of justice" (rule 3 of ASCR). I believe the same duties should apply to the conduct of the profession in relation to salary/wages of its members where solicitors cannot be paid below the hourly wage set for solicitors (i.e. the number of annual hours worked versus the annual salary when apportioned on an hourly basis). Vote for me for a step in the right direction.


Minnie Hannaford

Minnie Hannaford

I am a solicitor, admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 2016. During my early career I gained significant experience on both major projects and large scale litigation and now as an Associate in the Disputes Resolutions and Litigation team at Holding Redlich, working with some of Brisbane's most inimitable Partners. I have always had a keen interest in social justice, which permeates my work, through Holding Redlich's pro bono program and my prior volunteering with Caxton Legal Centre. I am an avid supporter and ally of LGBTIQ+ communities and peoples of culturally or ethnically diverse backgrounds. As a member of the profession, I acknowledge the immense privilege I have, without restraining or silencing the difficult challenges faced by junior practitioners of diverse backgrounds.


Rebecca Pratt

Rebecca Pratt

It has been one year since I was admitted as a lawyer. On some days, my arguments have been convincing, my words carefully drafted and my confidence unshakeable. On others, my inner critic takes the lead, letting self-doubt creep in and reminding me there is so much more to learn. Becoming a member of the QLS Future Leaders Committee will mean I can voice this real, raw, and honest experience of new lawyers entering the professional arena. Navigating the triumphs and tribulations beyond the textbooks is easier when you know you aren't alone. Drawing on my experience working in a dynamic in-house legal team focused on commercial property, I will strive to be a relatable representative of my fellow future leaders. I will candidly communicate our challenges, our changes, and our vision for the profession that we are so passionate about.


Lindsay Mengel

Lindsay Mengel

Although I have not founded any organisations or been a loud voice for social change, I have always been a supportive colleague who has been ready to listen and support where I am able. Professionally, I am legal practitioner in the fields of intellectual property, music and arts, manufacturing and innovation. In tandem to my legal career, I have worked in the arts industry supporting artists in developing their professional careers and managing their intellectual property. From my relatively short career in a boutique law firm, it has become apparent to me that legal professionals have to adapt to become multidisciplinary project managers or in simpler terms, a shepherd for their client problems. I hope to bring this collaborative approach to identifying and resolving the problems of my professional colleagues as part of the QLS Future Leaders Committee.


Bronte Crowley

Bronte Crowley

The very nature of our legal system demands continuous evolvement and change. I consider the Future Leaders Committee plays an important role in this by providing young and emerging lawyers with an opportunity to help shape the future of our profession. I hope to provide a voice for the needs and interests of these younger lawyers and serve by addressing key issues to promote meaningful and sustainable careers in the law. I believe the support and mentoring provided to young lawyers has an invaluable and enduring effect as those lawyers transition to future senior members of the profession and role models. I practise, and hope to specialise in, family law, though I have previously worked as a Planning and Environmental law solicitor. I love to travel and have studied at a culinary school in France for a year and lived and worked in New Orleans for two years.


Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown is a Rockhampton lawyer and the chairperson of the Central Queensland Law Association (CQLA) Young Lawyers Subcommittee. The CQLA Young Lawyers focus on enriching regional professional networks by organising social and charity events for CQ young professionals and the legal community. She is also an active member of the CQLA, who are vocal on issues that impact the legal profession. Courtney practises in the areas of Commercial, Employment and Rural Law, with a special interest in all forms of advocacy. Outside of the legal sphere, Courtney is heavily involved in the arts community. She enjoys being a part of local theatre, musical theatre, choir and instrumental music, and has participated in state- and nation-wide initiatives with Opera Queensland and the Australian Music Examination Board. 'Members of the Queensland legal community are bound by many commonalities, but I believe we should learn and lead by discussing our differences.


Sarah Ford

Sarah Ford

I'm prepared to be a strong voice for our cohort as we challenge the current landscape of the profession and advocate for positive change. In my roles as both chair of the WLAQ Criminal Lawyers Sub-Committee and as a member of the QLS Occupational Discipline Law Committee, I've learnt how to prepare and navigate a mean agenda, and my Zoom meeting skills are magnificent (but I'm also pretty good at facilitating and engaging in constructive group discussions). I practice in criminal law, representing clients in both defence and prosecution work. I also act for clients facing disciplinary allegations and charges relating to their employment (particularly lawyers and police officers). Working in these spaces has sparked a particular interest in advocating and raising awareness about issues impacting female practitioners, and a desire to mentor junior practitioners and increase collegiality across all legal spheres.


