Advisory Board

Advisory Board of the Human Rights are Aussie Rules Project

Dr Liz Branigan


Liz is the Academic Programs Director at the Australian Centre for Human Rights Education (ACHRE). Liz has occupied this role since the program’s commencement in 2008 and, as such, has been critically involved in the development of the program content and course curriculum.

Liz also oversees the Centre’s training in applied human rights in the public and community sectors and has provided training to the Department of Sustainability and the Environment and the Department of Human Services.

James Demetriou


James is the newly appointed Executive Officer of Learning and Life Centre at Arden Street, a project connected to the North Melbourne Football Club that promotes education, health and sport as a means to enhance community spirit and social cohesion.

He is also Chairman of the Sports without Borders Foundation, a non profit organisation supporting access to sporting opportunities for new arrivals to Australia, a project he founded with his son Tom. He was heavily involved with the AFL’s Peace Team, a collaborative project between the Peres Centre for Peace and the AFL, aimed at uniting young Palestinians and Israelis on the sports field.

James holds a Law Degree, Master of International Business from the University of Melbourne and is an Alumni of the Anderson Business School at UCLA. He is also the Director of Professional Education and Community, Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne University.

Dr Paula Gerber


Paula is the Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University. Prior to commencing academic life she spent 20 years in private practice, during which time worked as a solicitor in London, an attorney in Los Angeles before settling in Melbourne to become partner at a leading Melbourne law firm.

Prior to coming to Monash in 2004, Paula was at the University of Melbourne where she was Director of Studies, Construction Law in the Law School and a Senior Fellow in the Faculty of Architecture Building & Planning. She completed her PhD in 2008, with her doctoral thesis examining the implementation of Article 29 (on human rights education) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Paula has lectured in Human Rights Theory at the University of Prishtina in Kosovo and recently released a book on Human Rights Education, ‘From Convention to Classroom: the Long Road to Human Rights Education’.

Nick Hatzoglou


Nick is the former Manager of the AFL Multicultural Development Unit which aims to bring Australian football opportunities closer to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

He is Australian-born with Greek heritage and a passion for sport. He combines experience gained within the multicultural sector, local government and Cricket Victoria with his admiration of sport more broadly.

Nick acknowledges the role sport plays in nurturing community interaction and believes Australian football can play an important role in developing peoples understanding of each other.

His formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Event Management

Dyson Hore-Lacy SC


Dyson is a Senior Counsel at the Victorian Bar with over forty years experience representing marginalised and disadvantaged clients. Dyson has practiced extensively in cases involving human rights abuses in Australia, including for Aboriginals in the Northern Territory and Western Australia and people injured in car accidents and workplaces.

He is currently Senior Counsel in Horvath v Australia, a complaint to United Nations Human Rights Committee made on behalf of a victim of police violence who has been unable to access justice using existing human rights laws in Australia.

In addition to his legal work, Dyson is devoted to Australian Rules Football. He is Chairman of the Fitzroy Football Club, having been President of Fitzroy during its difficult transition to Brisbane. A recollection of his experiences were captured in his book Fitzroy.

Helen Killmier


Helen is the General Manager Community Services for Interact Australia, a not-for-profit organisation with a focus on both disability and employment, with a wide range of activity across Australia. In this role she works in partnership development, community capacity building, social policy and strategic planning.

A community psychologist, Helen spent 12 years in local government in management positions working directly with communities. Helen has been the Chairperson of Eastern Community Legal Centre since 2006.

Justin Mulally


Justin is the Deputy Vice President of the Secondary Division of the Australian Education Union (Vic Branch). He was involved in the ACTU’s Your Rights at Work campaign and provides support and advocacy for 160,000 teachers at state schools across Victoria.

He is also the Convenor of the Victorian Human Rights Education Committee, a network of faith groups, academics, lawyers, teachers and community based human rights advocates committed to improving human rights education in Australia. The organization is affiliated to the National Human Rights Education Committee.

Menachem Vorchheimer


Menachem Vorchheimer is a businessman, entrepreneur & father of three. He is a passionate advocate for human rights & equality at law – a “fair go” for all.

Menachem is a committed and dedicated advocate of diversity and equality. His personal journey from victim to human rights champion is one of immense personal pride. Menachem was instrumental in various reforms, including an amendment to the Sentencing Act (Victoria) 1958 in relation to crimes motivated by hate or prejudice; the obtaining of historic criminal convictions for bias motivated crimes; a new instruction issued to all members of Victoria Police in relation to bias crimes, by then Chief Commissioner Victoria Police, Christine Nixon; educational programs at the Victorian Police Academy; and greater awareness of the issue of racism and bias motivate crimes, and its’ impact on the victim and the victim’s community.

In his professional role, Menachem has been responsible for various corporate structuring; repositioning; M&As; and greenfield projects both in Australia and the United States. Menachem has a background in accounting and finance, including in his role as an auditor with PKF Chartered Accountants. He is known for his tenacity, strength of character, attention to detail and commitment to project timelines. Menachem holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Monash University.

William Robinson


William is a lawyer in the Litigation & Regulatory Team at DLA Piper Australia. In addition to practicing in the product liability and insurance spheres, William is an active participant in DLA Piper’s extensive pro bono program and regularly volunteers at a number of the firm’s partnership community legal centres.

While at University, William undertook an internship with Northern Territory Legal Aid in Alice Springs and worked as a research assistant to Julian Burnside AO QC on a number of cases involving the abuse of human rights.

Outside the law, William (for his sins) is a passionate supporter of the Melbourne Football Club and during the winter months plays football for the Melbourne University Blues.

William holds a Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) and Bachelor of Arts.

Our Staff


Michael Smith


Michael Smith is Eastern Community Legal Centre’s CEO and has led the organisation since 2004. Not a lawyer, the role involves working with the staff team of about twenty (including six lawyers), about 100 volunteers, community agencies, government and other funders.

In that time the service has grown and developed at a range of levels to better serve the Eastern Region’s communities. ECLC has a focus on family violence issues and has partnered with other services to establish Seniors Rights Victoria. It also undertakes a range of community development and education projects across all ages and backgrounds in the east.

Michael originally trained as a youth worker (BA), completed a Master of Social Work and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has worked across the community sector in homelessness, local government, community development, community management and partnership building.

Currently, Michael is the National Convenor (Chair) of the National Association of Community Legal Centres. He is extensively involved in legal and family violence networks and other projects.

Michael is President of the Charles La Trobe College School Council in Heidelberg West, connected with local issues and Treasurer of the Banyule Junior Football Club. He and his family are passionate Essendon fans.