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Meet The Team

AHWC Immigration Law has a team of exceptional immigration lawyers &  registered migration agents who all share the same passion and focus –  helping people like you to migrate to Australia.

 

Engage us and you’ll find a bunch of lovely people who have exceptional knowledge about Australian immigration law and who are passionate about achieving positive immigration outcomes for you.

 

Our team is driven by a deep passion to assist individuals like you in obtaining Australian Visas, supporting employers with staff sponsorship and Labour Agreements, preparing health waivers and character submissions, and providing the most exceptional service to our clients. Our years of experience and dedication have allowed us to hone our skills and strive for excellence in all that we do.

 

Seamus Taaffe
Seamus Taaffe
Founder FCA | Registered Migration Agent | Chartered Accountant
Registered Migration Agent MARN 0901684

“I cannot recommend AHWC highly enough. This is our second time to use them and both Seamus and Xiaodan have been exceptional. They really know their stuff and offer a very thorough and professional service. Thank you AHWC for securing our 188 Visa. Much appreciated.”  – Yvonne K

Seamus is a Chartered Accountant and a Registered Migration Agent.

Seamus grew up in Coolaney in the west of Ireland where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He moved to South Africa in 1980 and lived there until 1987 .

Seamus moved to Australia in 1987 and became a citizen in 1992.

Seamus founded AHWC Immigration Law (originally known as Australia Here We Come) in 2010. Australia Here We Come changed its name to AHWC Immigration Law in November 2017.

Seamus has expertise across all visa types. He is particularly good at assessing complex situations and finding unique solutions that work. In really complex situations he will often find a solution that no one else has thought of.

You can talk to Seamus about onshore and offshore Australian Partner Visas, Prospective Marriage Visas and subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visas.

He also provides strategic advice in relation to employer-sponsored visas, including Subclass 457 Temporary Work Visas, Subclass 186  Employer Nominated (ENS) visas,  Temporary Skills Shortage, Subclass 482 (TSS) visas, as well as Business Visas and Parent Visas.

Seamus is passionate about AFL and is a Melbourne Demons tragic, now totally delighted with his team winning the 2021 Grand Final!

Maggie Taaffe
Maggie Taaffe
Principal Lawyer BA, LLB (Hons)

“Having Maggie’s support and advice throughout our application process for my wife’s visa has been amazing!! She has always given me time and advice whenever I’ve had questions or concerns. I have recommended AHWC Immigration to friends in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Visa’s are an emotional and difficult process to go through, and knowing Maggie was there to support us has made the world of difference.”  – Sam T

Maggie is our principal lawyer and was born in the United Kingdom and lived briefly in India as a child before immigrating with her family to South Africa. Maggie migrated to Australia in 1987 and became a citizen in 1992.

Maggie always wanted to study law, and finally completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Hons) in 2002 at Deakin University.She still can’t believe she won the Supreme Court Exhibition Prize for the best honours thesis in her final year. She was admitted as a solicitor in 2004 and signed the Bar Roll in 2008.

Before joining AHWC Immigration Law, Maggie held a number of senior legal positions including senior associate at a prominent Melbourne legal firm as well as practicing as a barrister at the Victorian Bar as a member of Dever’s List.

As our principal lawyer, Maggie handles a range of immigration law services including;

  • Reviews of adverse decisions, (AAT and Federal Circuit Court)
  • Citizenship refusal appeals
  • Requests for ministerial intervention
  • Character submissions
  • Applications for health waivers
  • Assisting employers with DIBP monitoring and compliance issues

Maggie is our go to person for all complex legal matters and her success rate with reviews of adverse decisions, including AAT appeals, is enviable.

Xiaodan (Amy) Wan
Xiaodan (Amy) Wan
Director BA
Registered Migration Agent MARN 1573740

“Thanks to Xiaodan and AHWC for their help in securing a Partner 820 subclass visa! We had no idea what we were doing when we first looked at the immigration website, the process seemed very overwhelming. But one consultation later we felt much better about the process and our chances of securing a visa. Xiaodan did a great job guiding us through everything and we can strongly recommend the services of AHWC for anyone looking for expert help with their application.”  – Chris S

Xiaodan was born in Beijing and immigrated to Australia in 2014.

