Staff

Management

 

 

Kylie McGrath

 

Kylie McGrath

Acting Executive Director and Principal Solicitor 

Kylie has worked in the field of refugee and immigration law for over ten years in Australia, Geneva and the United Kingdom. She has also practised in the areas of mental health, elder and disability law.

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Kylie worked with the Australian Red Cross in community development, disaster recovery and project management roles.

Kylie has been the Principal Solicitor at RAILS since January 2019 and became Acting Executive Director in March 2021.

 

Rob Lachowicz

 

Cristina Prieto Salvador

 

Robert Lachowicz

Education Officer and Solicitor 

Rob was a tutor at QUT law school and worked with Legal Aid Queensland before becoming Principal Solicitor at the Youth Legal Service in Perth. Rob joined RAILS many years ago and worked as a caseworker, principal solicitor and director, before moving into community legal education, where he has developed a range of innovative programs. Rob has also worked in Indigenous justice policy for State government, and has been a cross-cultural trainer, film-maker, musician and puppeteer.

Cristina Prieto Salvador

Operations Manager

Cristina has a dual degree of Law and Business Management from Spain. She has worked for both private law firms and community legal centers in Australia and in Spain.

She joined our team in October 2018 as a volunteer and became Operations Manager in July 2020.

 

 

Mei Wang

 

 

Mei Wang

Finance Manager

Mei has many years of experience as a finance officer, working for private companies. She is currently studying towards obtaining further qualifications as an accountant with the ACCA.

She has been part of our team since August 2014.

 

Legal Team

 
Susan Hogarth

 

Noel Reeves

 

Susan Hogarth

Senior Supervising Solicitor 

Susan's first professional career was in primary teaching. She taught in regional Queensland and Brisbane as well as in England, Thailand and Vanuatu.

Susan studied law while raising her three young children and has been connected to RAILS since 2013. Upon admission into practice in 2016, she became a caseworker and the coordinator of the Primary Application Information Service (PAIS) program.

She now represents clients in their protection and partner visa applications.Susan is committed to social justice and is passionate about working in the community legal sector.

 

Noel Reeves

Senior Supervising Solicitor 

Noel joined RAILS as a part-time volunteer in his last year of law school in 2012. In 2014, he was admitted as a solicitor by the Supreme Court of Queensland. Noel worked in both criminal law, and wills and estates, before joining us as a full time solicitor in 2014.

He is the senior solicitor in the Refugee Family Reunion team, providing advice and representation to clients hoping to bring their family members to Australia. Noel is experienced across all visa sub-classes, particularly in onshore and offshore protection and humanitarian visas and appeals through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Outside of work, Noel's interests are photography, exercise and boxing/mixed martial arts.

 

Bernie Carrick

UAS Project Coordinator

Bernie has worked in refugee law since 2010. He began his career at a specialist refugee community legal centre in Perth. Most recently, he was the Project Lead for a private firm, contracted by the Australian government to assist asylum-seekers in Nauru with their refugee status determinations and judicial review matters.

He has also been a Teaching Fellow at University of Melbourne Law School and will shortly submit a PhD for examination at the same institution.

He enjoys the complexity of the law around protection visas and judicial review, as well as finding legal, community and institutional work-arounds for vulnerable people.

Lara Conlan 

Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1913659)

Lara is a solicitor and migration agent and has worked within the refugee law sector since 2015. She previously worked as a Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Expert for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) both overseas and in Australia, and as a lawyer with Refugee Legal in Victoria. She joined the RAILS team in April 2021 as a caseworker working on matters including protection visas and family violence provisions work.

 

 

Grace Gatbonton Prince

 

Bunu Gautam

 

Grace Gatbonton Prince

Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0639454)

Grace has worked in the settlement, multicultural, refugee, and migration services for many years in a variety of roles both in government and in the community sector. She has been registered as a migration agent since 2006.

In 2011, after several years volunteering for RAILS she became a caseworker in the Refugee Family Reunion team. Grace continues to enjoy the challenges of working with and advocating for refugee and migrant clients and their families.

 

 

Bunu Gautam

Solicitor 

Bunu has many years of experience in migration law, both working for private law firms and in the community sector. For about seven years, she ran a private migration practice.

She has been part of RAILS team since 2008 and is now a full time caseworker representing applicants for partner, family reunion, and protection visas. She has also represented clients before the AAT and applying for Ministerial Intervention and brief to counsel.

Bunu is passionate about providing access to justice for clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.

 

Jee-Yeun (Valentina) Jung

 

 

Tim Madigan

 

Jee-Yeun (Valentina) Jung

Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1792218)

Valentina worked in the Primary Application Information Service (PAIS) project after her admission. In this role she provided casework to a cohort of vulnerable and often traumatised individuals and families who had arrived in Australia by boat to seek asylum. She has experience in various protection visa matters and partner visa applications involving family violence, and has also assisted UAS clients at outreach clinics.

