Committee Members

               

Dean Evans - President

Dean Evans works as a partner at Evans & Company Family Lawyers. He has been an admitted solicitor for more than 26 years. His practice handles family and relationships law matters. 

Dean is a QLS accredited specialist in family law and is the president of the Gold Coast District Law Association. 

Dean contributes to the GCDLA and the profession from the perspective of being a small firm partner, a practitioner working in simple to complex matters in the family and relationships law and domestic violence jurisdictions, as an employer, spouse and parent. He is committed to trying to develop and offer affordable CPD opportunities for lawyers from the Gold Coast.

In the community, Dean volunteers as a school council member for the Anglican Schools Commission, gives family law related advice to aid the Commission’s schools and performs pro bono work for the Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group.

               


Cliff Kroesen - Vice President

Cliff Kroesen is the director of Kroesen & Co. Lawyers at Southport. Cliff has a background in litigation and practises in the areas of Estates and Family law. Cliff is an enthusiastic advocate for his clients and enjoys resolving disputes.

Cliff studied on the Gold Coast at Griffith Bond Universities and enjoys being a part of the Gold Coast Legal Community.

Outside of work Cliff has had significant involvement with Southport Surf Lifesaving Club where he has been a surf rowing coach for many years.

               

Mia Behlau – Secretary

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.




Elisha Hodgson

Elisha Hodgson is a Senior Associate at OMB Solicitors practicing in Commercial Litigation and Body Corporate. Having been born and raised on the Gold Coast, she has developed strong ties to the Coast and has a keen interest in inspiring and connecting likeminded professionals.

Elisha is on the board of the Gold Coast Community Fund, has volunteered with My Community Legal from time to time, was a founding member of the Bond Equestrian Club and a former committee member of the Tallebudgera Pony Club. It is safe to say, Elisha has a passion for giving back to her community.

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.



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.



Erin Mitchell 

Erin Mitchell is a senior criminal lawyer at Potts Lawyers, working exclusively in criminal defence and domestic violence law. She has experience appearing in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts across Queensland.

Erin 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 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 having held 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. She also enjoys connecting with lawyers and law students through her Instagram, @lady.crim.lawyers - where Erin and her colleague share their passion for law, supporting women in the profession and finding happiness in the profession!



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.



Faith Nash

Faith completed a Bachelor of Laws at Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at The College of Law.

Faith has a passion for Crime and Domestic Violence Law, as well as a passion in Family Law. Faith is admitted as a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia and all Queensland State Courts.

Faith prides herself on her ability to provide a efficient and effective approach to each client’s matter and strives to achieve the best outcome possible for her clients.

Outside of the courtroom, Faith is passionate about service to the community and has volunteered with the Australian Red Cross and various homeless services. Her careful and intelligent approach to the law is complemented by her strong engagement with the local community.

Faith's strong involvement with the local community has seen her appointed as a committee member of the Gold District Law Association for 2021.


Joelene Nel

Joelene is a passionate and professional family lawyer and mediator, she is an Associate Director at McLaughlins Lawyers on the Gold Coast. 

Joelene contributes to the legal profession and local community by mentoring lawyers and volunteering at My Community Legal, Women's Legal Services Queensland and RizeUp.

Since 2015 Joelene has been an active committee member of the Gold Coast District Law Association; holding the position of Treasurer from 2015 -2018. Her involvement has included various initiatives of the GCDLA for both networking and professional development. The hotly contested annual trivia night is Joelene’s personal favourite, however her other highlights include organising the International Women’s Day High Tea with Carla Zampatti, the My Community Legal Charity Ball and being on the sub-committee for the annual GCDLA / QLS Symposium. Since 2016, Joelene and fellow committee members, Erin Mitchell and Kathy Atkins, have co-ordinated the GCDLA GLAD (Gold Coast Lawyers Achieving Development) mentoring program. Joelene was a finalist in the 2019 Women in Law Awards for Mentor of the Year.

Joelene is an advocate for creating and encouraging practical ways for practitioners to build wellness and wholeness into their work and home life. Joelene’s weakness is chocolate!


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Nick has been admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia for 34 years. He practises in partnership with Katie Dunn and Tom Hatcher, as Woods Hatcher Solicitors. “Woods Hatcher” have two busy commercial conveyancing practices at Coomera and on the Isle of Capri on the Gold Coast.

As well as running a commercial litigation /estate litigation practice at Isle of Capri with some selective criminal law thrown into the mix, Nick has been a panel solicitor for the Gold Coast City Council for well over 25 years and he has developed considerable expertise in representing local governments in all sorts of matters involving disputes, court procedures, presentation of trials by way of summary proceedings and a plethora of other contentious issues which tends to keep him at the coalface of litigation in all Court jurisdictions. His firm also acts for the Gold Coast City Council in relation to transactional property matters.

Nick is an active Committee member of the Gold Coast District Law Association. He is very supportive of the integrity and capacity of the local profession and believes that the profession’s reputation and standing along with each individual member of the profession should always be fostered and protected by the GCDLA and the QLS. Nick enjoys good food and any colour Pinot which combines very well with his love of travel within Australia and New Zealand and further abroad; he also likes to spend his free time surfing which sometimes involves overseas travel to relaxed destinations where there are few courthouses, and life is less regulated and more sedate

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Guy Neilson is a Solicitor at Evans Brandon Family Lawyers. Guy was named as a Family Law Rising Star in the Doyles Guide for 2021 and 2022. In addition to being a proud member of the Evans Brandon team, Guy is currently the Treasurer of the Gold Coast District Law Association and regularly volunteers at My Community Legal

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