Thank you

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the organising committee, we would like to thank you for joining us at the 2019 Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT) NSW Conference, held 6 September at the Pullman Sydney, Hyde Park.

On the program page of this website the words ‘PRESENTATION PDF’ appear alongside titles where the speaker has given their consent for publishing.

Click HERE to navigate to the program page.

Anina Johnson
Chair, 2019 COAT NSW Conference Organising Committee


Delegates requiring accommodation should contact the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park directly to make a reservation. 

A number of alternative accommodation options are located in close proximity to the Pullman Hyde Park. To check out options we suggest reviewing the following maps link. All bookings need to be made directly with the hotel of your choice.

Accommodation options near Hyde Park


Please contact us the team at Conference Design if you have any questions.

+61 3 6231 2999

Join the mailing list

To receive the latest information about the COAT NSW Conference we recommend joining the mailing list.

Conference Venue

Pullman Sydney, Hyde Park
36 College St, Sydney NSW 2010

Conference Committee



Anina Johnson, Mental Health Review Tribunal

Committee Members

Chris Matthies, Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Gary Lobb, Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Geri Ettinger, Mediator

Jill Toohey, Nauru Refugee Status Review Tribunal

Katrina Harry, Veterans Review Board

Linda Pearson, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Susan Johnston, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Invited Speakers

Tasneem Chopra

A cross-cultural consultant, Tasneem has recently been appointed an Anti-Racism Champion by the Australian Human Rights Commission. Previously, she was one of 50 Women You Need to Know in 2017’s Herald Sun International Women’s Day count, following a listing in Latte Magazine’s 2016 Women to Watch. In previous years she has been listed in The Age Magazine’s Top 100 most influential ‘Movers and Shakers in Melbourne’ and The Australian Magazine‘s Leader series, of Top Ten Thinkers.

Through her consultancy, she speaks across the private and public sector to issues of leadership, diversity, cultural competence, and intersectional discrimination.

When not delivering keynotes, workshops or emceeing events, Tasneem is a Board Director for Ambulance Victoria, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), NOW Australia and Chair of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights. She is also an outgoing Director for the Luke Batty Foundation and Chair of Lentil As Anything, as well as former Curator at both the Immigration Museum and Islamic Museum of Australia.

A TEDxMelbourne presenter (Don’t Believe the Hype: Exceed It) and writer, Tasneem’s latest paper for the Griffith Law Journal’s, Burqas, Bombs and Bogeymen, highlights media bias against Australian Muslims.  She has a background in psychology and sociology and a Masters in International Development from La Trobe University, where she is also a Golden Key alumnist.

Tasneem has appeared in numerous editorial outlets, including The GuardianThe Age and The Australian and is a regular contributor to SBS Life. She has also appeared on BBC’s IQ2 DebatesQ&AThe ProjectCompass and is a regular on ABC’s The Drum and ABC Radio, where she is a host and occasional panellist.

Justice Rachel Pepper

Justice Pepper was appointed as a Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW in May 2009.

From 1997 until her appointment in 2009, Justice Pepper practised as a barrister at the New South Wales Bar.  Her principal areas of practice were general commercial law and public law, including constitutional and administrative law.  While at the bar, Justice Pepper was a member of Bar Council from 2000-2009 and was Secretary of the Bar Council from 2006 to 2009.

Prior to being called to the bar, Justice Pepper was the Associate to Justice Michael McHugh AC in the High Court of Australia.

In March 2015 Justice Pepper was the inaugural judge-in-residence at the Australian National University’s Centre for International and Public Law at the ANU College of Law.

In 2017 she was appointed Chair of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Onshore Unconventional Gas Reservoirs and Associated Activities in the Northern Territory.

She is a guest lecturer in Environmental Litigation at the Faculty of Law at Sydney University.

And she is currently an ambassador for Twenty10.

Jane Anderson

Ms Jane Anderson was appointed by the Governor-General as Principal Member of the Veterans’ Review Board, commenced the role in late January 2018.  For two years prior to her appointment, Ms Anderson had served as a general member of the Veterans’ Review Board.

Ms Anderson is a lawyer with 20 years’ experience, including as a former senior legal member of the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and a former Deputy President of the South Australian Guardianship Board, where she presided over legal proceedings involving people with impaired decision-making capacity.  Ms Anderson was also a Board member of the Mental Illness Fellowship of South Australia, overseeing the management of a not-for-profit organisation providing advocacy and support for people with mental illness, and their families.

As well as her expertise in administrative law, Ms Anderson previously practised in criminal law, enjoying a career as a senior lawyer with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, during which she appeared as prosecuting counsel in criminal courts and provided legal advice to government departments and agencies.

