Federation staff are responsible for:
- coordinating and facilitating the activities of the Federation's members;
- promoting cooperation and communication between Federation members, funding bodies and other relevant organisations;
- representing the views of member centres, and their communities, in a variety of forums, including state and federal governments, the legal sector and the media; and
- conducting a telephone information and referral service for the public.
The current staff are:
- Liana Buchanan - Executive Officer
- Darren Lewin-Hill – Communications Manager
- Chris Atmore - Senior Policy Adviser
- Lucinda O'Brien - Senior Policy Adviser
- Michelle McDonnell – Senior Policy Adviser
- Lucy Larkins - Senior Policy Adviser
- Kathleen O’Callaghan – Training Coordinator
- Cate Edwards - Accreditation Coordinator
- Lee Carnie - CLC Law Graduate 2012/13
- Erin Buckley - CLC Law Graduate 2012/13
- Beth King - CLC Law Graduate 2013/14
- Gemma Cafarella - CLC Law Graduate 2013/14
- Sophie Vasiliadis - Office Co-ordinator
Liana Buchanan joined the Federation of Community Legal Centres in April 2013. Liana started out working in community legal centres, particularly the South Australian Women’s Legal Service, and has since worked in a range of law reform and legal policy roles with a focus on social justice, including at the (then) Equal Opportunity Commission, the Victorian Law Reform Commission and as an adviser to the former Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls. Immediately before joining the Federation, Liana was responsible for monitoring and review of Victoria’s prisons and other correctional services in her capacity as Director, Office of Correctional Services Review.
Phone: (03) 9652 1505
Darren Lewin-Hill joined the Federation as Communications Manager in late April 2012. With more than 15 years’ experience in communications roles, he worked most recently as Media and Communications Coordinator for the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, where he coordinated the media response to the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children (Cummins) Inquiry. Earlier roles included communications for a national education project and not-for-profits including Australian Red Cross (Victoria).
Darren is committed to the community sector and to contributing his skills to build the capacity of organisations to advocate effectively for positive change, including through the use of social media.
Phone: (03) 9652 1510| Mobile: 0488 773 535
Dr Chris Atmore is a Senior Policy Adviser at the Federation, which she rejoined in 2007 after a previous period of policy work with us. Chris co-leads the Victorian Family Violence Justice Reform Campaign and the Australian Inquest Alliance, a recently formed campaign for national coronial reform. Her other main policy and law reform areas of work are mental health and disability. Chris has worked extensively on sexual assault and family violence issues in both academic and community legal sector roles, and is the author of over 30 publications.She has volunteered and worked in the community legal sector for over 10 years, including as writer and editor with Domestic Violence and Incest Resource Centre, policy researcher with the Communications Law Centre, and board member for St Kilda Legal Service. Last year she concluded a five-month secondment to Victoria Legal Aid, where she worked as a mental health duty lawyer and assisted people with guardianship/administration and infringement issues.
Phone: (03) 9652 1506
Lucie works part time at the Federation as a Policy Adviser providing policy and law reform support for the Taxi Driver Legal Clinic at Footscray Community Legal Centre. Lucie also supports the Federation’s Civil Law and Elder Law working groups and contributes to the Federation’s policy work in these areas.
Prior to joining the Federation in 2009, Lucie completed articles working mainly in personal injury law. She has also worked as a judge's associate in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Her first involvement in the CLC movement was as a volunteer lawyer at the Western Suburbs Legal Service.
Phone: (03) 9652 1512
Michelle has over 15 years experience working in legal practice, research, policy and reform roles across the community sector, Parliament, courts and government. Michelle joined the Federation as a Policy Adviser in 2010. Prior to joining the Federation, she worked in a range of areas including criminal and coronial law. Her work before this was focused on responding to violence against women and children. During this time, she worked in a specialist sexual offences prosecution unit and in family violence law at Queensland Legal Aid. At the Federation she works Monday to Thursday on a number of criminal justice projects including the Smart Justice project and police accountability. She is the project manager and media spokesperson for Your Rights on Track.
Phone: (03) 9652 1507
Lucy works on the Federation's Civil law, human rights and prison law policy initiatives.
Prior to joining the Federation, Lucy spent five years working on death penalty cases in the United States. Her death penalty work focused on the defence of foreign national facing the death penalty, the defence of the mentally ill, and the conditions of detention in prison.
