B A, B Soc Stud. (Sydney University), Solicitor of the Supreme Court (England and Wales) 1987. Worked in Social Work and Community Development before qualifying as a Solicitor. Former Chairman of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and a member of the Bar Standards Board Complaints Committee. Retired in 2008 as Strategic Director, Legal and Corporate Services, Gateshead Council, and Deputy Chief Executive and Solicitor, Northumbria Police Authority. Involved with a number of charities and social enterprises - Currently Vice Chairman of Gateshead Advice Centre and Northumberland and Tyne and Wear County Organiser for the National Gardens Scheme.