Founding Committee

SATLA was established in 2016 by Dr Andrew Christie alongside a founding committee of JD students.

Jessica McMurray

Jessica completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine (majoring in Human Structure and Function) and a Diploma of Music (Practical) at the University of Melbourne in 2014. She was invited to join the Medico-Legal Society of Victoria in 2017 after submitting a paper regarding the interaction between medical advancements and the law. Jessica graduated from the JD in 2017 and accepted a graduate position at a top-tier law firm. As a founding committee member of SATLA, she wanted to showcase the unique perspective that those with a science and technology background bring to legal issues. She continues to promote networking opportunities for such graduates through her connections within the legal profession.

Niraj Singh Mahraur

Niraj was inspired to get involved with SATLA based on his professional experience dealing with legal issues in his previous career in banking infrastructure engineering.  He holds a degree in Computer Engineering from NTU, Singapore and after completing his JD, he is currently pursuing a career in the field of IP Law.

Sean Gilmartin


Andrew Williams

Sean came to Melbourne Law School with a desire to combine his interest in law with the experiences he acquired in his past life as a chemical engineer. Getting involved in SATLA gave him with the opportunity to explore the intersection of these areas and help build a forum for other like-minded law students. Sean is now a lawyer at Allens where he seeks to apply his knowledge of science and engineering to commercial legal issues. You can find out more about Sean here.

Before the JD, Andrew completed a Bachelor of Science (Genetics) and a Masters of Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne. It was during those programs that he became interested in the commercialisation of science. His Masters thesis was on how researchers could create their own patent landscape for targeted research in the RNAi-mediated pesticide space. Andrew’s future career aspirations are to work in a commercial law space helping small-scale and university researchers bring their discoveries to market. While at Melbourne Law School Andrew was heavily involved in the LSS and being part of the inaugural SATLA committee was a natural fit.

Tess KirkiniS

(also known as Artemis)

Tess studied the Bachelor of Biomedicine and Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne. At Melbourne Law School, Tess worked with the Founding Committee to establish and grow SATLA and took particular interest in innovation, commercialisation and its intersection with the law as well as coding, and organised  events on those areas. During Law School, Tess gained experience working in a number of legal practice areas including in Competition, Intellectual Property, Technology Media and Telecommunications, Project Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions at top tier law firms and was also a Research Assistant at the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. During Law School, Tess was also on the Advisory Board of the Growing Tall Poppies Program (a program designed to promote the study of Physics among female high school students) and won the Melbourne Law School and KWM Hackathon. Tess is now working as a Lawyer in the Mergers, Acquisitions and Capital Markets team at Allens.

2018 Executive Committee

audrey vong

2018 Committee President

Audrey completed a B.A&Sc. in Cognitive Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, with major concentrations in neuroscience and psychology. During this period, she worked in psychiatric and psycholinguistic research, eventually transitioning from subject-facing work to scripting and testing speech recognition tools. She also became interested in the legal aspects of research ethics and data collection. These experiences continue to inform her current interests in privacy, data governance and the intersection of technology and the law.

james hogan

2018 Committee

James graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science in 2014, majoring in Mathematical Physics. Since then, he has worked as a Research Assistant for the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group, assisting the medical team with data management and statistical analysis. While studying at Melbourne Law School, he has often combined his scientific background with legal research, exploring the relevance of neuroscience developments to normative compliance and the ramifications of blockchain technology on international legal harmonisation. His interdisciplinary interests also include international arms control and the regulation of emergent technologies in military contexts.

nick bernardo

2018 Committee Treasurer

Nick completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne in 2016, majoring in Accounting and Finance. Nick’s childhood interest in science fiction developed into a passionate interest in emerging technologies, and despite not having a scientific academic background, Nick keenly follows how advances in science will affect our society in the future. Throughout his JD, Nick has been particularly interested in areas where the law has struggled to keep up with the changes that accelerating technological advances deliver. His motivation to be involved with SATLA stems from his desire to increase awareness and promote conversation on these issues, which he believes our generation will face the challenge of addressing.

Michael botha

2018 Committee Events Director

Michael completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and majored in Zoology. He has since developed an interest in environmental and medical law. He has interned at the Sustainability Business Clinic and most recently at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. During those internships he has actively combined his scientific and legal knowledge to provide more detailed client advice.

Fatima syad

2018 Committee Events Director

Fatima graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Auckland in 2016, majoring in Population Health. Her initial interest in the law was prompted by her exposure to medical ethics issues in a public health context, and the legal ramifications of such issues on medical professionals. Now having completed a year of law school, Fatima's interests have branched out to the developing technological landscape, especially in the space of IP and AI, and what this could mean legally and ethically for the providers and consumers of these rapidly growing industries.

Nicholas gillies

Returning as President in the 2019 Committee.

Mona Zhang

Returning as Vice-President in the 2019 Committee.

Sarah watson

Returning as Communications Director in the 2019 Committee.

max slattery

Returning as Treasurer in the 2019 Committee.