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Law Council of Australia

2023 Immigration Law Conference

Sorry! The event is no longer available

**Registrations are now closed**

Standard Full Conference Ticket Registration includes:

  • Attendance at all conference sessions across both Friday, 17 March and Saturday, 18 March
  • Conference materials, including conference app and any speaker material
  • Lunch, morning and afternoon tea
  • Gala Dinner on Friday, 17 March

*Welcome drinks are not included in the Standard Full Conference package.


Delegates may wish to stay at the conference venue. Swissotel will be offering a discounted rate for those attending. 

Please contact Swissotel on or 02 9238 8888 and quote "Immigration Law Conference 2023" 

Key Speakers

We are pleased to announce the key speakers for this event.

The Honourable William Alstergren AO
Chief Judge, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)

The Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is the Honourable William Alstergren. Chief Justice Alstergren is also Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Chief Judge Alstergren was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia on 10 December 2018. His Honour was appointed Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in October 2017. His Honour held a dual appointment as Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court from December 2017 and he has presided over the Appeals Division of the Family Court since March 2018.

Chief Justice Alstergren has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne. He also has a Master of Laws. He practised as a barrister in Melbourne from 1991, and took silk in 2012. He was the Chairman of the Victorian Bar in 2013 and President of the Australian Bar Association in 2017.

Ms Cassandra Banks
President, The Law Society of New South Wales

Cassandra is the Principal and Director of CB Legal in Coffs Harbour and the Junior Vice President of the Law Society of New South Wales. She was the President of the Clarence River & Coffs Harbour Regional Law Society from 2013 to 2019 and is currently the Co-President. On 4 November 2017 Cassandra was awarded NSW Young Lawyer of the year by Justice Beazley and was named a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly, Women in Law Awards in 2017 and 2018. Cassandra practices in Family Law, Wills and Estate Planning, Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian documents, Guardianship and Financial Management and Care and Protection.

The Hon. Andrew Giles MP
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Andrew Giles was first elected to the Australian Parliament as Member for Scullin on 7 September 2013, representing the Australian Labor Party (ALP). He is currently serving his third term in Parliament representing the Scullin community.

Andrew is the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.

He previously served as Shadow Assistant Minister for Schools ,Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, and Shadow Minister Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship.

In the last Parliament Andrew served on a number of parliamentary committees: Electoral Matters (as Deputy Chair); Privileges; and Infrastructure, Transport and Cities.

Andrew’s policy interests include cities, education, the future of work, climate change, immigration and social policy. He has contributed to public debate as well as policy formulation within the ALP on these issues and on improving the health of our democracy.

A particular interest of Andrew's is that of loneliness in Australia, and how governments can respond to deal with this public health challenge. In 2021 

Andrew launched the Parliamentary Friends of Loneliness and is co-chair of the group.

Prior to his election to Parliament Andrew was a principal lawyer at Slater & Gordon practising in employment law. He also worked as lawyer at the firm Holding Redlich, where he acted on behalf of the asylum seekers on the MV Tampa, and in a number of political roles for the Victorian Government. He has been a member of the ALP since he was 18.

Mr James Popple
Chief Executive Officer, Law Council of Australia

Dr James Popple is the CEO of the Law Council of Australia.

James was previously Official Secretary to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.  He was also the inaugural Freedom of Information Commissioner, a Senior Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and a member of the ACT Remuneration Tribunal.  Before that, James worked for 12 years in the Australian Attorney-General's Department.  Before joining AGD, he was a judge's associate, then Deputy Registrar of the High Court of Australia.

James has degrees in law and arts, and is admitted as a barrister and a solicitor.  He is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and an Honorary Professor of the Australian National University (in the College of Law and the College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics) where he conducted his doctoral research in artificial intelligence and the law.

Mr Luke Murphy
President, Law Council of Australia

Luke Murphy has been a legal practitioner since 1989 and is an accredited specialist in Personal Injuries through the Queensland Law Society.

Luke has served on the boards of various organisations, including the Royal Life Saving Society of Queensland, Holy Spirit Care Services Pty Ltd, The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Committee, and other community organisations.  

Luke was President of the Queensland Law Society (QLS) in 2020, having been elected to the QLS Council in 2017, and has been an integral member of Queensland Law Society’s policy committees for over two decades. 

Luke is the 2023 President of the Law Council of Australia, having been director since 2020 and a member of the executive in 2021. 

