WA Migration Conference Presenters


Simone Burford

Tribunal’s Migration and Refugee (MRD) and General Divisions
Simone Burford is a Senior Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal working in the Tribunal’s Migration and Refugee (MRD) and General Divisions. She is the Practice Leader for the MRD in Western Australia. Simone has worked in a range of migration visa caseloads including on Partner, Protection, Skilled, Medical and Bridging visas.

She has also worked extensively as a member of the Tribunal’s s501 practice group dealing with expedited visa cancellations and refusals on character grounds. She was a member of the MRD Practice Directions Working Group and chaired the MRD’s Protection Case Management Working Group. Simone was admitted to practice in NSW in 1998 after graduating with Honours in Law and Arts (Philosophy) from Macquarie University. She worked as a Solicitor at Allen, Allen & Hemsley and as a Federal Court Associate to the Hon Justice Ronald Sackville.

Simone also spent a significant period working for the Federal Government including as Senior Adviser (National Security, Legal Affairs and Communications) to the Prime Minister of Australia and as the Chief of Staff to the Attorney-General of Australia. She completed her Master of Laws (International and Comparative) at the National University of Singapore in 2016.


Peter Papadopoulos

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Peter Papadopoulos is a Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal assigned to hear and determine matters in the Tribunal’s Migration and Refugee Division. He is an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law and has been listed in Best Lawyers International as one of Australia’s best immigration and civil rights lawyers. He is a member of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges, the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Institute of Administrative Law.

Peter was admitted to practice in 1996 after graduating with Honours in Law and Commerce at The University of Melbourne and completing his articles of clerkship at Arnold Bloch Leibler. Between 1997 and 2000, he worked as a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and a Senior Associate at Gadens Lawyers. Between 2000 and 2022, he ran his own specialist migration law practice in Melbourne and Sydney and worked as a Director of Global Immigration at EY.

Prior to the end of the dual regulation of migration lawyers in March 2021, Peter had been a registered migration since 1997. He is a regular presenter of CPD topics in immigration law and is an Adjunct Lecturer in Administrative Law and The College of Law.


Melissa Phan

Munro Doig Lawyers
Melissa Phan is an Associate at Munro Doig Lawyers and was admitted to practise law in Western Australia in 2015. After gaining experience in a broad range of matters, she now practices exclusively in migration law. Melissa provides advice to individuals and corporations on a broad range of visas, with a particular interest in complex employer-sponsored work visas. Prior to joining Munro Doig, she had previous experience working in a large migration agency and a boutique commercial practice.

Lester Ong

Munro Doig Lawyers
Lester Ong is a Director at Munro Doig Lawyers in Perth. He is a highly regarded migration lawyer with in-depth knowledge and understanding of Australian visa processes across a broad range of visas. Lester has consistently provided strategic immigration advice to companies and individuals, including in relation to appeals, compliance and complex issues.

He has been recognised by Doyle’s Guide as a Leading Immigration Lawyer in Western Australia. Lester has been a committee member of the Migration Institute of Australia and chair of its Continuing Professional Education subcommittee. In 2013, Lester was awarded the Migration Institute’s Henry Giblett Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Continuing Professional Development.


Derryn Belford

Derryn Belford is the Chief Executive Officer at StudyPerth - Western Australia's leading organisation dedicated to building and promoting the value of international education in WA, positioning Perth as an internationally recognised study destination and supporting international students connect with Perth’s best education, life and work experiences.

Derryn has more than 25 years’ experience in research and strategy, marketing and sector development, including most recently at Tourism WA, where she was Executive Director Destination Development and then Acting Managing Director.

Prior to joining StudyPerth, she was also Project Director at the Department of Jobs, Science, Tourism and Innovation. Derryn is passionate about international education, the sustainable growth of the State and the mutual benefits that a thriving sector provides to both overseas students and WA. And, while the global pandemic has significantly impacted the education sector it has also highlighted the critical role of international students in terms of helping to fill the State’s workforce short-fall and enabling education institutions to offer better study opportunities for all students.

