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2018 COAT National Conference
7 - 8 June, 2018I QT Canberra, ACT

2017 Concurrent and Workshop Presenters

Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson

Emeritus Professor, We Al-li Trust

Judy Atkinson (Emeritus Professor - SCU) identifies as a Jiman / Bundjalung (Aboriginal Australian) woman.  With a PhD from QUT, her primary academic and research focus is in the area of violence and relational trauma, and healing for Indigenous, and indeed all peoples. She was awarded the Carrick (Neville Bonner) Award in 2006 for her Innovative Curriculum Development and Teaching Practice, and in 2011 the Fritz Redlich award for Mental Health and Human Rights from the Harvard University Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery program. Her book:  Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines: The transgenerational effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia, was sub-listed for a human rights award.  Judy retired at the end of 2010, so she can focus on working with communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea in trauma informed and trauma specific educational – healing work, what she calls educaring. She delivers the Kungas Stopping Violence Program in Alice Springs Prison.  She worked in a team to co-ordinate and deliver the Wollongong University Indigenous Trauma Recovery Practice Graduate Certificate.


Dr. Margaret Byrne

Principal Consultant, UGM Consulting

Margaret has a BA and MA from Oxford, and postgraduate qualifications in adult learning from Bristol University. In 2005, she completed her PhD, exploring how leadership potential is identified in meetings, including meetings involving Australians working in Asia.

Margaret holds three awards for innovation in the design of executive development and change management programs. She is known for the way she balances intellectual rigour with a passion for practical outcomes that make a measurable difference to leaders and their organisations. Clients value her ability to stimulate strategic thinking and change at all levels. In 2004, Wollongong University appointed her Honorary Advisor on Leadership and Change.

Outside Australia, Margaret has worked and consulted in China, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, India, UK, USA, New Zealand, France, Germany and Italy, as well as in four Pacific nations. She is a qualified and highly experienced executive coach.  In 2007, Margaret was a winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in the Corporate Sector Category and a National Finalist.

As well as consulting across the region, Margaret also conducts research, particularly in the area she’s passionate about: international meetings where counterparts from different national cultures must work together to solve problems and make decisions. Three of Margaret’s films on this topic have been shown six times now on Australian television and sold with an accompanying book which Margaret authored. Her resources on cultural competence in print, film and online formats are widely used by consultants in Australia and internationally, as well as being used as texts in Masters Programs in universities in Australia and Europe.

Joanna Davidson

Barrister, Sixth Floor Selborne Wentworth Chambers

Joanna was admitted to practice in 2004 and called to the Bar in 2012.  From 2012 to April 2014 she served as Counsel Assisting the NSW Solicitor General and Crown Advocate. Joanna previously worked as a Senior Solicitor in the Administrative Law group at the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office and spent several years in commercial litigation practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York and Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney.  She was tipstaff and Research Director to former Chief Justice of NSW JJ Spigelman AC in 2003-2004.

Joanna has taught Administrative Law part time at the University of NSW Law School since 2009.  She is a Centre Fellow of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law. Joanna has a LLM from Harvard Law School, which she attended on a Menzies Scholarship.

Since being called to the Bar, Joanna has advised and appeared in a range of public and commercial law matters, including appearances in the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia, NSW Court of Appeal, NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, and the NSW Supreme Court as well as tribunals and inquiries.

Professor Sandra Hale

Professor, University of NSW

Sandra has a long career as a community and conference interpreter, educator and researcher. She is a pioneer in community interpreting pedagogy and research and is recognised internationally as an authority in the field. She is regularly invited as speaker at international conferences and as a visiting scholar at different universities around the world. She graduated with the first PhD in court interpreting in Australia, from Macquarie University and she headed the undergraduate and postgraduate Interpreting and Translation courses and the Interpreting & Translation Research Group at the University of Western Sydney. She was co-founder and co-editor of the new research international refereed journal: Translation and Interpreting and is a member of the Advisory Boards for the journal interpreting, International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting and Linguistica Antverpiensia NS- Themes in Translation Studies.

Her books: The discourse of court interpreting and community interpreting are widely used as text books nationally and internationally, with the latter one already translated into Spanish and Japanese.

