The Wollongong Regional Chapter of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales was formed in October 2015. Wollongong is a region known for its collegiate and supportive legal profession. Our Wollongong Regional Chapter has close ties to the University of Wollongong and is driven and organised by a team of local women passionate about advancing and supporting women in the legal industry.

If you are interested in joining our Wollongong Regional Chapter, please contact Yasmin Georgievska  at Yasmin.georgievska@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.

2024 COMMITTEE

YASMIN GEORGIEVSKA – CHAIRWOMAN​

Yasmin Georgievska is the Vice-chairwoman of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. She is an Associate Solicitor at Access Law Group, practicing in Family Law and Criminal Law. Yasmin is an Executive Committee member of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales and the Chair of the Marketing and Communications Sub-Committee. Yasmin is an Executive member of the Wollongong District Law Society. Yasmin understands what it means to be a working mother in the legal industry. Yasmin.georgievska@legalaid.nsw.gov.au

CLARISSA SEMPEL – VICE CHAIRWOMAN

Clarissa Sempel is an Employment and Commercial Associate at Access Law Group in Camden and Wollongong. Clarissa is the Secretary of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. Clarissa is also 2023 National President of JCI Australia, and Secretary for Disability Macarthur. Clarissa is passionate about providing support in all walks of life and being able to build connections and growth of those around her. She is well aware of the demands juggling “home” duties that come with being the eldest of seven, working full time, and studying. For that reason, Clarissa often advocates on work-life balance and understanding mental health of colleagues. csempel@ourlawyers.com.au
Breanna Burns - Secretary - Wollongong Chapter WLANSW

BREANNA BURNS  – SECRETARY

Breeanna is an Associate at PDC Law practicing in Estate Planning, Commercial and Business Law. Breeanna was admitted as a NSW solicitor in July 2021, after studying at the University of Wollongong. Originally from the Central West, Breeanna was involved in the local sporting community and is excited to now be a part of an organisation that operates in the place she now calls home.

breeanna@pdclaw.au

Jessica Koot

JESSICA KOOT – IMMEDIATE PAST-CHAIRWOMAN

Jessica Koot is the Chairwoman of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. She is the Practice Leader of Australian Family Lawyers Wollongong and has worked for over 20 years in the legal industry. Jessica is Chairwoman for the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre. The centre are pioneering the establishment of Australia’s first Women’s Trauma Recovery Centre. She is an Executive Committee member of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales and the NSW Council of Women. Jessica is a mother of two and an advocate for the advancement of women in all areas of their lives. jessica.koot@australianfamilylawyers.com.au

DR. KARINA MURRAY – EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR

Dr Karina Murray is a senior lecturer in the School of Law and the Deputy Associate Dean of the Business and Law Faculty at the University of Wollongong. She publishes and teaches in the area of legal ethics and is a co-author of Lawyers in Australia (Federation Press, 4th ed, 2019). In 2015, she received an Australian Award for University Teaching as a member of the UOW First Year Law Integration Team. In her previous career, Karina worked in a number of positions in the public sector, before moving into executive director roles within the Department of Human Services. She is a founding member of the Wollongong Regional Chapter and took a sabbatical from academia in 2016 to update her skills, managing a regional law firm across six locations. kmurray@uow.edu.au

KRISTY MUTCH – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER (ON MATERNITY LEAVE)

Kristy Mutch is a commercial and property lawyer at PDC Law who has come full circle. Grappling as an early career lawyer considering leaving the profession to now finding her passion and place in the law, working with her business clients to achieve their goals. Kristy is a deep thinker who is capable of coming up with practical solutions to the most complex of challenges. She has particular expertise in residential building defects matters, strata advice and liquor licencing. Kristy also sits on the Property Council Illawarra Future Directions Committee. This involvement has provided insight into many of the issues impacting the local area, including housing affordability, development constraints and city centre activation and has been a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. Kristy’s involvement in the Wollongong Regional Chapter provides her with an opportunity to provide a different perspective, as a lawyer who has not always enjoyed practice but has come to realise it is not just a one size fits all profession! kristy@pdclaw.au

SKYE DOWNING – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER (ON MATERNITY LEAVE)

Skye Downing exclusively works in the property space, advising clients ranging from first home buyers through to corporate developers. Property buying, selling, leasing, easement preparation and general property advisory work are all within Skye’s daily practice. She deals with the tight timeframes that go hand in hand with property law in a manner that seems effortless. Clients routinely comment on Skye’s ability to make transactions “seamless” and in 2023 a client has already provided feedback that “We need more Skye’s in the world!”. Skye is committed to further women in the law, developing junior legal talent and is a born networker, enjoying the capacity to give back through her involvement in the Wollongong Regional Chapter. skye@pdclaw.au

ALICE LAURENCE – EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR

Alice Laurence is a Principal Solicitor at Carter Ferguson Solicitors.  She practices in dispute resolution and immigration law.  Alice is a proud member of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. Alice is a mother of two young children and looks forward to furthering the wonderful work of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales in advocating for women in law.