Ms Anderson has a strong interest in human rights and international law, and in 1999 she completed a Master of Law degree in international law at Cambridge University, UK.   She is currently an officer of the Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee of the International Bar Association, a global organisation of legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies.

Ms Anderson has a keen interest in the participation and contribution of veterans and current serving members of the Australian Defence Force, and has family members who are serving, or have previously served, in the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Mark Larsen

Dr Larsen is an Early Career Researcher at the Black Dog Institute who currently holds an Early Career Fellowship from the Society for Mental Health Research. He has come from a background in biomedical engineering and Dr Larsen has applied his knowledge to the e-health space. Dr Larsen works within the Digital Dog research program applying his research expertise is in the use of technology, particularly mobile phones, in healthcare applications with a focus on suicide prevention. Dr Larsen is involved with novel ways to detect mental health and suicide risk through social media and blogs.

Auntie Millie Ingram

In the 1960’s Millie was involved with the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs under the management of Charlie Perkins, attending meetings and their social functions, dances, Debutante Balls and volunteering in the Foundation and in its café.  She was there during the Freedom Rides although she wasn’t involved in them.

Millie was around when the AMS, the ALS, the Tent Embassy and other Aboriginal controlled organisations were being set up in the 1970’s.  She was a founding member of Murawina Multi-purpose Child Care Centre in Eveleigh Street Redfern, which started off in Shepherd Street Chippendale, together with her sister Norma, Mum Shirl and other active women of the day.

From 1982 Millie worked in government for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs for thirteen years as the Assistant Secretary advising the government on community/state relations. She was there when the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed in February 1982.

She was an elected Councillor for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for four years representing the Wiradjuri Region of NSW, being the only woman popularly elected by the community on a council of 13 people.

Millie received a commonwealth bicentenary award in 2001 from former Prime Minister John Howard for her services to the community.

Millie is a JP and was a finalist for the 2010 International Woman of the Year for NSW which was celebrated on 8th March 2010.  Millie was also awarded “Woman of the Year” in 2010 for the electorate of Heffron, which was held at the time by The Hon Kristine Kenneally MP and Premier of NSW.

Warwick Young

Warwick Young is a multi-award winning filmmaker, has been a Services Member of the Veterans’ Review Board since 2008, and is the current president of the Veterans Film Festival. War has also served as an officer in Australian Army since 1991, in both a full-time and part-time capacity, seeing active service in Iraq in 2006, and is currently the Deputy Commander – Training at Headquarters 5 Brigade.

Warwick holds a Master of Screen Arts degree from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS); a bachelors degree in Applied Science (B.App.Sc) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT); a graduate of the Royal Military College (RMC); a graduate of the British Aerospace-Ansett flying College (56 Army Pilots Course); a graduate of the Australian Command And Staff College (ACSC); and trained as an actor at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).

His films have won multiple awards when screening at several international film festivals, including:  the 2014 UK Film Festival; the 2014 Sydney Film Festival; the 59th Valladolid International Film Festival; the 2015 Flickerfest International Film Festival; the Antipodes program of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival; and the 2015 39th Cleveland International Film Festival. He was the recipient of the prestigious European Union Film Award in 2013; the New Talent Award at the 2015 Down Under Berlin Film Festival Warwick; he was runner up for the Nicolas Baudin Prize for Best Short Film at the 2015 Saint-Tropez Film Festival; and won Best Foreign Film at the 2016 Beverly Hills Film Festival. Warwick was also nominated for an Australian Directors Guild Award in 2014 and a Best New Filmmakers LA Award in 2017.

In 2014 Warwick was instrumental in the design and delivery of the Australian Defence Force Theatre Project, a joint venture between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Sydney Theatre Company, The project was designed to provide wounded, injured and ill members of the ADF an opportunity to utilise theatre as a form of therapy to assist them in overcoming their injuries,

both physical and psychological. The resulting production ‘The Long Way Home’ toured nationally and Warwick was engaged as a cast member and as a mentor to the participants. As a result of the success of this project he was a part of the team that designed and planned the ADF Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program, and was appointed head of the drama stream during the conduct of the trial in June 2015 and for the roll out in November 2015.

On Australia Day 2019, Warwick was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to veterans and their families through the Arts.

Carolyn Gordon

Carolyn Gordon is a Business Analyst with over 25 years experience working within Government agencies, delivering business and system analysis support to IT projects. Carolyn is a strong advocate of the user being an integral part of the software development process, so as to ensure that the end product is responsive to the needs of the business. Outside of work, Carolyn is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with family and friends over good food and wine.