Sandra has also led a number of important national consultancy projects, including the training of the 2000 Olympic language volunteers and the training of all the Community Relations Commission legal interpreters funded by the NSW Attorney General’s Department. She is currently working on a number of research projects on Interpreting.

The Hon. Justice Emilios Kyrou

Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria

Justice Emilios Kyrou is a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria. He was appointed to that position in July 2014 after serving as a trial judge since May 2008.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Justice Kyrou was a senior litigation partner in the international legal firm that is now known as King & Wood Mallesons.

His Honour is the second practising solicitor to be appointed directly as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria since it was established in 1852. He is also the first and only Greek-born Justice of a superior court in Australia.

Justice Kyrou is a member of  the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity.

He is the patron of the Australian Greek Welfare Society and the Victorian patron of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association.


Consultant Forensic  Psychiatrist, Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health

Dr Grant Lester is a consultant forensic psychiatrist employed by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health, Victoria. His background is in prison and high security forensic psychiatry. He was previously Director of Training for the Victorian Forensic Psychiatry Program and is currently a member of the Victorian Mental Health Tribunal. Since the mid 90’s he has researched those who would be best described as querulant and vexatious complainants and litigants.
His research has been published in both legal and psychiatric journals.
He now specialises in presenting to and training government departments, public corporations and the judiciary, in the management of the vexatious and unreasonable complainant including threat assessments and management of threatening and violent complainants and litigants.

The Hon Keith Mason AC QC

Adjunct Professor, University of NSW

Keith Mason AC QC Hon LLD has been a solicitor, barrister, law reformer, solicitor-general, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, law teacher and mediator. He has been the Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Armidale for many years and is currently the President of the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia. He has written books and articles on topics including restitution, equity, judicial method, taxonomy in the law and the interface of law and morality.

The Hon Justice Debra Mullins

Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland

Justice Mullins is a graduate of The University of Queensland—Bachelor of Commerce (1977), Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (1980) and Master of Laws (Advanced) (1999).

Justice Mullins undertook articles of clerkship at Kinsey Bennett & Gill (1978–1980) and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 5 February 1980. Justice Debra Mullins was a part time member of the QLD Building Tribunal from 1994 - 2000.

After being admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 26 April 1984, Justice Mullins commenced practice at the Bar in Brisbane.

Her Honour was appointed Senior Counsel on 17 November 1998. Justice Mullins was a member of the Equalising Opportunities in the Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia (1995-2000) and part-time member of the Queensland Law Reform Commission from 1996 to 2002.

Justice Mullins has served as Deputy Chancellor (2004–2014) and Chancellor (2014–) of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane and is an adjunct professor at Griffith University Law School (2006–09).

Her Honour was featured in 'A Woman's Place: 100 years of Queensland Women Lawyers', published by the Supreme Court Library Queensland in 2005.

Justice Mullins received the Queensland Law Society’s Agnes McWhinney Award in 2009 for her outstanding contribution to the legal profession and community. Her Honour was appointed a Doctor of the University by Griffith University in 2010. Justice Mullins was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2000.

Thea O'Connor

Personal Sustainability Specialist

As a personal sustainability specialist, Thea works with groups and individuals to improve personal wellbeing and workplace productivity – vital ingredients for long-term career success. She offers unique principles and practices for renewing energy and focusing attention during a typical, hyper-connected working day.  

Thea brings over 20 years experience in health promotion to her work, including in white and blue-collar Australian workplaces. As a university science graduate and health journalist, including for the Sydney Morning Herald and In The Black magazine, Thea stays right up to date with the latest science of high performance and wellbeing. As a health coach with a background as a dietician, workplace trainer for beyondblue – the national depression initiative, and QUIT smoking facilitator, she has her finger on the pulse of the common challenges workers face in sustaining their energy, mood and mental acuity.

Thea considers herself to be a long-standing Advocate of the Body in an increasingly disembodied culture that drives us to over-ride our natural rhythms, then over-rely on artificial stimulation to get us through the day. With Thea you will learn how to work in tune with your body’s natural biological rhythms, and tap into your reservoir of natural, sustainable energy. 