Derryn has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of WA, and an MBA (Marketing) from Edith Cowan University. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Derryn is currently on the Gravity Discovery Centre Board, and was previously Deputy Chair of All Saints College, and the Swan Bells Foundation.


Sophie Manera

Tang Law
Sophie Manera is a Partner at Tang Law, heading the Migration division. She practices exclusively in immigration law. Sophie represents visa applicants, sponsors and businesses in lodging applications, attending to complex migration matters, making submissions to the Department of Home Affairs, and representing applicants in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Circuit and Family Court, Federal Court and High Court.

Sophie’s passion is for arguing cases based on compelling or compassionate circumstances, and she finds it incredibly rewarding to help families stay together in Australia. Sophie is a member of the Migration Institute of Australia’s Western Australia State Committee, and is a former Vice-President. She has taught in the Graduate Diploma of Australian Migration Law and Practice at Murdoch University and the Australian Catholic University.

In 2022 she was awarded the Migration Institute of Australia Henry Giblett Award for contributions to education. In 2022 she was a finalist for the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards – Partner of the Year Award and Migration Partner of the Year Award. In 2019 she was awarded the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Award for Mentor of the Year. In 2018 she was awarded the Migration Institute of Australia Kevin Lane Service Award for contributions to the profession.


Ken Chong

Tang Law
Ken Chong was admitted as Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in November 2018. Before this, he completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at The College of Law and graduated from Murdoch University with a combined Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degree. Ken commenced his legal career at Rothstein Lawyers, one of Perth’s longest established specialist immigration law firms. Along with Sophie Manera, Ken joined Tang Law in January 2021 to form part of their growing immigration law team.

Ken brings significant experience in preparing and lodging a variety of visa and sponsorship applications, in addition to dealing with complex immigration and citizenship law matters such as visa refusals, cancellations, identity concerns, character issues, merits review and judicial review applications.

Ken prides himself upon his disciplined approach and unwavering dedication to quality work. Being of foreign background himself, he readily establishes rapport with Tang Law’s culturally diverse clientele and has a first-hand understanding of many of the obstacles faced by hopeful migrants seeking to call Australia home. Like many of the Tang Law team, Ken is multilingual with the ability to converse in Mandarin, Malay and basic Cantonese.


Briony Chen

Tang Law
At Tang Law, Briony Chen provides immigration law advice and works directly under the Migration Law Partner. She prepares and lodges applications to the Department of Home Affairs, Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. She has run trials in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Migration & Refugee and General Divisions) from commencement to decision.

She is experienced in dealing with complex immigration law matters, such as visa cancellations and refusals on character grounds, family violence special provisions, “genuine position” issues for employer-sponsored visa applications, and visa refusals due to failure to meet the fraud criterion.

She uses her skills as a former professional interpreter (Mandarin – English) to work with clients from non-English speaking backgrounds in a friendly, compassionate and attentive manner. Her fluency in Mandarin and English is a great asset to this firm and its clients.


Mary Anne Kenny

Associate Professor
Associate Professor Mary Anne Kenny teaches and researches in the area of human rights, refugee, and immigration law. She is a legal practitioner and works closely with refugee non-government organisations and refugee communities. Her research interests lie in the intersection of refugee status determination and issues related to mental health.


Kristi Carlile

WA Department of Training and Workforce Development
Currently manager of the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s, WA Migration Services unit, Kristi Carlile has served in the Western Australian public sector for over 16 years, holding leadership roles within the Department for over 12 years. Kristi has a reputation for thinking outside the box to transition concepts and deliver sustainable solutions.

Highly skilled and experienced at developing, leading and implementing programs aligned with government objectives and community needs, Kristi established the State’s first settlement services program for skilled migrants, and developed and successfully led the Ageing and Disability Job Ready Program, the first of its kind in WA. Kristi specialises in migration, settlement services and skills recognition and as a result has been invited to represent the Department at public events, Q&A panels, forums and conferences both locally and internationally.

Kristi is also a graduate of the Public Sector Management Program and CEDA’s Copland Leadership program.


Adam Walker

WA Department of Training and Workforce Development
Adam Walker is the Director of Service Delivery Operations at the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development, and brings to this role over 15 years of expertise in public policy and intergovernmental relations.

