Our staff

The current members of our staff are (click to see a brief biography):

Jen Black – Principal Lawyer Legal Practice
Jennifer joined us in September 2013 as our Senior Community Lawyer at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. In October 2016 she was appointed Principal Solicitor. Jen was admitted to the legal profession in April 2009 after completing her articled clerkship at Victoria Legal Aid. She has a Bachelor of Arts Law from the University of Melbourne and is an accredited criminal law specialist. Prior to joining the FLS team, Jennifer worked for Victoria Legal Aid in the appeals and strategy, and advocacy teams. She has also worked at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency.
Deb Brown – Front Office Support
[no bio available]
Laura Button – Coordinator Women's Leadership Program
Laura commenced as the Leadership Program Coordinator of the Women Transforming Justice project in May 2019. Before taking on this role, Laura managed the women’s mentoring program at VACRO, and worked as a case manager for Flat Out. Laura has qualifications in international relations, gender policy and family violence; she is also currently undertaking a Master of Human Rights Law at Melbourne University. In addition, Laura has volunteered at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Amnesty International, and at the St Kilda Gatehouse.
Anna Caleo – Volunteer Coordinator
[no bio available]
Helen Davidson – Managing Lawyer, Family Law and Family Violence
Helen Davidson holds a Degree in Law and Media Studies. She was a Family and Child Protection Lawyer with Victoria Legal Aid from 2011 to 2018 and is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms Davidson is a current Councillor at Moreland City Council and has been a councillor since 2012 and Mayor from 2016 to 2017. She currently holds the portfolio of the Status of Women in Moreland City Council.
Tori Diamond – Office Manager (Reservoir)
Tori joined as our Administrative and Client Services Officer in January 2016. Previously, she spent three years working at Allens as a Legal Secretary, and two years working as a Marketing Assistant at List A Barristers.
Claudia Fatone – Chief Executive Officer
Claudia has been our Executive Officer since April 2013. She is also a board member of the Victoria Law Foundation, the Federation of Community Legal Centres and director of Cricket Victoria, the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades. Prior to joining us, Claudia held a range of management roles including the Sector Development Manager at the Federation of Community Legal Centres, the Associate Director at Sport Employment Australia, the Women’s Cricket Operations Manager at Cricket Victoria and the Executive Officer of the Victorian Women’s Cricket Association. Claudia has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jill Faulkner – Manager, Women Transforming Justice
Jill commenced as the Manager of the Women Transforming Justice project in June 2019. Before taking on this role, Jill managed and worked in domestic abuse and sexual abuse services in both Melbourne and Western Australia, and managed primary health care services in eastern Melbourne. Jill has also spent time working on the lands of the First Nations peoples in north-west Western Australia and in the Northern Territory. Jill has a Bachelor of Social Work and a Masters of Narrative Therapy and Community Practice.
Meghan Fitzgerald – Social Action, Policy & Law Reform Manager
Meghan is our Manager of Social Action, Policy and Law Reform. She has been employed with us since 2008. Her current role involves community development/legal education activities, conduct of campaigns and law reform projects, and carriage of strategic litigation. Meghan sits on the Board of Harm Reduction Australia.
Karen Fletcher – Managing Lawyer, Public Interest Law
Karen Fletcher joined Darebin Community Legal Centre in 2018 as a senior solicitor in prison advocacy, family violence and general law. She was appointed Managing Lawyer, Public Interest Law in September 2019. Karen was Principal Solicitor and Coordinator of the Prisoners Legal Service in Queensland from 1996 to 2002. She obtained a master’s degree in Public Health Law in 2005 and worked in a range of public health and Victorian Government roles prior to returning to community legal centres in 2018. She is on the Board of Flat Out Inc., a housing and support service for women leaving prison in Victoria and their children.
Erin Fradd – Community Lawyer, Family Violence
[no bio available]
Yasmin Geneva – Senior Criminal Lawyer
Yasmin joined FLS as one of our criminal lawyers in September 2017. Prior to becoming a member of the FLS team, Yasmin worked as a lawyer at Richard Revill Lawyers and as a paralegal at Leanne Warren & Associates. She has also volunteered at Youthlaw and the La Trobe Law Clinic. Yasmin has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) from the University of Technology in Sydney, and a Bachelor of Laws from La Trobe University in Melbourne.
Thea Gibson – Drug Outreach Lawyer
Thea joined FLS in January 2020 as our Drug Outreach Lawyer. Before becoming a member of the FLS team, Thea worked for Victoria Legal Aid. Thea has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, and a Juris Doctor from Melbourne University.
