The Association for Women In Insurance (Qld) Inc is a not-for-profit organization which was formed to enhance the position of women in the insurance industry through personal and professional development courses, seminars and activities. With an ever growing membership of male and female industry professionals, the Association continues to work to:

Facilitate networking opportunities
Provide opportunities for members to develop their personal and professional goals
Allow members to contribute to the future of the insurance industry
Provide access to papers on insurance related topics
Provide a forum for the promotion, development and debate of insurance issues
Raise funds to enhance the associations’ objectives
Recognise the achievements of members in the insurance industry

Our Committee

Nicola Gardner

President

Nicola is a Senior Associate at Lander and Rogers. Nicola began her career in insurance working as a broker in early 2007 whilst completing a Masters in Insurance and Risk Management. Later, Nicola commenced practice as an insurance lawyer in 2009. Nicola practices in most areas of defendant insurance litigation, with a particular focus on public and product liability and property claims. Nicola regularly advises clients on policy coverage, quantum, insured’s liability, dual insurance and contractual indemnity issues and frequently represents her clients in alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediations and settlement conferences. Nicola’s previous career as an insurance broker has contributed to her in depth policy knowledge and unique appreciation of the complexities of multi-layered insurance programs and policy placement procedures.

Amanda Cann

Vice President

Amanda is a Senior Associate in the Insurance & Health team. at Barry.Nilsson. Lawyers. She practices in public liability and property claims with a specialisation in the areas of local government authorities, licensed premises, shopping centres and sporting associations. Amanda also provides clients with advice on policy coverage issues.

Amanda is a skilful and sophisticated solicitor and a valuable member of the Barry.Nilsson. team. Her experience in running insurance litigation matters extends outside of Queensland to New South Wales and Western Australia. Amanda is a member of the Women in Insurance (Qld) committee. In recent times, Amanda was involved in the successful defence of a Supreme Court trial for a local government authority involving a novel argument relating to nuisance and local government authority powers. Amanda approaches each and every matter with a positive attitude and determination to achieve the best possible outcome for her client.

Natalie Orola

Treasurer

Natalie is the Treasurer of The Association of Women in Insurance (Qld) and has held this role since 2013. As the Treasurer, Natalie's objective is to ensure member funds are managed appropriately and reinvested in events and ventures that offer a wide range of benefits to our members.

Natalie is also a Senior Claims Manager with Avant Mutual Group, Australia's leading medical defence organisation. Natalie manages member claims and investigations in a number of jurisdictions, including medical negligence and disciplinary and regulatory, represents Avant and its members at medical forums, and builds and manages relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce with a Finance major from the University of Queensland. With experience in the insurance industry since 2008, Natalie has been involved in a wide number of insurance disciplines, including medical negligence, professional indemnity, public liability and State and Commonwealth workers' compensation.

Sephora Johnston

Committee Member

Sephora is an Associate with the HWL Ebsworth Lawyers Insurance group.

Sephora's legal experience includes commercial, litigation, administrative and insurance law. Sephora has acted in workers’ statutory compensation matters in both the state and federal jurisdictions. She has extensive experience in providing strategic advice to self-insurers in relation to claims made pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, with a particular interest in mining claims. In addition, she has represented corporates with significant deductibles in claims made under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (labour hire injuries). She also has a keen interest in pro bono legal opportunities.

Sephora graduated from the University of Queensland in 2006, with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (English). She has served as an elected representative on the Women in Insurance Association of Queensland committee since 2012.

Brooke Jacobs

Committee Member

With more than 10 years of experience in insurance law, including as a WorkCover panel lawyer, Brooke’s expertise extends to general insurance, workers’ compensation, product and public liability, and professional indemnity. Her clients include insurers, employers, construction companies, service providers, shopping centres, licensed premises and local authorities, among others.

Brooke has advised on a range of complex and novel insurance issues, including domestic, commercial and industrial policies, such as ISR Mark IV in the context of natural disasters, coverage issues, dual insurance, non disclosure and underinsurance. She has also managed multiparty claims and claims involving significant liability, quantum, and factual and medical causation issues.

Emma Chapman

Committee Member

Emma is a Partner at Moray & Agnew and provides advice and manages complex claims in relation to public liability, product liability and professional indemnity matters as well as providing advice on indemnity and policy coverage issues. Her expertise in insurance law spans over 16 years.