Professor Tania Sourdin 

Professor Tania Sourdin is the Dean of the University of Newcastle Law School and was previously the Foundation Chair and Director of the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation at Monash University.

In the past two decades, she has conducted qualitative and quantitative research projects into aspects of the dispute resolution and justice systems in 12 courts and tribunals and six external dispute resolution schemes within Australia. Other research has focussed on justice innovation, technology, delay and systemic reforms. She has had a number of projects exploring the use of artificial intelligence in the justice system. Recently, Professor Sourdin has focussed on judges and AI and has published papers such as “Judge v Robot” (2018), chapters that include “Must a Judge be Human?”(2018) and books – “The Responsive Judge” (Springer, 2018) and “The Multi Tasking Judge” (Thomson Reuters, 2012). She is also currently reviewing justice apps as well as undertaking research relating to the client experience of tech-enabled justice options.

Professor Sourdin has retained a part-time practice focus. She has worked for more than 30 years as a lawyer, 25 years in various senior part-time tribunal positions and as a mediator. Since 2014 she has been the NBN industry dispute resolution advisor.

Michael Woodhouse 

Michael Woodhouse is an Executive Director, Strategy, Reform and Support for the NSW court and tribunal system. His responsibilities include developing digital strategy and implementing digital reform projects. This work is primarily focused on improving customer and user experience as well as the operation of courts and tribunals.

Michael has worked in government for 25 years primarily in health, justice and human services. He has a strong interest in reforming how government works to deliver better outcomes for citizens.

Anne Britton

A Principal Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Anne Britton sits in the Tribunal’s Guardianship and Occupational, Administrative and Equal Opportunity divisions and is appointed to the Tribunal’s Appeal Panel. For two decades Anne has held senior roles in State and Commonwealth Tribunals. Anne taught in the Masters program at UNSW Law School and has significant experience in governance roles, including as a former director of the NSW Legal Aid Commission and the Communications Law Centre.

Anne is the Chair of the Council of Australasian Tribunals and a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity. Anne has a long standing interest in Tribunal member professional development and among other things has led the development of COAT’s on-line course for new members, which was launched in 2017.

Peter Papadopoulos

Peter Papadopoulos is an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law.  Since 2011, he has been annually voted by his peers as one of Australia’s best immigration and civil rights lawyers and has been included on the annual Best Lawyers International list for Australia.

Admitted to practice in 1996, Peter has been a registered migration agent since 1997. He has practised extensively in the field of migration law by assisting clients with their visa and citizenship matters as well as handling merits and judicial review applications. In addition to his private practice, Peter has provided strategic advice to government in relation to immigration policy development, visa programme design and the regulation of the migration advice profession.

Since 2008, Peter has edited LexisNexis’ Australian Immigration Law service. He is the Chair of The College of Law’s Migration Agent Capstone Assessment Advisory Committee and an active member of the Law Council of Australia’s Migration Law Committee, the Law Institute of Victoria’s Migration Law Committee and the Migration Institute of Australia.

Terry Carney

Terry Carney AO is Emeritus Professor of Law at the Law School, University of Sydney and Visiting Research Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney.  A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, he is a past President (2005-2007) of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, and chaired Commonwealth bodies such as the National Advisory Council on Social Welfare, overseeing the rewrite of what became the Social Security Act 1991.  He has written widely on social security and for over 39 years served as a member of the AAT and its predecessor, the SSAT.


The following program is provisional and subject to change as planning is finalised.

Please check this page regularly for the latest information.

Note: Legal practitioners must complete one hour of educational activity in each of the following areas per year:  ethics and professional responsibility; practice management and business skills; professional skills. This program is designed to meet the compulsory CPD needs of legal practitioners who sit as Tribunal members. However, CPD activities are not accredited by the Law Society of NSW. You should determine for yourself if the program is relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of the law.

