Patrons

The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
Patron
Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs
Patron

Management Committee

Chris Yoo
President

Chris is a Partner at Genesis Advisory, a strategy and M&A advisory firm. Over the past 13 years Chris has held roles in private equity and management consulting with Crescent Capital Partners, Bain Capital and Bain & Company and numerous corporate directorships including with Australian Clinical Labs, MyHealth Medical Centres, NZ Panels Group, National Dental Care, Cover-More Group and Lifehealthcare. Chris is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW and holds a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Sydney.

Leanne Ho
Vice President

Leanne Ho (BA, LLB, USyd) is a Senior Associate at Henry Davis York and is responsible for developing the firm's pro bono practice. She has previously worked in community legal centres and as an International Legal Adviser to the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Kosovo, including its Human Rights Advisory Panel.

David Wiggins
Treasurer

David is a Chartered Accountant and experienced Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, having held the financial leadership role in a number ASX listed companies over the past 20 years. David is currently an independent financial consultant. He has a B Comm from UNSW, MBA (Exec) from AGSM (UNSW) and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Aust and NZ and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Aust.

Sue Cowden
Committee Member

Susan is an experienced fundraiser currently working with Youth Off the Streets. In a diverse career strongly focused on human rights, international development and social justice, she spent 13 years with Australia for UNHCR supporting the UN refugee agency’s global fundraising activities. She has also worked as a researcher for the Communications Law Centre. Susan has a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University and is currently enrolled in an Executive Masters degree in Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Ruth Johnstone
Committee Member

Ruth Johnstone is the Executive Director of The Caledonia Foundation.

With a career spanning non-profit, corporate, government and philanthropy Ruth is passionate about social justice in connecting people and organisations with the strategic advice, resources, networks and capacity to enable positive change in the community.

Previously Ruth held senior executive and management roles at Social Ventures Australia, NSW State Government and the Australian Institute of Management – VIC. Ruth is an advisor to The Mirabel Foundation and Refugee Advisory Casework Service (RACS). She also volunteers to mentor skilled migrants into employment pathways for the Community College in East Sydney and received Most Valuable Player Award from Career Trackers, Australia’s first indigenous internship program in 2012.

Ruth holds tertiary qualifications in humanities and social sciences from the University of New England (UNE) and completed the CHANGE UP Leadership Program – a high impact leadership program focused on providing executives with the tools to unlock their potential for success.

Lachlan Murdoch
Committee Member

Lachlan is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). He brings expertise in issues of mental health and the impact of torture and trauma experiences on asylum seekers to RACS. Lachlan served initially as a Board member and more latterly as Treasurer of the Asylum Seekers Centre of NSW from 2000 until 2015.

James Nguyen
Committee Member

James is the Head of Legal at TEG, the parent company of Ticketek. He graduated with a Commerce/Law degree from UNSW. James currently sits on the UNSW Law School Advisory Council and UNSW Alumni & Engagement Committee. He was also the co-recipient of the 2015 UNSW Young Alumni of the Year Award for his various charitable works. Having grown up in the South-Western parts of Sydney, James is the son of two refugees from Vietnam.

Frances Voon
Committee Member

Frances is Executive Manager at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. Previously Frances worked in refugee operations in Bangladesh, Jordan and South Sudan, as well as the UNHCR Policy Development & Evaluation Service in Geneva. She was admitted as a solicitor in NSW in 2008. She holds a Masters in Development Studies from Oxford University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons)/Laws from UNSW.

