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AGLS Board

Group photo

The inaugural AGLS Board held its first meeting in December 2020. The board is composed of heads of legal practices and other senior government lawyers from a range of Australian Government agencies.

As the AGLS Board is now in place, the existing AGLN Board and committees have ceased. Thank you to the many people who volunteered their time and energy to that network – it has provided a strong foundation from which the AGLS can grow.

Find out about the AGLS committees established by the AGLS Terms of Reference.

There are 11 board members appointed to the AGLS Board. The inaugural AGLS Board members are:

Inaugural AGLS Board members

Sarah Godden - Board Chair

Assistant Secretary, Bargaining and Coverage Branch, Industrial Relations Legal Division, Attorney-General’s Department

Sarah's biography

Headshot of Sarah Godden

Tim Ffrench

General Counsel, Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Tim's biography

Tim Ffrench

Andrew Ford

Deputy Chief Counsel, National Disability Insurance Agency

Andrew's biography

Headshot of Andrew Ford

Kathryn Haigh

Chief Counsel, Services Australia

Kathryn's biography

Headshot of Kathryn Haigh

Meredith Leigh

First Parliamentary Counsel, Office of Parliamentary Counsel

Meredith's biography

Headshot of Meredith Leigh

Samantha Nichol

Chief Counsel, Australian Federal Police

Samantha's biography

Headshot of Samantha Nichol

Toni Pirani

First Assistant Secretary, Legal Services Policy Division, Attorney-General's Department

Toni's biography

Toni Pirani is the First Assistant Secretary of the Legal Services Policy Division in the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.

Louise Rafferty

Senior Executive Lawyer, Australian Government Solicitor

Louise's biography

Headshot of Louise Rafferty

Emily Sehu

Deputy General Counsel, Australian Institute of Marine Science 

Emily's biography

Headshot of Emily Sehu

Charmaine Sims

General Counsel, Legal Services, Australian Public Service Commission

Charmaine's biography

Charmaine Sims

Matthew Swainson

General Manager, Legal Group, Comcare

Matthew's biography

Headshot of Matthew Swainson

Board Chair

Board members nominated Sarah Godden as the inaugural AGLS Board Chair. The Chair will liaise with the AGLS team to develop meeting agendas, ensure action items are progressed, and report to the Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department on the activities of the AGLS. From the AGLS Board Chair, Sarah Godden:

'I will harness my drive and energy to work with the AGLS Board to establish AGLS structures that promote and enable collaboration and diversity. Getting these settings right will be critical to deliver on the potential of the AGLS… There is so much potential in the AGLS if we share knowledge, skills and resources to support the delivery of high quality and joined-up legal services across the Commonwealth and its entities… through supporting APS members of the legal profession.'


The AGLS Board is supported by several AGLS committees and an informal forum, with nominated Board sponsors working closely with the Chairs of each committee. The AGLS committees and Board sponsors are:

Conference Committee

Board sponsors: Samantha Nichol, Louise Rafferty, and Andrew Ford

Engagement and Communication Committee

Board sponsors: Emily Sehu and Matthew Swainson

Legal Risk Committee

Board sponsor: Sarah Godden

Professional Development Committee

Board sponsors: Meredith Leigh and Kathryn Haigh

Legal Practice Managers’ Forum

Board sponsor: Tim Ffrench

Find out more about AGLS committees, including how to get involved.

Contact us to ask about AGLS Board and committee membership.

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