Tile Imo

Tile Imo

I work in a health justice partnership for older people experiencing elder abuse, it is the first of its kind in Queensland. It is a challenging, rewarding, and innovative space to work in. I love being part of a multi-disciplinary and integrated service. As a lawyer in the community legal sector, I see leadership in the wisdom of the women who lead my organisation, and also in the resilience and perseverance of my clients. They inspire me. I would use my voice on this committee to inspire others to think about how we can better meet people at the intersections of their lives to promote access to justice, and putting that into action. As a Pacific Islander, I would also love use this platform to promote the voices of young lawyers who might be BIPOC, LGBT+, and/or who live with a disability to contribute to the future of QLS.


Megan Dudley

Megan Dudley

I am a 2 year PAE solicitor at BTLawyers practicing in insurance, litigation and pro bono. Having been involved with Queensland Young Lawyers for two years, and on the executive committee for the last year, I am acutely aware of the challenges that young lawyers face. One of the significant gaps in the growth of junior practitioners is that there is an absence of accessible mentors. I strongly believe that every practitioner, whether at a micro, medium or national firm, deserves the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge with the backing of a support system. As a FLC committee member, I will focus on developing mentoring opportunities that will shape the future of our profession. I am particularly passionate about assisting junior practitioners with court and client advocacy. My history in supporting young lawyers shows that I can make a meaningful and significant contribution in the FLC Committee.


Brodie Barker

Brodie Barker

I am in the civil litigation team at Fisher Dore Lawyers, working primarily in compensation law. I am a firm believer that everyone, no matter their circumstances, deserves high quality, respectful and attentive legal representation, especially when they find themselves in challenging situations. I have a passion for helping people and giving back to the community, and I believe my job allows me to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I want to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves; supporting them to bring closure to difficult matters. I believe my high level of attention to detail, strong relationship skills and straightforward, concise communication make me an excellent candidate for the Future Leaders Committee. I am passionate and excited about the opportunity to advocate on behalf of my peers and would be humbled to help to shape the future of our profession.


Jenawai Lee du Preez

Jenawai Lee du Preez

I have always considered that as lawyers, we have an essential role in society. As such, I have always volunteered in community legal centres and have offered pro-bono services to clients. I also consider it essential that we show kindness to one another, and I've always been there to offer assistance to anyone that may need it. I live by the motto "you'll attract more bees with honey than with vinegar" although, I can't vouch for the literal accuracy of that statement. I practise in criminal and immigration law, previously in the big smoke but now in Mackay. I enjoy knowing that at the end of the day, I have made a difference to my client's lives. I am particularly interested in criminal cancellations under the Migration Act. Outside of work I enjoy exercising - mostly because I really enjoy food. Especially cake.


Francois Malan

Francois Malan

The legal profession is changing rapidly with the evolution of technology, and the future of legal practice will require the input of both the experienced and the upcoming generations. I relish the opportunity to represent the less experienced practitioners in an environment where their voices are often not heard or perhaps absent. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, it became evident the need to use innovative technologies and the additional responsibility placed on young lawyers working from home without face-to-face supervision. As young lawyers and future leaders, we have an opportunity to contribute, innovate and develop a future which supports the less experienced and encourage them to voice their ideas to help shape the future of the profession. I have particular interests in business/commercial, employment and litigation. Outside of practicing, I enjoy the outdoors (running and mountain biking), sports (rugby, tennis, cricket and beach volleyball) and music (saxophonist, singer and guitarist).


Ashley Chandler

Ashley Chandler

I'm Ashley, I'm a first-year solicitor currently practising in construction litigation. I am running for the FLC to help effect positive change in our profession. I am particularly passionate about the mental health of young lawyers. In recent years, I have spoken out about my own struggles and learnt how common these issues are among juniors in our profession. These issues are normal, but that doesn't mean that we should accept them as the norm. I would like to assist in driving change by developing targeted resources and training for junior members and serving as their voice to the Society. I will be open and available to members because you cannot purport to speak on behalf of people that you don't speak to. I have experience in representative roles and believe that I have the right mix of approachability and assertiveness to ably represent and advocate for you.


