27th Nov 2020
27 November 2020
Virtual Conference - Pt 2 ONLY
1st Dec 2020
Tuesday 1 December 2020
For media enquiries, please contact Karyn Lemon, ALA Media Manager on 0466 004 232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graham Droppert, National President
Graham Droppert is a barrister at Albert Wolff Chambers in Perth located on the lands of the Wadjuk people of the Noongar nation. He is also the Honorary Consul-General for Bangladesh. Graham has been involved in ALA for more than a decade including a two year period as WA President.
Personal injury litigation involving brain injury, spinal injuries and major medical negligence is the major area of his practice at the WA Bar. Graham likes to challenge the “that’s the way it has always been done” mantra - an approach that has been personally rewarding and has assisted in delivering justice for seriously injured clients.
Both in the law and in the community he is committed to supporting those who need a voice so their interests are recognised, valued and respected.
In the 26 year history of the ALA, Graham is the first National President to be based in Western Australia.
Andrew Christopoulos, Immediate Past President
Andrew is a specialist personal injury lawyer of 30 years standing and has been accredited by the Law Society of NSW since 1996. Andrew is the founder and principal of AC Lawyers — a boutique personal injury practice focused on serving the interests of people in regional NSW and the ACT.
Andrew is committed to protecting the rights of those who do not have the ability or resources to do it themselves, and working to ensure that equality and fairness prevail in our community.
As National President 2019–20, Andrew has been responsible for developing the ALA’s first Reconciliation Action Plan and is focused on addressing the systemic injustice that currently impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Follow Andrew on Twitter: @ACLawyers
Catherine Henry, Lawyer
Spokesperson on aged care and elder law
Catherine is a well-known and highly respected medical and aged care lawyer and an advocate for older and vulnerable Australians. In a career spanning more than 30 years, she has successfully handled thousands of claims against health and aged care facilities and providers of medical and aged care services.
Several of Catherine’s clients were featured in the ABC 4 Corners program that is credited with forcing the announcement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Based in Newcastle NSW, Catherine has brought aged care and elder law services that are usually only provided in capital cities to regional areas.
Her focus is on aged care regulation and litigation, assisting chronically ill aged care residents, aged care accommodation contracts, and prevention of financial alder abuse.
Catherine is a staunch critic of the current Aged Care Act. She advocates for reform to Australia’s aged care sector, particularly its regulatory bodies, publicly available performance indicators, staffing skills and mandatory staffing ratios.
Catherine passionately believes in the power of the law to improve standards of care.
Andrew Stone SC, Barrister
Spokesperson on personal injury and compensation
Andrew Stone is a barrister practising from Sir James Martin Chambers, Sydney. He specialises in personal injury law and insurance law, including motor accident and public liability cases. Andrew is passionate about protecting the right of innocent accident victims to proper compensation.
Andrew was a Member of the Bar Council, NSW Bar Association, from 2012–13, and a longstanding Member of the NSW Bar Association Common Law Committee. In addition, he is a NSW Bar Association representative on the MRG (the MAAS Users Group), and on the Law Council Personal Injuries Committee.
Andrew has appeared before a large number of NSW parliamentary inquiries on behalf of the ALA and the NSW Bar Association, and has drafted numerous submissions to government opposing the removal of the legal rights of the injured.
Greg Barns SC, Barrister
Spokesperson on asylum seekers, criminal justice and human rights
Greg Barns SC is a member of the Tasmanian, Victorian, and Western Australian Bars, and practises from Salamanca Chambers in Hobart and Stawell Chambers in Melbourne. Greg specialises in criminal law and administrative law.
Greg left the Liberal Party in 2002 as a result of its policy on asylum seekers. Since then, he has advocated the importance of the rule of law in Australia’s treatment of vulnerable people.
Greg was the ALA National President in 2011–12.
Greg is a regular contributor to the ABC’s The Drum, the Hobart Mercury, and other media outlets. In 2011, he was awarded the Angus Downie Print Journalism Award, which recognised his many years of defending the human rights of all Tasmanians, promoting community debate, and giving a voice in the media to those not often heard.
Greg appeared for one of the accused in the 2008 Melbourne ‘terrorism trial’ of 12 men charged with terrorism-related offences. In 2011, Greg appeared in a documentary about the case called The Trial, which screened on SBS. He is Chair of the Prisoners Advisory Legal Service in Tasmania.