0810 Registration and tea/coffee – Ibis Foyer
  Ibis Room
0900 Conference Welcome
Anina Johnson, Convenor COAT NSW
Welcome to country
Auntie Millie Ingram
Session Chair Justice David Thomas

Social media – the power and the perils

Tasneem Chopra

  Session Workshop (FULL)
  Ibis Room  Parkview Room
Session Chair  Justice Lea Armstrong  Marie Johns

Making Sure that Curiosity Doesn’t Kill the CAT: the Use and Abuse of Expert Evidence in Merits Review

Justice Rachel Pepper
Land and Environment Court NSW


Managing digital documents

Carolyn Gordon
Senior Business Analyst, Department of Veterans’ Affairs

1050 Morning tea – Ibis Foyer
Session Chair Judge Gerard Phillips 

The digital future for Tribunals

Professor Tania Sourdin
Dean and Head of School
Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle


  Session Workshop (FULL)
  Ibis Room  Parkview Room
Session Chair   Katrina Harry PSM

Perspectives on our digital future – implications for members, staff and users

Anne Britton
Principal Member, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Josephine Bamber
Senior Arbitrator, Workers Compensation Commission 

Jane Cipants
Director, Client Services Legal Aid NSW

Prof Tania Sourdin
Dean and Head of School, Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle

Michael Woodhouse
Executive Director, Program Innovation and Implementation, Courts and Tribunals, NSW Department of Justice


Hearing you loud and clear – how to communicate clearly

Warwick Young
Actor and Member Veterans’ Review Board




1310 Lunch – Windows on the Park Restaurant
  Session Session
  Ibis Room  Parkview Room 
Session Chair Judge Susanne Cole Linda Pearson

Getting your message across – delivering oral reasons and communicating effectively in the hearing room

Jane Anderson and Warwick Young
Principal Member and Member, Veterans’ Review Board

Digital Transformation of decision-making – promises and pitfalls

Peter Papadopoulos
Lawyer and migration agent

Automation in Social Security: Implications for merits review?

Terry Carney
Emeritus Professor, The University of Sydney


1520 Afternoon Tea – Ibis Foyer
Session Chair Judge Paul Lakatos
  Ibis Room 

There’s an app for that – making the most of mental health apps

Dr Mark Larsen
Black Dog Insitutue


Closing Remarks

Rodney Parsons
Registrar Workers Compensation Commission and Vice Convenor COAT NSW

1645 Conference drinks – Ibis Foyer 

Registration Terms and Conditions

Payment Policy

Payment is due within 7 days of submitting your registration. If you are registering within 21 days of the conference you will be required to pay with a credit card when registering online.

Confirmations and Tax Invoices

A confirmation with a PDF Tax Invoice will be emailed when you submit your registration. If you pay by credit card a receipt will also be attached.

Currency and GST

All prices are quoted in Australian Dollars (AUD$).  COAT NSW is not registered for GST and the registration price does not include GST.


The registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. Participants are advised to take out appropriate insurance, including cover for travel, accommodation and personal possessions.

Neither the Committee or Conference Design Pty Ltd covers individuals against the cancellations of bookings for any reason including cancellation or postponement of the conference or for theft or damage to belongings.

Credit Card Payments

Credit card charges appear as Conference Design Pty Ltd on your card statement. When using the online payment system credit cards are processed directly by ANZ eGate and Conference Design does not store or transmit your credit card details. ANZ eGate is a secure and PCI compliant platform.

Registration Cancellation Policy

Registrations cancelled up to 60 days prior to the Conference will be eligible for a full refund where payment was made online by credit card. In all other cases a $150 cancellation fee will be charged. All cancellations must be advised via email to Conference Design.

Cancellations notified after this date will not be eligible for any refund, however another person may attend the Conference.


Due to strict visa requirements for the countries listed below, registrations and presentations will not be confirmed until the applicant has obtained a visa.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cóte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria, Libya, Egypt.

EFT Payments

Please include the EFT Reference shown on your Tax Invoice when submitting an EFT and email Conference Design the details including date, amount and your bank’s reference.

  • BSB: 017 324
  • Account #: 1085 82575
  • Account Name: Conference Design Pty Ltd
  • Bank: ANZ, 61 Liverpool St, Hobart
  • Swift Code: ANZBAU3M

Conference Cancellation or Postponement

The members of the Committee and Conference Design Pty Ltd do not accept any liability for losses incurred in the event of the Conference being cancelled or postponed due to an unforeseen event or any other event that renders performance of this conference inadvisable, illegal, impracticable or impossible.

An unforeseen event shall include, but shall not be limited to: an Act of God; infectious disease outbreak, industrial disruptions, service provider failures, governmental restrictions and/or regulations; war or apparent act of war; terrorism or apparent act of terrorism; disaster; civil disorder, disturbance, and/or riots; curtailment, suspension, and/or restriction on transportation; or any other emergency.

About provides delegate registration, website and app solutions, and financial management for conferences, conventions and scientific meetings.

Terms & Conditions

All registrations and bookings are subject to our standard term and conditions.

Contact Us

Please contact the team at with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2017 - 2020 Conference Design Pty Ltd. is a division of Conference Design Pty Ltd.