Lauren Gordon – Senior Generalist Lawyer
[no bio available]
Rosie Heselev – Trainee Lawyer
Rosie joined FLS in 2020 as a Trainee Lawyer. Before joining the FLS team, Rosie worked as a paralegal at the Women’s Legal Centre in the ACT. Rosie graduated from the Australian National University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts & Law. At university, Rosie was involved with various law reform and social justice projects, including advocating for refugees and working on a legal literacy program for prisoners. In addition, Rosie has volunteered extensively overseas. Her volunteer work has included working in legal aid for refugees in Greece, and advocating against the trafficking of women and girls in Nepal.
Brendan Kelly – Finance and Operations Manager
Brendan joined FLS in August 2019 as our Finance and Operations Manager. Before joining the FLS team, Brendan spent three years at Teach for Australia as their IT Manager. Brendan has over 36 years’ experience in the finance and IT sectors and has worked for government, private sector and not-for-profit organisations. Brendan is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA). He has also graduated from RMIT (Bachelor of Business (Accounting)), Deakin University (Graduate Diploma of Computing) and Swinburne University (Diploma of Project Management). Brendan is an active member of his local cricket club, where he coaches a junior girls side, is the captain of the fourths, and is the club’s treasurer.
Paul Kidd – Community Lawyer NJC
Paul joined us in March 2018 as our Trainee Lawyer. He moved into the Community Lawyer role in February 2019. Paul graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 2017. As well as graduating with first-class honours, Paul’s academic achievements include receiving the Public Law, Constitutional Law and Legal Institutions and Methods prizes. Paul has also been active in the Australian HIV response. He sits on the Boards of HIV Justice Network and Hepatitis Victoria, is a member of the Victorian Government’s LGBTI Taskforce Justice Working Group, and was the inaugural Chair of the Victorian HIV Legal Working Group and the Equality Project.
Beth King – Senior Community Lawyer NJC
Beth joined Darebin Community Legal Centre, now a program of Fitzroy Legal Service, as Outreach Lawyer in late 2016. Prior to this she worked across a number of CLCs, first as a 2013-14 Federation of CLCs Graduate Lawyer, where she did placements at Footscray CLC, Barwon CLS, Women's Legal Service Victoria and InTouch, then as a Community & Migration Lawyer at Eastern CLC. She is the co-convenor of the CLC Community Development & Community Legal Education Working Group and a broadcaster and member of the Committee of Management at 3CR Community Radio 855AM. In 2018 she co-authored the report 'Justice Diverted? Prosecutorial discretion and the use of diversion schemes in Victoria', released as part of Liberty Victoria's Rights Advocacy Project. Beth has a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne.
Sophie L'Estrange – Community Education and Projects Officer
Sophie first joined FLS in 2017 as a volunteer in the Social Action, Policy and Law Reform team, before moving into her current role of Community Development Officer in December 2018. Before becoming a member of the FLS team, Sophie worked in legal advocacy in the environmental and humanitarian immigration sectors. Sophie has worked as a volunteer at the Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern, Environs Kimberley in Broome, the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations in Victoria, and Melbourne Activist Legal Support. Sophie graduated with distinction from RMIT with a Bachelor of Legal and Disputes Studies in 2015, and is currently undertaking a Juris Doctor at Monash University.
Catherine Lau – Administration Officer (Night Service)
Catherine joined FLS in January 2020 as our Night Service Administration Officer. Catherine has a Bachelor of Science (Engineering and Business Law) from the University of Western Australia. She is currently undertaking a Juris Doctor at Monash University. Catherine volunteered as a paralegal with the FLS night service and the Migrant Employment Law Clinic before moving into her current role.
Alison Leonidis – Finance Officer
Alison joined FLS in 2020 as our Finance Officer. Alison is a highly accomplished accountant and auditor with over 20 years’ experience both in Australia and overseas. Not only is Alison a qualified chartered accountant (ICAEW), but she also has a Bachelor of Chemistry (Hons) from Oxford University.
Amre Levy – Family Lawyer (Family Law Accredited Specialist)
Amre has a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws from Monash University, and upon graduation completed his articles at Behan & Speed. Several years in general practice followed before Amre focused on family and personal injury law. Amre was accredited as a Family Law Specialist in the 1990’s, and joined Webb, Stagg, Tonkin & Spark. He ran their Doncaster office, and developed a large following in Doncaster and Diamond Valley. He then joined and became a partner of Yuncken & Yuncken, a firm based in Melbourne with a large branch in Blackburn. He has been with us for the last nine years, practising exclusively in family law.
