Committee Members

Mia Behlau – President

Mia Behlau is a Special Counsel at Stone Group Lawyers working in the Dispute Resolution team. She has over 13 years’ experience in the law practice industry, focused on commercial litigation and resolving commercial disputes. 

Mia is skilled in Competition and Consumer Law, Breach of Contract, Insolvency, Construction Law and Franchising Disputes. 

Mia is known for employing a holistic philosophy to resolving commercial disputes and is skilled in implementing strategy and adopting a commercial focus to provide value and solutions to clients.

She is an advocate for Gold Coast Legal Practitioners, current President of the Gold Coast District Law Association and regular presenter for continuing legal education through the Queensland Law Society. 

Mia is also a third generation Gold Coaster, married to lawyer husband Ron Behlau and together they have 3 children aged 15, 13 and 2.

Dean Evans - Vice President

Dean Evans works as a partner at Evans & Company Family Lawyers. He has been an admitted solicitor for more than 24 years. His practice handles family and relationships law matters and has grown to include 8 lawyers working in that field. 

Dean is a QLS accredited specialist in family law and has been engaged as a committee member and as this year’s vice president within the GCDLA. 

Dean contributes to the Committee and the profession from the perspective of being a small firm partner, a practitioner working in simple to complex matters in the family law and domestic violence jurisdictions, employer, spouse and parent. 

He also co-ordinates a CPD Program for Gold Coast Family Lawyers aimed at providing cost effective, collegiate and topical continuing legal education for family lawyers

Paul Brake - Secretary

Paul is the principal of ACP Insolvency, a boutique professional practice specialising in insolvency related matters. After completing his legal studies and being admitted as a solicitor, he initially worked in a general legal practice, before switching to the accounting profession and becoming a member of CPA Australia. His undertook a long stint overseas investigating corruption in the banking and financial services industries on behalf of the Hong Kong Independent Commission against Corruption. Moving from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom, his legal career was a mixture of insolvency and white collar crime defence matters. Upon his return to Australia, he returned to pure insolvency work as a CPA.

He is now semi-retired, and spends most of his time playing bridge (the card game), bridge administration matters (with an emphasis on the development of youth bridge in Queensland) and teaching Religious Instruction in state schools.

Erin Mitchell - Treasurer

Erin Mitchell is a senior criminal lawyer at Potts Lawyers, working exclusively in criminal defence and domestic violence law. She enjoys assisting clients through the criminal justice system, ensuring they understand their options and are supported throughout the process – whether they are facing a minor traffic offence or a serious charge that is likely to change their lives forever.

She has experience appearing in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts across Queensland. She has previously enjoyed volunteering at her local community legal centre and since 2016 has been a committee member of the Gold Coast District Law Association, most recently holding the position of Treasurer. Erin has assisted with mentoring junior members of the profession through the GLAD program as well as assisting to organise an array of GCDLA events – as she feels passionately about continuing the collegiality of the Gold Coast legal profession.

Caralee Fontenele 

Caralee is the principal and director or Collective Family Law Group. She drives a team of dedicated family lawyers that are focused on helping people through their family law issues. 

Caralee is skilled in property division, parenting issues, domestic violence issues and complex family law disputes. 

Caralee is known for providing clients with practical legal advice and solutions with a focus to provide value and solutions so that clients can move on with their life after separation and divorce. 

She has been an active member of the Gold Coast District Law Association for three years with a keen focus and influence on digital technology and communication to benefit members.

Joelene Nel

Joelene is a family lawyer and mediator at McLaughlins Lawyers. Joelene joined the GCDLA committee in the position of treasurer from 2015 to 2018. One of Joelene’s main roles on the committee is to assist in theorganising of various events hosted by the GCDLA. She has been involved in the planning of the, very successful, annual GCDLA QLS Symposium as well as the hotly, contested Trivia Night. Joelene also collaborated with Pride in Law to bring this event to the Gold Coast for the first time in 2019 (with plans to continue in the future). Previously, Joelene has helped organise the Women’s Day high tea with Carla Zampatti and the My Community Legal charity ball. Joelene feels it is important to bring the profession together to encourage networking and create support and relationships with one and another.   

Joelene’s is also very passionate about the role mentoring plays in our profession. Together with GCDLA committee members Erin Ahern  and Kathy Atkins, the Gold Coast Lawyers Achieving Development [GLAD] programme was created in 2017. GLAD facilitates mentoring opportunities for the local profession by matching up mentors with mentees in particular areas of practise. The GLAD programme has regular breakfasts throughout the year and over the past 3 years has seen the programme grow to 24 participants, this initiative is supported by the QLS.  Joelene also volunteers at My Community Legal and Women’s Legal Service. Joelene advocates for building good relationships as the basis for wellbeing and wellness,  both within your working and personal life.