Valentina is driven by her interests in improving access to justice for some of the most disadvantaged in society, including people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Tim Madigan

Solicitor 

Tim was admitted to practice as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia in 2011 and has worked in law since. In 2015, he began work at RAILS, where he is a member of the Refugee Family Reunion team providing assistance to Australian residents making application to reunite with family members offshore.

Tim's interests include Irish whiskey, golf and yoga. 

 

 

 

Rachael Molnar

 

 

Stacey Parker

 

Rachael Molnar

Solicitor 

Rachael first joined RAILS as a clinic student and continued to volunteer and work as a paralegal. She became a caseworker when she was admitted into practice in May 2018.

Rachael has experience working with people seeking protection in Australia and those who have experienced family violence. She has represented clients from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in their migration matters at the Department of Home Affairs. She enjoys providing advice and assistance to clients and creating a safe and comfortable environment for people to tell their stories.

 

 

 

 

 

Stacey Parker

Lawyer, Pro Bono Coordinator and Solicitor 

Stacey has enjoyed a varied and interesting legal career across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Throughout her career, she has pursued opportunities to secure access to justice for, and to protect the human rights of, refugees and people seeking asylum, children and young people and people experiencing mental illness.

After volunteering with us for three years during her studies, Stacey has brought her broad expertise back to RAILS as our Lawyer and Pro Bono Coordinator. After her admission to the profession in 2012, Stacey has worked for a national law firm, pro bono clearing houses in Brisbane and London, as a principal legal officer for a public inquiry, a government litigation lawyer and briefly as a child advocate. Stacey is passionate about pro bono and the profession's ability to provide vulnerable groups with access to justice through partnerships with community legal centres. Stacey also enjoys working directly with our clients in their protection and partner visa applications, and appeals to the AAT and the Courts.

Neha Vaidyanathan

 

 

 

 

 

Neha Vaidyanathan

Solicitor 

Neha used to work at Queensland Advocacy Inc., advising and representing vulnerable clients with mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities. She also has many years of experience in refugee and migration law, having worked in community legal centres in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Neha has visited immigration detention centres throughout Australia to provide legal representation to people seeking asylum. She has also provided representation at review hearings before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

One of her proudest achievements has been working together with the community and legal sector to coordinate pro bono legal assistance to asylum seekers seeking judicial review in the Federal Circuit Court.

 

Our solicitors and migration agents are bound by the Code of Conduct for Registered Migration Agents.

Support Staff  
Anna Cavanagh

 

Clare Carter

 

Anna Cavanagh 

Senior Intake Officer

Anna has extensive experience in support, administration and customer service roles. She has worked as a Caseworker for the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames Council in London, assisting homeless and vulnerable people to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. She has also volunteered with various organisations, including Amnesty International and St Vincent de Paul, and as a classroom assistant at Milpera State High School for refugee and migrant students. Anna holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Queensland. 

Anna joined the RAILS team on a full-time basis in November 2020.

Clare Carter

Paralegal

Clare is passionate about assisting refugees and asylum seekers. Her past professional experiences include working on community engagement projects with unaccompanied asylum seekers in London, coordinating access to services for asylum seekers in Scotland, and refugee education programs in South Africa.

She has a masters degree in refugee studies and is currently studying Law at QUT.

Clare joined our team in 2018 as a volunteer and is now a paralegal focusing on policy and projects.

 

Phoebe Nind

 

Emma Fell

 

Phoebe Nind

Paralegal

Phoebe is studying a dual degree of Laws (Honours) and Arts at UQ. She is passionate about social justice and has worked in the non-for-profit sector since 2016.

In 2016, Phoebe  was awarded a Fully Sponsored Lattitude Global Volunteering Placement to Vietnam. Then in 2017, she became the Assistant State Director of Oaktree's Queensland Branch.

Phoebe started volunteering with us in January 2018,  before she became administration officer and, in February 2019, UAS paralegal.

Emma Fell

UAS Project Legal Services Coordinator

Emma is currently studying a Law and Arts dual degree at UQ. She first joined our team as a legal clinic student, and then continued on as a day volunteer.

Emma became Legal Services Coordinator in July 2019. She has previously been involved with a number of other not-for-profit organisations and is committed to assisting vulnerable members of society in the pursuit of social justice.

 

 

 

Rachel

 

Ruby Chiswell

Receptionist

Ruby is in her final year of Law (Honours) and International Relations at Griffith University. She is passionate about the rights of refugees and advocating for access to justice and social services for the vulnerable. Ruby has volunteered with RAILS since early 2019 and joined RAILS as the receptionist in September 2020. She strives to support the clients at RAILS as best she can and improve her knowledge of the refugee experience in order to become a more effective advocate.

 

Rachel Li

Administration and Intake Officer

Rachel is currently studying a dual degree of Laws (Honours) and Business Management at UQ. She first started at RAILS as a day volunteer and now works as an Intake and Administration Officer.

Rachel is passionate about improving access to justice in Australia and hopes to pursue a legal career where she can help vulnerable people understand their legal rights. She thoroughly enjoys giving back to the community and is driven by her desire to make a positive impact in the world that we live in.