Emma specialises in advising insurers, underwriters and large self-insured corporations on a range of claims including complex multi-party construction and mining matters as well as retail, hospitality, leisure and claims against landlords and real estate agents. She has represented a number of major insurers and self-insureds in both liability and professional indemnity matters.

Emma specialises in achieving short durations and certainty having regard to the business and commercial demands of her clients by running bulk conference periods and working with her clients on special targeted projects aimed at finalisation of matters through alternate processes.

Emma Doney

Committee Member

Emma is the QLD State Manager and specialist chartered loss adjuster with YDR Chartered Loss Adjusters. Emma specialises in public and products liability claims, contract works (section 1 and section 2) and professional indemnity matters specialising in engineering, IT and medical claims. Emma holds a Bachelor of Laws, Diploma of Financial Services (Loss Adjusting), and has completed studies for a Certificate IV in Building.

Megan Venus

Committee Member

Megan is a Senior Associate in the Dispute Resolution & Litigation Group at King and Company.

She specialises in public and occupiers’ liability, property damage, product liability, workers’ compensation and motor vehicle claims. Megan has developed a strong reputation for her in depth knowledge of issues that face insurance clients and her ability to negotiate quality outcomes. Her work includes advising on indemnity issues, liability exposure, complex multi-party contractual disputes and tactical considerations for trial.

Hayley Morice

Committee Member

Hayley is the Relationship & Development Manager at GT Insurance. GT Insurance provides insurance solutions tailored for the transport and heavy motor industry in both Australia and New Zealand. Hayley has more than 10 years experience servicing client's in the insurance industry.

Linda Johnson

Committee Member

Linda is the Elders Insurance Agency Development Manager in Central and North Queensland, assisting Elders Insurance Agents to grow resilient and high performing small businesses that leverage the Elders Insurance Franchise and invest in local communities.

Passionate about adding value and making a difference, Linda started her career in insurance in 2004. Like many, Linda “fell into insurance” when she accepted a role that was to be a short term stint while working out “what she wanted to be when she grew up” - in between travelling the world and finishing her Law Degree. Some eleven years later, Linda’s background in insurance is diverse having held a number positions in Agency and Business Development, Claims, Catastrophe Response Management, Change Management and eBusiness with both Elders Insurance (QBE) and CGU.

Jillian Commins

Committee Member

Jillian Commins is an Associate in the property and injury liability team at Carter Newell Lawyers where she acts for insurers and corporations across a broad range of public and product liability disputes.

Jillian provides advice on policy coverage, liability issues, dual insurance, contractual indemnities and quantum. Jillian has a particular interest in losses arising from foodborne infections such as salmonella outbreaks as well as hotelier claims and claims arising out of the fitness industry.

Louise Hazelton

Committee Member

Louise Hazelton is a Senior Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia based in the Brisbane office. She works across QLD and NSW jurisdictions primarily in defence of medical negligence claims for private insurers and NSW Health. Louise also appears for doctors at inquests and assists with HCCC and other complaints. Louise has worked as an insurance lawyer for 12 years and also has experience in defence of public liability and workplace claims.

Cathy Kayess

Committee Member

Cathy is a Business Development Specialist with MDA National. MDA National is an Australia-wide Medical Defence Organisation (MDO) that provides exemplary Member support services, and extensive professional indemnity insurance to more than 47,000 medical practitioners, medical students and insureds. Cathy has more than 12 years’ experience in the medical indemnity industry.

Belinda Hughes

Committee Member

Belinda Hughes is special counsel at Kaden Boriss Legal, based in their Brisbane office. She was admitted as a solicitor in 2003 and has extensive experience in the area of insurance and risk management, commercial litigation and workplace disputes. Belinda acts for both public and private insurers, self insurers and corporations.

She is a keen advocate and is regularly required to appear in Court, at tribunals and in conferences / mediations. Belinda has been involved in a number of key workers’ compensation decisions and is always focussed on advancing the interests of her clients.

Belinda joined the executive committee in 2015 and is committed to providing a platform and assistance to women in insurance and those organisations supported by the Queensland branch of Women in Insurance.

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