Xiaodan completed a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and practice in 2015 and became a registered migration agent in 2015.

Xiaodan has over 15 years’ experience working in the Australian migration industry in both China and Australia.

She has knowledge and expertise across all visa types including Employer Nominated visas, SkillSelect visas, partner visas and parent visas and excels in business visas including the subclass 188 and the subclass 888 visas.

Xiaodan has successfully assisted many Chinese families to migrate to Australia, a step she took herself with her own family in 2014. She now lives in Melbourne.

Xiaodan is fluent in English and Mandarin (and Shanghai Dialect).

Mancy Zhao
Mancy Zhao
Senior Migration Agent
Registered Migration Agent MARN 1796787

Wenqian Zhao (Mancy) was born and raised in China. She completed a Master of Professional Accounting in 2014 and then accomplished a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice in 2016 and became a Registered Migration Agent in 2017.

Mancy has over 5 years’ experience working in the Australian education and migration industry, with the knowledge and expertise across various visa types including General Skilled visas, Employer Sponsored visas, Partner visas and Parent visas and Student and Guardian visa.

Mancy is fluent in English and Mandarin and she enjoys the work as a migration agent.

Maddie Benz
Maddie Benz
Senior Lawyer

Maddie joined AHWC after completing Bachelor of Laws and Criminology at La Trobe University, and was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2021.

Before joining AHWC, Maddie volunteered within Community Legal Centres and at Victoria Legal Aid. She also researched for members of the House of Lords in Westminster Parliament in the United Kingdom. It was in these positions Maddie realised her passion lays within administrative law and making legal procedure accessible for everyone.

Working as an immigration lawyer is extremely rewarding and Maddie is proud to be part of the AHWC team. In her spare time, she enjoys bike riding around Victoria, playing water polo, and being surrounded by her family and friends.

Shelby Tavares Noach
Shelby Tavares Noach
Senior Lawyer

Shelby is no stranger to the Australian visa process as she was born in Zimbabwe and migrated with her family from England in 2006. She understands how important securing a successful visa outcome is, having gone through it herself and helping her own family come to Australia. With a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business Management from Swinburne, she was admitted in the Supreme Court and High Court of Victoria and has spent her entire legal career in migration law.

Shelby’s passion for migration stems from her own experiences, as well as her affinity for helping others. Once she left school, she spent some time in Cambodia teaching in an orphanage, and continued volunteering with organisations such as the Young Workers Centre. A career highlight for Shelby was creating a virtual chatbot which could do a preliminary determination on whether a person is classified as a refugee for the purposes of a protection visa, as she is very passionate about access to justice and legal technology.

Her career goal includes becoming an accredited specialist in migration law, as she enjoys complex scenarios and problem-solving visa pathways. When Shelby is not in the office, you can find her in the kitchen cooking with her family, or outdoors in the garden or on a bike ride.

Jair Castro
Jair Castro
Senior Migration Agent
Natalie Sioungas
Natalie Sioungas
Lawyer
Andrea Jones
Andrea Jones
Financial Controller
Michelle Zekeria
Michelle Zekeria
Administration

Michelle is our Administration Assistant at AHWC Immigration Law. She has over six years of administration experience in various sectors including medical general practice, hospitals and publishing. She has extensive experience in customer service and her strengths are in organisation and change implementation.

She comes from an Afghan background and is a first generation Australian with her family immigrating to Australia in the 1990’s. As well as English, Michelle is able to speak Dari and understand Farsi.

Michelle is in her last year of a Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University and is majoring in Human Resources. If Michelle isn’t studying, you can find her exploring Melbourne’s many food and entertainment attractions with her friends or spending quality time with her nephews with a good cup of coffee in hand.

Sinead O'Brien
Sinead O'Brien
Administrative Assistant
Parental Leave | Su Jiang
Parental Leave | Su Jiang