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Meng Liu

Meng graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Sichuan University in June 2018. During her years of study, she developed an interest in contemporary feminist literature and proactively participated in advocacy in gender equality in Metropolitan Chengdu.

Later in 2018, Meng moved to Adelaide as an international student. She completed her Master of Social Work degree from Flinders University in 2020 and obtained full membership from the Australian Association of Social Workers.

With the lived experience of being a wage theft victim, Meng has volunteered as a community advocate at SA Labour Info Hub. She has supported migrant workers and international students who experience exploitation at work and helped them to connect with local legal and mental health services, while promoting social changes towards ending wage theft.

Meng has a strong interest in immigration and artworks that portray the journey of first-generation immigrants. She is also an avid Haruki Murakami reader and keen to read all of his books in Japanese in the near future.

Meng Liu

Lungaka Mbedla

Lungaka has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology major) from Macquarie University. Lungaka also completed a semester of study at Lancaster University in Lancashire, England where she studied Human Rights. She competed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in January 2021 and was admitted as solicitor into the Supreme Court of New South Wales in February 2021. Lungaka was also admitted as a solicitor into the Supreme Court of South Australia in May 2021.

Lungaka’s passion for social justice led her to volunteer for various organisations that advocate for systematic outcomes for disadvantaged communities. Lungaka was a volunteer at the Inner City Legal Centre where she did casework on programs like the Migrant Employment Legal Service (MELS) and research for partner organisations like the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP). Prior to moving to South Australia, Lungaka was also a legal volunteer at the National Justice Project, where she prepared medical negligence test cases for Indigenous and asylum seeker populations.

In her spare time, Lungaka likes to travel to explore different cultures and food.

Lungaka Mbedla

Shaylee Leach

Shay has recently completed a Bachelor of Media & a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Gender Studies and Social Analysis at the University of Adelaide. During her time at University she completed communication and digital marketing focused internships with The Working Women’s Centre, Australian Dance Theatre, & (a paid) internship with YWCA Australia communications team earning course credit as part of her studies. She also has a Cert III in Business Administration, which she gained from completing an arts administration traineeship via Carclew Youth Arts, while working at a youth arts organisation Riverland Youth Theatre in regional South Australia.

Shay has a diverse background working across the not-for-profit sector, federal government, the arts industry, the disability sector & numerous casual positions in hospitality. She spent 5 years working as an Electorate Officer Federal Parliament, and a year as the National Queer Officer for the peak representative body for students in higher education; the National Union of Students (NUS). Shay also spent 8 years producing & co-hosting a Queer themed radio program at Radio Adelaide

Shay is a passionate feminist, and currently sits on the YWCA Australia, Young Women’s Council. In her spare time Shay loves to listen to podcasts, produce theatre projects & going to the cinema.

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Cassandra Deon-Wierda

Before Cass started in this position, she was employed in various Education and Training positions and actively advocated for women’s issues in the Northern Territory and New South Wales, developing experience in adult, community and youth education. These roles included work in both government and not for profit sectors.

Cassandra holds a Master of Education in Popular Education and Social Change from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelor of Art in Art History and English.

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Sarah Devenport

Sarah is the Client Services Officer and is the first point of contact for incoming enquiries to the Centre.

She is a long-serving staff member of the WWC and has extensive insight into the issues that workers face and a wide referral knowledge of other relevant organisations.

She has a Certificate III in Business Administration and a Certificate IV in Front Line Management. Before working at the Centre, Sarah worked in Administration at a Freight Group, in client services and the hospitality industry.

Sarah is a mother to three beautiful girls and is raising them to be strong, independent young women, who can strive to do anything they want.

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Maddie Sarre

She is working on a project about young women, COVID-19, and employment. Maddie is passionate about achieving economic equality and she believes strongly in the power of young women to create positive change in the world.

Maddie has a background in campaigning and community organising. She has spent a decade working and volunteering for social and environmental justice. She spent several years acting as state coordinator with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and then took on a role as a Movement Builder with Tipping Point, a climate justice organisation. She has worked as an Organiser at the Australian Services Union, as a Law Clerk at Campbell Law, and as a Receptionist at the Working Women’s Centre previous to her current role. She also spent a year as a student legal advisor at the Young Workers Legal Service.

Maddie has recently finished a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

In her spare time, Maddie likes going on beach road trips and having a cuppa with friends and family.

