About Us

Staff and Board

Rawan Arraf – Principal Lawyer & Executive Director

Rawan has ten years of legal experience in refugee protection, administrative law and international human rights law.  Rawan most recently worked as a refugee lawyer at community legal centre, Refugee Advice & Casework Service providing a wide range of protection advice to people seeking asylum in Australia. She has worked on a myriad of complex cases representing: people held in long term detention; people subject to offshore detention; people with national security concerns; people subject to visa character cancellations and refusals; and citizenship claims on statelessness, including in particular for stateless Rohingya babies born in Australia.

She is actively engaged with lawyers and organisations working in universal jurisdiction litigation abroad and in 2018 trained with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Berlin, working closely with the International Crimes and Accountability team on universal jurisdiction matters.

Rawan is an arts and law graduate of the University of Sydney and has completed specialist human rights and international law courses at the European University Institute in Florence. Rawan will graduate with a Master of Laws from the University of New South Wales in 2019.

Alison Ryan – Non-Executive Director

Alison works as a Supervising Senior Solicitor at Refugee Advice & Casework Service, a specialist legal centre for asylum seekers and refugees. Alison has over 12 years international experience working on international criminal law, human rights and legal programs in Timor Leste, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Uganda and Greece. Alison completed a Master of Laws at the University of New England focused on international criminal law and holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University. She lectures occasionally at the University of Technology Sydney in refugee law.

Katie Wrigley – Non-Executive Director

Katie is a Senior Solicitor with the Legal Aid Commission NSW. She oversees the Commission’s migration law practice. Katie has 28 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit legal sector. She has served on volunteer boards of community legal centres including Macarthur Legal Centre, and has held positions as the Principal Solicitor with both Welfare Rights and the Refugee Advice & Casework Service where she was responsible for those centres’ legal practice. Her practice of law since her admission has consistently involved helping people in situations of disadvantage access legal assistance. In her current position she has been responsible for the management of the financial contract with the Department of Immigration for provision of services under the IAAAS program. In 2018 she successfully completed the LEAD program with Legal Aid, a leadership program. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney. She has lectured on International Law at Macquarie University.

Fiona Nelson – Consultant Legal Advisor

Fiona Nelson worked for the last four years at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a Berlin-based NGO that uses strategic litigation to challenge human rights abuses. Her focus was on accountability for torture and war crimes committed in the context of counterterrorism operations and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She worked on legal actions concerning states’ complicity in unlawful drone strikes in Yemen and torture in Guantanamo and CIA blacksites as well as the abuse of detainees during the Iraq War. Before joining ECCHR she researched and taught at the University of Potsdam. She holds law degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Humboldt University in Berlin. Fiona is providing legal advice to the ACIJ on a pro bono basis.

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