Renée Bianchi is a barrister at 13th Floor St James Hall Chambers, having been called to the Bar in 2013 after practising as a solicitor in private practice for five years.
Renée joined the Executive Committee of the Women Lawyers Association of NSW (WLANSW) in November 2018 as a general Committee member, becoming Vice President in November 2019 and President in 2020. As the incoming President, she introduced the first Strategic Plan for the Association and is looking forward to continuing the work of the advancement of women within all facets of the legal profession and increasing the profile of WLANSW by way of advocacy and policy statements, particulary as WLANSW celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2022.
She is the delegate for WLANSW with the National Council of Women of NSW, the Women Barristers Forum, and the NSW Bar Association’s Diversity and Equality Committee.
Renée was the Chair and Immediate Past Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s Young Lawyers Committee from October 2016 – April 2019 and was the President of NSW Young Lawyers in 2016. She is also a volunteer with Girl Guides Australia and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts; as well as the Board Secretary of the B Miles Women’s Foundation.
Renée was a finalist in the WLANSW ‘Barrister of the Year’ category in 2017, and Doyle’s Guide has listed her in its Wills and Estates Litigation Leading Lawyers list since 2016.
Renée graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Larissa Andelman is a barrister at 153 Phillip Chambers with significant experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution practices. She specialises in all aspects of workplace law including industrial, employment, contract and discrimination areas. She also practices in administrative and commercial law. She was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in 2004 and since that time has worked as in-house counsel at a trade union, in the litigation group of the Fair Work Ombudsman and has practiced at the Victorian Bar. Since 2012 she has been a member of NSW Women Barrister’s Forum. Throughout her career she has worked to further the interests of women, particularly women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Her focus is on advocating for cultural change in the legal profession and providing support and development opportunities for women through seminars, functions and mentoring.
Justine Anderson is an Associate within the Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers compensation law group who works with Bill Madden in a specialised medical negligence team.
Justine has advised clients on legal services and redress available to emergency services employees, on workers compensation claims, motor-vehicle accident injuries, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and general personal injury matters. Prior to joining Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers Justine worked in a number of hospitals and laboratories, providing her with a unique set of problem solving skills when approaching medical and other legal matters. She has a particular interest in personal injury compensation claims arising from medical advice and treatment and in entertainment industry law. Justine holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian Institute of Music and a Juris Doctor from the University of Technology, Sydney. Justine is passionate about the advancement and equality of women in law and in the education, support and growth of junior lawyers & law clerks.
Louise Mallon is a Director at Chalk & Behrendt, a specialist legal practice focusing on serving Indigenous organisations and businesses, governments and private clients in the areas of public law, commercial and governance matters, as well as land acquisition and development.
Louise has been one of main drivers of the Law Firm Comparison project for the last 5 years, as well as being the Chair of WLANSW’s Law Reform Committee. Louise has been a key author for a number of submissions on behalf of WLANSW.
Danielle Verde is a Senior Associate at Glass Goodwin specialising in wills and estates. Danielle recently completed a Master of Applied Laws (Wills and Estates) through the College of Law, graduating with top marks. Danielle is excited to be a part of the Executive Committee of WLANSW and playing an active role in shaping the legal profession to better empower women, influence greater collaboration amongst young female lawyers to increase their involvement in leadership and level the playing field for women in such formative times.
Fay Calderone has paved a path as a lawyer passionate about wellbeing and inclusion drawing on over 20 years of experience as an employment lawyer. She presents at conferences, publishes articles and provides media commentary with a progressive approach to workplace issues including the elimination of discrimination, workplace bullying and sexual harassment encouraging employers to move “beyond compliance” to the creation of healthy, inclusive, respectful and flexible workplaces. Fay received a high commendation in the NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards as Private Practice Lawyer of the Year 2019 and has been recognised as Wellness Advocate of the Year for 2021 at the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards.
Sher Campbell is an Honorary Lecturer at the at the University of Newcastle Law School, the first school to integrate clinical experience and practical legal training. Sher has broad experience in legal education. She is the Deputy Programme Convenor for the Undergraduate Law Program and First Year Transition and Regional Rural and Remote Coordinator.