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Nikki Candy

Nikki is an Industrial Officer at the Working Women’s Centre SA.

Nikki has a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice and a Bachelor of Arts from Flinders University. Nikki also completed a semester of study at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she studied Political Science and International Law.

Nikki has 15 years of experience working in the employment law arena and representing disadvantaged workers and union members.

In 2010 Nikki was accepted into the Law Graduate Program at the Fair Work Commission (Melbourne) where she worked for several years. She was promoted to a position in the Unfair Dismissal Team and later as an Associate of the Commission.

From 2012 Nikki worked as the Principal Industrial Officer at the Queensland Working Women’s Service where she prosecuted sexual harassment and discrimination matters in the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Nikki was also the Coordinator of the Young Workers Legal Service where she trained and mentored Law Student Volunteers to assist young people with wage theft claims, unfair dismissals and discrimination matters.

Before coming to the Working Women’s Centre, Nikki spent five years as a Legal Officer and Advocate in the Construction and Maritime Divisions of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, where she assisted union members in a wide a range of employment matters including disputes, industrial action and enterprise bargaining issues.

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Kylie Porter

Kylie has a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Arts from Adelaide University, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She was admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of SA in February 2007.

Kylie commenced her career in the Australian Taxation Office, where she gave strategic and technical advice in the former Serious Non-Compliance business line, assisting with litigation involving egregious tax evasion schemes. She was then seconded to the Treasury in Canberra as a Policy Analyst, providing a tax technical view in the Small Business and Trusts team. Upon return to Adelaide, Kylie facilitated the ATO’s involvement in the OECD’s Tax Crime Forums held in Paris, and worked with other agencies and international stakeholders to compile best practice guidelines for fighting tax crime.

 Kylie was also heavily involved in developing an award-winning LGBTI+ Employee and Ally network and related initiatives in her department, helping her colleagues to supported at work and ensuring the ATO had best practice in LGBTI+ inclusivity.

Kylie is proud to continue her career at the WWC, working with the community to assist businesses’ compliance with worker’s rights. She is passionate about the rights of women at work, especially women who work in male-dominated industries.

In her spare time, Kylie loves to hang out with her wife and their two cats, enjoys playing in bands, and hitting the road in their campervan.

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Emma Johnson

She graduated from the University of New England with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law in 2012. Emma was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of NSW in 2013.

Before making the move to Adelaide, Emma worked for six years in both private practice and the Community Legal Centre sector in NSW.

In 2013 Emma worked at a private law firm in Central West NSW.  She gained experience in commercial law, family law, wills and estates and traffic matters.  Emma successfully represented clients in the Local and District Courts of NSW as well as the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.  

In 2015 Emma obtained a generalist solicitor position with a Community Legal Centre in Dubbo NSW. It was here, she found her passion for employment law and representing vulnerable clients.  She obtained diverse and extensive experience representing clients in the Fair Work Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Federal Circuit Court and Local and District Courts.  

Since joining the Working Women’s Centre Emma has developed her love for employment law matters. She has been successful in recovering substantial underpayments for her clients including pecuniary penalties.

In her spare time, Emma enjoys having a drink with friends, playing water polo and walks along Henley Beach.

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Abbey Kendall

By trade, Abbey is an employment and industrial lawyer.  Over the last decade, Abbey has worked for small and national labour law firms and unions. Before commencing at the Centre, Abbey held the position of Chairperson of the Young Worker’s Centre Inc. in Victoria.

Abbey has dedicated her career to representing and advocating for worker’s rights and has successfully represented organisations against unlawful AFP raids, defended employees against dodgy traineeships enforced by national food franchises, and represented hundreds of workers in discrimination, dismissal and workers compensations matters.

Abbey holds a Bachelor of Law and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.  Abbey also holds governance qualifications from the Governance Institute of Australia and is completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Gender Studies.

Abbey sits on the Australian Labour and Employment Relations SA committee, the SA Government’s Workplace Equality and Respect Project Governance Group as well as the TAFE SA Women’s Education Advisory Group. In 2019, Abbey was elected to the Policy council of the South Australian Council of Social Service.

Abbey is a qualified Our Watch trainer and regularly writes and speaks about women and workplace relations.

Abbey Kendall Director of the Working Women's Centre SA

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