Luke has a long history of involvement in government consultations and law reform initiatives on behalf of QLS. In 2016 he was appointed by the Office of Industrial Relations as one of six members of the Section 193A Review Panel under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.”

Mr Peter Woulfe
Barrister, Blackburn Chambers

Peter Woulfe has been recognised as one of Canberra’s leading commercial and dispute resolution barristers: Doyle’s Guide, 2020 & 2021.  Peter has a civil practice in a range of practice areas, with a particular focus on government and administrative law.  Peter has also been regarded as one of Australia’s foremost Commonwealth compensation barristers, having worked on various matters of importance to the application of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth).

Peter is the current Section Chair of the Federal Litigation & Dispute Resolution Section. 

Mr David Prince
Principal Solicitor, Kinslor Prince Lawyers

Since 1995 David Prince has practiced extensively in all areas of visa applications, merits review and judicial review, and has established a reputation for successfully solving difficult immigration cases. He is regularly consulted by barristers, solicitors and migration agents on complex issues of immigration law.

David has been accredited as an immigration specialist by the Law Society of New South Wales since 2000. There are fewer than 40 accredited immigration solicitors in New South Wales.

David is also a member of the NSW Specialist Accreditation Immigration Law Advisory Committee. The Committee operates to assess applications for specialist accreditation in the area of immigration law.

David lectures at the Australian National University Graduate Certificate of Migration Law and Practice course. David has been awarded the ANU College of Law 2013 Award for Teaching Excellence (Sessional Teaching) and the ANU 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Education.

Ms Joanne Kinslor
Principal Solicitor, Kinslor Prince Lawyers

Joanne Kinslor is a specialist immigration lawyer who has extensive experience and exceptional knowledge of immigration law. Her clients appreciate her dedication to solving complex immigration problems and winning difficult cases.

Joanne has been accredited as an immigration specialist by the Law Society of New South Wales since 2006. There are fewer than 40 accredited immigration solicitors in New South Wales.

Joanne is Course Convenor and Principal Lecturer of “Australian Immigration Law and Practice” at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) as part of the university’s law degree programme. She is also an affiliate member of the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

Julian Morrow
Co-Founder, The Chaser

Julian Morrow is a comedian and television producer and is best known for being a member of the satirical team The Chaser.
Julian has made a career of public nuisance in various forms, co-founding satirical media empire The Chaser and joke company Giant Dwarf, as well as making TV shows including The Election Chaser, CNNNN, The Chaser’s War on Everything, The Hamster Wheel and The Checkout.

His work has been nominated, unsuccessfully, for many awards, and prosecuted successfully in many courts.

Ms Marney Richardson
Migration Queensland, Queensland Government

Marney Richardson is a Senior Project Officer at Migration Queensland (MQ), which is a business unit of Trade and Investment Queensland and part of the Queensland State Government. She is responsible for marketing and developing policy and program options for the Queensland Migration Skilled and Business Visas. MQ has a focus on attracting the best and the brightest skilled and business migrants from around the world to work, invest, live and play in Queensland.

Ms Valerie Pereira
Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law

Valerie is the current Chair of the LCA’s Migration Committee. Since joining the LCA Migration Committee, Valerie have been an active participant and been instrumental in organising the Migration Law Conferences in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Valerie also has a boutique law firm in Melbourne with a particular speciality in work and talent visas for Silicon Valley clients who wish to migrate to Australia. Valerie is registered as a foreign legal consultant with the State Bar of California.

Mr Chris Spentzaris
Partner, Fragomen

Chris is a Partner of the Australian practice of Fragomen and has responsibility for the Melbourne office, in addition to leading the firm’s Advisory, Compliance and Government Relations Group and the Professional Practices Group. He is also heavily involved in the management and development of operations across all Australian offices.

Chris is currently the Deputy Chair of the Migration Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia and the Co-Chair of the Migration Law Committee of the Law Institute of Victoria in addition to being an Accredited Immigration Law Specialist.

As an experienced commercial and administrative law litigator and having practiced immigration law since 1995, Chris has extensive experience in providing immigration legal advice.

Ms Carina Ford
Carina Ford Lawyers

Managing Partner and Accredited Immigration and Administrative Law Specialist, Carina Ford Immigration Lawyers

Carina is a regular presenter of CPD topics in immigration law for a range of bodies and writes for the Immigration Law service for Lexis Nexis.  She has an extensive review practice at the AAT, IAA and Judicial Review. Her firm has a vast area of practice ranging from refugee cases, sports related visa issues, overseas students, character and identity cancellation cases, employer sponsored and labour agreements, global talent and business visas as well as an extensive pro bono practice with a particular focus on vulnerable persons. Carina also runs some high profile cases, including the “Home to Bilo” case seeking the return of a family detained to their home town to Biloea, Queensland.

