Our People

Management Committee

Kathryn Viegas

President

Kathryn Viegas is a Director of Nomos Legal and is an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law. She has practiced immigration law since 2003 and has been recognised in the AFR’s Best Lawyers list annually since 2018. A migrant herself, Kathryn started her career at the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre before moving into private practice. She has worked at a number of boutique immigration law firms, including two that she has helped to establish. Throughout her career, Kathryn has advocated for the rights of the most disenfranchised within Australia’s immigration program, including asylum seekers and people living with HIV and other medical conditions. Since 2007, Kathryn has been involved in continuing legal education through her preparation and presentation of CPD programs for Nomos, IARC, the College of Law and other organisations. Since 2019, she has taught the Graduate Diploma in Migration Law at Victoria University. She holds degrees in Psychology and Law from The University of New South Wales, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University and a Master of Laws degree from The University of Sydney. Kathryn is also a Founding Director of The TLR Foundation, established in memory of a former client to promote bone marrow donation in Australia.

Rowena Irish

Secretary

Rowena is a highly experienced legal practitioner with more than 15 years experience in immigration law and previously in a top tier law firm in e-commerce and privacy. She has returned as a Director of Supra Legal, a boutique immigration law firm, after a five year appointment as a Member at the Migration and Refugee Review Tribunals. Prior to this she was acting Principal Solicitor and Director at IARC.  Rowena is a recognised expert in immigration law, having presented seminars and information sessions across a broad range of immigration and citizenship topics.  She is an MIA Accredited Educator, was named in the AFR’s Best Lawyers list 2019 and has written extensively on Australian immigration and citizenship law, including as the co-author of the 8th edition of The Immigration Kit.

Lina Tchung

Treasurer

Lina Tchung is Division Director, Internal Audit Division,  Risk Management Group, Macquarie Group Ltd. She has over 17 years  specialising in wealth and asset management and has worked in both Sydney and San Francisco. Lina brings a wealth of experience in Financial Reporting, Statutory Compliance, Risk Management and Governance. From 2009 to 2018, Lina was a non-executive director and finance committee member of YWCA NSW, a not-for-profit organisation on the front line for improving gender equality and eliminating violence against women. She is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Business (Management) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Queensland.

Giulio Katis

Member

Giulio Katis is a Financial Markets professional with an academic background in mathematics and computer science. He has interests in the transformational implications of new technologies (in particular, the process of datafication), especially as it pertains to the relationship between individuals and society. Giulio is the Managing Director of Westpac’s Financial Markets eCommerce. New technologies and greater capture and use of data are transforming Financial Markets globally and bringing down traditional barriers of entry.  In this context, Giulio and his team are responsible for creating a digitally enabled and data-driven Financial Markets business, transforming the way the trading and sales units operate and service Westpac clients. He sits on the Board of the enterprise software firm R3 as a Director. (R3, in partnership with over 80 financial institutions, is looking to build and commercialize its distributed ledger/blockchain platform.)

Prior to joining Westpac he worked at Barclays Global Investors (BGI) as a Portfolio Manager, Strategist and Senior Researcher. Before moving to the world of finance, Giulio held research fellow roles at the University of Sydney and at l’Università degli Studi dell’Insubria (Como, Italy), developing mathematical models to assist in the design and reasoning about distributed systems. He has a PhD in Pure Mathematics from Sydney University. Giulio is married to Vicki and has three young daughters. Though born in Australia, he comes from a migrant family background.  Giulio believes organisations working to create equal opportunity in society (especially for the potentially vulnerable) and to combat the parochial and negative aspects of ‘entitlement’ need to be supported in Australia.

Staff

Ali Mojtahedi

Principal Solicitor 

Ali is the Principal Solicitor at IARC. He was previously a senior solicitor and acting principal solicitor at the Refugee Advice and Casework Service. He is a former author and editor of the Immigration Kit and Immigration News, has lectured on immigration and refugee law and his writing on family reunion has been published. Ali is a member of several committees including as the chair of the Law Society of NSW Human Rights Committee, the chair of the Bankstown Community Resource Group and a co-convenor of the NSW PII committee.

Joshua Strutt

Acting Director/Senior Solicitor

Joshua is a Solicitor who joined IARC in 2019.  Josh came to IARC from the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), where he worked as a Senior Solicitor assisting people seeking asylum to apply for protection in Australia.  Prior to working at RACS, Josh worked as a Solicitor in a commercial law firm.  During his time there he provided pro bono legal assistance to the clients of RACS and the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service.

Ann Emmanuel

Senior Solicitor – DFV

Ann is a Solicitor who joined IARC in May 2019. Ann’s previous employment was at the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office, where she worked with the Criminal Law team on a range of both civil and criminal matters from applications for Apprehended Violence Orders to matters involving high risk offenders. Ann is passionate about social justice, particularly ensuring access to justice for vulnerable clients. She previously completed an internship with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra, has volunteered at both IARC and the Aboriginal Legal Service, and also co-authored a paper on the issues facing temporary migrant workers in Australia.

Kristie Mellor

Senior Solicitor – Visa Assist

Kristie joined IARC in 2022. She has more than 5 years of immigration law experience, having previously worked in a commercial firm in the sector. Kristie has previously volunteered with IARC, assisting with Afghan refugee applications. Kristie also completed her practical legal training with IARC in 2016.

Sarah Akanda

Solicitor

Sarah is a Solicitor who joined IARC in 2020. Sarah came to IARC after returning from Cairo, Egypt where she volunteered as a Resettlement Officer at Saint Andrews Refugee Services (StARS), assisting vulnerable refugees apply for resettlement to safe third countries with UNHCR Egypt.  Prior to her travel overseas, Sarah worked as a Paralegal at a commercial migration firm. She has previously volunteered at multiple migrant and refugee based organisations due to a keen interest understanding the holistic needs of support required by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from a systemic and service provision lens. Sarah is no stranger at IARC, her journey in Immigration law first started in 2018 when she completed her practical legal training at IARC.

Ryan McCarthy

Intake Officer

Ryan is our Intake Officer, who joined IARC in August 2020. Ryan is currently nearing the end of his law degree at Western Sydney University and oversees the intake of clients in our Immigration and Domestic Violence practice, and our general Visas and Citizenship practice. He also oversees our volunteer program. Ryan has a background within community legal centres, having previously volunteered for the Welfare Rights Centre. He has a strong desire to pursue a legal career which ensures that clients have safe, free and culturally appropriate legal services to meet their needs. 

Jane King

Finance Coordinator

Jane commenced as IARC’s part-time Finance Officer in January 2016. She has worked in the NSW community legal sector for many years in a range of policy, management and finance roles.

Schirine Yalinejad

Legal Support Officer

Schirine is our legal support officer who joined IARC in January 2022. Schirine was previously a paralegal for a private immigration law firm and volunteered at Marrickville Legal Centre. She is in her final year of completing a Juris Doctor at the University of Technology, Sydney and has a strong interest in migration law. Schirine assists our solicitors with both our Visa Assist program and Afghanistan Evacuee’s project.

Ranuka Tandan

Communications Coordinator

Ranuka Tandan joined the IARC team as Communications Coordinator in December 2021. She has extensive writing, editing and content creation experience, after being Editor of Honi Soit in 2020, and working in the Whitlam Institute’s Public Affairs Team since graduating from Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. Ranuka has been involved in grassroots movements for the past five years and is passionate about the issues affecting migrants and refugees.