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Board of Governors


The Board of Governors has eight members. Under the Law and Justice Foundation Act 2000, the Attorney General appoints seven Governors to the Law and Justice Foundation Board.
The eighth member is the current Director of the Foundation. As per the Act, one member is nominated by the Leader of the Opposition of the Legislative Assembly. Appointments are usually for three years and one of the Governors is appointed as Chair of the Board.



Sharon Cook BA. LLB (Hons)
Sharon is the Chair of the Law and Justice Foundation Board of Governors. Sharon is the Group Executive, Legal & Commercial Services at NAB, responsible for Legal, Corporate Affairs (including Social Impact), Governance, Complaints, Remediation and the Customer Advocates. She has been prominent in the legal profession for over 25 years, working for top tier private law firms, initially as a litigator and later as Managing Partner. She is a champion of women in the legal profession and has been a leader in addressing mental health and well-being among lawyers. In 2012 she was named as one of the AFR’s inaugural Women of Influence.



Dr Hugh McDermott MP BA LLB(Hons) MLLR PhD(Laws)
Hugh is the Member for Prospect in the NSW Legislative Assembly. He is Chair of the State Parliamentary Labor Party Legal Affairs Committee and Chair of the NSW Opposition Disaster Readiness and Response Taskforce. Hugh is also a Member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Ombudsman, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission and the Crime Commission. Prior to his election Hugh was as practicing Barrister and Director of the Postgraduate Financial Crimes Program at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security.



Professor Julie Stubbs
Julie is a criminologist and Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW. She was previously Professor of Criminology at the University of Sydney, where she had been Director of the Institute of Criminology. Before becoming an academic, Julie was a senior researcher with the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.


Michael Fordham SC
Michael is a Senior Counsel who specialises in Inquests, Commissions and Inquiries, medical negligence and historical institutional child sexual abuse. Michael was previously the Course Director of the NSW Bar Practice Course and has an extensive interest and involvement in advocacy training. Michael was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1996 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2012.


Steve McAuley LLB (Hons), BAppFin, LLM
Steve is a Councillor of the Law Society of NSW. One of the Principal Solicitors of McAuley Hawach Lawyers, Steve formerly worked for a Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW. Steve is also a member of the Specialist Accreditation Board, the Professional Conduct Committee and the Elder Law, Capacity and Succession Committee of the Law Society of NSW. Steve is also an Accredited Specialist – Commercial Litigation.


Andrew Smith BA LLB
Andrew Smith is a proud Wiradjuri man of the Tubba-Gah people. Andrew was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in August 2005. Andrew was called to the NSW Bar in 2009. Since being called to the Bar, Andrew has appeared in superior and inferior courts of record in multiple jurisdictions as well as various federal and state Tribunals. Andrew primarily practices in the areas of building and construction, corporate insolvency, commercial, equity and mortgage and securities law. Andrew is currently undertaking part-time higher degree research at the University of New England in which he is writing a thesis in respect of potential wholesale reforms to Australia’s insolvent trading laws.


Jackie O'Brien BA LLB
Jackie O'Brien is an intellectual property disputes partner at global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright. She is head of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Corporate Social Responsibility program and the firm’s National Pro Bono partner. In those roles, she has been part of a team that has provided assistance and advocacy in areas such as homelessness, domestic violence, modern slavery, and in support of Australia’s First Nations peoples. Jackie won the Partner of the Year Award in the 2014 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards and is a current member of her firm’s Graduate Recruitment Committee and National Diversity & Inclusion Committee.


Geoff Mulherin CSC, BSc (Hons), LLB (Hons), MBA, GDip Def S
Director of the Foundation since November 2000.




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