Lucy is qualified to practice law in Australia and previously worked at Arnold Bloch Leibler, a commercial law firm. She has a BA in History and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.
Phone: (03) 9652 1511
Kathleen joined the Federation in 2012. Her role as training coordinator involves organising professional development activities and other Federation events, as well as assisting with sector development coordination. Prior to joining the Federation, Kathleen spent seven years at the Australian Council of Trade Unions, working as an Occupational Health and Safety project officer, coordinating campaigns and policy work to improve the health and safety standards of Australian workers. She also worked as a campaign organiser in the Rights at Work campaign.
Kathleen completed a Bachelor of Media Studies in 2002 and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Laws at LaTrobe University.
Cate Edwards joined the Federation in 2012. Her role as the Accreditation Coordinator sees her responsible for coordinating the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) Accreditation Scheme for Community Legal Centres in Victoria. Cate comes from a background in the animal welfare sector where she has been working for the past 13 years. Most recently she worked in a similar role for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) where she was the Member Society Development Manager. This role involved undertaking organisational assessments and capacity development activites with member organisations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Cate also spent 4 years with the Cat Protection Society of NSW, of which two were in the role of Executive Officer. Cate has several animal related qualifications including a Post Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and is currently undertaking a Masters in Not for Profit Management.
(03) 9652 1502
Lee is one of our two CLC law graduates for 2012/2013.
Lee completed her Juris Doctor of Law in 2011 and a Bachelor of Arts (Social Theory and Anthropology) in 2008, both at the University of Melbourne. She has had substantial volunteer commitments in the community legal sector including at the Human Rights Law Centre, PILCH and the Fitzroy Legal Service. She is passionate about mentoring teenagers from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds as a Computer Clubhouse Mentor at the Fitzroy Learning Network and previously as a Volunteer Tutor at the Carlton Parkville Youth Services Homework Club. Her past paid work has included facilitating first year law students to improve and develop learning skills as a JD Study Group Facilitator and working at the commercial law firm TressCox Lawyers.
Erin is one of our 2012/2013 CLC law graduates.
Erin completed her Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) in 2011 and a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Community Development) in 2009, both at the University of Melbourne. She has undertaken diverse volunteer and paid work commitments in the fields of women’s human rights, housing rights, community development and health. These have included volunteering as a remote health care worker for women and children on the Thai-Burma border and working as a sexual harassment advisor at St Mary’s College. Most recently she joined Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre as a volunteer paralegal for the Police Accountability Project, which involves interviewing clients, complex legal research in civil and criminal law and general case work.
Beth is one of our two CLC law graduates for 2013/2014.
Beth completed her Juris Doctor of Law in 2012 and Bachelor of Arts & Sciences (Anthropology & Psychology) in 2009, both at the University of Melbourne. She has volunteered and worked with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre as a legal clerk and caseworker, with aid organisation Friends of Kolkata coordinating their scholarship and international volunteer programs, and with the Human Rights Law Centre researching human rights law. She has also interned with Native Title Services Victoria, the African Mental Health Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya, the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, the Federation of Community Legal Services, and Victoria Legal Aid, and previously worked as Administrator of the Australian Labour Law Association and the University of Melbourne Student Union.
Gemma is one of our two CLC law graduates for 2013/2014.
Gemma completed her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (History & Politics) in 2010 at LaTrobe University. She has been passionate about social justice for as long as she can remember, and has significant experience in non-profit law firms. Gemma has completed two death penalty internships in New Orleans, USA. She has also completed an internship in native title law with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, and has volunteered with the Footscray Community Legal Centre and the West Heidelberg Community Legal Centre. Gemma has also worked as an instructing solicitor in criminal trials in the County Court.
Sophie joined us in July 2012 having previously worked at Fitzroy Legal Service for over 3 years as the administrator / client services officer, where she assisted clients to access the legal help needed.
Sophie has extensive experience and qualifications in administration, customer service and early child hood. She managed a children's service centre for local government and was the childcare centralised waiting list officer for the City of Darebin. Sophie has also worked at other agencies such as Kildonan UnitingCare, JET Child Care (Jobs Education and Training Program) and the Commonwealth Government.
Phone: (03) 9652 1501