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Our Board

Shirley Southgate, Chair

Shirley Southgate joined the Board of Women's Legal Service Victoria in November 2014. Shirley is the Director - Legal at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). In addition to working in the not-for-profit sector, Shirley has held voluntary Board positions with a range of not-for-profit organisations since 1995. Prior to working at the ACNC, Shirley was Manager - Programs, and Manager - Policy and Good Practice at the New South Wales Information and Privacy Commission, where she managed the review and investigation, compliance, and policy and education teams. Shirley has an Executive Masters of Public Administration. She was admitted to legal practice in early 1996 and has worked as a solicitor at legal aid, community legal centres and in private practice in Western Australia and New South Wales. Shirley joined the WLSV Board in November 2014.

Ruth Barson, Deputy Chair

Ruth Barson has worked over the past eight years in the areas of criminal law, policy and human rights. She is currently a senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre where she focusses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' rights and strategic litigation. She previously worked as a senior policy lawyer at the Centre for Innovative Justice, where she researched and reported on innovative ways of improving the criminal justice system’s response to sexual assault. Ruth has also worked as a criminal lawyer with Victoria Legal Aid, and spent four years working with the Aboriginal Legal Services in the Northern Territory. She is currently completing a Masters of International Human Rights Law. Ruth joined the WLSV Board in September 2014. 

Kim Mays, Treasurer

Kim is a Certified Practicing Accountant with experience in taxation law, audit and assurance. She has worked with individuals, small business, private groups and the not for profit sector on a range of taxation and internal governance issues.

Having previously worked as a Secondary school teacher, Kim is passionate about the role that education and advocacy can play in preventing family violence, identifying individuals at risk and effecting significant change.

Kim holds a Masters in Professional Accounting, a Graduate Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Mathematics). Kim joined the WLSV board in November 2017.

Kelly Hinton,  Secretary

Kelly is a qualified social worker with extensive leadership and management experience in the not for profit sector. She has specialised in work alongside women and girls, including women experiencing family and intimate partner violence, women in the sex industry, women who have been trafficked into Australia, and young people who have been in prison. Kelly is passionate about sharing her knowledge and women’s lived experiences to advocate for systemic change. She has published opinion pieces highlighting issues of violence against women, collaborated with Australian, United States and South Korean governments to address trafficking of women, assisted in the development of a Post Graduate Certificate in Family Violence and features in a training package created by the Australian Federal Police in partnership with Victoria Police. Kelly is currently completing a Juris Doctor. Kelly joined the WLSV Board in October 2016.

Tina Lavranos, Member 

Tina is a human resources consultant with over 15 years’ corporate legal and general management experience. Tina has held positions as an industrial relations lawyer, executive educator and coach and HR executive in Australia and Asia in the professional services and banking sectors. Tina has also worked extensively with not for profits throughout her consulting career and is passionate about the goals and values embodied by WLSV, having worked with the organisation on a pro bono basis since 2014. Tina is legally qualified in Australia and is currently pursuing a Masters in Management (Organisational Dynamics). Tina joined the WLSV Board in December 2015.

Sophie McNamara,  Member 

Sophie McNamara is a Senior Associate and Manager of Pro Bono at Gadens. Sophie is a passionate human rights advocate with specialist knowledge in children's rights, community law and humanitarian migration. Sophie has extensive experience in not-for-profit governance and is particularly passionate about working with indigenous organisations to upskill and strengthen their boards. Sophie holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University and she is currently studying a Master of Business Administration with Deakin University. Sophie joined the WLSV Board in October 2016.

Maryum Chaudhry, Member

Maryum Chaudhry was previously a Commissioner at the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Vice-President of Islamic Council of Victoria and CARE With ME (foster care). She is passionate about advocating for women, youth and initiating change. Her commitment to multiculturalism has been demonstrated in her local and international representation at the 6th Regional Interfaith Dialogue Conference, exchange programs to Malaysia and Indonesia, and as a member of many multifaith advisory committees. She is an AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador and an  Leadership Victoria Alumni (Williamson Community Development Program). She has a Bachelor of Business at RMIT University, Executive Masters of Arts at University of Melbourne, and previously worked for the Australian Taxation Office (Public Groups & International and ATO Finance). Last year she decided to go abroad to Jordan for one year to learn, travel, explore and follow her dreams. She is currently the new ICV Youth Engagement Officer and is re-energised, excited and ready for whatever comes next! Maryum joined the WLSV Board in October 2016.

Monique Adofaci, Member 

Monique Adofaci brings over 15 years’ experience as a Senior Executive and senior lawyer across Commonwealth and State public sector justice and regulatory agencies to her role with the WLSV Board.  She is currently in the role of General Counsel with the Department of Premier & Cabinet and has also held the role of Executive Director of Integrity & Accountability with the Department. Other significant roles held by Monique include Director of KPMG’s Justice & Security practice; Chief Counsel of the Australian Federal Police; Assistant Ombudsman NSW and National Manager of an enforcement practice with the national corporate regulator ASIC. Monique holds a Bachelor of Law & Commerce (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and an MBA (Honours) from the AGSM at UNSW.

Monique is a Board member on a number of not-for-profit Boards and a Mentor with the Smith Family Foundation; Melbourne University Law School and ANZSOG.

May Lim, Member

May brings over 13 years' experience in Financial Services. Her experience spans a range of leadership, client-facing and delivery roles which include Wealth management, Sales, Operations and Strategy/Governance within the financial services sector.

May is passionate about addressing inequality - particularly amongst vulnerable groups within our community.

 May has a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Information Systems from the University of Melbourne, and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School. 

May joined the WLSV Board in 2018.

Joanna Fletcher, Chief Executive Officer

Joanna has been working on issues arising from relationship breakdown and violence against women for over 15 years. Prior to commencing as CEO of Women’s Legal Service Victoria (WLSV) in April 2010, Joanna managed WLSV’s policy and advocacy work. She was also the national law reform coordinator and national spokesperson for Women’s Legal Services Australia. Joanna is a member of the Statewide Family Violence Advisory Committee and has been a significant contributor to family violence and family law policy reform. Joanna has also worked as a Senior Researcher (Family Violence) at the Judicial College of Victoria and as a Senior Advisor in the Family Violence Reform Coordination Unit in state government.


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What's News

Job Opportunity - Family Lawyer

1 September 2018


Use your legal skills to make a difference. Join a specialised and supportive team.  No more billing!

Click Here to Apply - Family Lawyer


Job Opportunity - Administrator/Executive Assistant

31 August 2018


Key role with a respected not for profit organisation - flexible part time role - Melbourne CBD location

Click Here to Apply


Escape is no easy option

12 January 2018


WLSV is excited to share our new video: Escape is no easy option.