Staff

Management

 

 

Kylie McGrath

 

Kylie McGrath

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.

 

 

Sadia

 

 

Sadia Azizi

Solicitor

Sadia graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Business (International Business) from QUT in 2020. In October 2021, she was admitted to the legal profession as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Prior her admission to the legal profession, Sadia was a Paralegal at the Australian Government Solicitor for several years. After her admission, Sadia worked as a Lawyer (Dispute Resolution) at the Australian Government Solicitor in the Employment and Entitlements Team. Sadia joined RAILS in 2022.  

Sadia is also involved in social activities and enjoys helping others. Sadia is passionate about access to justice and human rights. She loves travelling and learning new languages. 

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.

Joanna Cull

Afghan Response Coordinating Lawyer

 

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

Abby Jiang

Solicitor 

Abby’s journey at RAILS started when she did her PLT in April 2019. Upon completing her PLT, Abby stayed at RAILS as a volunteer lawyer after being admitted by the Queensland Supreme Court in December 2019. Abby began working as a caseworker at RAILS in November 2020. 

Abby is passionate about helping those in need and making a difference. Abby firmly believes in equality and treating everyone with respect regardless of cultural background, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. 

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  

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. 

Jenny Messieh

Solicitor 

Jenny has worked in refugee law since 2017 and has worked with refugees in Australia, Nauru and Jordan. She holds a double degree of Bachelor of Arts (Politics and International Economics) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2017.

She joined RAILS in 2022 as a solicitor in the Afghan Response team.

Stacey Parker

 

 

Mu

 

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.

 

Mu Shwe

Solicitor

Mu first joined RAILS team as a day volunteer in 2018, and then continued on as a paralegal. In early 2022, she began working as a caseworker after being admitted to the legal profession. Mu holds a double degree of Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Business (International Business) from QUT.

Neha Vaidyanathan Emma Fell

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.

Emma Fell

Solicitor

 

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

Support Staff  
Anna Cavanagh

 

Erin

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.

Erin Allen

Paralegal

After working for many years in Corporate Law Firms, Erin was seconded to RAILS. During that time, her experience with RAILS gave her a desire to work in the not-for-profit sector and most particularly with Refugees. From September 2020, Erin was very pleased to be offered tenure with RAILS and have the opportunity to become more experienced in advocacy that will assist Refugees access their legal rights and she looks forward to making a positive difference in the lives of as many clients as she can.

  Ruby

 

Kell Andersen

Receptionist

Kell worked as a radio producer across various programs on ABC Radio Brisbane & Queensland for four years before starting with RAILS. He holds a Double Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) and Bachelor of Journalism, and joined the RAILS team as a receptionist in January 2022. 

Ruby Chiswell

Paralegal

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. In 2022 she began a new role as a paralegal in the Afghan Response Team. 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.

Simone Cameron

Paralegal

Nellie Gordon

Paralegal

Emily Humphreys

Paralegal

Elle Ko

Paralegal