Sher is active in the Wellness Foundation for Law that supports law students and young lawyers in creating positive and optimistic outlooks for students entering the demanding arena of legal work.
Sher is also interested in of the internationalisation of the Australian Law Curriculum and the global processes impacting on Australian domestic law. To this end, Sher has been awarded grants with the DFAT New Colombo Plan Mobility Programme and has assisted in building relationships with the judiciary, universities and local community legal centres in Northern Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Sher is part of a team that successfully secured a 2017 Commonwealth Government grant to support and mentor women from regional Australia so that they may realise their educational and career aspirations in law and business. Sher is also a co-investigator in a project which is designed to develop new and innovative research that addresses under-researched, under-theorised areas of equity and educational access for Indigenous people of Australia. https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/sher-campbell
Arielle Cirillo is a third year Laws and Arts student at the University of Newcastle, majoring in Politics and International Relations. She is also involved in yearly mooting and legal skill competitions. Arielle is passionate about the development of international human rights law and driven towards a career focused on protecting vulnerable groups from the effects of political and economic unrest. She is relatively new to the Association and committed to the furtherance of female involvement and representation in all aspects of the law.
Lyndal Gowland has a Masters in Family Law and she is the Principal Solicitor of Gowland Family Lawyers, which specialises in advocating for women’s rights in the family law jurisdiction.
Lyndal’s career has been dedicated to increasing women’s access to justice, with a particular focus on the needs of women from politically isolated communities.
In 2015, for example, Lyndal founded The Gowland Awards. Gowland Family Lawyers holds these Awards each year at NSW Parliament House to:
1. Call Out Domestic Violence Deniers;
2. Recognise the immense strength of domestic abuse survivors/victims;
3. Acknowledge the remarkable work of advocates and academics to eliminate domestic abuse, and
4. Appreciate the extraordinary work of the providers of support to domestic abuse survivors/victims.
Alex Grayson is a Principal of Maurice Blackburn and manages the Employment and Industrial Relations Practice of their Sydney office. She has over 20 years’ experience in industrial relations, including over a decade as a labour lawyer. Alex is particularly skilled in litigation, strategic negotiations, interpreting industrial instruments and contracts, advocacy and providing legal advice to executives. Alex provides advice and representation in several areas including workplace bullying, sexual harassment, breach of contract, redundancy situations and restraint of trade issues.
Holly Lam is a Senior Legal Counsel at AMP Capital specialising in disputes and regulatory engagement. Holly was previously a Senior Associate at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers specialising in insolvency and general commercial litigation. With the unwavering support of a wonderful husband, she is currently juggling her roles on the WLANSW Executive Committee and Australian Women Lawyers Board as VP, with full-time work (done flexibly), a baby, a toddler and further studies. Holly first joined the Executive Committee in 2013 and remains passionate about the advancement of women in law and leadership. She was previously Chair of the Sharecare Subcommittee that focused on all matters relevant to working lawyer parents – including advancing parental leave equality, promoting flexible work arrangements, and encouraging men to lean in at home so that there is space and opportunity for women to lean in at work.
Allysha-Jane Merrett is a Senior Associate (Accredited Specialist Family Law) with Broun Abrahams Burreket. Prior to moving to Sydney in May 2020, Allysha worked in Newcastle as a family and criminal lawyer. Allysha has a particular interest in gender dysphoria, international relocation, promoting legal education and pro bono legal work. Allysha juggles volunteer legal work with further studies and competitive sailing. Allysha has a passionate commitment to advancing the standing of women having mentored many professional women, assisted women’s support networks and organisations and advocated for women; the up and coming and the disenfranchised.
Kathryn is the Executive Officer and Public Officer for WLANSW, commencing in August 2003.
Kathryn McKenzie is the Director of Business Angel Services Pty. Ltd., specialising in not-for-profit association management & event management for over 25 years.
Kathryn has extensive experience in administration, governance, association and event management including conferences. She has worked with small business to large corporates, government and not-for-profit organisations, and many committees, with senior management experience in a diversity of business sectors.