The Hon Justice Melissa Perry

Judge, Federal Court of Australia

Justice Melissa Perry was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in 2013.  Her Honour graduated in Law from Adelaide University with 1st class honours, and was awarded an LLM and PhD in public international law from the University of Cambridge, receiving the Yorke Prize for her doctorate.  She practiced at the Bar in Australia from 1992 to 2013, being appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004, and was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012. 
Justice Perry serves as a Squadron Leader with the Royal Australian Air Force Legal Specialist Reserves.  She is also a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity established by the Council of Chief Justices and chaired the specialist committee appointed by the JCCD to prepare recommendations for working with interpreters in court and tribunals.  Her Honour is a Fellow and former director of the Australian Academy of Law.  Among other roles, she is a member of the advisory boards for the Centre for International and Public Law (Australian National University) and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law (University of New South Wales).  She served for many years on the Administrative Review Council, an independent statutory body which monitored and advised on federal administrative law.

Anukool Sathu

Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

Anukool Sathu moved to New Zealand at a young age going through schooling, studying Engineering at the University of Auckland and then working within the IT sector in NZ & Australia for a few years.  He then embarked on a journey to follow his true passion of working with people in the field of international development.  After completing his Masters in International Relations and Human Rights, Anukool spent a year with NGO's in Nepal and Thailand working on capability building programmes for underprivileged people and refugees in the poorer regions of Asia.  On his return he decided to join the public sector and contribute to making NZ a socially cohesive country that is a world leader in managing diversity.  Over the years, Anukool has gone on to become a Diversity & Inclusion specialist with many years of experience as a practitioner and leader within the public sector.  He has led a team of Advisors & Policy analysts within the NZ Government and has been involved in many national projects to ensure we understand the needs of NZ’s diverse society and are maximising the benefits that it brings from a social, cultural and economic standpoint. Anukool also has expertise in building intercultural competence skills for individuals and organisations, and helping create a more productive workforce.   He has spoken at many conferences and continues to be a strong advocate of inclusive practices within all organisations.

Apart from his work life, Anukool is a keen traveller and continues to spend time exploring the world.  Coming from a migrant background and growing up in New Zealand, he cherishes the diversity of cultures that exist around the world and acknowledges the value it brings to us all as citizens of planet earth.

Helen Shurven

Member of the National Native Title Tribunal

Helen Shurven is a Member of the National Native Title Tribunal. She is an accredited mediator under the Australian National Mediation Standards and has conducted hundreds of Tribunal mediations to assist parties make agreements regarding future act matters and Indigenous land use agreements. Ms Shurven also arbitrates future act matters, and has made over 350 arbitral decisions under the Native Title Act 1993.

Ms Shurven has worked previously in senior roles in the Government of Western Australia. She has practiced law, and has researched and lectured at Universities in the fields of education and law. Ms Shurven has also worked as a mediation supervisor and trainer in the community sector.

Ms Shurven has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology from the University of Western Australia, and a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Education from Murdoch University. She was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor by the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1997.

Malcolm Schyvens

Deputy President NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), Sydney, Australia.

Division Head - Guardianship

Malcolm Schyvens was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1997. Malcolm holds degrees in law and commerce from the University of Tasmania.

Malcolm is a past president of the Law Society of Tasmania (2007– 2008), having been in private practice in Hobart for 11 years. He was also a part-time member of the Guardianship and Administration Board (Tas), the Forensic Tribunal (Tas) and a Director of the Centre for Legal Studies in Hobart. He also held the position of President of the Board of Cosmos Inc (2003–2008), Tasmania’s largest provider of day services for persons with an intellectual disability.

Malcolm was appointed as the Deputy President of the Guardianship Tribunal of New South Wales in October 2008 and was subsequently appointed as President of the Tribunal in September 2011. Upon the establishment of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) on 1 Jan 2014 he was appointed as a Deputy President of NCAT and the Division Head for Guardianship.

He is a member of the NSW Law Society’s Elder Law and Succession Committee and is currently the Convenor of the Council of Australian Tribunals, NSW Chapter and Chair of the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council.

Melinda Smith

Coordinator Cognitive Disability Services, Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network

Melinda Smith is the Coordinator Cognitive Disability Services with Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (JH&FMHN) where a key aspect of her role is improving and maintaining the accessibility of all JH&FMHN services to patients with a Cognitive Disability.

Melinda has extensive experience in the nexus between the disability, mental health and criminal justice systems. She was a pioneer in developing services and systems for people with an intellectual disability in, or at risk of contact with the criminal justice system and education for the staff who support them.


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