Our Chair

Eve Lester - Chair of the JRS Australia Board

Eve Lester is a human rights and refugee lawyer and is the Founding Director of boniĝi, a for-purpose-not-profit tech startup that is developing a digital platform for monitoring conditions in immigration detention and other closed environments.  She is the recipient of a Myer Innovation Fellowship 2020.  

Eve has worked for more than 30 years in Australia and overseas defending the rights of refugees and migrants.  Her experience includes legal policy and practice, as well as research and advocacy in the NGO sector.

Prior to joining the JRS board in 2010, she worked with a number of JRS offices, notably Australia, Cambodia and Geneva.  Other roles have included working as a Consultant to the New York-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), as UNHCR’s NGO Liaison Officer during its Global Consultations on International Protection, and as head of Amnesty International’s refugee and migration program at its International Secretariat.

Dr Lester has also worked as an academic, an independent consultant and as an independent adviser to governments and is the author of more than 50 publications, including Making Migration Law: The Foreigner, Sovereignty and the Case of Australia (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Qualifications: BA/LLB (Melb), PhD (Melb).

Dr Eve Lester has been a JRS Australia board member since November 2010 and is now the Chair of the Board since June 2022.