Our board

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Patrick Lunn | Chairperson

On 6 November 2014, Patrick was first appointed Chairperson of Tasmania Legal Aid for a term of three years. The Minister for Justice re-appointed Patrick for a further three year term commencing on 21 January 2021.

Patrick graduated from the University of Tasmania with the combined degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws in 1995.
Patrick has practiced in commercial litigation since 1995 where his practice has included debt recovery, estate disputes, partnership, bankruptcy and insolvency litigation, professional negligence claims and residential and commercial tenancy disputes.

Patrick became a member of the board of management of Plane Tree Studio Inc. in 1997 and has been a Chair of its Board of Management since 1998.

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Kristen Wylie | Director

Kristen was appointed Director of Tasmania Legal Aid on 15 March 2023.

Kristen graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1993. After 8 years in private practice, Kristen joined Tasmania Legal Aid (TLA) as Manager Family Law Practice- South. In 2004, Kristen was appointed Manager State Family Law Practice, now known as Associate Director Family Law. In October 2022 Kristen was appointed Acting Director of Tasmania Legal Aid and appointed Director in March 2023.

In her role as Associate Director Family Law, Kristen managed the delivery of legally aided family law services across Tasmania.

Kristen has significant experience as both solicitor and counsel; in latter years primarily focusing on Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) matters and family violence matters.  An ICL since 2001, Kristen is known for her ability to bring and maintain a child focus, helping parents to resolve matters and working hard to gather all the relevant evidence.

Kristen was a member of the National Legal Aid Family Law Working Group from 2004 to 2023.

In September 2022 Kristen was awarded the Tasmanian Women Lawyers Achievement Award. In February 2023 Kristen was awarded the Law Society of Tasmania President’s Award and in March 2023 was inducted into the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women.

In 2022 Kristen developed and launched TLA’s Independent Children’s Lawyers Practice Standards and Guidelines an Australian first, combining clear practice standards with educative guidelines.

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Matthew Verney

Matthew Verney was appointed as a Commissioner for a term of three years on 17 November 2020.

Matthew graduated from the University of Tasmania with a combined degree of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws in 1993.

Matthew has practiced the law since 1994 when he served a 12-month apprenticeship and was admitted to practice in 1995. He has been the Principal of his own firm since 2003 practicing predominantly in family law, child safety, and commercial law. He is heavily committed to service to the profession, the Rule of Law, and access to justice. He served 10 years as a member of the Council of the Law Society of Tasmania including two years as the President of the Society. He served two years as a Director of the Law Council of Australia.

Matthew was a member of the Steering Committee which undertook an Evaluation of the Legal Assistance sector and serves as a member of the Disciplinary Tribunal, Mental Health Tribunal, and is Deputy President of the Guardianship and Administration Board.

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Naomi Walsh

On 27 July 2017, the Minister for Justice appointed Naomi Walsh to the Board. Her term was extended for another 3 years on 17 November 2020.

Naomi has a Bachelor of Business and a Masters of Business from the University of Tasmania. Naomi is currently the Executive Manager of Virieux Group and Rosevears Developments and brings business, managements, risk management, corporate governance and financial expertise to the Board.

Naomi has been an Executive Manager of a hospitality group and also a finance manager for a road construction company. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Gavin Wailes

On 15 January 2018, the Minister for Justice appointed Gavin Wailes to the Board. His term was extended for another 3 years on 2 October 2022.

Gavin graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2001, has a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management and is a member of CPA Australia.

Gavin is currently the Acting Director of Finance with the Department of Justice and has previously worked for the Departments of Treasury and Finance, Police, Fire and Emergency Management and for the Tasmania Prison Service in a variety of accounting and management roles.

Last updated: 16/03/2023