Martin Mallon

Martin Mallon

I have always had a desire to be part of something bigger and make positive changes in the legal profession and wider community. I practice in estate litigation and find it most rewarding to achieve successful outcomes for clients which can be life-changing for them. I enjoy participating at networking events with peers and volunteering my time at a number of community legal centres in a formal and informal capacity. I see junior solicitors as the future ambassadors of our profession. I was recently honoured to move a student whom I tutored and mentored at university as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland. If nominated, I will strongly advocate on behalf of members and strive to achieve real and positive change.


Sangeetha Badya

Sangeetha Badya

I have always enjoyed advocacy and representing my peers. At university I was on the management committee of my student law society for three years. Since graduating, I have continued to give back to the community by volunteering for pro bono and legal clinic work at my firm. I currently practise in the Planning and Environment team in Cairns and am keen to be a committed and active representative for regional lawyers on the Future Leaders Committee. Outside of the legal profession I have an interest in the creative industries and the outdoors, so I spent most of the lockdown doing virtual drawing lessons through QAGOMA and hiking across Far North Queensland.


Joshua McDiarmid

Joshua McDiarmid

I am the current President of the Far North Queensland Law Association having been involved as a Committee Member and Vice-President for several years. During my time, I have been involved in facilitating CPD events in Cairns and the Tablelands, professional networking events involving lawyers, accountants and engineers together with chairing the Carbolic Smokeball Subcommittee. In my view, the collegiality and expertise of practitioners Far North Queensland are a number of the region's great strengths and it would be gratifying bring a regional perspective and presence to the Future Leaders Committee. Since my time as an Associate in the District Court, I have been practicing for a little under five (5) years in the area of litigation and dispute resolution and appreciate the time I have spent appearing in the various State and Federal Courts. Other than this, I have spent my weekends training for the Cairns Ironman 70.3.


Harrison McDonald

Harrison McDonald

I was admitted to the profession in early 2018 and have since practised in property, commercial & employment law on the Sunshine Coast. My motivation to study law and enter the profession was to contribute to society through the development of law and the policy behind doing so. I have a keen interest in gaining an in-depth knowledge of the development of legal policy making and the contribution of the wider legal community in that process. Having gained an insight into the QLS' contribution to the creation of development of laws in Queensland through my 2.5 years of practice, I am eager to empower early-career lawyers and ensure they understand their ability to contribute their experiences and passion to policy & legal development. Outside of practise, you can find me on the golf course or refereeing soccer on the Sunshine Coast.


Adam Saunders

Adam Saunders

My name is Adam Saunders, I am a solicitor working primarily in commercial litigation and insolvency law and currently sit at 3 years PAE. I have around 7 years' experience in the legal profession including various administrative roles prior to my admission to the profession. Over the past 16 months, I have been an active member on the Early Career Lawyers Committee, working closely with the QLS to rebrand the committee into the Future Leaders Committee, to provide a stronger voice for early career lawyers, work I hope I can continue. I maintain a passion for supporting young lawyers and to ensure support is available both within their firms but also externally, particularly for those employed within boutique law firms rather than larger law firms. I have a particular interest in diversity and inclusion, and want to ensure that young lawyers within the LGBTIQ+ community are adequately represented and supported.


Antoni Berardone

Antoni Berardone

We live in one of the most exciting times in human history. Services and products are evolving into a more efficient and higher quality version of themselves at breakneck speeds. Within this context, the legal industry has been slower than most to adapt and modernise, being weighed down by entrenched views and ideals such as measuring the quality of young practitioners by the "hours worked", not the "quality of product produced". We are on the precipice of change and this generation will define the industry for the next 50 years. Our community, that we serve, expects us to become better. Let's look to fulfil their expectations. I practice commercial litigation, an area I am passionate about. I have a special interest in business, especially start-ups and companies determined to push the envelope of their industry; and, also, games and wine. After all, we are all human!


Joshua Williams

Joshua Williams

I have been very fortunate to have excellent leaders and mentors who have helped me grow and mature as a lawyer and as a member of our community. Although I am based in Brisbane, I started my career in regional Queensland where I gained experience as a volunteer and member of the management committee of a regional community legal centre. I have both admired and benefited from the experience, diversity and authenticity of the leaders in our legal community. I'm running to be a member of the QLS Future Leaders Committee because I would like to pay back and pay forward the benefit of that experience and be a part of shaping the culture of our law society for both our generation and the next generation of lawyers. I'm an Accredited Family Law Specialist. My interests include hiking, vintage folk/rock and taking my dog to the beach.


