The Alliance is a member based body with a Board of Directors. The Board consists of a diverse range of organisations representing major national players in the law and human service fields. The Board is responsible for governing the affairs of the Alliance and for determining and monitoring the direction of the Alliance as an organisation.

The Board includes:

Chairperson - Peter Long

PeterLong2011 compressed

Peter is a lawyer based in Gunnedah, NSW and has over 30 years’ experience in servicing the legal needs of members of the rural community throughout regional and remote Australia. Peter fervently believes in the rights of those living in regional, rural and remote areas of this country to access both appropriate legal advice and dispute resolution mechanisms that are affordable and usable and has embraced the use of technology to enable his clients to achieve those goals where possible. Peter is a regular contributor to journals and conferences on legal issues that affect the delivery of justice to those outside our larger urban areas and on managing a legal practice in such an environment.

In 2007, Peter was awarded the National Civil Justice Award by the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association (now ALA) for an outstanding contribution to the delivery of civil justice.

Peter also runs an organic cattle breeding operation with his wife, Sarah and has his fully environmentally sustainable law office on their farm with no power, phone, water or sewer lines connecting them to the outside world.

Deputy Chairperson - vacant

Secretary - vacant

Treasurer - James McDougall

James McDougall 2014

James McDougall is a consultant and a child rights advocate. He has worked for the Youth Legal Service WA; the National Association of Legal Centres; the National Children’s & Youth Law Centre and Save the Children Australia. His consultancy has taken him throughout Australia and to China and the Asia Pacific. He has been interested in the challenge of delivering justice to regional Australians throughout his professional career. In 2013 he conducted an evaluation of a regional youth legal service project which has reinforced to him the importance of multidisciplinary partnerships, innovation and technology as key to the delivery of justice to ordinary Australians.

He is also a Steering Committee member of the Australian Child Rights Taskforce.


Paul Boylan

Paul-BoylanIs a lawyer and has operated his own Legal Practice in Port Pirie for 34 years. He was admitted to the Bar in 1978, commissioned as a Notary Public in 1979 and a registered conveyance in 1987. Paul has been an outstanding contributor to the law, particularly in South Australia.

He has been a member of the South Australian Law Society for the past 23 years, and Chairman of the Country Lawyers Committee for the past 12 years.

Paul has been a representative on numerous Boards including the Port Pirie Regional Development Board, the Port Pirie Regional Hospital Board and the Westside Community Lawyers Board. He has also been involved in the Law Council of Australia Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers working group, and the Woomera Lawyers Group which received a National Award for ‘Excellent and outstanding representation of Children and young People’ from the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre. Paul was the recipient of the Law Society of South Australia Justice Award in 2007 and was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory by Pope Benedict XI in 2010.

Richard Coverdale

Richard CoverdaleRichard Coverdale was the founding Director of the Deakin University – Centre for Rural Regional Law and Justice and founding Secretary of the National Rural Law and Justice Alliance.

Before establishing the Centre, Richard worked as a Research Fellow at Deakin University School of Law, pursuing research into justice issues for rural communities. Research reports produced by Richard include, for example; Postcode Justice – Rural and Regional Disadvantage in the Administration of the Law in Victoria, Conflict of Interest in Victorian Rural and Regional Legal Practice, Providing Legal Services to Small Business in Regional Victoria, Preparing Law Graduates for Rural and Regional Practice: A new curriculum-based approach. In 2010, he established the first National Rural Regional Law and Justice Conference, opened by the Honourable Robert French, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Prior to joining Deakin University Richard was Director of Publishing with the Victoria Law Foundation, publishing an extensive list of titles including award winning school texts and practical legal guides. While working with the Law Foundation he also established and maintained Rural Law Online, a website of the Foundation directed to rural Victorians.

Richard’s earlier work in the community legal service sector included the establishment of the Geelong Community Legal Service, the first community legal service outside metropolitan Melbourne. He has served on various community organisation Boards.

Caroline Hart

Caroline-HartA lecturer in the Law School, University of Southern Queensland. Prior to joining USQ in 2005, she worked for State Government for 15 years, working in a number of roles including development of policy and legislation, and on a number of commissions of inquiry.

Caroline is currently working on doctoral studies on the topic of Sustainable Regional Rural and Remote Legal Practice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and a Master of Law from Queensland University of Technology. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and has worked as a solicitor in a consultancy role for a regional legal practice.

Caroline is a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, and has provided consultancy training and development services to the public sector through that affiliation.

Jo McCubbin

Jo McCubbin

Dr Jo McCubbin is a regional paediatrician based in Sale, Victoria.
She grew up in. Melbourne but lived in Geelong, Wollongong and Sydney during postgraduate training, before settling in Gippsland in 1992.
She has a keen interest in the social and environmental determinants of child health and has been active in community campaigns across Gippsland against toxic waste, poor air quality and on-shore gas development.
Jo has represented the Australian Paediatric Society on the National Rural Health Alliance since 2006. She has also been involved with Gippsland Women’s network since the late 90’s and teaches medical students through the Sale Monash Campus. She is also back up support for a university student son, and octogenarian mother.
In her spare time she’s been known to train for and run a half marathon, knits colourfully, gardens a bit and cares for an elderly dog!

Helen McGowan

Helen McGowanHelen McGowan is a lawyer with Halliday Solicitors in Beechworth and Yackandandah in regional Victoria.

She is also a PhD candidate at the Australian National University researching how country lawyers identify and respond to conflicts of interest.