In 2022, she was awarded Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year -Immigration and Australia’s best immigration lawyer as part of the annual Best Lawyers survey in 2021.  She was the recipient of the Law Institute of Victoria’s (LIV) Paul Baker Award for outstanding service to Administrative Law and Human Rights in 2017.

Carina is a member of numerous legal boards and committees.  She co-chaired the LIV’s Refugee Law Reform Committee between 2018 -2022 and the Sports Law Committee between 2019 2021.  She is also an active member of the Migration Law Committee of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and is the chair of the Refugee working group of the LCA.  She served as Vice-Chair of the LCA Migration Law Committee in 2017 and 2018.

She is also a registered New Zealand Migration Adviser and a member of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment.

Ms Sarah Frankel
Practice Leader, Estrin Saul (WA)

Sarah Frankel leads Estrin Saul Lawyers' skilled migration practice. While she frequently advises on general skilled migration and employer-sponsored pathways, her real passion is in navigating complex scenarios such as PIC 4020 responses, cancellation matters, judicial review and reconstructing peoples' immigration histories based mostly on their bridging visa grant notices.

Mr Phillip Yip
Principal Solicitor, Phillip Yip & Associates Pty Ltd

Phillip Yip is the principal solicitor and director of Phillip Yip & Associates Pty Ltd.  Phillip and his team represent overseas and local employers to provide temporary and permanent work visa solutions for employees to work and live in Australia.  Phillip’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies to boutique niche businesses and startups that operate across all major and emerging industries.  Phillip also represents private individuals in relation to residence and citizenship applications.  He holds specialist accreditation in Immigration Law from the Law Society of New South Wales.  He is a Fellow of the Migration Institute of Australia and a Public Notary. 

Ms Georgina Costello KC
Barrister, Victorian Bar

Georgina Costello KC is a barrister working in the areas of public law, property law, contract cases, class actions and tort litigation. She is Treasurer of the LCA’s Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section and Chair of the Migration Law Bar Association of the Victorian Bar.

His Honour Judge Christopher Kendall
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Judge Kendall holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University, Kingston and a Masters of Law and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Michigan (where he completed a Doctoral thesis with American legal theorist Professor Catharine MacKinnon).

Judge Kendall was appointed a Judge of the (then) Federal Circuit Court of Australia in January 2018. He is the Court’s National Migration Judge.

Prior to his appointment to the Court, His Honour served as a full time Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  Prior to joining the Tribunal, Judge Kendall practiced as a barrister, specialising in intellectual property litigation.  Prior to that, Judge Kendall was a law professor and Dean of Law.

His Honour was the sole Commissioner for the Australian government’s Independent Review of the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.  He also served as a Commissioner with the Insurance Commission of Western Australia and the WA Law Reform Commission.  Judge Kendall also served as President of the Law Society of Western Australia and sat on the national executive of the Law Council of Australia. 

His Honour has published extensively on topics ranging from sex equality, the harms resulting from the production and distribution of pornography, intellectual property law, LGBTI+ advocacy and same sex domestic violence.  His published books include: Civil Procedure - Western Australia; Advocacy -- An Introduction and Gendered Outcasts: Sexual Oppression and Gender Hierarchies in Queer Men’s Lives

Mr Simon Haag
National Judicial Registrar, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

Simon Haag is the National Judicial Registrar – Migration based in Sydney, and has been with the Federal Court since 2018.

Simon has overview of case management of migration matters in both the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit and Family Court, assisted by Registrars van der Westhuizen and Carney and a team of lawyers and other staff. Simon also oversees the operation of the dedicated national migration team in Registry.

In the Federal Court, Simon assists the Chief Justice with determinations regarding migration case management and listing arrangements by reviewing and analysing the body of migration cases before the High Court, Federal Court and Circuit Court at any given time, and the issues they raise.

Simon has been working in the area of migration law since 2006, including volunteer work with the Refugee and Casework Service in NSW. He came to the Court from an 11-year career in migration and citizenship law private practice, with six of those as a Senior Associate at Fragomen. During that time he consulted regularly with the Department of Immigration regarding the design and policy settings of various visa programs, wrote a number of articles on migration law developments for law journals, and appeared before Senate Committees to provide evidence regarding the operation of migration legislation.

