Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)



  Bunja Smith





  Des Williams
  Deputy Chair

  Thomas Briggs
  Board Member, Northern Region


  Alison O'Neil
  Board Member, Northern Region


  Michael Skinner
  Board Member, Northern Region


  Ray Keed
  Board Member, Western Region


  Lorraine Wright
  Board Member, Western Region


  Robert Carroll
  Board Member, Western Region

  Janelle Clarke
  Board Member, Central South Eastern Region



  Hewitt Whyman
  Board Member, Western Region



Keith Morgan, Board Member



Peta MacGillivray, Board Member




  Peter Stapleton
  Honorary Board Member


  Steve O'Connor
  Honorary Board Member


  Lesley Turner
  Chief Executive Officer 


Board Members

There are 15 ALS Board members. Twelve of the Board members are elected by ALS company members. Ten company members from each region elect four Board members from that region.

Additional members of the ALS Board include the ALS Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary.

There are also two Honorary Board member positions. The ALS Honorary Board members are not elected but have been invited by Members because of their significant contribution to Aboriginal legal justice and advocacy for many years. An Honorary Board member usually has relevant business and legal experience and an understanding of issues relating to Aboriginal people in NSW and ACT. They have no voting power at Board meetings but can attend and participate in discussion.

To be elected as an ALS Board member, the applicant must have been approved as an ALS company member. Once elected, an ALS Board member serves a term of three years. There is no limit to the number of further terms they can seek election for. Elections for the position of an ALS Board member occur every three years. The next election will be held in 2018.

The Chairperson of the ALS Board is elected by a majority vote of Board members for a three-year period. The position of Chairperson will become vacant in June 2018.

ALS Board members attend regular Board meetings held at least four times a year. Two ALS Board meetings are held in different regional cities, with two Board meetings held in Sydney each year.

ALS Board members play an active role in giving direction to the ALS Executive through their membership of the ALS Finance, Audit, Employment and Policy Committees. ALS Board members participate on interview panels for full-time permanent positions within the ALS.




Company Members

The ALS is a public company, limited by guarantee. The company is comprised of thirty members who are Aboriginal people from NSW and ACT. There are ten members from each of the three regions that the ALS operates through. The members represent their community to the ALS.

Any Aboriginal adult of good standing in their community who has not committed a crime in five years can apply to become a member of the ALS company, if there is a vacancy. If there is more than one applicant for a vacant position, an election is held. The ALS elected Board members approve new ALS company members.

A member’s term is three years. There is no limit to the number of three-year terms a member can seek membership for.

ALS company members meet at least once each year. At that meeting, ALS company members approve the appointment of auditors, approve audited accounts, and conduct general business about the company including current and future directions. Only ALS company members can be elected as ALS Board members.



Alternate Board Directors

Each Director of the Board of Directors can have an Alternate Director, as approved by the Board of Directors.

Alternate Directors:

  • are members of the ALS Company
  • get appointed by individual Directors with the approval of the Board of Directors (there is no timeframe or requirement to appoint an Alternate Director)
  • act on behalf of the Directors they represent during Board meetings by participating in the proceeding and deliberation of an issue, and by voting or declining to vote on resolution
  • represent the ALS in their communities
  • are registered as Alternate Directors under ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission)

An Alternate Director’s term expires when:

  • their term as a Company Member expires;
  • they get replaced by another Alternate Director, usually initiated by the Director they represent; or
  • they resign as a Company Member or as an Alternate Director.



Become a Member of the ALS Company. Find out more here.


To learn more about the structure of our organisation, visit here.

To learn about our Management team, visit here.