Shamila Liyanage – Lawyer and Project Coordinator
Shamila joined Fitzroy Legal Service in early 2019 as a Community Lawyer and Project Coordinator for the Rachel and her children project; a family violence legal service, delivered as a Multi-Disciplinary Practice Model in partnership with Save the Children. Prior to this, Shamila practiced as a family violence lawyer at the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service in Adelaide, South Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice from Flinders University.
Glenn Ludbrook – Night Service Coordinator (Reservoir)
[no bio available]
Madeleine Lynch – Community Lawyer, Family Violence
Madeleine joined FLS in October 2019 as our Family Violence Lawyer. Before becoming a member of the FLS team, Madeleine worked at Peter Lynch Solicitors in the areas of family law and criminal law. Madeleine graduated from Monash University with a Juris Doctor in 2015; she was admitted to legal practice on 5 December 2017. In the interim, Madeleine worked at Oxfam Australia in humanitarian response and completed her practical legal training at the Human Rights Law Centre.
Emily Male – Client Services & Administration Officer
Emily first joined FLS as a volunteer in 2017, before moving into her current role of Administration and Client Services Officer in 2019. Emily graduated from Monash University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours). Emily is passionate about the environment and has completed an honours thesis on climate change litigation, which she presented at the Monash Honours conference.
Morgan Nyland – Community Lawyer, Employment Law
Morgan joined us in February 2018 and is a long term volunteer of the evening legal advice service.
Mark Rawlings – Night Service Coordinator (Fitzroy)
[no bio available]
Naomi Saligari – The Law Handbook Editor
Naomi has been the editor of The Law Handbook since 2013. Prior to joining us, Naomi worked as a Senior Editor at Oxford University Press, and spent six years in various editorial roles at Macmillan Publishing. Naomi has a Bachelor of Arts from Melbourne University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing from RMIT University.
Odette Shenfield – Outreach Lawyer
Odette joined FLS in March 2019 as our Trainee Lawyer. Odette graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws in 2017. As well as graduating with first-class honours, Odette’s academic achievements include receiving a University Medal and being awarded the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and Australian Government Solicitor Prize. Odette has also been awarded the Tillyard Prize for her environmental and refugee advocacy while at the ANU. Prior to becoming a member of the FLS team, Odette worked for the migration agent and human rights advocate, Marion Lê, and volunteered at Refugee Legal. Odette moved into our Outreach Lawyer role in January 2020.
Adrian Snodgrass – Principal Lawyer Night Service
Adrian started work with us in 2005 as a Solicitor Advocate and the Managing Lawyer of our night service. For 10 years, he has managed the night service whilst also taking on other day roles including solicitor at the St Kilda Community Legal Service, Footscray Community Legal Centre, Public Interest Law Clearing House (now known as JusticeConnect) and Moonee Valley Legal Service. During 2014-2015, Adrian undertook the role of Senior Solicitor for our Taxi Driver Legal Service. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Charles Sturt University and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.
Tuvan Vuong – Finance Assistant
Tuvan started working with us in 2007 as a casual helping with The Law Handbook invoicing. Now she now works two days per week assisting our Finance Officer. Prior to working with us, she spent six years at Complete Commercial where she looked after their accounts receivable and accounts payable. Tuvan studied nursing at university.
Linda Waters – Family Violence Lawyer
[no bio available]
Hui Zhou – Principal Lawyer Legal Practice
Hui completed her Articles at Fitzroy Legal Service and was admitted to practice in 2007. Since then she has worked as FLS’s Drug Outreach Lawyer, as a solicitor at North Melbourne Community Legal Centre and a mental health advocate at Victoria Legal Aid. Hui has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor Laws (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, and a Certificate of Qualification from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Hui has been the Principal Lawyer at Darebin Community Legal Centre since 2016.
Adam Willson – Senior Drug Outreach Lawyer
Adam began working at FLS in 2015 as a volunteer and was appointed to the position of Drug Outreach Lawyer in February 2016 and Senior Drug Outreach Lawyer in January 2019. Prior to becoming a member of the FLS team, Adam worked as a solicitor at Ruffin Lawyers. He was admitted to legal practice on 13 August 2014 after completing a Bachelor of Laws at La Trobe University and a Graduate Diploma in Practical Training at Leo Cussen Centre for Law. During his studies, Adam volunteered as a paralegal at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services and completed an internship centred on Aboriginal corporate governance at South Australian Native Title Services.