His extensive experience in strategic support and guidance spans various Government Departments, including the Department of the Premier and Cabinet of WA where he was Principal Advisor to the Deputy Premier, Minister for Police, and Minister for Health. Most recently, Adam has played a pivotal role in the design and roll out of the nation-leading Construction Visa Subsidy Program (CVSP) and the WA-based Construction Migration Office (CMO)


Helen Duncan LMMIA

Helen has been a registered migration agent since 2000 and most recently was Immigration Director at Newland Chase, based in Brisbane. Prior to becoming an agent Helen spent 10 years working in the Department of Immigration including three years as Senior Migration Officer in Los Angeles. Helen previously taught at ANU in the Graduate Certificate of Migration Law and is a Life Member of the MIA


Jacqui Ure FMIA
Jacqui Ure is a Registered Migration Agent with comprehensive experience in a broad range of migration endeavours, coupled with long-term engagement in addressing Energy and Resource sector challenges in Australia. As a Global Scot and a distinguished Fellow of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), she has accumulated 14 years of service to the MIA , holding positions such as MIA WA State President, MIA National Treasurer, and WA Vice President.

Jacqui’s responsibilities involve consistent engagement with the Department of Home Affairs, Australian local and state governmental entities, as well as international government agencies. Thanks to her extensive experience in the migration advice profession, she is capable of delivering comprehensive migration advice information tailored to the unique needs of her clients and now specialises in Global and Distinguished Talent Visas.



Julie Williams

National President, MIA
Julie Williams, is a Fellow and the current National President of the MIA, and has been a member of our organisation for the past 24 years. Julie has been on the MIA Board of Directors since the end of 2018 and a member of the NSW State Committee for the past 8 years.

Julie is a Registered Migration Agent and Founder and Owner of Migration Downunder operating out of both NSW and Victoria. Whilst Julie is a current Sydney resident she prefers not to be considered a Sydney-sider having been raised in country NSW and born in Adelaide, Julie has a passion for the regions and has been seen to be migrating further south seeking to take up permanent residence on the Mornington Peninsula.


Reuben Saul

WA State President, MIA
Reuben Saul is a Partner at Estrin Saul Migration Specialists, Western Australia's largest immigration law firm. With an impressive track record in Australian immigration law, Reuben brings substantial expertise across a diverse range of migration matters from securing work visas and labour agreements for businesses, to assisting individuals with family reunion and refugee applications.

He regularly represents clients in review tribunals and the Federal Courts and has an exceptional understanding of government processes and document procurement. Reuben currently serves as the WA President of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) and often delivers training sessions on complex migration matters to Registered Migration Agents and lawyers.


Sarah Frankel

Estrin Saul Lawyers
Sarah is an experienced immigration lawyer who leads Estrin Saul Lawyers’ skilled migration practice. Her comprehensive understanding of the field has allowed Sarah to successfully assist people with a diverse range of complex matters including navigating skilled migration pathways, responses to accusations of false and misleading information, merits review in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and appearances at the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

She has recently had exceptional success with complex cases including multiple positive AAT outcomes for nominations under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) and a section 109 visa cancellation matter decided on the papers.


Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith is a seasoned Campaign Specialist with a proven track record of over a decade in the political organization industry. Her extensive experience showcases her dedication and expertise in navigating the dynamic landscape of political campaigns and government.

Throughout her career, Jessica has honed her skills in various key areas, including Nonprofit Organizations, Communication, Strategy, Policy Analysis, Government, and Event Management.


Munashe Rusamo

Estrin Saul Lawyers
Munashe Rusamo is an Associate with Estrin Saul Lawyers. He specialises in assisting families affected by the visa health and disability requirements and those seeking asylum in Australia.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Munashe also regularly advised clients on creative strategies to be reunited with overseas family members including aged parents, partners, and children. In his health practice, Munashe advocates for visa applicants with a wide range of medical conditions or disabilities including HIV, cancer, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Global Developmental Delay, Chronic kidney disease and those in need of organ transplants.