Associate Professor Laurie Berg
Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney

Laurie Berg is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney, and Co-Executive Director of Migrant Justice Institute, Australia’s first national research and policy organisation dedicated to addressing migrant worker exploitation. Laurie is one of Australia’s leading legal researchers on migrant workers’ rights. Over the past decade she has led numerous national and global research teams on migrant workers’ access to justice for wage theft, technology for migrant empowerment, migrants’ housing rights and the impact of COVID-19 on temporary migrants.

Ms Sanmati Verma
Managing Lawyer, Human Rights Law Centre

Sanmati Verma is a Managing Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre and leads the Centre's work on migrant and refugee rights. She is a Law Institute of Victoria accredited specialist in immigration law and has practised in field for over a decade. Before joining the Human Rights Law Centre, Sanmati was a partner at Clothier Anderson Immigration Lawyers where she had a substantial public interest litigation practice. Sanmati is an adviser to the United Workers Union, deputy chair of the national Visa Cancellation Working Group and serves on the board of the Migrant Workers Centre. She was the recipient of the Law Institute of Victoria's 'Emerging Lawyer' award (2016) and the International Commissions of Jurists' John Gibson Award for contribution to refugee law and advocacy (2022). 

Mr Daniel Estrin
Partner, Estrin Saul

Daniel Estrin is a partner of the firm and a lawyer with extensive experience in Australian Immigration Law. Having worked for both government and the private sector, he has an in-depth understanding of departmental processes as well as the immigration needs of private clients and businesses. Daniel spent several years as a decision maker for the Department of Immigration and the Australian Embassy in Germany before joining the Immigration law team at the Australian Government Solicitor. Armed with government experience, Daniel has also worked with a global immigration firm as an Associate, assisting individuals and businesses with their immigration challenges. He also regularly represents clients in Federal Courts and Tribunals. Daniel’s goal is to provide a high standard of tailored, expert advice and service to clients and guide them through the immigration process with confidence.

Daniel was a finalist in the 2020 Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards and in 2021 won a prestigious 40under40 award.

Mr Charles Johanes
Special Counsel, Fragomen (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Charles is Special Counsel in Fragomen’s Asia Pacific Advisory and Compliance Practice. He is a Solicitor (NSW) with over 15 years of experience, as well as an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, recognized by the NSW Law Society.

Charles partners with corporate clients to assist in reviewing internal policies and processes in order to implement best practices and ensure compliance with obligations under local immigration laws. He also provides strategic immigration advice as part of broader workforce planning, talent attraction, mobilization and retention, and in situations where immigration law may intersect with other areas of law, such as family law, employment law, mergers and acquisitions or business restructures).

Working with corporate clients that operate across a variety of sectors (including telecommunications, information technology, engineering, financial services, retail and professional services), Charles has worked with a number of the world's largest multinational corporations, major Australian corporations, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and start-up companies. He has also assisted individual clients with a broad range of temporary and permanent visa applications, including applications for review.

Charles speaks fluent English and Indonesian and conversational Japanese and Chinese.

Mr Sasko Markovski
Partner, Fragomen (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Sasko is a Partner in Fragomen’s Sydney office. He has practiced in immigration law for over eighteen years, and has provided Australian immigration advice and assistance to Australian and international businesses across a wide range of industry sectors. His clients include world leaders in sectors such as ICT, FMCG, pharmaceutical, and management consulting. Sasko has also advised many start-up organizations with visa and immigration requirements.

In addition, he has extensive experience advising clients on complex immigration compliance matters, including representing clients in audits and other compliance activities conducted by immigration authorities.

Ms Cherie Wright
Practice Leader, Fragomen (Hong Kong) Pty Ltd.

Cherie is a Practice Leader in Fragomen's Hong Kong office. She has focused on immigration exclusively since 2000 and has extensive experience in corporate migration across a range of industry sectors as well as private client matters, including complex health and character issues.

Cherie is an Accredited Immigration Law Specialist in Australia. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, she was Special Counsel in Fragomen’s Sydney office. In addition to her time with Fragomen in Australia, Cherie spent close to one year in the London office, developing Australian-based work for Australia and New Zealand.

Cherie provides immigration guidance on a wide range of scenarios. This includes advising start-ups, small and medium enterprises, government agencies and international and major corporations regarding appropriate visa management strategies on work verification processes, immigration process compliance strategies and internal policy reviews.
Additionally, Cherie provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary support with topics related to immigration, such as family, entertainment, banking and finance, corporate and employment matters.