The Management Committee meets on the last Tuesday of the month

RACS Staff

 

Management

Tanya Jackson-Vaughan
Executive Director
Tanya Jackson-Vaughan is the Executive Director of RACS. Since 2001, Tanya has been working to improve the lives of asylum seekers and migrants. Prior to joining RACS, Tanya was an Academic English Teacher at UNSW and Office Manager and Immigration Advisor for the Hon Anthony Albanese MP. A passionate advocate for human rights, Tanya has overseen the growth of RACS into one of the leading refugee legal centres in Australia.
Sarah Dale
Principal Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1279354)
Sarah Dale is our Principal Solicitor. She joined RACS after a number of years working with people seeking asylum and refugees in visa cancellation and civil law issues. Having developed an outreach legal service to unaccompanied children within NSW and throughout Australia, Sarah worked extensively with children who were detained on Christmas Island and faced transfer to Nauru. She has appeared before Senate Committee Hearings in regards to issues children are facing in the asylum process as well as the experiences of those in detention.
Kerrith Sowden
Finance & Operations Manager
Kerrith has extensive experience in general management and financial roles in Australia, UK & South Africa, with a strong operational and commercial focus. She has experience across both for profit and NFP organisations and a number of start-up businesses. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa.
Shauna Wolifson
Fundraising Manager
Shauna has used her comprehensive knowledge of the Australian fundraising and philanthropic sector to raise funds for organisations and causes she is passionate about. At Mission Australia this involved helping people regain their independence through homelessness initiatives and youth services. At Theatre of the Deaf, she advocated and raised awareness for the deaf community, securing funds for young deaf artists to tour to schools across the country. She has also raised financial support from corporates, government, trusts and foundations and philanthropists for arts organisations such as Belvoir theatre and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

Senior Solicitors

Simon Bruck
Senior Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1462926)
Simon Bruck is a Senior Solicitor overseeing PAIS. He provides casework to vulnerable and often traumatised people seeking asylum. Previously he worked at Legal Aid NSW as an immigration outreach lawyer. Simon believes that access to justice, particularly for refugees, is an important prerequisite for a decent and just society.
Jemma Hollonds
Senior Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1170623)
Jemma Hollonds is a Senior Solicitor and coordinates RACS’ community education program and several of its outreach services. Prior to joining RACS, Jemma worked in legal policy and research at Anti-Slavery Australia (2010-2011), the International Organization for Migration in East Timor (2009-2010) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (2007-2009). Jemma holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons)/Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales.
Ben Lumsdaine
Senior Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1170623)
Ben Lumsdaine is a Senior Solicitor overseeing RACS’ Clinic for asylum seekers affected by the fast track process. Ben worked for RACS from 2008 to 2011 and has recently returned after working as a Refugee Resettlement Expert for UNHCR in Kerman, Iran, and in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Tanzania. He has also worked at Legal Aid NSW and the NSW Attorney General’s Department. Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Law from the University of New South Wales and a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from IHEID in Geneva.
Alison Ryan
Senior Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 0004377)
Alison Ryan is a Senior Solicitor overseeing RACS’ Clinic for applicants affected by the fast track process. Alison worked with RACS previously from 2000 - 2003. Between 2003-2014 Alison managed and worked on a range of legal and human rights programmes for the United Nations, Norwegian Refugee Council and legal organisations in Palestine, Timor Leste, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Alison holds a Masters of Laws focusing on international humanitarian law.

Solicitors

Sharara Attai
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1382267)
Nadine Darling
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1684139)
Hannah Gray
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1687812)
Mariam Hammoudy
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1683456)
Ben Hughes
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1689230)
Tara Imrie
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1575199)
Isobel McGarity
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1466382)
Avi Selvarajah
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1793504)
Mitchell Skipsey
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1686033)
Joshua Strutt
Solicitor, Migration Agent (MARN 1463298)

Strategic Support

Natalia Godoy
Fundraising & Marketing Officer
Amanda Hall
Clinic Coordinator
Mohammad Housaini
IT Officer
Jon Kindreich
Paralegal
Reeve Koelmeyer
Volunteer Coordinator
Uma Ramaprasad
Accountant
Ahmad Sawan
Practice Support & Project Coordinator

All legal staff at RACS are registered migration agents under MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority) and are bound to comply with and promote the MARA Code of Conduct which can be found here.