Committee Members


Cliff Kroesen - President

Cliff Kroesen is the director of Kroesen & Co. Lawyers at Southport. Cliff has a background in litigation and practises in the areas of Estates and Family law. Cliff is an enthusiastic advocate for his clients and enjoys resolving disputes.

Cliff studied on the Gold Coast at Griffith Bond Universities and enjoys being a part of the Gold Coast Legal Community.

Outside of work Cliff has had significant involvement with Southport Surf Lifesaving Club where he has been a surf rowing coach for many years.

Erin Mitchell - Vice President

Erin Mitchell is a senior criminal lawyer at Potts Lawyers, working exclusively in criminal defence and domestic violence law. She has experience appearing in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts across Queensland.

Erin enjoys assisting clients through the criminal justice system, ensuring they understand their options and are supported throughout the process – whether they are facing a minor traffic offence or a serious charge that is likely to change their lives forever.

She has previously enjoyed volunteering at her local community legal centre and since 2016 has been a committee member of the Gold Coast District Law Association, most recently having held the position of Treasurer. Erin has assisted with mentoring junior members of the profession through the GLAD program as well as assisting to organise an array of GCDLA events – as she feels passionately about continuing the collegiality of the Gold Coast legal profession. She also enjoys connecting with lawyers and law students through her Instagram, @lady.crim.lawyers - where Erin and her colleague share their passion for law, supporting women in the profession and finding happiness in the profession!

Daniel Samuel - Secretary

Guy Neilson - Treasurer

Guy Neilson is a Solicitor at Evans Brandon Family Lawyers. Guy was named as a Family Law Rising Star in the Doyles Guide for 2021 and 2022. In addition to being a proud member of the Evans Brandon team, Guy is currently the Treasurer of the Gold Coast District Law Association and regularly volunteers at My Community Legal

Kathy Atkins

Kathy was admitted to practice in 1985 and commenced practising on the Gold Coast in 1987, first in commercial and property law and then in family law. She is an accredited family law specialist and currently serves as the Chair of the QLS Family Law Committee.

Kathy has served as a committee member of the QLS Family Law Committee since 1999 and as a committee member of the GCDLA since 1995. She consulted to Jones Mitchell Lawyers for over 20 years. Kathy currently holds the position of Associate Dean (External Engagement and International) in the Faculty of Law at Bond University.

She teaches family law at Bond University and co-ordinates the Family Law Legal Practice Clinic. Kathy is a member of the GCDLA’s “Gold Coast Lawyers Achieving Development” mentoring program sub-committee and values the opportunity to support young lawyers in their legal career journey.

Anna Morgan

Anna Morgan is Direct and Principal Solicitor at Take Control Legal. She is passionate about helping injured people seek justice and access and damages.

Anna has held various positions in the GCDLA including President (3 years), Treasurer (2 years) and Committee member (2 years). During Anna’s tenure as President, she focused on supporting member’s efforts to form relationships and networks through social events, supporting mental wellbeing initiatives for the benefit of the profession and lobbying for a Supreme Court presence on the Gold Coast.

Anna also authored and lectures a post-graduate subject at Bond University called Expert Witness & Dispute Resolution.    

Anna sits on organising committees for various QLS conferences including the QLS Symposium , Gold Coast Symposium and QLS Personal Injury Conference.

Prior to joining Ramsden, Anna worked at Maurice Blackburn for over 8 years, after first spending more than 11 years at Minter Ellison Gold Coast.

Joelene Nel

Joelene is a passionate and professional family lawyer and mediator, she is an Associate Director at McLaughlins Lawyers on the Gold Coast. 

Joelene contributes to the legal profession and local community by mentoring lawyers and volunteering at My Community Legal, Women's Legal Services Queensland and RizeUp.

Since 2015 Joelene has been an active committee member of the Gold Coast District Law Association; holding the position of Treasurer from 2015 -2018. Her involvement has included various initiatives of the GCDLA for both networking and professional development. The hotly contested annual trivia night is Joelene’s personal favourite, however her other highlights include organising the International Women’s Day High Tea with Carla Zampatti, the My Community Legal Charity Ball and being on the sub-committee for the annual GCDLA / QLS Symposium. Since 2016, Joelene and fellow committee members, Erin Mitchell and Kathy Atkins, have co-ordinated the GCDLA GLAD (Gold Coast Lawyers Achieving Development) mentoring program. Joelene was a finalist in the 2019 Women in Law Awards for Mentor of the Year.

Joelene is an advocate for creating and encouraging practical ways for practitioners to build wellness and wholeness into their work and home life. Joelene’s weakness is chocolate!

Ben O'Brien

Ben is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the Federal and High Courts of Australia. Ben graduated from Bond University and was admitted to practice in 2015; he is experienced in all areas of commercial disputes including contracts, debt recovery, property and land, consumer law and building and construction.

Ben has a particular passion for complex and technical disputes and for resolving such disputes in an efficient and cost-effective manner for the benefit of his clients. Outside of the law, you can find Ben at the beach.

Ben is looking forward to supporting the Gold Coast legal community via the GCDLA and hopes to assist the profession by providing opportunities for growth, education and networking.  

Joshua Tiffin

Josh is a Solicitor at Jacobson Mahony Lawyers practising exclusively in criminal defence and quasi-criminal matters. Josh was named as a Criminal Law Rising Star in Queensland in Doyles Guide for 2022.

Josh’s interests outside of work include surfing and spending time outdoors.

Damira Hidic

Damira Hidic is a Principal Lawyer and Practice Leader on the Gold Coast. She has practiced as a lawyer specialising in family law since 2003. She began her career in 1998 as an Articled Clark in one of the prominent multidiscipline firms on the Gold Coast gaining experience in Migration Law, Wills & Estates, Property Law and Family Law. Damira is an Accredited Family Law Specialist, a Nationally Accredited Mediator, a Collaboratively Trained Lawyer and Damira was recognised for her work in family law and listed as a Recommended Lawyer, and in the category Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers Guide – Gold Coast in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Samuel Layani

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