Ashkan Tai

Ashkan Tai

I would be honoured to assist junior lawyers, future leader members who practice in criminal law and generally young lawyers wanting to start their own firms. I worked at some of the biggest names in criminal law, and have successfully opened and run my own law firm. I want to assist and guide my peers in my given areas, but also in dealing with mental health, work life balance and general stress associated with work and the pressures and duties that make being a criminal law difficult, yet indescribably rewarding.


Maddison Harrington

Maddison Harrington

Maddison is a junior in-house lawyer currently working as a Legal Counsel at Griffith University. She is the legal advisor to the University's People & Wellbeing Team with a primary focus on employment and industrial relations matters. She was recognised as being an "Inspirational Woman in Law" in the Women Lawyer's Association of Queensland's "inspo list" on International Women's Day this year for her advocacy work. Maddison has a demonstrable passion for diversity and inclusion, especially for LGBT people in the law. Outside of work, she a Committee Member on the current QLS Early Career Lawyers Committee, and also sits on Out for Australia's National Executive Committee as the State Director for Queensland. Maddison is a member of Griffith University's Equity Committee and is Chair of the University's Pride Committee. She hopes to continue being able to represent both the rainbow and in-house communities as part of this new Committee.


Steven Erickson

Steven Erickson

I have been a criminal lawyer for 10 years and have practiced in both North Queensland and Brisbane. I am aware of the issues faced by young professionals starting their careers in both rural and metro areas and am eager to assist in developing strategies and programs to ensure that young lawyers have the pathways to gain access to their chosen field of law and progress their career. I will be promoting programs and functions which assist to bring together lawyers from all across the State to share their knowledge and experiences. I am aware of the lack of opportunities which can be found in rural areas, and will work towards pushing for both digital and in-person seminars to bridge that gap.


Joanna Bielby

Joanna Bielby

As a young lawyer I consider that my potential to serve to my colleagues, profession and community is limitless. To date I have been appointed as a 'buddy' to assist and guide the recent graduates entering our firm and the profession. I am also a member of our internal LGBTI+ network, promoting diversity and inclusion within the profession. I currently practice in Banking and Finance/Insolvency and Restructuring law. Gaining experience in both 'front end' and 'back end' law enables me to add greater value in my interactions with clients and colleagues. Outside of the profession I enjoy hiking and regularly climb mountains in and around Brisbane. I am also training for a half marathon which I hope to complete in 2021 pending the end of COVID-19 restrictions. I hope to continue my service to the profession and my fellow colleagues by becoming a member of the QLS Future Leaders Committee.


Shaan Swaris

Shaan Swaris

I am a solicitor in the Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions team at King & Wood Mallesons based in Brisbane. I am committed to advancing the interests of young lawyers in Queensland through advocating and ensuring that a diverse range of views across the profession are heard as part of formulating the optimal outcomes of the Committee, including a widespread mix of disciplines, regional, rural and metropolitan areas, experiences and backgrounds. I am also committed to developing strategies and implementing initiatives to ensure the profession remains a compelling, fulfilling and challenging career prospect for junior and prospective lawyers. Outside the law, I have a strong interest in financial markets, technology and international affairs. I also try and keep active and particularly enjoy cricket, running and cycling.


Kate Schurmann

Kate Schurmann

My goal is to improve access and visibility of QLS and their resources to my peers across the state. I want to be a voice for the next generation of legal practitioners and speak up for your interests. If I am elected to the Future Leaders Committee, I will be an advocate for you and your interests. I am deeply passionate about the future of our industry and that starts with the health and wellbeing of our peers. It also means being open to new ideas, new technology and innovation in all aspects of the law. I have worked in the world of Big Law in Brisbane and recently moved to a boutique firm on the Gold Coast to further my passion for designing legal solutions through innovation and technology. Outside of the law, I practice yoga, drink way too much coffee and dream about travelling overseas again.


Jonathan Nyst

Jonathan Nyst

I hope to serve a new generation of lawyers by contributing my views and effort to realise an exciting and innovative future, whilst not losing sight of the core values and principles that have long comprised the backbone of our profession. Having worked predominantly in the area of criminal defence law for the past approximately 7 years, I know the importance of our role as solicitors not just to the broader community, but to the marginalised and less fortunate. I encourage greater public debate and advocacy by all lawyers, to provide the community a greater understanding of our role and build confidence in the legal profession. I am also keen to build strong and courteous relationships between practitioners, so as to maintain the traditional collegiality of our honourable profession. Outside of the law, I am a passionate musician and sports enthusiast.


