The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) constitution allows for up to 12 directors who are elected annually at PIAC’s Annual General Meeting. PIAC is a company limited by guarantee.


Rebecca GilsenanRebecca Gilsenan | Board member since  May 2012.

Chair of PIAC Board.

Rebecca Gilsenan is a Principal Lawyer in Maurice Blackburn’s class actions department. She has extensive experience in running complex and novel litigation, including class actions in the areas of price fixing, failed investment schemes, product liability and securities.

Eileen BaldryEileen Baldry | Board member since February 2015.

Professor Baldry is one of the country’s leading academics in the field of Criminology. In 2017 she was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at University of New South Wales. Eileen regularly chairs government committees and working groups, and appears as a witness in commission and government inquiries in relation to social justice issues.

Bob DebusBob Debus | Board member since November 2016.

Bob Debus was a member of NSW Parliament (1981-1988 and 1995-2007) and Federal Parliament (2007-2010). in the NSW Parliament, he served as Minister for Corrective Services (1995-2001), Minister for Emergency Services (1995-2003), Minister for Environment (1999-2007), Minister for Arts (2005-2007) and Attorney General (2000-2007). In the Commonwealth Parliament he held the position of Minister for Home Affairs. Before becoming a parliamentarian, Bob worked as a solicitor, editor and journalist.

Avani DiasAvani Dias | Board member since June 2019.

Avani is a cross-media reporter for triple j’s youth current affairs program, Hack. Avani has worked across the ABC as a reporter on TV, radio, and online in Sydney, Darwin, and western NSW. Her work often focusses on the experiences of marginalised groups with an aim to diversify the content we’re giving a platform to in the Australian media.

Damian GriffithsDamian Griffis | Board member since February 2017.

Damian Griffis is a Worimi man and a leading advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. Damian has been a central figure in the establishment of both the Aboriginal Disability Network NSW and FPDN. Damian represents FPDN at regional, national and international forums. In 2014, he won the Tony Fitzgerald (Community Individual) Memorial Award at the Australian Human Rights Awards.

Ian FarmerIan Farmer | Board member since May 2017.

Ian has over 30 years experience as a practicing accountant and advisor, including 20 years as a Partner with PwC in a range of client serving and leadership roles. Ian is Chairman of Lifeline Northern Beaches, where he is a telephone crisis supporter, and a Director and Treasurer of CRC Ltd and the Sydney Drug Education and Counselling Centre.

Sarah FergusonSarah Ferguson | Board member since November 2016.

Sarah Ferguson is a Walkley award-winning investigative journalist, writer and presenter. She is currently a reporter and presenter on ABC’s Four Corners.

Juliana WarnerJuliana Warner | Board member since February 2019.

Juliana Warner is an experienced solicitor and the Sydney Office Managing Partner of Herbert Smith Freehills. She is the Junior Vice president of the NSW Law Society. Juliana has been involved in many leading cases, and has represented clients extensively in mediation, arbitration, regulatory investigations and inquiries and cross border matters involving foreign and international law.

Julie ForemanJulie Foreman | Board member since May 2018.

Julie is the Executive Officer of the Tenants’ Union. Julie has worked in the areas of Human Rights, Community Education and Community Management for over 25 years.

Ralph PlinerRalph Pliner | Board member since July 2009.

Ralph Pliner served as an International Partner of Baker McKenzie from 1983 to 2004. He has extensive experience as a company Director in the insurance, technology and energy industries. Previously Ralph worked as a lecturer in law at Melbourne University and a financial journalist with The Financial Mail in Johannesburg.

John WalkerJohn Walker | Board member since February 2016.

John Walker is recognised as a leader in the emerging global litigation funding market. He is the managing Director of Investor Claim Partner Pty Ltd and ICP Capital Pty Ltd. John came to litigation funding more than twenty years ago after working in accounting and economics and practicing as a commercial litigator in Sydney.

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