He is regularly briefed by Registered Migration Agents to make representations to the Department of Home Affairs on behalf of their clients who are having difficulty in meeting the visa health requirements. Munashe is known for his professional and client-driven care, and frequently receives positive testimonials for the support he provides to clients and their families throughout the immigration process.


Jasmin Angel

Estrin Saul Lawyers
Jasmin Angel is a Senior Associate at Estrin Saul Lawyers, where she specialises in facilitating family reunification within Australia’s family visa framework, including through the Partner, Child and Parent visa programs. With significant experience in the Child visa space, Jasmin is often engaged to provide comprehensive advice to individuals and families seeking to navigate the unique challenges posed by surrogacy and adoption cases within immigration regulations.

Jasmin also regularly provides immigration advice to clients facing relationship breakdowns (including in instances involving family violence), where she finds practical solutions that enable these individuals to maintain their residency in Australia, despite the breakdown of their relationship. Her professional scope extends to comprehensive client representation, encompassing both Departmental processes and appeals within the Migration and General divisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and works extensively in the visa cancellation space, including visa cancellations and refusals on character grounds.


Elizabeth Stacey

Shire of Dardanup
Elizabeth Stacey works as the Migration Agreement Officer at the Shire of Dardanup, the Designated Area Representative for the South-West DAMA. Her background is as a Registered Migration Agent, working mostly in the Partner visa and Protection visa space. When the Shire of Dardanup signed the DAMA for the South-West region, the chance to work in the role of Migration Agreement Officer presented a great opportunity to combine her knowledge of migration with her background growing up in the region.

Elizabeth understands personally the benefits that living and working in the regions can provide. Her passion is in migrant settlement, in providing the support and information for new arrivals to succeed in the region and fostering community with residents old and new.


Clare Smith

East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Clare Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of the East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EKCCI) in Kununurra where she has worked since 2021.

With a passion for regional development, Clare has played a key role in bringing the East Kimberley DAMA to life as an important mechanism to help address the ongoing skills shortages in the East Kimberley region.

Prior to joining the EKCCI, she was Chief Operating Officer of the Wanta Aboriginal Corporation, which supports Indigenous youth living in remote communities.


Blessings Masuku

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Blessings Masuku is the Migration Agreement officer for the Goldfields DAMA at the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Prior to joining the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, she successfully coordinated the Goldfields Migrant Employment Program and the Migrant Settlement program for the Goldfields Community Legal Centre.

Blessings is a passionate advocate for multicultural communities and takes pride in representing her community through speaking in forums. She was a local speaker at the 2021 Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference, the 2022 Women’s Leadership Forum and the 2023 International Women’s Day events.

Outside her paid role, she is a Board member of three Kalgoorlie organisations, the Goldfields Women’s Health Care Centre (GWHCC), Museum of the Goldfields, John Paul College, and a committee member of the Multicultural Stakeholder Reference Group for WA Primary Health Alliance. She is a founding member of the recently registered Goldfields Multicultural Community Organisation (GMCO).

She is currently studying towards a Master of Community Development degree with Murdoch University. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Financial Management Major) degree from Solusi University and a Bachelor of Behavioural Studies degree from Swinburne University”.


His Honour Judge Christopher Kendall

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Judge Kendall holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University, Kingston and a Masters of Law and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Michigan (where he completed a Doctoral thesis with American legal theorist Professor Catharine MacKinnon). Judge Kendall was appointed a Judge of the (then) Federal Circuit Court of Australia in January 2018. He is the Court’s National Migration Judge. Prior to his appointment to the Court, His Honour served as a full time Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Prior to joining the Tribunal, Judge Kendall practiced as a barrister, specialising in intellectual property litigation.

Prior to that, Judge Kendall was a law professor and Dean of Law. His Honour was the sole Commissioner for the Australian government’s Independent Review of the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. He also served as a Commissioner with the Insurance Commission of Western Australia and the WA Law Reform Commission. Judge Kendall also served as President of the Law Society of Western Australia and sat on the national executive of the Law Council of Australia. His Honour has published extensively on topics ranging from sex equality, the harms resulting from the production and distribution of pornography, intellectual property law, LGBTQIA+ advocacy and same sex domestic violence. His published books include: Civil Procedure - Western Australia; Advocacy -- An Introduction and Gendered Outcasts: Sexual Oppression and Gender Hierarchies in Queer Men’s Lives.