alice@carterferguson.com.au

IRFANA KAMERASEVIC – MEMBERSHIPS

Irfana Kamerasevic is a Senior Associate and Business Manager at Acorn Lawyers. She practices primarily in the area of Family Law. Graduating with a double degree in Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Wollongong in 2018, Irfana embarked on a journey that would solidify her passion for family law. Admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in the same year, Irfana is passionate about delivering justice and support to individuals navigating the complexities of family law. Her bilingual proficiency, fluent in Bosnian, enables her to connect on a deeper level with a diverse array of clients, ensuring that everyone she represent receives the utmost care and understanding during their legal journey. Irfana is also dedicated to her role as a mentor to younger lawyers and to the advancement of women in the law more broadly. irfana@acornlawyers.com.au

MARIE RUSSO – MEMBERSHIPS

Marie Russo is a Solicitor at Access Law Group, working in the practice areas of Commercial Law, Civil Litigation and Debt Recovery. Prior to commencing her legal career, Marie worked in diverse industries with a focus in Marketing, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Tech. Marie is the President of Junior Chamber International Illawarra and an Executive Councillor of NSW Young Lawyers. While completing her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Italian; Marketing, Communication, and Advertising) at the University of Wollongong, Marie was an active member of the University of Wollongong Law Students’ Society, serving as the 2022 President and 2021 Vice President (Careers). Marie is a dynamic legal professional who actively advocates for women in the profession. She brings a fresh and unique insight to the Wollongong Regional Chapter. mrusso14@hotmail.com

HAYLEY KELLOWAY  – MEMBERSHIPS

Hayley Kelloway has been practising as a solicitor for approximately 20 years, primarily in the areas of family law and wills. She is the principal solicitor of Kelloway Law and Mediation. Hayley is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and holds a Masters of Applied Law (Family Law). She has been a Lecturer in the Law Faculty of the University of Wollongong for 10 years. Hayley is a member of the Collaborative Family Lawyers Illawarra Shoalhaven and is an experienced and trained Family Law Collaborative Professional. hayleykelloway@hotmail.com

JESSICA HANNAM  – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Jessica@jhalaw.com.au

SARAH HILTON – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Sarah Hilton is a commercial and property lawyer at PDC Law. Sarah graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce in 2022 and was admitted as a solicitor in July 2023. Being recently admitted to the profession, Sarah is excited to have the opportunity to network and develop strong relationships with like-minded individuals early in her career. Having grown up in the Wollongong area, Sarah has been involved with local community and sporting organisations and looks forward to being able to give back to the Wollongong legal community and be involved in an organisation empowering women in the legal profession. sarah@pdclaw.au

2023 COMMITTEE

Jessica Koot

JESSICA KOOT – CHAIRWOMAN

Jessica Koot is the Chairwoman of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. She is the Practice Leader of Australian Family Lawyers Wollongong and has worked for over 20 years in the legal industry. Jessica is Chairwoman for the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre. The centre are pioneering the establishment of Australia’s first Women’s Trauma Recovery Centre. She is an Executive Committee member of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales and the NSW Council of Women. Jessica is a mother of two and an advocate for the advancement of women in all areas of their lives.

YASMIN GEORGIEVSKA – VICE-CHAIRWOMAN

Yasmin Georgievska is the Vice-chairwoman of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. She is an Associate Solicitor at Access Law Group, practicing in Family Law and Criminal Law. Yasmin is an Executive Committee member of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales and the Chair of the Marketing and Communications Sub-Committee. Yasmin is an Executive member of the Wollongong District Law Society. Yasmin understands what it means to be a working mother in the legal industry.

CLARISSA SEMPEL – SECRETARY

Clarissa Sempel is an Employment and Commercial Associate at Access Law Group in Camden and Wollongong. Clarissa is the Secretary of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. Clarissa is also 2023 National President of JCI Australia, and Secretary for Disability Macarthur. Clarissa is passionate about providing support in all walks of life and being able to build connections and growth of those around her. She is well aware of the demands juggling “home” duties that come with being the eldest of seven, working full time, and studying. For that reason, Clarissa often advocates on work-life balance and understanding mental health of colleagues.

ANNETTE NOBLE – EVENTS COORDINATOR

Located in Shine Lawyers’ Wollongong office, Annette Noble is a Solicitor in the Abuse Law Department who works to seek acknowledgement, restitution and justice for survivors of abuse. Prior to working in the law, Annette worked for over 20 years in marketing and communications across a number of industries. An active part of her local community, Annette is the Events Coordinator for the Wollongong Regional Chapter as well as a member of the Wollongong District Law Society. Annette also volunteers for Be My Eyes, a free service that helps to bring sight to blind and low-vision people. She has a Bachelor of Laws from Western Sydney University and a Bachelor of Communications from Charles Sturt University.

