Duty Phone 0423 466 286 coordinator.robinaclc@gmail.com

Committee

We are pleased to have a diverse, highly-credentialed committee team.  Committee members are drawn from all branches of legal practitioner, legal academic and community engagement.

Ross Lee

President

Ross Lee is the founding president of Robina Community Legal Centre.  He has been a lawyer for 20 years, following a seven-year insurance career. Ross started up Lee Lawyers over 10 years ago and is known for keeping in touch with clients, cost efficiencies and results.

In civil litigation and mediation, Ross is dedicated to assisting people in small business, building & construction, property, insolvency and estate disputes.  Legal risk management for small business and bodies corporate is a special interest.  Ross is a nationally-accredited mediator which is of great assistance to clients resolving disputes effectively.

Ross has a strong practice in general insurance, life insurance and compensation claims. He is one of few lawyers accredited as an ANZIIF Certified Insurance Professional (CIP).  Prior to law, Ross practised as an underwriter and loss adjuster – giving great insight, now working for the insured.

Ross Lee is a commissioned Notary Public, a requirement for international matters and comes from a long line of service in the Gold Coast community.

Adeline Yap

Vice President

Adeline Yap is the Robina Community Legal Centre’s association vice president and founding secretary. She is also a commercial solicitor at a law firm situated on the Gold Coast.

As a Gold Coast resident, Adeline is committed to this area.

Adeline enjoys being active and attending networking events.

George Pharmacis

Treasurer

George Pharmacis is the Principal of Pharmacis Canning Lawyers, originally Canning Lawyers, serving the Gold Coast for over 20 years. George holds a Bachelor of Laws (Bond) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Bond). Having achieved a First Place in Electronic Banking Law, he went on to Corporate and Commercial Law Specialisation and General Legal Practice Specialisation.

George specialises in Criminal, Domestic Violence, Family Law, Wills, Estate Planning and Probate, Litigation and Dispute Resolution and he is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court and High Court of Australia.

Although George has been practising law for many years it is his strong commitment to the community that benefits his clients the most.  George has adopted the Latin phrase ‘Esse quam videri ‘ (To be, rather than to seem) as his motto, which sums up his personal character and business practice particularly well. Using his innate ability to quickly assess and weigh up a client’s options, George focuses on achieving the best outcome for the client while endeavouring to avoid expensive time consuming litigation.

George’s many years’ experience managing multi-national production companies around the world provided him with exceptional managerial and interpersonal skills. The manufacturing industry is an unforgiving master, demanding quality control and non-negotiable deadlines, as does the Courtroom. George is prepped and ready for anything, thinking outside the box and calling on his entrepreneurial expertise to present a totally professional service. Many of you might remember the Surfers Paradise Rodeo of 1997, hosting a crowd of 5000, and organised by George. Orchestrating such an event also demonstrates George’s ability to ask the right questions, assess information quickly, meet the client’s needs in rapid time and follow through to completion.

George is fluent in Greek and has a keen interest in Community Legal problems guaranteeing the client receives advice that is relevant, strategic and in their best interest.

In his free time George is a keen practitioner of Kung Fu in which he is a fifth degree Master having studied the martial art for over 25 years under the renowned Grandmaster Henry Sue and maintains the Kung Fu school at Bond University.

David Cole

Secretary

David has devoted around 20 years in the pursuit of justice throughout Queensland focused on Commercial Litigation, Criminal Law, Family Law and Traffic.

David was a permanent member of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) when he decided to pursue a career in law.  After graduating in 1999 with a Bachelor of Laws (University of Queensland), David worked with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) before deciding to combine his interests in military and law with a Graduate Diploma in Military Law (University of Melbourne) and a Master of Laws (Australian National University).

Following his diverse interest in international issues and law, David studied European Union Law, International Trade Law with Russian and East European Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School, London.  David worked for Crown Law as a Prosecutor before establishing his own Chambers in Brisbane.

His work as a Prosecutor gave him vital insights into both sides of the law which subsequently proved valuable when advising clients facing criminal charges.  This experience, as both Prosecutor and Defence Counsel, later proved to be an additional benefit to law students at Bond University and Southern Cross University during his time teaching at these institutions.

After leaving Crown Law, David returned to work for Defence as a Senior Legal Officer in Administrative Law and continues his long association with the RAAF.  He also maintains a keen interest in Military Law and Veteran Affairs.  David assists Robina Community Legal Centre clients by extensive experience in many aspects of  law.

David’s calm and professional demeanour and formidable knowledge of the law, reassures clients while he advises them to the best of his ability.

In his spare time David enjoys a spot of fishing, and there is rarely ‘the one that got away’.

