DEMPSEY – PRINCIPAL SOLICITOR
Dempsey qualified as a registered nurse at aged 18 years and eventually specialising in emergency care, a role has taken her to numerous continents where she developed her interest in humanitarian work.
Having successfully studied at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she went on to work as a humanitarian aid worker with the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières. It was during one of these missions, in Cambodia, that her interest in law was sparked. Although Dempsey’s role was that of the hospital management advisor her nursing skills were frequently called upon, particularly with the admission of land mine victims. Many of these victims and their families would consult with Dempsey requesting assistance to obtain compensation from the Cambodian government for the loss of their major income earner.
During the frustrating process of advocating for the victims within a corrupt and dysfunctional government, Dempsey realised her passion for giving a voice to the vulnerable members of the community and decided that she would undertake her legal studies.
Dempsey relocated to Australia in 2003 and worked as a nurse full time while studying full time at UTS. She gained the qualification of Juris Doctor and was admitted to the Legal Profession in August 2008.
Dempsey went on to work as a criminal lawyer with Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern and Nowra, with a particular interest in Juvenile justice. Dempsey again relocated to Forbes in January 2010 taking on the new challenge of working for the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service, Binaal Billa, becoming Principal in May 2011.
In February 2012, Binaal Billa FVPLS invited victims of domestic violence to attend the “Parliament to the people” forum to debate the domestic violence trends and issues in NSW. The victims took the opportunity to relate their experience to the Standing Committee on Social Issues which consist of five members of the Upper House. This is indeed a voice!
During her time with Binaal Billa FVPLS Dempsey has worked extremely hard in successfully obtaining compensation for her clients, and is rewarded by the fact that justice has been served and her clients suffering has been acknowledge and compensated.
Dempsey remains a committed advocate for the people and continues to work towards giving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault a voice.
KATRINA SHEEN – SOLICITOR
The first employment Katrina had working in the legal sphere was employment with the Local Courts at 17 years of age. As a clerk at the Port Macquarie Court House she realised law was an ingrained interest and something she wanted to pursue. At 18 years of age she joined the Royal Australian Air Force where she was employed in communications and as a Military Police Officer.
When Katrina left the military, she worked as a clerk/paralegal in a number of legal firms; working in areas of law that ranged from Workers Compensation; Motor Vehicle Accident Law; Public Liability Law; Victims Compensation; Family Law; Criminal Law; debt recovery and Civil Claims.
Katrina decided to become a Solicitor and studied law through correspondence, commencing her studies in September of 1995. Katrina was admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of NSW in 2001 and registered on the High Court Roll in 2004.
Moving to Sydney in 1999, Katrina was employed with the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, her main role as a solicitor within Legal Aid was criminal law defence representation/advocacy and family law mediation/representation/ advocacy. Her last role with Legal Aid was as the Solicitor-in-Charge of the Drug Court. Katrina both professionally and personally enjoyed being an integral part of influencing the reduction in drug use & criminal activity within the community via rehabilitation in lieu of gaol, in the acknowledgment of the drug- crime nexus. Katrina was one of the Senior Officers involved in the expansion of the Drug Court to the Hunter area and she was also involved in the initial stages of the implementation of the Drug Court to inner Sydney. Katrina still maintains strong links with Legal Aid NSW.
Enlisting into the Army Reserve Legal Core in 2004 Katrina was involved in representing and giving advice to Headquarters Command and soldiers on areas involving; Defence Administrative Law; Defence Disciplinary Law; and Operations Law.
Katrina and her husband moved to Forbes in early 2012. Since then Katrina has become an integral member of the Binaal Billa Legal Team. Katrina is working in the areas of general practice but especially in the fields of Family Law; Care and Protection; and Victims Compensation. Katrina is able to give advice and minor assistance to clients on other areas of law and refer them onto other legal and non-legal resources where required.
Katrina is very interested and aware of the need of ongoing community awareness and education in aspects of law which inhibit and effect people in everyday life. Katrina is proactive in changing the community’s attitude towards family violence and committed to giving back to the community in her dedication to the pursuit of justice.
MICHELLE KABLE – PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Raised in Condobolin, and currently living in Parkes Michelle has a strong sense of community as well as strong ties throughout the region. Michelle was a Martial Arts & Self Defence Instructor for over ten years, teaching groups in Condo, Parkes and Trundle – during which time she had the opportunity to work with a broad range of individuals helping them to not only better themselves but to believe in themselves, and their own self-worth.
Professionally coming from an administrative/business background, Michelle has had considerable experience in working with small businesses, government bodies, and community groups as well as individuals. Starting out at the Parkes Forbes Business Enterprise Centre as an Executive Assistant Michelle worked her way up the ladder to Assistant Manager, during which time Michelle completed studies in Administration, Workplace Training and Business Management, and is also a registered Justice of the Peace.
Michelle draws on previous work experience in her current position, using her familiarity of working within government frameworks to deliver a service to groups within the communities, as well as overseeing the daily operations of the office. Michelle has developed a strong professional network throughout Parkes, Forbes , Lake Cargelligo & Condobolin, and has been pro-active in helping individuals who need a hand-up throughout the communities.
Michelle joined Binaal Billa Team in June 2012 and is passionate about helping Victims of family violence and sexual assault become survivors, and is dedicated to working towards giving people the tools to overcome adversity in their lives through Education & Awareness
RENEE ELLISON – COUNSELLOR & SUPPORT WORKER
Renee is a local in the Forbes area, and having always lived here in Forbes she maintains strong connections to the community and has a wealth of local knowledge, as well as a broad referral base for the services that are available to help those in need.
Joining the team at Binaal Billa in 2012, Renee is utilising her skills & qualifications through counselling, community work, networking and referral as well as assisting the solicitors by providing legal support and administrative assistance.
Renee is committed to early intervention and prevention and promotes awareness and education by working with the schools to help educate the children; she is dedicated to preventing family violence and sexual assault within our communities, and grateful of the opportunity to make a difference within her current role at Binaal Billa FVPLS.
TRACY REID – LEGAL SECRETARY
Tracy was raised in Forbes and lived in the area all her life. Living in the community has given her vast local knowledge, strong family, and community ties.
In 2005, Tracy began working with a local firm of Solicitors for a period of 7 years as a Legal Clerk/administrative assistant; assisting in areas of law that ranged from conveyancing, estates, Wills, Probate, Family Law. During this time Tracy was heavily involved in liaising with the clients and enjoyed assisting in all areas where possible.
Tracy is a registered Justice of the Peace.
Joining the team at Binaal Billa in 2012 has seen Tracy extremely happy not only to continue her line of work as legal clerk/administrative assistant, but to also work alongside her colleagues in their pursuit to provide awareness and education in prevention of family violence and sexual assault within our communities.