Our board

Our board and governance  


Our Board is responsible for ensuring Women’s Legal Service Victoria delivers quality services and legal reform that benefits women and their children.

Jane Welsh (she/her), Chair

Jane is a passionate lifelong learner who has more than 30 years’ experience serving the community as a police officer. Jane is currently Detective Superintendent in charge of the Finance and Cyber Crime Division at Victoria Police. Jane’s interests include applied ethics and moral philosophy, most particularly their role in decision-making and critical thinking. She is currently completing a Master of Ethics and Legal Studies.


Jane joined the WLSV Board in April 2019.

Sue Timbs (she/her), Deputy Chair & Secretary

Sue is an experienced executive and non-executive director, with a senior legal professional services background.  Sue is CEO of EndUCD Foundation – a charity that’s working to prevent unexplained cardiac deaths for Australians under 50. A Sessional Commissioner with the Victorian Liquor Control Commission, Sue worked at both Mallesons and Corrs Chambers Westgarth and has served on several not-for-profit boards.

Adrianne Walters (she/her)

For much of her career Adrianne has focused on the rights of women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Adrienne is currently Associate Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, where she uses strategic legal action, media advocacy and political engagement to change and prevent unjust laws. Adrianne understands the opportunities and challenges for community legal services, having worked at the Top End Women’s Legal Service in Darwin and volunteered for Women’s Legal Service Victoria.

Rochna Banerjee (she/her), Treasurer

Rochna is passionate about the rights of women from multicultural backgrounds and has extensive experience in not-for-profit and commercial organisations in Australia and India. She’s currently the Chief Operating Officer at Victoria’s Council on the Ageing – the leading not-for-profit organisation representing the interests and rights of older Victorians. Rochna held similar roles with InTouch and International Women’s Development Agency.


Rochna is chair of the Finance and Audit, Risk Committee.

Tania Farha (she/her)

Tania has spent much of her career working to end violence against women. She also has extensive experience managing change and understanding the Legal system and public sector. Tania is currently the CEO of Safe and Equal – the peak body for specialist family violence services that provide support to victim survivors in Victoria. Before joining Safe and Equal,  Tania worked in Victoria”s Justice, Department, Premier and Cabinet, the Office of Women’s Equality, Vic Pol and at the UN.


Tania is a member of the Finance and Audit, Risk Committee.

Laura John (she/her)

Laura John has worked with refugees and asylum seekers for much of her career and has a special interest in migration law. A former consultant for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Laura is currently Counsel Assisting the Victorian Solicitor-General. She previously worked at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and the Women’s Legal Centre in Canberra. She sits on the board of Democracy in Colour – a grassroots campaigning organisation changing the institutions and systems that cause racial and economic injustice.

Trish Mitra-Kahn (she/her)

Trish has a deep knowledge of family violence and sexual assault service provision and uses her lived experience as a migrant, person of colour and living with a disability to inform her work. Trish is the Director of Research and Planning at Family Safety Victoria. She was previously a director of the Human Equation, held CEO roles in Family Violence services in New South Wales, and ran the research program at ANROWS – Australia’s national research organisation guiding policy and practice to reduce violence against women and their children.

Senior leadership

Claudia Fatone (she/her), Chief Executive Officer

Claudia has extensive leadership, operations, strategy and governance experience. She spent eight years as Fitzroy Legal Services CEO, during which time she oversaw two strategic planning processes and a merger between Fitzroy and Darebin Community Legal Centre. Claudia has also led community legal sector development with the Federation of Community Legal Centres.


Claudia also has extensive Board experience, including Respect Victoria, Adult Community & Further Education Board, Victoria Law Foundation and Cricket Victoria.

Amy Schwebel (she/her), Director Education & Engagement

Amy brings fifteen years of experience working in the not for profit and legal assistance sectors to her role at Women’s Legal. Prior to joining Women’s Legal Service Victoria, Amy worked at Justice Connect and Victoria Legal Aid. Amy has experience delivering high quality policy and law reform agendas and leading successful advocacy campaigns with a focus on family violence, child protection and family. 


Amy brings expertise in legal needs analysis and re-designing services to provide timely assistance to more people experiencing financial disadvantage. Amy is committed to improving the quality of legal assistance and working with sector partners to collaboratively respond to unmet legal need. 

Sharon Rayner (she/her), Director Operations

As the Director, Operations, Sharon leads the Finance, People & Culture, Data & Evaluation and Administration Services teams, as well as overseeing planning, risk management and governance.  Sharon is an experienced leader of corporate services in the not-for-profit and education sectors, with extensive experience overseeing the operations of complex organisations, and leading all aspects of strategic and operational planning.  


Sharon has always been a strong feminist, and has a passion for social justice and equality.