Follow Greg on Twitter: @BarnsGreg
Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC, Barrister
Spokesperson on institutional responses to abuse and the Royal Commission
Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC practises as a barrister at Wardell Chambers, Sydney. Andrew specialises in industrial and employment law, insurance law, medical negligence, professional negligence, and alternative dispute resolution. He has appeared in a number of leading catastrophic injury cases, both for plaintiffs and for defendants. With Mr T J Goudkamp, he is a co-author of the Personal Injury Law Manual NSW, published by the Law Book Company.
Andrew has practised as a barrister in NSW since 1976, and was appointed Senior Counsel in 1993. He has since been appointed as Queens Counsel in Tasmania and Western Australia. Andrew has been admitted in all states and territories, and has practised in most of them, as well as in appellate jurisdictions. He has been on the Board of the Motor Accident Authority, and has been Supreme and District Court Arbitrator. He has held a commission, and sat as an acting District Court judge.
Andrew is a passionate advocate for the rights of those who have suffered injury and abuse within institutions. He represented the plaintiff in the High Court in State of NSW v Lepore (2003) 212 CLR 511 and Mr Ellis in the case Ellis v Pell and the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Sydney  NSWSC 109;  NSWCA 117;  HCA 697. Andrew has appeared in a substantial number of cases in respect of sexual abuse of children within institutions.
Anthony (Tony) Kerin, Solicitor
Spokesperson on National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS)
Tony Kerin is a solicitor at Grope Hamilton in Adelaide. Tony specialises in personal injury law, workers’ compensation, and criminal law. Tony strongly supports the right of people with disability to choose the supports that will change their life.
Originally from country South Australia, Tony particularly enjoys providing legal services to rural communities. Johnston Withers adopts a practical, team-orientated approach to solving clients' problems, and bringing resolution to disputes. He relishes working on those matters that many would consider too hard to take on.
Tony has been a member of the Law Society of South Australia for over 25 years. He was the State President of the ALA (SA Branch) from 2004 to 2012, State Director from 2005 to 2012, and the National President in 2012–13.
Ngaire Watson, Barrister
Spokesperson on health law and medical negligence
Ngaire Watson practises as a barrister in Sydney, and specialises in medical negligence. Her work has spanned adverse drug events; failure to treat or diagnose; health practitioner standards; diagnosis of genetic disorders; informed consent; intentional torts; medico-legal aspects of health record documentation; mental harm; obstetric complications; and management of labour and coronial inquiries.
Prior to being admitted to the Bar, Ngaire had over 20 years experience in nursing, providing a unique insight into the cases that she takes on. With experience as a registered nurse, clinical tutor, specialist, facilitator, and as a psychoanalyst, Ngaire is passionate about using her knowledge of medical practice to better assist clients.
Ngaire has presented on medical negligence at a range of conferences, including assessing current proposals for open disclosure in Australia. She is a member of the editorial committee of the ALA’s legal journal, Precedent, the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel, and the Royal College of Nursing, Australia. She has been a registered nurse since 1985.
Follow Ngaire on Twitter: @Sulcus_Gyrus
Josh Mennen, Solicitor
Spokesperson on insurance and superannuation
Josh Mennen is a Principal Lawyer in the Superannuation and Insurance practice in Maurice Blackburn's Brisbane office and regularly travels between Queensland and New South Wales.
Josh practises in a range of jurisdictions, including State and Federal courts and tribunals. With an extensive knowledge of legal process he has been responsible for law-changing and leading cases.
He is passionate about increasing consumer rights awareness in the financial services sector, and giving voice to those disempowered by illness, injury and socio/economic barriers.
Josh also represents victims of negligent financial planning and stockbroking advice, including through compensation schemes such as the CBA Open Advice Review Program and the Macquarie Private Wealth compensation scheme.
Josh is a prominent commentator on policy reform, having advanced consumer interests through many submissions/appearances at parliamentary inquiries and other forums as well as through frequent media appearances on issues such as quality and sustainability of TPD insurance in super, Codes of Practice, behaviour of super funds/life insurers and the Financial Services Royal Commission. Josh works closely with various unions, and a range of consumer and other community support groups including the Leukaemia Foundation, the MS Society, social workers, financial counsellors and many more. He presents seminars and acts pro-bono for these groups and their members to increase consumer rights awareness, and give a voice to those disempowered by illness, injury and socio/economic barriers.
Josh provides legal advice to clients of disability support groups, charities, Public Trustees, financial counsellors, community groups and unions. He acts for workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities against insurance companies and superannuation funds.
Follow Josh on Twitter: @josh_mennen