Directors

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) constitution allows for up to 12 directors who are elected annually at PIAC’s Annual General Meeting. PIAC is a company limited by guarantee.

  • Rebecca Gilsenan

    Board member since May 2012

    Chair of PIAC Board.

    Rebecca Gilsenan is a Principal Lawyer in Maurice Blackburn’s class actions department. She has extensive experience in running complex and novel litigation, including class actions in the areas of price fixing, failed investment schemes, product liability and securities.

  • Sally Aurisch

    Board member since May 2020

    Sally Aurisch is a not-for-profit, community, and disability sector leader with more than 15 years’ experience in policy development, program design and delivery, community engagement, and advocacy.

    A vision impaired leader herself, Sally is passionate about access and inclusion, and regularly writes or presents on the topics of disability leadership, accessible education and employment, as well as disability, sex, and gender.

    Sally is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Blind Citizens Australia and a student and Peer Assisted Study Session Leader at University of New England.

  • Eileen Baldry AO

    Board member since February 2015

    Professor Baldry is one of the country’s leading academics in the field of Criminology. In 2017 she was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at University of New South Wales. Eileen regularly chairs government committees and working groups, and appears as a witness in commission and government inquiries in relation to social justice issues.

  • Bob Debus

    Board member since November 2016

    Bob Debus was a member of NSW Parliament (1981-1988 and 1995-2007) and Federal Parliament (2007-2010). in the NSW Parliament, he served as Minister for Corrective Services (1995-2001), Minister for Emergency Services (1995-2003), Minister for Environment (1999-2007), Minister for Arts (2005-2007) and Attorney General (2000-2007). In the Commonwealth Parliament he held the position of Minister for Home Affairs. Before becoming a parliamentarian, Bob worked as a solicitor, editor and journalist.

  • Andrea Durbach

    Board member since November 2021

    Andrea Durbach is Emeritus Professor of Law at UNSW where she was Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre (now Institute). She practised in South Africa as a political trial lawyer representing victims and opponents of apartheid laws before moving to Sydney in 1989, working initially in private practice and joining PIAC in 1991, becoming Executive Director in 1997. Andrea has held senior positions in the human rights field, including as Deputy Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner. A Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, in 2013 she was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Law Award for her promotion and advancement of human rights in Australia.

  • Ian Farmer

    Board member since May 2017

    Ian Farmer is Chairman of Lifeline Northern Beaches, and the Sydney Drug Education and Counselling Centre, and a Director of CRC Ltd. Ian has over 30 years experience as a practicing accountant and advisor, including 20 years as a Partner with PwC in a range of client serving and leadership roles. 

  • Penny Gerstle

    Board member since April 2020

    Penny Gerstle has advocated for asylum seekers and refugees for over 30 years, holding honorary and voluntary positions at organisations including the Refugee Advice and Casework Service, and Australia for UNHCR’s Women’s Steering Committee on Maternal Health. Penny has been Co-Chair of Human Rights Watch Australia (Sydney Committee) since April 2018, a Director of Participate Australia since 2015 and joined the Board of Mahboba’s Promise this year.  She holds Masters degrees from the University of Sydney  in Japanese, in International Law and in Development and Global Health Studies, and worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission in the Disability Discrimination and Race Discrimination Teams.

  • Kirsten Gray

    Board member since February 2022

    Kirsten Gray is a Muruwari/Yuwaalaraay woman, mother and lawyer. She started her career representing parents in child protection matters and has gone on to work extensively in Indigenous policy and human rights. Kirsten has served numerous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioners at the Australian Human Rights Commission and has contributed to Indigenous human rights advocacy both nationally and internationally. Kirsten served as a senior policy officer on the Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory and supported the Queensland Treaty Working Group in the development of the Path to Treaty report.

  • Kate Morgan SC

    Board member since November 2019

    Kate Morgan is a leading Sydney barrister who appears throughout numerous jurisdictions (civil and criminal) with a focus on regulatory matters. Her practice includes regulatory investigations and litigation, corporate and commercial litigation, class actions and general appellate matters. Before being called to the Bar, Kate practiced as an attorney in New York State, and as a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jacques and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

  • Jade Tyrrell

    Board member since November 2020

    Jade Tyrrell is an Associate in Johnson Winter & Slattery’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group. She has experience acting in complex and large-scale commercial litigation, underpayment class actions, employment-related disputes, and defamation proceedings. In addition to her commercial work, Jade has a strong interest in supporting pro bono projects and assists with matters referred through Johnson Winter & Slattery’s pro bono program.

    Jade is a Councillor of the Law Society of New South Wales and sits on the Law Society’s Indigenous Issues Committee.

  • John Walker

    Board member since February 2016

    John Walker is recognised as a leader in the emerging global litigation funding market. He is the managing Director of Investor Claim Partner Pty Ltd and ICP Capital Pty Ltd. John came to litigation funding more than twenty years ago after working in accounting and economics and practicing as a commercial litigator in Sydney.

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