Welcome John Shanahan


18 JULY 2023


The legal needs of our growing Sunshine Coast community will continue to be safeguarded as newly appointed John Shanahan takes the reins as Managing Solicitor at Suncoast Community Legal Service (SCLS).

The award-winning lawyer and community legal expert has secured the top legal role, bringing a wealth of experience to the organisation as an accredited duty lawyer for Domestic Violence and Child Protection.

This timely appointment coincides with SCLS approaching its 40th year of providing essential and free legal service to our local community, with over 80 volunteer legal professionals delivering around 3000 individual advice sessions annually.

Commencing on August 7, Mr Shanahan is excited to be joining a stellar community of passionate staff and volunteer legal professionals, who dedicate their skills and expertise to serve the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
“I am thrilled to be moving to the Sunshine Coast and working for SCLS, who plays such an important role in our community through the provision of support services to a wide range of people in need across the region,” Mr Shanahan said.
“On a personal note, my wife grew up here and we’re both looking forward to raising our two young boys closer to family and friends.”
SCLS would like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank Julian Porter for his outstanding leadership and service as Managing Solicitor over the past fifteen years.

While Mr Porter has commenced a full-time role in the private sector, he will continue to play an active role as a volunteer at the centre.
Mr Porter said he was confident that Mr Shanahan was a great fit for SCLS.
“I am very pleased to hear that SCLS has been able to secure someone of the calibre of John Shanahan to help manage our community service,” Mr Porter said.
“I look forward to personally welcoming him to the team and working alongside him as I continue working at SCLS as a volunteer.’
SCLS thanks the continued and dedicated work of our volunteers and stakeholders, without their support, our work would not be possible.

Fast Facts about John Shanahan

  • John holds a Bachelor of Laws, Queensland University of Technology, and a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Queensland University of Technology.
  • John joins SCLS from the HUB Community Legal Centre in Inala.
  •  John has practiced across a broad range of areas with a particular focus on youth justice and mental health.
  • John has recently run two significant Supreme Court cases examining the rights of individuals on supervision orders under the Dangerous Prisoner (Sexual Offender) Act legislation.
  • John is an accredited duty lawyer for Domestic Violence and Child Protection and has also represented a number of clients in Family Law mediations with Relationships Australia, including with linguistically and culturally diverse community members.
  • In August 2019 John was awarded the Lawrence-Brennan Essay Prize by the Medico-Legal Society of Queensland. This essay was in relation to the legal, practical and ethical implications of self-driving vehicles.
    Fast Facts about Suncoast Community Legal Service

The Suncoast Community Legal Service founded in 1984 celebrates 40 years of service in 2024 serving our community with the purpose to address disadvantage by providing quality legal advice, information and education to the Sunshine Coast community through volunteers and staff.

Suncoast Community Legal Service has recently relocated to Mayfield House, Floor 3, 29 The Esplanade, Maroochydore (PO Box 423).