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The Federation is a member-based organisation which employs secretariat staff to carry out the work of the organisation on a day-to-day basis.

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.
Federation staff:

Katie Fraser - Director of Policy and Advocacy

Katie Fraser joined the Federation of Community Legal Centres in June 2014. Katie has seven years experience in community legal centres, where she has worked as a lawyer, community development manager and project manager at Footscray Community Legal Centre and more recently at the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre in the ACT where she managed the Street Law program. Katie has also worked with National Legal Aid and the American Bar Association, and brings a strong understanding of the CLC sector and an impressive track record in developing and delivering projects in a CLC or related context.

 (03) 9652 1504 | Work days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday


Melanie Poole - Director of Engagement

Melanie Poole is the Director of Engagement at the Federation of Community Legal Centres. Before joining the Federation, Melanie was a Senior Advisor for the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and led the ACTU’s civil society engagement. Melanie was  previously CARE International’s Senior Advocacy Advisor the United Nations in New York, a post she held after a decade in international development, including country office work in Kenya and Pakistan. Melanie has also worked as a strategic communications consultant, with previous clients including Amnesty International, the CPSU, Sum of Us, GetUp, All Out and Just Leadership USA. During her time in New York, Melanie was active in civil liberties campaigns, and chaired the Stonewall Policy Alliance, an LGBTI advocacy organisation that works with homeless LGBTI youth.

Melanie holds a Masters in Public Policy from New York University which she completed as an Anne Wexler – Fulbright scholar, and Arts and Law degrees from the Australian National University.


Jen Missing - Victorian Accreditation Coordinator

Before joining the Federation, Jen worked as a freelancer in the primary health and community services sector with an emphasis on strengthening service quality and consumer focus. Jen has worked to build organisational and sector capacity through workforce and systems development, including 15 years experience as an Accreditation Reviewer. Her work has included training design and delivery, and project mentoring, including support for project design and evaluation. 

Her background includes work with community and women’s health, aged care, disability, drug and alcohol, family violence, sexual assault, mental health, youth housing and juvenile justice services, state and local government and peak organisations. 

The Accreditation Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) Accreditation Scheme for community legal centres in Victoria.

 (03) 9652 1502 | Work days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday


Rohan Thwaites - Project Manager, Outcomes Measurement Project

Rohan joined the Federation in November 2015 as the manager of a project designed to help community legal centres better measure the outcomes of their work.

Rohan has a background in the community legal sector having previously worked as a community legal educator with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and as a mediator and mediation trainer with the Community Justice Centre in the Northern Territory. Rohan has also worked as a paralegal and policy officer with the Law Institute of Victoria and as a program coordinator in the international programs division of Australian Red Cross.

 (03) 9652 1502 | Work days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday


Bonnie Renou - Senior Project and Policy Advisor

Bonnie joined the Federation in February 2016 as Senior Project and Policy Advisor on the Smart Justice project to organise a symposium on reducing Victoria’s prison population to be held in April 2016. Bonnie was previously a Community Legal Centre Law Graduate, which led to a 3 year family violence project position at Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre in Bendigo. 

Prior to studying law, Bonnie completed a BA and MPhil in Criminology and worked at the Prisoners' Legal Service and as a welfare worker supporting those exiting prison.

 (03) 9652 1501 | Work days: Friday

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