KARINA MURRAY – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

 
Karina Murray is a senior lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Wollongong. She publishes and teaches in the area of legal ethics and is a co-author of Lawyers in Australia (Federation Press, 4th ed, 2019). In 2015, she received an Australian Award for University Teaching as a member of the UOW First Year Law Integration Team. In her previous career, Karina worked in a number of positions in the public sector, before moving into executive director roles within the Department of Human Services. She is a founding member of the Wollongong Regional Chapter and took a sabbatical from academia in 2016 to update her skills, managing a regional law firm across six locations

ALICE LAURENCE – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

 
Alice Laurence is a Principal Solicitor at Carter Ferguson Solicitors.  She practices in dispute resolution and immigration law.  Alice is a proud member of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. Alice is a mother of two young children and looks forward to furthering the wonderful work of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales in advocating for women in law.

IRFANA KAMERASEVIC – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

 
Irfana Kamerasevic has grown up in the Wollongong area, graduating from the University of Wollongong in 2018 with a Bachelor of Laws and Arts (Psychology) double degree. She was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in August 2018 and currently practices as a Senior Associate in the Family Law Team at Acorn Lawyers. Irfana’s ability to speak fluently in the Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian language helps to break down the language-barriers that some clients face when seeking legal advice and justice.  Outside of work, Irfana enjoys boxing, family time and chocolate!

TRISH MUNDY – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

 
Trish Mundy is Chief Integrity Officer at the University of Wollongong (UOW) and from 2020-2023 served as Dean of Law at UOW. Prior to academia, she practiced as a lawyer for ten years within the not-for-profit community legal sector principally in the areas of family law, domestic and family violence, and the provision of legal services in and to rural, regional and remote communities. Since coming to academia more than 15 years ago, Trish’s research, teaching and service interests continue to address issues of social, rural and gender justice, having undertaken research on ‘best practices’ for the advancement of women in the legal profession, evaluation of models of service provision in domestic and family violence, as well as research concerning access to law and lawyers in rural, regional and remote communities. Trish is a founding member of the Wollongong Regional Chapter

BREEANNA BURNS – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

 
Breeanna Burns is an Estate Planning and Commercial and Business Law Associate at Acorn Lawyers. Breeanna was admitted as a NSW solicitor in July 2021, after studying at the University of Wollongong. Originally from the Central West, Breeanna was involved in the local sporting community and is excited to now be a part of an organisation that operates in the place she now calls home.

MARIE RUSSO – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

 
Marie Russo is a Law Graduate at Access Law Group, Wollongong, working in Commercial, Disputes, Insolvency and Debt Recovery. Marie is a member of the Wollongong Regional Chapter. Marie is also the Vice President of Junior Chamber International Illawarra, an Executive Councillor of NSW Young Lawyers, and the Vice President (Administration) of the Australian Law Students’ Association. While completing her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Italian; Marketing, Communication, and Advertising) at the University of Wollongong, Marie was an active member of the University of Wollongong Law Students’ Society, serving as the 2022 President and 2021 Vice President (Careers). Marie is a driven and enthusiastic young professional who actively advocates for women in the legal profession. She brings a unique and fresh insight to the Wollongong Regional Chapter, representing the younger demographic of the regional legal industry.

HAYLEY KELLOWAY  – MEMBERSHIPS

Hayley Kelloway has been practising as a solicitor for approximately 20 years, primarily in the areas of family law and wills. She is the principal solicitor of Kelloway Law and Mediation. Hayley is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and holds a Masters of Applied Law (Family Law). She has been a Lecturer in the Law Faculty of the University of Wollongong for 10 years. Hayley is a member of the Collaborative Family Lawyers Illawarra Shoalhaven and is an experienced and trained Family Law Collaborative Professional. hayleykelloway@hotmail.com

KRISTY MUTCH – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Kristy Mutch is a commercial and property lawyer at PDC Law who has come full circle. Grappling as an early career lawyer considering leaving the profession to now finding her passion and place in the law, working with her business clients to achieve their goals. Kristy is a deep thinker who is capable of coming up with practical solutions to the most complex of challenges. She has particular expertise in residential building defects matters, strata advice and liquor licencing. Kristy also sits on the Property Council Illawarra Future Directions Committee. This involvement has provided insight into many of the issues impacting the local area, including housing affordability, development constraints and city centre activation and has been a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. Kristy’s involvement in the Wollongong Regional Chapter provides her with an opportunity to provide a different perspective, as a lawyer who has not always enjoyed practice but has come to realise it is not just a one size fits all profession!

SKYE DOWNING – EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Skye Downing exclusively works in the property space, advising clients ranging from first home buyers through to corporate developers. Property buying, selling, leasing, easement preparation and general property advisory work are all within Skye’s daily practice. She deals with the tight timeframes that go hand in hand with property law in a manner that seems effortless. Clients routinely comment on Skye’s ability to make transactions “seamless” and in 2023 a client has already provided feedback that “We need more Skye’s in the world!”. Skye is committed to further women in the law, developing junior legal talent and is a born networker, enjoying the capacity to give back through her involvement in the Wollongong Regional Chapter.