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Connecting government lawyers

The Australian Government Legal Service

The Australian Government Legal Service (AGLS) is expected to launch in the coming months, replacing and building on the work of the Australian Government Legal Network (AGLN) and its sub-committees.

The AGLS will be a formal professional network for government lawyers focussed on information sharing, collaboration, guidance and training. It will emphasise that, whilst we all work for our separate agencies, we are all government lawyers who act in the greater interest of the Commonwealth, and both benefit from and contribute to being part of a broad, diverse and talented cohort.

All government lawyers (including from the Australian Government Solicitor) will automatically be members of the AGLS. This will connect more than 2,000 Australian Government lawyers working in over 90 entities across Australia.

If you’re a government lawyer, what’s in it for you?

  • Membership of the AGLS will be a core part of your professional identity.
  • You will be part of a professional network for collaboration and information sharing.
  • You will have access to training and career development opportunities like the Foundational Australian Government Lawyer Training program, mentoring and secondment opportunities.
  • Access to the AGLS website, which brings together resources and events to enhance your government lawyer experience and career pathway.

Australian Government Legal Service Board

The inaugural AGLS Board held its first meeting in December 2020. The board is composed of heads of legal practices and other senior government lawyers from a range of Australian Government agencies.

As the AGLS Board is now in place, the existing AGLN Board and committees have ceased. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who volunteered their time and energy to that network – it has provided a strong foundation from which the AGLS can grow. New AGLS committees have automatically been established by the AGLS Terms of Reference.

Board members are:

  • Samantha Nichol, Australian Federal Police
  • Louise Rafferty, Australian Government Solicitor, Attorney-General’s Department / Department of Finance
  • Tamsyn Harvey, Attorney-General’s Department
  • Emily Sehu, Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Sayuri Grady, Australian Public Service Commission
  • Matthew Swainson, Comcare
  • Tim Ffrench, Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • Sarah Godden, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
  • Andrew Ford, National Disability Insurance Agency
  • Meredith Leigh, Office of Parliamentary Counsel
  • Kathryn Haigh, Services Australia

For more information about the AGLS, including its board, committees and key documents, visit the AGLS website.

AGLS website

The AGLS website is now live.

The website has a range of useful resources for government lawyers including:

  • information on wellbeing support
  • links to virtual training
  • relevant publications
  • contacts.

Check out the website in the coming months for the virtual launch of the AGLS.

Stay up to date on the latest AGLS events, courses and news.

The network is open to all government lawyers employed in Australian Government agencies. They will automatically become members of the AGLS when it is launched.

Subscribe via the AGLS website to receive the latest AGLS events, courses and news. If you’d like to get involved in the AGLS as a volunteer or member of a committee, please email us:

Training and events

In line with government advice on social distancing, AGLS training and events, including the annual conference, were postponed in 2020.

We anticipate face-to-face training and events will recommence in the coming months.

Visit the AGLS website and subscribe to be notified of new and continuing events.

General Counsel Working Group

In accordance with the AGLS Board Terms of Reference, now that the AGLS Board has been established, the General Counsel Working Group (GCWG) has ceased. The AGLS Board and its committees will take on some of the functions of the GCWG. In particular, we anticipate that the AGLS Legal Risk Committee will provide a forum for the timely identification, analysis, discussion and management of legal issues across the Commonwealth.


Contact details

  • AGLS Team, Office of Legal Services Coordination