Cherie regularly leads workforce migration training workshops for human resources professionals and is a frequent presenter of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions for Australian migration advisors with a variety of organisations, including the Immigration Advice & Rights Centre, Migration Institute of Australia, Law Society of New South Wales, Queensland Law Society and LegalWise.

Cherie is co-chair of the Law Society of New South Wales’ Immigration Law Specialist Accreditation Committee.

Cherie has provided pro bono services as a volunteer advisor with Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (2010-2011), Redfern Legal Centre (2011-2018) and Illawarra Legal Centre (2015-Current).

Ms Katherine Hooper
Barrister, Level 22 Chambers

Katherine was admitted to practice in South Australia in 2006 and called to the New South Wales Bar in 2019.  Katherine’s core practice area is administrative law.  She acts for both private parties and government agencies and has considerable experience defending agencies as respondents to judicial review applications. 

Annually since 2016, Katherine has been listed by Best Lawyers in the categories of Government Practice and Immigration Law.  She was recognised by Best Lawyers as the 2023 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for her work in Immigration Law in Sydney.

Katherine is enthusiastic about giving practical and timely advice that addresses the needs of her clients and about maximising efficiency through the innovative use of information technology.  She is also a passionate advocate for wellness and diversity at the Bar.  When she’s not in court, you will probably find her on the tennis court.

Ms Teresa Liu
Partner, Fragomen (Australia) Pty Ltd

Teresa is Managing Partner of Fragomen’s Australia-New Zealand practice, which comprises offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland. She also serves as Co-Chair of Fragomen’s Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which provides guidance and makes recommendations to actively enhance diversity, inclusion and belonging throughout the firm.

A solicitor, Teresa has practiced exclusively in the field of immigration law since 1998. Working with clients from a number of industry sectors, she has advised some of the world's largest multinational corporations, as well as major Australian corporations, small and medium-size enterprises, start-ups and individuals. As part of the Asia Pacific region, Teresa works closely with clients and colleagues with regard to regional and global immigration opportunities, programs and management.

Teresa has particular interest in immigration planning for companies establishing themselves in Australia and working with them on their growth plan in Australia, Asia and elsewhere. With significant changes in Australian immigration law in recent years, Teresa has supported clients in the provision of strategic advice, including through presentations and roundtables, to assist clients in navigating these changes and implementing necessary program, policy and process changes.

Teresa has recently been appointed on a two-year term as a member of the newly formed Migration Member Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

Teresa is an active contributor and presenter at a range of HR, mobility and related conferences. She also contributes and presents at continuing professional development sessions for immigration advisers and lawyers such as Legalwise. Teresa is a continuing author of immigration publications, including the web-based legal publication LexisNexis Practical Guidance Immigration Law Module, which was launched in 2013.

Ms Theresa Baw
Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers

Theresa Baw is a barrister who was admitted to legal practice in 2001 and was called to the New South Wales Bar in 2006. Theresa's main areas of practice are administrative law, and public law, with extensive expertise in migration law. She has appeared before the High Court in migration law matters, including unled in a special leave application. Theresa has wide-ranging experience in all levels of migration and citizenship matters, from appearing in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to appearing before the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. She is also admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Nauru and has successfully appeared in that jurisdiction in refugee law cases. Prior to being called to the Bar, Theresa practiced as a solicitor including at top-tier law firm Minter Ellison. She has authored numerous articles including in Key Issues in Judicial Review (Federation Press). She holds a Master of Commerce from Macquarie University, and a Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) and a Bachelor of Economics, from the University of Sydney.

Ms Siobhan Casey
Chief Growth Officer, Director, Migration Pathways , Australian Computer Society (ACS)

Over Siobhan's 25+ year career she has worked in fintech, mortgages, logistics and retail.  She is a passionate supporter of Australia's innovation ecosystem and is currently Chief Growth Officer, Director, Migration Pathways and Acting Director, Communities at the ACS (Australian Computer Society) based in Sydney. 

Siobhan is also a Director/Advisory Board member for Wych (Banking as a Service), Director for Silicon Beach Australia, the oldest innovation community, Advisory Board Member and Mentor with Enterprise Ireland helping Irish businesses successfully scale into Australia, Innovation Mentor and Lecturer for Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Education Board Advisor to SP Jain Global School of Management and Board Advisor to BrainSTEM helping raise the next generation of STEM leaders. 

