The AAT manages our workload in the following divisions:
- Freedom of Information Division
- General Division
- Migration & Refugee Division (including the Immigration Assessment Authority)
- National Disability Insurance Scheme Division
- Security Division
- Small Business Taxation Division
- Social Services & Child Support Division
- Taxation & Commercial Division, and
- Veterans’ Appeals Division
Members of the AAT are statutory office holders appointed by the Governor-General under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975. Staff of the AAT are employed under the Public Service Act 1999.
View the AAT organisational chart (PDF, 367 KB)
Members of the AAT
The Tribunal consists of the President and members who may be appointed as:
- Deputy Presidents
- Senior Members
A Deputy President may be assigned as the Head of one or more divisions. A Deputy President or Senior Member may be assigned as the Deputy Head of one or more divisions.
Members are appointed by the Governor-General on a full-time or part-time basis. Appointments may be made for a term of up to seven years. Members may be reappointed.
Our members come from a wide range of backgrounds with expertise in areas such as accountancy, disability, law, medicine, migration, military affairs, public administration, science and social welfare.
The President and Deputy Presidents can exercise powers in any of the AAT’s divisions. Senior Members and Members may only exercise powers in the division or divisions to which they have been assigned.
The table of statutory appointments (PDF, 56 KB) sets out a full list of the AAT’s members, their dates of appointment, location and the divisions to which Senior Members and Members are assigned.
View the Conduct Guide for AAT Members (PDF, 205 KB)
Justice Meagher was appointed to the Federal Court and to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as President on 1 April 2022.
Prior to her appointment Justice Meagher was a Deputy President and the Division Head of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Justice Meagher was first appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a part time Member in 2015 and as a full time Senior Member in November 2018. From 2014 until November 2018 Justice Meagher was a Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal Queensland and held a Presidential Delegation from June 2017 until November 2018.
Justice Meagher graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. Justice Meagher was admitted as a legal practitioner to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1987 and the High Court of Australia in 1989, and commenced her career as an Associate to the Hon Justice Paul De Jersey AC in 1987, before working as a solicitor from 1988 to 1993. She became Group General Counsel and Company Secretary for the Telecom New Zealand Australia Pty Ltd group of companies in 1993, and worked as Queensland Manager of the Legal Management Consulting Practice Group and Professional Development Manager at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) from 1997 to 2000. From 2001 to 2004 Justice Meagher was the Professional Development Manager, Change Manager and Chief Operating Officer at McCullough Robertson, after which she worked as a management consultant from 2004 to 2014.
A Division Head is responsible for directing the business of the AAT in the division and exercises functions and powers under delegation from the President.
Mr Peter Britten-Jones
Deputy President Peter Britten-Jones is Division Head of the General Division. Mr Britten-Jones was appointed as Deputy President of the Tribunal on 1 July 2018 and as Division Head of the General Division on 20 March 2019.
Mr Britten-Jones was first appointed as a part-time senior member of the Tribunal in 2016. Prior to these appointments, Mr Britten-Jones was a solicitor and then a barrister, practising in civil and commercial litigation.
Mr Bernard McCabe
Deputy President Bernard McCabe is Division Head of the Taxation & Commercial Division and the Small Business Taxation Division. Mr McCabe was appointed as a Deputy President of the Tribunal and as Division Head on 25 March 2016.
Mr McCabe was first appointed as a part-time member of the Tribunal in 2001 a full-time Senior Member in 2003. Mr McCabe was previously an Associate Professor of Law at Bond University. He was also a member of the legal committee of the Companies and Securities Advisory Committee between 1998 and 2001.
The Hon Mr Michael Mischin
Deputy President the Hon Michael Mischin is Division Head of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Division. Mr Mischin was appointed as a Deputy President of the Tribunal and as Division Head from 9 May 2022.
Prior to his appointment to the Tribunal, Mr Mischin served as the Attorney-General from 2012 to 2017 and as the Minister for Commerce from 2013 to 2017 for the Government of Western Australia. He was also a member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia from 2009 to 2021. Before entering the Parliament of Western Australia, Mr Mischin was a senior state prosecutor with the Director of Public Prosecutions of Western Australia.
Ms Jan Redfern
Deputy President Jan Redfern PSM is Division Head of the Migration & Refugee Division. Ms Redfern was appointed as a Deputy President of the Tribunal and as Division Head on 21 March 2016 for a term of seven years.
Ms Redfern has previously served the AAT as a Senior Member from 2009 to 2014. She served as Principal Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal's Guardianship Division from 1 January 2015 and before that as a legal member and then Deputy President of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal.
Prior to these appointments Ms Redfern held a number of senior executive positions with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from 1999 to 2008. In 2007 she was awarded a Commonwealth Public Service Medal for outstanding service to corporate and financial services regulation and enforcement.
Ms Karen Synon
Deputy President Karen Synon is Division Head of the Social Services and Child Support Division. Ms Synon was appointed as Deputy President of the Tribunal and Division Head on 17 December 2020.
Ms Synon was first appointed to the Tribunal as a part time Member in 2015. Prior to her appointment to the Tribunal, Ms Synon was a Member of the former Refugee Review Tribunal between 2001-2004 and the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal from 2004 until it was amalgamated into the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2015.
The position of Registrar is a statutory office appointed by the Governor-General. The Registrar assists the President to manage the administrative affairs of the AAT and is:
- the Accountable Authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, and
- the agency head for the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999.
The Registrar also undertakes functions relating to the management of applications conferred by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and other enactments.
Mr Michael Hawkins AM was appointed as Registrar from 14 April 2022.
Immediately prior to his appointment as Registrar, he was the Executive Director of the National Association of Cinema Operators – Australasia, a Director of Screen Australia and was formerly the CEO of Australian Multiplex Cinemas Ltd and Chair of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Mr Hawkins also served for 6 years as a part-time member of the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT.
He is a lawyer and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also serves as the Honorary Consul to Sweden in Queensland.
The President, Division Heads and Registrar are assisted by the following persons who hold office as senior executives in the Australian Public Service.
||National Director, Tribunal Services
||Executive Director, Registry Operations
||Chief Information Officer
|Chris Sutton (A/G)
||Chief Corporate Officer
||Chief Legal Officer
||Executive Director, Review Support
District Registry staff
Staff in AAT registries provide administrative and other support in managing applications in each division. Conference Registrars conduct the majority of conferences and other ADR processes.
The AAT has District Registries in each of the state capital cities and in Canberra. The registry service in Hobart is co-located with the Federal Court. Applications in the Northern Territory are managed from our other registries. The Supreme Court of Norfolk Island provides basic registry services on Norfolk Island.
Corporate and Enterprise Services staff
Corporate and Enterprise Services staff advise and assist the President and the Registrar, and provide a range of services for members and staff. They are responsible for business support services, communications, financial and human resource management, corporate legal and policy services, library and other information management services and technology services.