Kathy Atkins

Kathy was admitted to practice in 1985 and commenced practising on the Gold Coast in 1987, first in commercial and property law and then in family law. She is an accredited family law specialist and currently serves as the Chair of the QLS Family Law Committee.

Kathy has served as a committee member of the QLS Family Law Committee since 1999 and as a committee member of the GCDLA since 1995. She consulted to Jones Mitchell Lawyers for over 20 years. Kathy currently holds the position of Associate Dean (External Engagement and International) in the Faculty of Law at Bond University.

She teaches family law at Bond University and co-ordinates the Family Law Legal Practice Clinic. Kathy is a member of the GCDLA’s “Gold Coast Lawyers Achieving Development” mentoring program sub-committee and values the opportunity to support young lawyers in their legal career journey.


Lauren Hicks 

Lauren is the Practice Director of Hix Lawyers and focuses her specialities within this practice in the areas of Class Actions, Corporate and Commercial Litigation. 

During her studies at Bond University, Lauren attained a Certificate of Specialisation in Corporate and Commercial Law as well as General Legal Practice. 

Despite holding a Queensland Practising Certificate and High Court of Australia Practising Certificate, she also has experience in New South Wales, Victoria, the Federal Court and tribunals including but not limited to, QCAT and NCAT. 

Lauren is an elected committee member who sits on the board of the Gold Coast District Law Association.

Ross Lee 

Ross Lee is a solicitor and notary public practising at Lee Lawyers, Southport. The firm specialises in litigation, insurance law and mediation. 

In litigation and mediation, the firm has experience in commercial, body corporate, estate, building, property, IP and insolvency disputes. 

Ross is well known for his insurance law practice, both in managing insurance programs and in claim disputes. His firm has a strong practice particularly in TPD and income protection, commercial, body corporate and assisting businesses defend workers compensation claims. 

Ross is a former insurance underwriter and loss adjuster; he remains an ANZIIF certified insurance professional. His client list includes many of Gold Coast’s largest bodies corporate and businesses.

Ross Lee is a QCAT sessional member, QLS senior counsellor and founding president of the Robina Community Legal Centre initiative, which is a national, state and local award-winner. Ross continues a long Gold Coast family tradition of service and philanthropy.

Elisha Hodgson

Elisha Hodgson is a solicitor at OMB Solicitors currently practicing in Commercial Litigation and Body Corporate. Having been born and raised on the Gold Coast, she has developed strong ties and a keen interest in inspiring and connecting likeminded professionals in the development of our growing professional community. 

She is passionate about giving back to the community by volunteering at the Robina Community Legal Centre (one of the many great foundations that GCDLA supports) and continuing to volunteer her time to various committee positions including the Bond Equestrian Club and Tallebudgera Pony Club. 

Elisha is enthusiastic about achieving the objectives of the GCDLA by promoting confidence and goodwill between our community and the legal profession by increasing networking and professional development opportunities. In her downtime, Elisha can be found surfing at the beautiful Burleigh point, competing in the sport of Show jumping (Equestrian) or coaching young riders in Equestrian from her property in Tallebudgera.

Anna Morgan

Anna Morgan is Special Counsel at Ramsden Lawyers and Practice Leader of their new Personal Injury offering under the brand Evolve Legal. She is passionate about helping injured people seek justice and access and damages.

Anna has held various positions in the GCDLA including President (3 years), Treasurer (2 years) and Committee member (2 years). During Anna’s tenure as President, she focused on supporting member’s efforts to form relationships and networks through social events, supporting mental wellbeing initiatives for the benefit of the profession and lobbying for a Supreme Court presence on the Gold Coast.

Anna also authored and lectures a post-graduate subject at Bond University called Expert Witness & Dispute Resolution.    

Anna sits on organising committees for various QLS conferences including the QLS Symposium , Gold Coast Symposium and QLS Personal Injury Conference.

Prior to joining Ramsden, Anna worked at Maurice Blackburn for over 8 years, after first spending more than 11 years at Minter Ellison Gold Coast.

Lynne Weathered

Lynne Weathered is a legal academic at the Griffith Law School and the Director (and co-founder) of the Griffith University Innocence Project. A first for Australia being established in 2001, the Griffith University Innocence Project brings together lawyers, academics and students to investigate claims of wrongful conviction with the aim of assisting people who have been wrongfully convicted. From 2004 - 2014, Lynne was a Board Member of the (international) Innocence Network. She was also the first Chair of the International Committee of the Innocence Network and remains on that committee.

Lynne is a committed member of the Gold Coast community and has resided here for over twenty years. Prior to commencing at Griffith Law School, she taught at Bond University. Lynne has been a member of the GCDLA since 2015 and was elected to the Committee in 2018. She would welcome the opportunity to continue to contribute to the GCDLA Committee.

Alice Drummond

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