Kerala Drew

Kerala Drew

I currently practice in criminal law and family law. I am committed to advocating on behalf of my peers and raising awareness on key issues such as improving accessibility to the legal profession for all demographics and helping junior lawyers in terms of job readiness. I am focused also on improving collegiality within the profession, through increased services and events targeted at junior lawyers. I also think it is important junior practitioners focus on their own mental health and ensure they have solid support systems in place both inside, and outside of the profession. When I am not in Court, I enjoy Crossfit, spending time with my family and exploring Queensland (and further afield pre Covid!)


Concettina Verma

Concettina Verma

Practicing exclusively in Succession Law, I have worked closely with Zinta Harris to introduce Collaborative Practice to our area of law. A 'revolutionary' new way of practicing in this area that has been career changing for me personally. I'm passionate about ensuring that our generation of lawyers can enjoy the practice of law without the needless aggression that litigation can bring out. I would love to see a generation of 'positive problem solvers' that can enjoy long, successful careers without the usual burnout. As a business owner outside of the law (running a family café), working closely with Zinta on our boutique firm as well as having a business degree, I am equally passionate about building strong businesses. Although lawyers traditionally struggle with the idea of their firms as a 'business' I believe this is incredibly important for Future Leaders carving their way in the modern legal industry.


Matthew Hollings

Matthew Hollings

I have had a less than "traditional" legal career, from studying regionally to working in a large city law firm, moving in-house and now transitioning to work alongside members of the Australian legal community, assisting them to adopt new and technologically empowered ways of practice. In my most recent role as a legal technologist I have been able to gain a keen insight and understanding of the challenges faced by the profession, and in particular the future leaders of the legal industry, across a huge array of practice areas, backgrounds and organisational types. The practice and business of law is changing rapidly, and I want to use my unique experience to assist this growing demographic of the Queensland legal community to develop a clear pathway forward that builds on the great start made by some trailblazers in our profession, and creates a future full of possibilities for all lawyers.


Georgia Athanasellis

Georgia Athanasellis

Hi - I'm Georgia, a young lawyer currently spending half my working week as an employment lawyer and the other half on secondment at QAI, a pro bono legal service that helps some of society's most vulnerable people. Both roles, though very different, have shown me that the practice of law is all about the human connections we make with our clients and colleagues. Never before has that been more true, or challenging, than in 2020. As a profession we must continue to serve the community, but we can only do that if we first support each other. If I were lucky enough to serve on the Committee, I'd aim to ensure that young lawyers from every part of our profession and our State are offered opportunities to connect and learn from one another so that all our voices can be heard.


Matthew Armstrong

Matthew Armstrong

I am a Senior Associate in the Property & Development team at Sparke Helmore. I was recognised by the Doyle's Guide as 1 of 17 (and 1 of 3 in Queensland) Australian Property & Real Estate Rising Star Lawyers of 2020. I have actively mentored my junior colleagues within the Property & Development team at Sparke Helmore and I am often a first point of contact for our future leader lawyers in both a leadership and mentoring capacity. I would like to continue this leadership journey by playing an active part in the future direction of the legal profession and advocate for our future leader lawyers and their interests by contributing in the Future Leaders Committee.


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson

I am a Senior Lawyer with Griffiths Parry Lawyers, focusing on Family Law and Commercial Litigation. Since primary school, all I ever wanted to be was a lawyer. Now that I am one, I'm passionate about our profession and I want to make a positive contribution to the profession. I am active within my local community and have previously been a committee member of the Sunshine Coast Law Association. I also support the Sunshine Coast University Law Association on occasion as a panel member from time to time. Earlier this year, I established a light-hearted blog (The Leopard Print Lawyer), aimed at supporting early career lawyers juggle work and family whilst being fulfilled by our chosen career. I love coffee, animal print and conversation and in my spare time I am a mum and wife and (pre-Covid) an avid traveller.


Simon Playford

Simon Playford

Our fresh ideas should be heard, and our position on policy and procedure firmly understood. The Future Leaders' committee must remain true to their core mission to represent the next wave of leaders in our profession. I promise to make this happen for all of our early-career lawyers. I am a Business/Intellectual Property lawyer born out of a regional firm in Toowoomba, now building a new law firm for start-ups based in Brisbane. I appreciate the issues and challenges that our rural and metropolitan lawyers face in practice. I also understand those issues faced by our LGBTIQA+ members as a proud member of that community. I have leadership and governance experience as a not-for-profit director for several years, and I am a former committee member of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce Future Leaders. I enjoy community and stakeholder engagement, and am currently the Chair of headspace Toowoomba.