Nick Poynder

Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers
Consistently recognised in the Immigration Category of the Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers in Australia from 2012 to 2017, Nick maintains a solid migration law practice. He also practises in the areas of anti-discrimination law and family law. Nick has appeared as junior counsel in notable decisions in the High Court of Australia and provides high quality advice and representation as sole counsel in other courts and tribunals, including the Federal Circuit Court, Federal Court of Australia, and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (General Division and Migration & Refugee Division).

The nature of these matters ranges from legal issues which might arise during the processing or cancellation of visas, to applications for the review of decisions to refuse or cancel a visa. Prior to being called the Bar, Nick practised as a legal adviser to asylum-seekers in Port Hedland (Western Australia), locum practitioner with the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Alice Springs (Northern Territory) and later co-ordinator of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Sydney. He was also a Senior Legal Officer with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in Sydney. Nick is the current author of the Judicial Review commentary in the LexisNexis Australian Immigration Law Service. Admitted to the Bar in both Victoria and New South Wales (and maintaining a practice in both jurisdictions), Nick holds a Master of Laws from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tasmania. He was one of the first migration agents to be registered in Australia.


Cobey Taggart

Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers
Cobey Taggart has a wide-ranging national practice in public and administrative law across State, Territory and Federal jurisdictions. She regularly appears in the Federal Court, Full Federal Court and High Court of Australia (both led and unled) as well as other Federal, State and Territory courts and tribunals. Cobey is regularly briefed by Government and public agencies as well as corporate and individual clients.

She has experience across a range of subject matter, including regulatory proceedings, taxation, NDIS matters, mining and environment matters, professional disciplinary proceedings, migration and native title. Cobey has significant experience and knowledge in native title proceedings across all areas – including proceedings before the NNTT, connection hearings (for Government and Applicant parties), extinguishment and tenure related matters, compensation, and negotiation of ILUAs and s 31(1)(b) agreements. She is consistently recognised as a leading native title barrister by Doyles. Cobey has a strong reputation as a skilled advocate with a dedication to finding client-focussed solutions.


Hamish Glenister

Legal Practitioner Director William Gerard Legal
Hamish Glenister has significant experience acting as counsel and instructing counsel in almost every federal and state court. Hamish puts his clients first and always devotes himself to achieving the best possible outcome for them. Hamish is passionate about access to justice and the rule of law. He has provided legal services in around 100 matters pro bono, or in a no-win no-fee arrangement.

He considers that many of the highlights of his career have come from serving vulnerable members of the community in a pro bono capacity. Hamish has significant experience in representing clients in Federal Court appeals and judicial review applications. He has particular expertise in partner visa appeals and visa cancellation appeals. Hamish has also served as the Secretary of the Criminal Lawyer’s Association since 2019 and in that capacity has helped lobby for important changes to executive policy and the criminal law.


Carol-Ann Lynch

Principal Registered Migration Agent, EasiVisa
Carol-Ann worked as a partner in a respected UK law firm before migrating to Australia with her young family. She studied Australian Immigration Law at Victoria Law School, Melbourne and now lives close to one of the best beaches in Western Australia! As a registered migration agent for over 14 years, Carol-Ann enjoys helping others to achieve their dream of living in our amazing country.


Sarah Pettit

Associate Director, Mapien
Having migrated to Australia from Ireland, she has experienced the immigration process first hand and has always wanted to help people change their lives and give them incredible opportunities.

Sarah’s background in corporate migration, management and recruitment have allowed her strong insight into the need for business to bring in skilled workers from overseas and the benefit they bring to Australia through knowledge sharing. Sarah helps clients focus on regulatory compliance, while also striving to ensure clients are provided with a pragmatic and commercially sensible immigration solution. With extensive experience and specialisation in corporate migration, Sarah has worked with some of Australia’s largest corporations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas and Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Health, Banking and Education.