Who We Are

Australian leaders in the anti-slavery movement.

We are the only specialist legal practice, research and policy centre committed to the abolition of modern slavery in Australia.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

We are dedicated to the abolition of modern slavery, including human trafficking, forced labour and forced marriage

We protect the human rights of trafficked and enslaved people through research, policy development, law reform, professional practice, education and advocacy

Our core values – integrity, ethical engagement, excellence, accountability, professionalism and respect for human rights – drive everything we do

Our Story

Our story started in 2003 when Jennifer Burn, an Australian academic, solicitor and migration agent working with a team of law students at the UTS Community Law Centre to research and understand the Australian dimension of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol was contacted by women trafficked to Australia. Through her work representing these women, Jennifer saw the need not only to support survivors of human trafficking, but also importantly to advocate for law reform.

Since then we have provided free legal advice and representation to victims of modern slavery in Australia, initially as part of the Anti-Slavery Project. Over time our work expanded to include research, advocacy and training programs.

In 2011 the Anti-Slavery Project became Anti-Slavery Australia, a centre based at the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney.

From our inception, we have focused on delivering high-quality, free legal representation for victims of modern slavery.

Photograph by Diane Macdonald via Positively Remarkable People

Our Team

Our Founding Director, Professor Jennifer Burn has over 17 years of research and practice experience in human trafficking, slavery and forced marriage. She served as the Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner for NSW from 2019 to 2020.

Our team includes lawyers, researchers and trainers. We are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people through legal representation, awareness raising and advocacy.

Our work is supported by a strong team of volunteers and legal placement students.

Professor Jennifer Burn

Professor Jennifer Burn


Sandeep Dhillon

Sandeep Dhillon

Lawyer and Project Manager

Malisa Howard

Malisa Howard


Carolyn Liaw

Carolyn Liaw

Researcher and Trainer

Ruth McLelland

Ruth McLelland

Centre Coordinator (on leave until Feb 2022)

Robyn Pettit

Robyn Pettit

Volunteer Coordinator

Our Partners


Judith Neilson

Judith Neilson

“Slavery steals humanity and has no place in our world”.

Key Supporters

Community Partners

Previous Supporters

If you’re interested in becoming a corporate partner, please contact us.

Our Impact

Since 2003 we have provided free and confidential legal advice to over 500 clients

Major increase in clients over 3 years

Our current clients come from over 40 countries and speak 23 different languages

Since 2003 we have secured over $1.5 million in victims’ compensation

Our work has resulted in visa protection for hundreds of clients

Ending Forced Marriage: My Blue Sky

  • 100,000 web-page views from 140 countries
  • 26,000 users with a 15% increase between 2018-2019

Research and Advocacy

Education and Training

  • Modern slavery awareness training to hundreds of community workers across NSW, QLD and NT in 2018-2019
  • Designed Australia’s first elearning course on modern slavery, with more than 60,000 online lessons completed since 2014
  • 90% of surveyed users would recommend Modern Slavery in Australia
    elearning course
  • Training for diverse audiences including lawyers, procurement specialists, community workers, law enforcement and airline crew.

Freedom Awards

Anti-Slavery Australia hosts the biennial Freedom Awards – the only prize in Australia which recognises the outstanding contributions of individuals, organisations and businesses to combat modern slavery and make a positive impact on the lives of trafficked and enslaved people.

The Freedom Awards celebrate diverse anti-slavery initiatives and highlight the achievements and work being done across the community to combat modern slavery.



2020 – Jennifer Burn

Outstanding Migration Lawyer of the Year Award, Law Council of Australia

2019 - Jo Pugsley

Law Finalist for Australian Human Rights Award

2019 - Jo Pugsley

Freedom Awards – Anti-Slavery Award

2018 - Jo Pugsley

UTS Human Rights Award – Jo Wilton Memorial Award for Women

2017 - Jennifer Burn

Mercy Foundation – Cath Leary Social Justice Award

2016 - Jennifer Burn

UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research) Medal for Research Impact

2015 - Jennifer Burn

recognised as a human rights advocate in the ‘Positively Remarkable People’ photographic exhibition by photographer Diane Macdonald

2015 - Ruth McLelland

Vice Chancellor’s Career and Professional Development Awards for High Performing Professional Staff

2014 - Anti-Slavery Australia

UTS Human Rights Award (Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Award for student contribution) to Anti-Slavery Australia Youth Advocates

2013 - Jennifer Burn

Law and Justice Foundation Pro Bono Partnership Award together with partner law firm Clayton Utz

2011 - Jennifer Burn

Zonta International District 24’s Honorary Member in recognition of personal work and achievements in the field of human trafficking, advocacy and legal reform contributing to the advancement of the status of women

2009 - Jennifer Burn

Henry Giblett Award from the Migration Institute of Australia for outstanding contribution in the area of migration law education

2005 - Jennifer Burn

Law and Justice Foundation Justice Award for Community Legal Centres for anti-trafficking advocacy and research work