Our Volunteers

PCLC volunteers are held in very high regard by all connected with the Centre and the community. A number of PCLC volunteers have received awards in recognition of their important contribution.

Kath Neilsen Memorial Award

Since 2002, the Kath Neilsen Memorial Award has been presented to a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to PCLC. This Award was created in honour of the late Kath Neilsen who was a founder and strong supporter of PCLC. Congratulations to the winners of the Kath Neilsen Memorial Award:

  • 2015 Amanda Graham
  • 2014 Chris Hill
  • 2013 Amanda Humphreys
  • 2012 Victoria Campbell
  • 2011 Andrew Doyle
  • 2010 Judy del Rio
  • 2009 Chris Galagher
  • 2008 Trish Samson
  • 2007 Patrick Smith
  • 2006 Peter LeSouef
  • 2005 Michael Denison
  • 2004 Greg Russo
  • 2003 Roderick Tan
  • 2002 Elaine Pierson


LIV President’s Award (2010)

Congratulations to George Erlichster, member of PCLC’s Management Committee and Bentleigh volunteer, on being short-listed for a Law Institute of Victoria President’s Award.

George was a finalist in the Access to Justice Award category for his volunteer work with PCLC.

LIV President’s Award (2009)

Congratulations to Greg Russo who was short-listed for the LIV President’s Award (Mentor Category) in recognition of the pro-active role he takes in supporting students and young lawyers at PCLC and in his private practice.

Greg has volunteered at our Pines and Frankston branches for more than 15 years, as well as serving on our Management Committee.

City of Frankston Commendation Award (2008)

Congratulations to Chris Galagher on winning a Citizen of the Year (Frankston) Commendation Award. The Award was presented by Frankston Mayor, Cr Alistair Wardle, at the City’s 2008 Australia Day ceremony.

The Award recognised Chris’ exceptional contribution to the local community through his volunteer work at Peninsula Community Legal Centre and support of a number of other community groups and initiatives. For over 20 years, Chris has volunteered his time to provide free legal advice to clients, as well as serving on the Centre’s Management Committee, currently in the role of President.

Distinguished Pro Bono Service Awards (2005)

On 24 February 2005, five of PCLC’s paralegal volunteers won Distinguished Pro Bono Service Awards for their long-term contribution to the Centre. The Awards, sponsored by the Victoria Law Foundation and presented in association with the Institute of Legal Executives, honoured the unpaid work of paralegals in supporting access to justice.

Congratulations to our winners:

  • Judy del Rio (25 years of service)
  • Elaine Pierson (27 years of service)
  • Jack Damschke (10 years of service)
  • Sarah Hudson (7 years of service)
  • Linda Taylor (5 years of service).

Distinguished Pro Bono Service Awards (2003)

Special tribute was paid to the exceptional lawyer volunteers of community legal centres at the presentation of the inaugural Distinguished Pro Bono Service Awards, sponsored by the Victoria Law Foundation.

Congratulations to our winners:

  • Rudi Meier (27 years service)
  • Michael Denison (22 years of service)
  • Chris Galagher (21 years of service)
  • Joe Gorman (21 years of service)
  • Peter LeSouef (21 years of service)
  • City of Frankston Commendation Award (2003)

Congratulations to volunteer Michael Denison on receiving a Certificate of Commendation at the City of Frankston’s Australia Day Awards in 2003.

Children’s Lawyer Awards (2002)

Congratulations to volunteer Joe Gorman on receiving a Certificate of High Commendation for excellence in the legal representation of children and young people in the national 2002 Children’s Lawyer Awards.

Volunteer Long Service Awards

The following volunteers were presented with long service awards in appreciation of their dedicated volunteer service:


  • George Erlicherster (15 years)
  • Jen Kelly (10 years)
  • Paul Bradley (10 years)
  • Brylee Newman (10 years)
  • Amanda Graham (10 years)


  • Andrew Doyle (10 years)
  • Anthony Staunton (10 years)
  • Paul Bradley (10 years)


  • Michael Denison (30+ years)
  • Chris Hill (25+ years)
  • Chris Gunasekera (15+ years)
  • Justin Lewis (15+ years)
  • Greg Russo (15+ years)
  • Patrick Smith (15+ years)
  • Scott Whitechurch (15+ years)
  • Victoria Campbell (15 years)
  • Lance Guymer (15 years)
  • Amanda Humphreys (15 years)
  • Vivien Mavropoulos (15 years)
  • Lola Peeters (15 years)
  • Jason Coppard (10+ years)
  • George Erlichster (10+ years)
  • Jennifer Maher (10+ years)
  • Heather Perry (10 years)
  • Trish Samson (10 years)

We thank Maurice Blackburn Lawyers for sponsoring the Volunteer Long Service Awards 2013.

PCLC’s Volunteer Encouragement Awards


  • Lyn Bennett
  • Luke Denham
  • Natalia Gorges
  • Valerie Power
  • Nadeera Gunawardena
  • Tanita Northcott


  • Alison Laird
  • Anna Grage
  • Danielle McCartin
  • Renee Barnes
  • Ben Needleman
  • Alex Marcou


  • Stephanie Richardson
  • Clair Humphreys
  • Claire Loughnan


  • Shai Sommer
  • Liz Cleary,
  • Jonathan Rhall
  • Kara Miller


  • Riley Gay
  • Briellen Ellison
  • Ahmad Shakoor


  • Ashley Galvin
  • Danielle Mercuri
  • Olga Pecherski


  • Rod Callaghan
  • James Davaris
  • Rebecca Fritsch
  • Zeng He


  • Nina Mitris
  •  Jonathan Sise
  • Carla Purcell
  • Claire Hunting


  • Jenelle Myers
  • Pamela Casagrande
  • Mat Giaquinta


  • Sandra Dargie
  • Andrew Doyle


  • Fulvio Pasquini
  • Heather Perry


  • Anastasia Betinsky
  • Noah Erlich


  • Poramy Chhit
  • Rhonda Sandardos


  • Julie Newdick
  • Emma Langton-Bunker