She has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM), a Diploma in Project Management and a Bachelor of Commerce, Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations and Associate Degree of Applied Science, Hospitality Management + Black Belt in Hap Ki Do.

Mr Michael Willard
Group Manager, Immigration Operations, Immigration Group in the Department of Home Affairs.

Michael Willard is Group Manager, Immigration Operations, Immigration Group in the Department of Home Affairs.

Michael has over 20 years’ experience working in the Department across Australia and overseas, in policy, engagement and delivery roles.  His most recent roles have included running Immigration Programs and Policy Divisions and leading the Department’s operations in North Asia as Minister Counsellor (Home Affairs) at the Australian Embassy in Beijing.

Ms Lena Hung
Principal, Lena Hung and Associates

Lena Hung is the Principal of Lena Hung and Associates and is an Accredited Immigration Law Specialist based in Melbourne, with over 18 years of experience in migration law.

Lena has been awarded the Law Institute of Victoria’s President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 2021 for her dedication and hard work in various LIV committees including the Migration Law Committee and advancing the cause of migration law practitioners. Lena has also been recognised by her peers as Best Lawyers in Australia in Immigration Law for 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Lena presently holds the following positions:

·         2019 to 2023 - Chair of Administrative Law and Human Rights section of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV)

·         Committee Member of Migration Law Committee (Law Council of Australia)

·         Chair of the LIV’s Accredited Specialisation - Immigration Law Advisory Committee

·         Committee Member of the LIV’s Migration Law Committee

Lena is the primary CPD presenter for Enriched Migration Training, and has taught hundreds of migration lawyers and RMAs. She has covered relevant and timely updates on key migration areas including business skills, employer sponsorship, skilled migration, student visas, family migration, and visa cancellations. Lena is regularly invited to present CPD topics for a number of CPD providers in migration law and legal education.

Ms Sheila Kaur-Bains
Barrister, 5 Selborne Chambers, Sydney

Sheila has almost 26  years’ experience as a Barrister. 

After graduating with honours in law from University of Warwick, England she worked at Mallesons and Ashurst’s before being admitted to the Sydney Bar in 1996.  Sheila has extensive experience in appearing in Courts and Tribunals acting for government bodies and the private sector in a wide range of areas ranging from tax, administrative law, migration, equity.

Ms Eugenia Tan
Team Leader - Construction and Manufacturing, Skills Recognition General Occupations, VETASSESS

Eugenia is the Team Leader overseeing the Construction and Manufacturing professional occupations portfolio of skills assessment at VETASSESS, one of the largest skills assessment authorities in Australia.

Formerly a practising Architect, she brings her previous professional expertise from the world of architecture and construction into her work in the migration space, ensuring current industry trends and expectations are integrated into assessment criteria. She is passionate about upholding quality assessment practices and leading through actively developing a strong team culture.

Ms Natalie Beck
Team Leader - Skills Assessment Support (SAS) Pre-assessment Consultation Services, Skills Recognition General Occupations, VETASSESS

Natalie has a background in the legal industry and joined VETASSESS as an assessment officer in 2001 when the skilled migration scheme was in its infancy. With expertise built over 20 years as a Senior Assessment Officer, Natalie has extensive experience working with stakeholders at all levels. Acting in the capacity of Senior Communications Officer with VETASSESS, she has also delivered information sessions and masterclasses across Australia, the United Kingdom and India.

Ms Servet Brennan
Acting Director of the Business, Industry and Regional Outreach (BIRO) and Engagement Section in the Department of Home Affairs

Servet Brennan is the Acting Director of the Business, Industry and Regional Outreach (BIRO) and Engagement Section in the Department of Home Affairs. She leads a national team of BIRO officers who work closely with business, industry and regional communities to provide information and promote the Department’s skilled visa program, including the Global Talent Visa Program. Her team provide pathway options and information to Australian businesses to enable their effective use of the skilled migration program to recruit skilled migrants, where Australian workers may not be available. Servet was previously the Assistant Director of the NSW/ACT Business, Industry and Regional Outreach team.

Servet has over 12 years’ experience working within the Immigration and Home Affairs portfolio across a range of roles, including as an Industry Outreach Officer and as an Assistant Director in Detention Services, Contract Management and the Refugee and Humanitarian Program.

Servet holds a Bachelor of Arts Informatics from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Politics and Public Policy from Macquarie University.

