Our Principal Solicitor Sarah Dale, an award-winning lawyer and leading human rights defender, will be taking on a new leadership role at RACS as our Executive Director Tanya Jackson-Vaughan farewells the organisation she has successfully led for eight years.

Sarah has been with us since 2013, when she became our first Child Specialist lawyer and successfully represented hundreds of unaccompanied children. She has led the legal team as Principal Solicitor since 2016, and managed significant programs, including assisting people affected by the government data breach and people transferred from Nauru and Manus Island to Australia. In 2018 her work was recognised through her winning of the Migration Partner of the Year Award by Lawyers Weekly.
As her role has expanded, Sarah has continued to be a voice for children, as evidenced in her powerful call last week for an Independent Guardian. Her strong legal and organisational skills have enabled the RACS legal team to respond adroitly to a shifting policy environment over recent years.

Our Executive Director, Tanya Jackson-Vaughan is leaving the organisation she has successfully led for eight years. The federal government curtailed support to refugee legal services soon after Tanya joined RACS, and she has successfully spearheaded our efforts to secure invaluable philanthropic and community investment in this work. She has bolstered RACS’ strong record as a voice for those who would otherwise remain voiceless, advocating tirelessly for access to justice for people seeking asylum.

With her strategic insight and leadership, RACS is a stronger place. She has established innovative partnerships and collaborations within the refugee sector that have strengthened RACS’ ability to provide legal services to people seeking asylum across the country. RACS would not be where it is today but for Tanya’s leadership, passion and creativity and we are an unequivocally stronger organisation as a result of her energy and vision.

Tanya’s efforts over her tenure at RACS have changed the lives of many and I would invite you to join the board of RACS in thanking Tanya for her service and devotion to RACS’ mission. Her legacy will be a well-governed, well-structured, sustainable organisation that will continue to provide life-changing assistance to people seeking Australia’s protection.

It is thanks to tireless leaders like Sarah and Tanya– and your support – that since 2017 RACS has helped more than 5,000 men, women and children, and did not turn away anyone needing assistance with their asylum application when the government announced a sudden ‘lodge-or-leave’ deadline.
For these people, RACS’ help could be the difference between staying in safety or being sent back to danger. Today, the need for RACS is stronger than ever, and we thank you for your continued support at this time of critical need.

Shortly after Jackson-Vaughan joined RACS, the federal government curtailed support to refugee legal services soon but she has spearheaded our efforts to secure invaluable philanthropic and community investment in this work. She turned the organisation around from a fully government-funded organisation into one that has attracted diverse funding streams, leveraging pro bono legal support and community volunteering. She has bolstered RACS’s strong record as a voice for those who would otherwise remain voiceless, advocating tirelessly for access to justice for people seeking asylum. With her strategic insight and leadership, RACS is a stronger place.

The board of RACS thanks Jackson-Vaughan, whose legacy will be a well-governed, well-structured, sustainable organisation that will continue to provide life-changing assistance to people seeking Australia’s protection. We also celebrate the achievement and commitment of Dale, who is well placed to lead RACS into the future.