Brent Blond

Committee, Social

Brent Blond was called to the Bar in 2002 and practices in Information Technology Law, Family Law, Criminal Law, Civil litigation, Mediation.

Brent holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business (Information Technology) and is studying a Masters in Law in Intellectual Property.

He is an Accredited Mediator, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and an accredited Independent Children’s Lawyer.

Brent regularly appears in State and Federal jurisdictions, in Queensland, NSW, WA and Victoria

Greg Betts

Commmittee, Community Engagement

A former Gold Coast City Councillor from 2004 to 2016, Greg now has a consultancy offering services in town planning, business development, and stakeholder engagement.  He holds a Masters degree in Urban Planning from Bond University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Previous Board experience includes being a member of the Gold Coast Tourism Corporation. 

Due to Greg’s extensive experience as a City Councillor, he has a highly developed understanding of governance matters and committee and Board processes.  He enjoys serving the community through his work with the RCLC.

Dawn Francoeur

Committee, Compliance

Dawn Francoeur is a Commercial Litigation Lawyer on the Gold Coast.

Prior to moving away from the snow and cold of Canada Dawn worked as a litigation paralegal for over 10 years.  Completing her Juris Doctor in 2011, Dawn was admitted as a Solicitor in 2012 and commenced her career in Commercial Litigation.

Miranda Podleska

Committee, Bond University Engagement

Miranda is an admitted Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia.

Miranda holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Tasmania, Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Australian Securities Institute and Diploma of Law from the New South Wales Legal Profession Admission Board. She completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at Bond University.

Miranda commenced her professional career in banking and finance and prior to entering legal practice she worked exclusively in building and property development for over a decade.   Miranda’s key areas of legal practice are commercial and property law and her extensive experience gives her a sound understanding of the needs of clients who operate in the business and corporate sector.

Miranda joined Bond University in 2017 and teaches Property Law Practice, Banking and Finance Law and Corporate and Commercial Practice in the Centre for Professional Education.

Christine Smith

Committee, Social

Originally from a marketing background, working for the airlines, Christine Smith has spent the last twenty years in Government positions whilst holding a nationally elected union role.

Christine is very passionate about employment and health and safety law. As part of her role for the union she has represented many hundreds of members in meetings, at arbitration, before the Fair Work Commission and at tribunals.

As a qualified lawyer Christine predominantly specialises in employment law and fully believes that the only way to achieve fairness and equity is by knowing, understanding and applying the law.

Amanda Tomlinson

Committee, Compliance, Social

Amanda is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Senior Associate Lawyer with RobertsLaw Solicitors in Mudgeeraba, where she has practiced in Family and Estate Law for more than 12 years.  Amanda holds a double Bachelor of Laws degree, granted with Honours, and Bachelor of Business (Accounting) degree.  She also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from Bond University.

Whilst Amanda has a particular interest in complex Family Law property matters, she is also dedicated to achieving equitable legal solutions in all facets of both Family and Estate Law.

Amanda has been involved with the Robina Community Legal Centre since its trading inception in February 2014 and is one of the Centre’s advice session supervisors.

Lynne Weathered

Committee, Griffith University Engagement

Lynne Weathered is a lecturer at Griffith Law School. She is the Director and one of the co-founders of the Griffith University Innocence Project – a pro-bono project that operates as a clinical elective at the Gold Coast campus of Griffith Law School and which brings together lawyers, academics and students to investigate claims of wrongful conviction with the aim of assisting people who have been wrongfully convicted.

From 2004 – 2014, Lynne was a Board Member of the (international) Innocence Network and she remains on the International Committee of the Innocence Network. As an academic, Lynne also teaches a wrongful conviction course at Griffith University and has published a number of journal articles on issues related to the correction of wrongful conviction.

Andrew McConaghy

Honorary Accountant

At McConaghy & Co, we believe in providing quality accounting, taxation and business consulting services to our clients in a timely and efficient manner.

We have experience of working with an expansive and diverse client base comprising of all entities including individuals, partnerships, companies, trusts and superannuation funds. Our client base covers many different industries including, but not limited to, building and construction, retail, real estate, information technology, finance, hotels and healthcare.

We are a family business with a reputation for retaining our client base, many of whom are also family run businesses. We understand the needs and priorities of our clients. The practice has been located in the same premises in Bundall since 1987. We have seen many changes to the Gold Coast and our surrounding neighbourhood but are still proud to provide the same high quality service as on day one of the firm.

We aim to provide the highest level of service and personal attention to all our clients at a realistic price. We will achieve growth by sustaining long term business relationships and maintaining our excellent reputation for quality work and advice. Andrew McConaghy is assisted by senior accountant Alanna Loveless.  Alanna has been with the firm since 2006.