Ms Sathya Gnarakaran
ANZ Co-Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries

Sathya is an accomplished Immigration Lawyer, with over 15 years experience having worked with global immigration firms Fragomen and EY. She now leads Talent Beyond Boundaries' Australia program, implementing the ground breaking Skilled Refugee Pilot program, which enables refugees and others displaced to move to safety via a dedicated skilled migration pathway. Her current focus is on working with government and policy makers to transition the pilot to a permanent Displaced Talent program in Australia. Sathya holds a Masters of Law from the University of Sydney and Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University. 

Mr Mitch Simmons
MSM Legal

Mitch practices exclusively in immigration law and is one of only three accredited specialists in immigration law practicing in South Australia. Mitch primarily works on review applications in the Migration/Refugee and General divisions of the AAT and judicial review matters in the Courts, and has particular expertise in complex family visa issues, refugee and protection visa applications, and visa cancellations.

In 2018, Mitch was awarded the John Gibson AM Award for the Young Australian Migration Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia, and was shortlisted for the Law Society of South Australia’s Young Lawyer of the Year award. He is recognised as a leading immigration lawyer in South Australia by Doyles guide, and has appeared as an expert witness on immigration law in a number of family law matters. Mitch is also a member of the Migration Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

Mr Shahyar Roushan
Senior Member, Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Shahyar Roushan is a lawyer with a background in human rights and administrative law. He was appointed as a Member of the former Refugee Review Tribunal in 2001 and subsequently as a Senior Member of the amalgamated Refugee and Migration Review Tribunals. He is currently a Senior Member and the Protection Practice Leader in the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT. Shahyar is also a Senior Member of the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Before his tribunal appointments, he worked as a Government Lawyer in Canberra and a Lawyer with the South African Human Rights Commission in Cape Town. Shahyar is an Advisory Board Member of ANU’s Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, he is a polyglot and has a keen interest in sociolinguistics.

Ms Jan Redfern PSM
Deputy President and Division Head, Migration & Refugee Division, Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Deputy President Jan Redfern PSM is Deputy President and Division Head of the Migration & Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She was appointed to this role on 21 March 2016 for a term of seven years. Ms Redfern previously served on the AAT as a part-time Senior Member from 2009 to 2014. During this time, Ms Redfern also worked as an independent consultant, served on several advisory committees, and was appointed a part-time legal member, then Deputy President, of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal. She was appointed as a Principal Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal's Guardianship Division and Appeal Panel from January 2015 before accepting the appointment to the AAT. Prior to these appointments, Ms Redfern held a number of senior executive positions with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from 1999 to 2008, including as Executive Director of Enforcement. In 2007 she was awarded a Commonwealth Public Service Medal for outstanding service to corporate and financial services regulation and enforcement.

Ms Redfern was admitted to practice in 1983, serving as a partner of a national law firm for 10 years.

The Hon. Dan Tehan MP
Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Dan was sworn in as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment on 22 December 2020.

Mr Tehan served as Minister for Education from 28 August 2018. Prior to this, he was the Minister for Social Services, and preceding this, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac.

Mr Tehan was elected to Federal Parliament in 2010 and has held positions including as the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security; Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health, and; Chair of the Coalition Friends of Tourism.

Mr Zane Rebronja
Director, NSW Business & Skilled Migration, Investment NSW

Ms Hannah Dickinson
Principal Solicitor, Human Rights Law Program, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Hannah is the Principal Solicitor of the Human Rights Law Program at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.  An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, she has particular expertise in refugee law, visa cancellation, merits review and litigation in all Australia’s federal courts.

Hannah is the Chair and founding member of the Visa Cancellations Working Group, Secretary at Liberty Victoria, one of Australia’s leading civil liberties organisations, and a member of the Migration and Refugee Law Committees of the LIV. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on the Safe Landing Program and an advisor on the Crimmigration Research Project.

Hannah has extensive experience in private, government, and community legal work. Prior to joining ASRC, Hannah worked at Victoria Legal Aid, litigating migration decisions, as well as at Carina Ford Immigration Lawyers and Clothier Anderson Immigration Lawyers.

Mr Damian Marquardt
Manager, Migration Services, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions

Damian is the Manager of the Migration Services team for Victoria’s Skilled and Business Migration Program in the Policy, Talent and Migration branch. He is responsible for the delivery of Victoria’s state nominated skilled and business innovation and investment programs.

Mr Brendan Coates
Economic Policy Program Director, Grattan Institute

Brendan Coates is the Economic Policy Program Director at Grattan Institute, where he leads Grattan’s work on tax and transfer system reform, retirement incomes and superannuation, housing, macroeconomics, and migration.

