National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference 2023

The Eigth National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference was held in Brisbane, from 21-23 June 2023, with the theme of the future of legal assistance. The Conference was hosted by the Law Council of Australia, Queensland Law Society and the Australian Pro Bono Centre.

The conference program can be found here. The full statement from the conference can be found here.

Conference keynotes and presentations

The following conference keynotes and presentations are available for download (copyright is retained by the authors):

Keynote speech
Chief Judge Susan Kiefel AC
(High Court of Australia)

Keynote speech
Mark Dreyfus KC MP (Commonwealth Attorney-General) 

The role of human rights legislation in promoting access to justice
Chair: Stephen Keim SC (Barrister, Higgins Chambers) 
Panellists: Scott McDougall (Commissioner, Queensland Human Rights Commission), Helen Blaber, (Director/Principal Solicitor, Prisoners’ Legal Service), Felicity Nagorcka (Crown Counsel, Crown Law Queensland)

Managing self-represented litigants
Chair: Simone Watson (Family Lawyer and Family Practice Manager, Tasmania Legal Aid)
Presenter: Colette Bots (Director of the Family, Domestic Violence and Elder Law Practice, Caxton Legal Centre), Judge Paul Howard
(Federal Circuit and Federal Court of Australia)

Truth telling, the law and its impact on First Nations people
Chair: Adjunct Professor Greg McIntyre SC (Law Council of Australia)
Presenters: Joshua Creamer (Barrister, Murray Gleeson Chambers), Melia Benn (Barrister, Endeavour Chamber)

Access to justice for older Australians
Chair: Rebecca Anderson
(Solicitor, Aged & Disability Advocacy Australia)
Panellists: Karen Williams (Principal Solicitor, Aged & Disability Advocacy Australia), Bill Mitchell OAM (Principal Solicitor, Townsville Community Law)

Responding to the law and order agenda
Chair: Dr David Neal SC (Co-Chair, Access to Justice Committee, Law Council of Australia)
Panellists: Bob Atkinson AO APM (Former Commissioner, Queensland Police Service), Elizabeth Shearer (Legal Practitioner Director, Shearer Doyle Law)

Independent Children’s Lawyers
Chair: Nicola Watts (Principal, O’Sullivan Davies Lawyers)
Panellists: Trevor McKenna  (Senior Associate, Ogilvie Jennings Solicitors), Alex Colquhoun (Director Family Law, Legal Aid NSW)

Community justice in the age of facial recognition: Are we heading towards mass-surveillance?
Chair: Luke Murphy (President, Law Council of Australia)
Presenter: Ed Santow (Industry Professor and Director, Policy and Governance, Human Technology Institute, University of Technology Sydney)

Artificial Intelligence – a threat or an opportunity for access to justice
Chair: Tom O’Doherty (Manager, Innovation & Engagement, Justice Connect)
Panellists: David Mazzone (Chief Operating Officer, Legal Services Commission of South Australia), Jennie Pakula (Manager, Innovation and Consumer Engagement, Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner), Simon Goodrich (CEO, Portable Australia)

Family violence orders, criminal matters and the intersection with family law
Chair: Esther Nambiar (Managing Solicitor, Domestic Violence Legal Service, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission)
Panellists: Toni Bell (Director of Family Law and Civil Justice Services, Legal Aid Queensland), Nadia Bromley (CEO, Women’s Legal Service Queensland)

Children’s Participation and Lawyers in FDR: Better informed, safe decision-making
Chair: Aditi Srinivas (Acting Managing Solicitor- Family Dispute Resolution, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission)|
Panellists: Dr Andrew Bickerdike (CEO, Relationships Australia, Victoria), Freia Carlton (Associate Director Mediation, Victoria Legal Aid) 

Innovative approaches to supporting the legal assistance sector
Chair: Alice Rolls (Head of Policy and Strategy, Australian Pro Bono Centre)
Panellists: Matt Simpson (Managing Lawyer, The Accessible Justice Project ), Amy Burton (Managing Lawyer, Everyday Justice), Annette Bain (Interim CEO, Wallumatta Legal)

Legal assistance as part of a coordinated response to disasters
Chair: Paul Holmes (Assistant Director, Flood Response, Civil Justice Services, Legal Aid Queensland)
Panellists: Meredith Osborne (Director, Civil Law, Legal Aid New South Wales), Deborah Fisher (Managing Lawyer – Generalist Services, Hume Riverina Community Legal Service)

Client-Centred Legal Assistance
Chair: Fiona Hussin (Deputy Director, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission)
Panellists: Amanda Whelan (Director of Client Services, Knowmore Legal Service), Damien Linnane (PHD Student, University of Newcastle), Nicole Tujague (Co-founder and Director, The Seedling Group), Jennifer Chen (Mental Health Training Project Manager, Legal Aid New South Wales)   

Climate Change and the Future of Legal Need
Chair: Jo-Anne Bragg OAM (General Counsel, Environmental Defenders Office)
Panellists: Fiona McLeod AO SC (Barrister, Owen Dixon Chambers West), Leanne Collingburn (Head of Pro Bono, HopgoodGanim Lawyers), Judge Brian Preston FRSN SC (Chief Judge, Land and Environment Court of New South Wales)