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Deslie Billich was admitted to practice in 1980. She has worked in senior management and technical roles nationally and internationally focusing primarily in the human rights and social justice systems. She commenced her career as defence counsel practising in criminal law. Thereafter she took on significant roles in academia, from teaching in criminal practice, evidence, international law and transnational crimes.
She established and was the first Director of the Refugee Legal Community Centre that provided legal advice and representation for asylum seekers. This began her lifelong commitment in working nationally and internationally with people who are displaced, the victim of human rights abuses, and are vulnerable and have little or no access to justice.
She has provided advice to the Australian government with respect to legislative amendments to the Criminal Code for trafficking and smuggling offences, and was involved in the holding of the First Roundtable in Australia .
Deslie was the Australian representative to the OECD working group on bribery of public official. She has also worked extensively in areas of sexual harassment of employees and protection of victims, regulatory authorities and administrative law.
Internationally she has provided expert technical advice and support for trafficking in persons project through the ASEAN Region which included working with justice sector agencies, border management and labour ministries as well as civil society establishing appropriate and best practice responses to trafficking in persons and smuggling in the region. She has worked within the Middle East and Africa on similar projects. She has worked in many countries in the Middle East as well as conflict countries such as Afghanistan.
She has a wide breadth of experience having worked in diverse cultures, in conflict and post conflict zones, independently and within team structures.
She speaks English and Italian.