He is a former macro-financial economist with the World Bank in Indonesia and consulted to the Bank in Latin America. Prior to that, he worked in the Australian Treasury in areas such as tax-transfer system reform and macro-economic forecasting, with a strong focus on the Chinese economy.

Brendan holds a Masters of International Development Economics from the Australian National University and Bachelors of Commerce and Arts from the University of Melbourne. He sits on the Victorian State Council for the Economic Society of Australia.

Ms Melinda Cilento
CEO, Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA)

Melinda is the CEO of CEDA. She is also a non-executive director of Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Melinda is also a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office panel of expert advisors and Generation One’s Advisory Panel - Indigenous Employment Scorecard Project. She was previously a non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum, a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and Deputy CEO and Chief Economist with the Business Council of Australia. Melinda has also previously held senior roles with the Federal Department of Treasury, Invesco and the International Monetary Fund. Melinda’s executive and director experience covers the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors and she has a strong track record of working collaboratively across sectors. Melinda’s professional qualifications include a Masters of Economics (Australian National University), and Bachelor of Economics (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), (Flinders University, SA). She is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course

Judicial Registrar Coenraad van der Westhuizen
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2)

Judicial Registrar van der Westhuizen is one of three Migration Judicial Registrars in the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2). Based in Melbourne, Coenraad is an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law who has worked predominantly in the field of migration throughout his legal career. Prior to his appointment as a registrar, Coenraad was a solicitor in the government and administrative law team first at DLA Piper and subsequently at Mills Oakley, where he acted for the Department of Home Affairs in migration litigation and regularly appeared in both the then Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia. Coenraad’s time as a government lawyer followed several years at boutique migration law firms where he acted for individuals and companies in a broad range of migration matters at the primary, merits review and judicial review stages.

Ms Maria Jockel
Legal Principal and Global and National Leader, Migration Services, BDO

Maria Jockel leads BDO’s Global and National specialist law firm which specialises in all aspects of Australian immigration law for corporate and private clients. She is a Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law and is acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading immigration specialists. She brings a unique depth and breadth of immigration law and corporate commercial -related legal experience from her years of practice. This is complimented by Maria’s former advisory and senior executive roles while in government service. Maria is a sought-after speaker and prolific author on all aspects of immigration and citizenship law. Maria is listed in “The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (2010-2023), “Best Lawyers” (2008-2023) and Doyles. Maria's immigration law practice includes employer nomination temporary/permanent residency applications, business skills migration, complex matters involving health and character issues, Federal Court applications, skilled migration, review applications at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal/Migration Review Division, citizenship, ministerial submissions, international education, the Educational Services of Overseas Students Act and the National Code, labour agreements, regulatory compliance, due diligence and related advices. In her current and former roles, Maria has contributed to shaping immigration law in Australia having advised on government policy and legal matters at State and Federal levels.



Time Topic and Speaker
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Welcome Drinks 
Thursday 16 March 2023 
Verandah Bar, 55/65 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000

The Honourable William Alstergren AO, Chief Judge, Federal Circuit and Family Court of  Australia 
Ms Cassandra Banks, President, The Law Society of  New South Wales

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Day 1
Friday 17 March 2023 
Swissotel Sydney, 68 Market Street, Sydney NSW & Online

6:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Gala Dinner
Friday 17 March 2022
Swissotel Sydney, 68 Market Street, Sydney NSW 

MC: Mr Nick Poynder, Barrister 
Speaker: Mr Julian Morrow, Comedian 

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Day 2
Saturday 18 March 2023
Swissotel Sydney, 68 Market Street, Sydney NSW & Online

Hotel Swissôtel Sydney

68 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000

CPD Points

This year’s conference is designed to include content to cover Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Practice Management and Business Skills, Professional Skills and Substantive law. It is the responsibility of the individual member to determine whether CPD points can be earned for an attendance of an event hosted by the Sections of the Law Council. 

Mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) requirements vary between each state and territory. Members should refer to their relevant state and territory law society in advance of the event for further information.

As the Law Council provides events directed toward lawyers, approval has not been sought from OMARA. Migration agents wanting to attend the event are advised to contact OMARA beforehand in respect of whether CPD points can be earned from attendance.

Read the Law Council's Event Terms and Conditions here.

Please note: The Law Council of Australia's website is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please use an alternative internet browser e.g. Google Chrome or Firefox. Please contact the Law Council of Australia if you continue to experience any difficulties when registering for an event.