Joanna was born and raised in Singapore, but moved to Australia in 2006. She is an Immigration & Refugee Lawyer who works with migrants from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, refugees and asylum seekers, victims of family violence, and those facing the prospect of visa cancellation or deportation. She has been a finalist for Migration Law in the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards, as well as the John Gibson Award (Young Migration Lawyer of the Year).
Being a migrant and cultural hybrid herself, Joanna is passionate about championing diversity, both in the legal profession and wider community, as well as challenging stereotypes. Being of Indian heritage – a mixture of both South and North Indian, Joanna is linguistically diverse, speaking both Tamil and Hindi, as well as bit of Korean (she blames those amazing Korean dramas for that particular obsession)! She is happiest when she is either singing, eating (dessert is always welcome!) or working with the community.
Joanna sits on the Board of the VIRWC and is the Co-Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at the Victorian Women’s Lawyers (VWL). She is a Legal Mentor for aspiring lawyers through the College of Law, volunteers with the Professional Migrant Women’s Group and has been a mentor at the Diverse Women’s Mentoring Association and Melbourne Law School. She is passionate about ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our society have access to justice and legal advice, and has enjoyed volunteering with the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Salvos Legal.