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Our Team

Meet the team at Community Legal WA. Our staff are based in Perth and our Board is chaired by experienced leaders from the legal assistance sector.

Our Staff

Chelsea McKinney

Chief Executive Officer

About Chelsea

Chelsea has a passion for social justice and significant experience in peak bodies, leading sector development, member representation and advocacy, with a focus on policy reform and a strong and sustainable community sector. Through her background in front line service delivery, and working closely with members to understand their needs and concerns, Chelsea has successfully ensured systems issues like commissioning and social policy are grounded in the realities of service provision. Chelsea believes in the power of working together to address systemic problems, so that we can all access the resources and services essential to enable our basic needs and human rights to be met.

Sonia Abbott

Corporate Services Coordinator

About Sonia

Sonia looks after the general operations for the whole team at CLWA, including the Board. As our Corporate Services Coordinator, Sonia provides valuable support around the areas of; governance, finance, human resources, IT and administration.

Jocasta Sibbel

Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

About Jocasta

As the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for CLWA, Jocasta is responsible for leading CLWA’s systemic advocacy and policy agenda and our work to positively influence policy and law reform. With a background in social justice and rights-based approaches, Jocasta bring a passion for collaboration and evidence-based policy to her work at CLWA.

Chantelle Lines

Strategic Communications Coordinator

About Chantelle

Chantelle has a background in campaigns and communications in the UK and Australia across health, social justice and the environment. Chantelle leads communications work at CLWA and supports CLCs to communicate their impact.

Joshua Marks

Data and Impact Advisor

About Joshua

Joshua cut his teeth fresh out of university volunteering and working in the CLC sector as a tenant advocate and executive assistant. During this time, he was admitted as a legal practitioner, and developed an interest and skillset in service delivery data, case management systems, and strategic planning. Joshua is the Data and Impact Advisor on the Sustainable CLCs project.

Marisha Gerovich

Lived Experience Coordinator

About Marisha

Marisha’s role is to help build capacity, opportunity and engagement to help include the voice of Lived Experience in our work moving forward.

Rhian Chin

Sector Development Manager

About Rhian

The Sector Development Manager leads the delivery of CLWA’s sector development and reform program. Rhian brings extensive experience in not-for-profit and community development and management.

Bena Grewal

Accreditation Coordinator

About Bena

The Accreditation Coordinator works closely with the sector to build strong relationships and coordinate the National Accreditation Scheme in Western Australia. Bena is a lawyer and a nurse, and brings 20 years’ experience in accreditation, quality and compliance in aged care.

Business Manager, Great Southern Community Legal Services

About Brodie

Brodie is currently the Business Manager for Great Southern Community Legal Services, and has been working in the Community Legal sector for the last five years. Like many of our CLCs, Great Southern Community Legal Services provides community focused services beyond only legal advice, with a range of advocacy services assisting tenants, as well as people with disabilities and mental health issues. Brodie has worked with a range of non-profit organisations assisting with digital transformation, governance and policy development.

The Community legal sector exists to help the marginalised in our communities. It is our sense of place that underpins the passion, resourcefulness and commitment of our people – staff, volunteers and our various boards. Community Legal WA is our collected expression of this passion and commitment. I am excited to be able to contribute to Community Legal WA in this role.

CEO, Gosnells Community Legal Centre

About Sarah

“I am consistently surprised by the amazing work that this sector can achieve with minimal resources, skeleton staff, and consistent uncertainty around viability and sustainability. But we do. In fact we thrive! I believe that our success is due to the passion and commitment of our members, and strong, committed governance that supports the sector to implement best practice models, work collaboratively, and leverage new opportunities for growth and success.

I am currently the Chief Executive Officer of Gosnells Community Legal Centre and hold undergraduate degrees in Communication and Culture, and a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership. I have specialised in strategic planning, governance, and organisational culture and am excited to share these skills and experience with the other members of the Board and work collaboratively for the benefit of the sector as a whole.”

CEO, Southern Aboriginal Corporation

About Asha

Asha Bhat leads the award-winning regional Southern Aboriginal Corporation (SAC), which provides services and programs that address the Noongar peoples’ needs and aspirations in cooperation with other community and business organisations. With an asset base of $28 million, SAC provides services and programs in areas such as family violence prevention, affordable housing, health promotion, suicide prevention and legal services. Asha has been working in the Community Legal sector for the last 13 years. Asha advocates for Family Violence Prevention Legal services (FVPLS) that have the knowledge, experience and capacity to be the primary group providing family violence policy advice to the sector on family violence and child protection issues affecting Aboriginal families.

Asha has an MBA from Kaplan Business School and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and business and professional accounting. She is an associate member of CPA and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is excited to be able to contribute to Community Legal WA in this role.

Operations Manager, Regional Alliance West

Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Legal Service WA

About Jennie

Jennie Gray is the Chief Executive Officer at Women’s Legal Service WA, an agency that provides gender specific legal advice and support to improve outcomes for women in the justice systems.

Previously Jennie was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, at the Western Australian Council of Social Service, overseeing the organisation’s social policy, special projects and business development work.

Her professional career in the community sector has spanned practice, management and research roles, in a variety of contexts, including many years based in the Kimberley coordinating services delivered across the North West.

Jennie has been steadfast in her commitment to working alongside others to ensure a more just, fair and sustainable society. In addition to a Doctorate of Philosophy, Jennie has a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Business.

CEO, Peel Community Legal Services

About Kathy

Kathy joined Peel Community Legal Services as CEO in 2017.

Kathy’s experience has extended from large corporate business, not for profit organisations to running a small family business. Her formal qualifications are in Management, HR and IR (JP, MBus (HRM), CAHRI) but the diversity of her roles has allowed her to develop strong general management skills including financial management, operations and project management.

Kathy has been involved with NFP organisations as a Board Member and in these positions has gained strong knowledge of governance and strategic requirements.

Kathy is a Justice of the Peace and is involved in a voluntary capacity with a number of organisations. Her interest is in social justice and access to services for all.

General Manager, Ruah Legal Services

About Sarah

Sarah is currently the General Manager of Ruah Legal Services and has worked in the Community Legal Sector since 2017. Ruah Legal Services launched in November 2019, following a merger between the Mental Health Law Centre (MHLC) and Ruah Community Services. As a result of the merger, Ruah Legal Services has been able to establish integrated services that help people address their psycho-social needs in conjunction with providing end-to-end legal assistance.

Sarah has a Master of Human Rights and prior to returning to Australia in 2017 she spent two years in central Africa working in the monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian aid projects. Sarah is passionate about equipping staff with data management systems and processes that enable them to collect quality data without causing undue burden. This background in data management led MHLC to launch ActionStep in 2018, which has been a game changer for the practice.