Welcome to LSA

The Legal Studies Association provides assistance to its Members to support them in their teaching and learning of Legal Studies. Membership gives you many benefits. Our highly acclaimed professional development opportunities are only available to Members. These events are designed by experienced teachers, to meet the needs of teachers and their students, and provide a mix of pedagogy and practical advice, aligned closely to the syllabus. These events also provide invaluable networking opportunities and the LSA Committee are always on-hand to provide additional information and support.

Our mission is to provide professional development for teachers, to enable them to engage and inspire their students, and support them to achieve their potential in Legal Studies.

Committee Bio

Keith Thomas


Keith Thomas

Keith Thomas has been a teacher of Legal Studies in four public high schools. He marked the HSC for 21 years, including 12 years as a Senior Marker. He has served as President and Deputy President of the LSA and is presently the editor of Legal Briefs. 

Keith is currently the Head Teacher of Administration at Cumberland High School.

  • Jennifer Venhuizen

    Deputy President - Community

    Jennifer Venhuizen

    Jennifer has been teaching Legal Studies since 2008. Prior to joining the teaching profession, Jennifer worked in law firms and the workers’ compensation industry. Jennifer is Head of Humanities at William Clarke College, Kellyville. Jennifer enjoys all parts of the syllabus and this year she taught the options of Workplace and Family. Jennifer gains great satisfaction from hearing that former students have pursued careers in the legal profession. 

  • Teresa O’Dwyer

    Deputy President - Operations

    Teresa O’Dwyer

    Teresa is the Head of Social Science at St Luke’s Grammar School in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The teaching of Legal Studies is her passion. She has been teaching the subject since 2004 and marking the HSC since 2006. Teresa joined the LSA Committee in 2014. She has been involved in designing and delivering pedagogy, giving student revision lectures, and contributing to the LSA exams and Legal Briefs and helping to curate the LSA Facebook page.

  • Judith Macdonald


    Judith Macdonald

    Judith Macdonald has been a teacher of Legal Studies in Victorian and NSW schools for over 40 years. She marked the HSC for 29 years for Legal Studies, as a marker, Judge Marker and Senior Marker. She is currently the Treasurer of the Legal Studies Association.

    Judith was the HSIE Co-ordinator at St Patrick’s College Sutherland for a number of years and retired at the end of 2019.

  • Natasha Isbel

    Committee Member

    Natasha Isbel

    Natasha has been an LSA Committee member since 2014 and began teaching Legal Studies in 2012 as a second career. She likes to share her passion for contemporary legal issues and building the literacy capacity of both students and teachers.

    Natasha currently teaches at Wenona in North Sydney and teaches the Family and Workplace options.

  • Brian Elliott

    Committee Member

    Brian Elliott

    Brian was one of the founding Deputy Presidents of the LSA and was President from 2001 to 2009. He has been an HSC Marker, Senior Marker and the Chief Examiner for Legal Studies. Brian is proud to have worked with the Association to organise high quality conferences, workshops and student lectures, and to have had a leadership role in revising the syllabus. Working with many fine educators through the LSA has been a highlight of his professional career. Brian is a Life Member of the LSA and received the Professional Teachers Council NSW Outstanding Service Award in 2008 and Exceptional Service Award in 2018. Brian is the Treasurer of the Professional Teachers Association NSW.

  • Nick Fernandez

    Committee Member

    Nick Fernandez

    Nick joined the LSA Committee in 2020. He has taught Legal Studies since 2012, prior to which he worked in private practice as a lawyer in Sydney. He has also worked as a casual academic teaching young people at both the University of Sydney and the University of Western Sydney. Nick is a member of the HSIE Staff at Cherrybrook Technology High School. He has a particular interest in teaching the Workplace, World Order and Indigenous Peoples options.

  • Lisa Smith

    Committee Member

    Lisa Smith

    Lisa came to teaching ten years ago from a business background. She has taught Legal Studies in Sydney schools for most of that time, including marking the HSC examination on multiple occasions. Lisa has a passion for serving our teachers and students outside of the Sydney region and exploring new opportunities for collaboration in the post-COVID era. She is currently at Canberra Grammar School teaching NSW HSC and IB programs in law, politics and business.

  • Keira Nightingale

    Committee Member

    Keira Nightingale

    Keira Nightingale joined the LSA Committee in 2022. She has been a specialist Legal Studies teacher within the public and catholic education contexts since 2015. She is a HSC marker, pilot marker and judge specialising in the Indigenous Peoples and World Order options and has a keen interest in the development of pre-service and new scheme teachers. Drawing on her experience as a Careers Advisor, Keira enjoys bringing the legal world into her classroom by using guest speakers, NGO presentations and past students who are now studying law to provide her current senior students with a rich Legal Studies experience.

  • Ebony Neal

    Committee Member

    Ebony Neal

    Ebony is a regional based teacher who has taught across the full suite of HSIE subjects, including Legal Studies, since commencing her career in 2016. She currently teaches at Mount Austin High School in Wagga Wagga. Ebony is passionate about ensuring rural and regional teachers and schools have access to the learning opportunities offered by the LSA. She also has a special interest in supporting differentiation for all students in Legal Studies, including English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) learners. Ebony hopes to utilise her expertise to support teachers to meet the diverse student needs present in their inclusive classrooms.

  • Natalie Tan

    Committee Member

    Natalie Tan

    Natalie has been teaching Legal Studies since 2019, and joined the LSA Committee in 2023. Having completed her undergraduate studies in International Relations, she has a keen interest in topics related to international law, particularly World Order. Natalie enjoys the highly contemporary nature of the Legal Studies course, and the insights it invites students to develop in relation to the complexities of delivering justice. She is a member of the HSIE Faculty at Burwood Girls High School.

  • Justine Hanks

    Committee Member

    Justine Hanks

    Justine has been a classroom teacher of Legal Studies in both Victoria and NSW since 2003 and has been a marker of both the VCE and HSC Legal Studies papers for a number of years, joining the LSA Committee in 2023. Prior to her teaching career, she was an Economic Analyst with PricewaterhouseCoopers, conducting legislative review for compliance with the National Competition Policy, undertaking cost-benefit analysis for social policy reform and price modelling for the introduction of the GST for a range of firms across industries. Justine has a keen interest in the functionality of the law across criminal and civil realms, and the use of discretion in the justice system in creating just outcomes across groups. She is passionate about generating classroom experiences that create deep understanding and enable students to think critically about issues. Justine is currently the Education Manager at the Rule of Law Education Centre.

Outstanding Teachers

  • Keith Thomas

    Deputy President

    Keith Thomas

  • Erin Carney and Wendy Campbell

    PTC Outstanding Teacher 2021

    Erin Carney and Wendy Campbell

  • Natasha Isbel

    Natasha Isbel

Life Members

  • Steve Ethridge   Steve Ethridge
  • Wayne Gleeson Wayne Gleeson
  • Kerrie Lindsay Kerrie Lindsay
  • Brian Elliott Brian Elliott
  • Vicki Andrews Vicki Andrews
  • Kate Kempthorne Kate Kempthorne
  • Nicholas Cowdery AM QC Nicholas Cowdery AM QC
  • Tracey McIntosh Tracey McIntosh
  • Liesl Williamson Liesl Williamson
  • John Andrews John Andrews
  • Joanne McFarland Joanne McFarland
  • Jennie Mater Jennie Mater

LSA Constitution