Staff

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SALCO’s staff is comprised of a dedicated group of activists, lawyers, community legal works, and support staff. They bring tremendous experience from many parts of the South Asian Diaspora and are passionate advocates for the issues that face our low-income South Asian constituency.

Executive Director/Lawyer
(416) 487-6371 ext. 40

Shalini Konanur is the Executive Director and a lawyer at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). As a student at Osgoode Hall Law School Shalini worked at both Parkdale Community Legal Services and C.L.A.S.P. in the worker’s rights division. Shalini has been actively involved in several areas of poverty law reform, including lobbying at the municipal, provincial, and federal level for social assistance, housing, immigration, employment, and family violence reform. Shalini has also spearheaded SALCO`s test case work, challenging issues of racial, gender, and religious discrimination at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the and the Federal Court. Shalini’s work focuses on the promotion of access to justice for racialized communities in Canada and on addressing poverty for SALCO’s low-income constituency.

Khadeeja Ahsan
Staff Lawyer- Currently on Maternity leave till June 2020
(416) 487-6371

Khadeeja Ahsan has been involved with access to justice work since she was an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. She is a Staff Lawyer at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario since 2013, representing low-income people across the GTA in matters involving immigration, income support and public interest matters. She is committed to educating the public on issues of social justice, including equality and access to services specifically in immigrant and marginalized groups of people. Khadeeja is one of the founders of “Outburst! Young Muslim Women Project” coordinated through the Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic; a board member of METRAC since June 2012, where she serves as Secretary and chairs the Communications committee; and a general board member of the Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) since 2014.

Vanathy Wimaleswarans
Office Administrator
(416) 487-6371 ext. 45

Vanathy Wimaleswarans has been an employee of the Legal Aid sector for over 17 years. A graduate from Ryerson University, Vanathy has always had a passion to work in the administrative sector. She has been working in the capacity of an Office Administrator at SALCO since it’s inception in 2008. She brings her quick wit, efficiency and amazing organizational skills to SALCO and is the glue that keeps SALCO running smoothly. Her positive attitude and cheerful disposition enable individuals to feel at ease and welcome.

Aruna Boodram

Community Legal Worker/Paralegal
(416) 487-6371 ext. 44

Aruna Boodram has been with SALCO since 2013 and is a licensed Paralegal and Community Legal Worker. After completing an Honours Degree from Queen’s University, she continued her education at Seneca College in the Paralegal Studies program, where she graduated with honours. She has been a community organizer for the past 12 years in Toronto and Kingston and has worked with a plethora of communities on various social justice issues. In addition to her legal work, she is an independent consultant and facilitator that specializes in anti-oppression, facilitation training and strategic planning sessions for non-profits and grassroots organizations.


Sukhpreet Sangha

Staff Lawyer
(416) 487-6371 ext. 43

Sukhpreet Sangha holds a joint honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Drama from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School, of York University. Prior to joining SALCO as a Staff Lawyer, Sukhpreet practiced as a criminal defence lawyer and argued matters before all levels of court in Ontario. She is passionate about access to justice and providing fierce representation to marginalized communities. Sukhpreet is equally passionate about art and remains active as a theatre practitioner. She offers services to clients in Punjabi and English.

Piratheeca Vimalarajah 
Articling Student
(416) 487-6371 ext. 48

Piratheeca Vimalarajah holds a Juris Doctor (Common Law) from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She has contributed to advocacy for the rights of women, refugees and internally displaced persons in conflict-affected regions within and beyond Canada, including through the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration, Just Governance Group (JGG) and Community Legal Services of Ottawa. Piratheeca is  a published author for The Philippe Kirsch Institute Global Justice Journal at the Canadian Centre for International Justice for which she provided an insightful analysis on protracted displacement and the militarization of Tamil lands in Sri Lanka under the lens of persecution and forcible displacement as crimes against humanity. Piratheeca is passionate about representing marginalized communities and people’s liberation work for Eelam Tamils. Her interests extend to the arts as she is a certified Carnatic music teacher from Annamalai University and mentoring racialized women pursuing legal education. Piratheeca offers services to clients in Tamil and English.

Silmy Abudullah
Staff Lawyer
(416) 487-6371 ext. 41

Silmy Abdullah was called to the Ontario bar in 2013. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Ottawa and a Masters degree in Sociology and Equity Studies from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining SALCO, Silmy was a staff lawyer at an organization that works to end violence against women, where she focused on public legal education, research and law reform. Silmy is also a passionate fiction writer. She is currently working on a collection of shorts stories and is represented by the Transatlantic Agency. In 2016, she completed a six month mentorship with Canadian author, Lawrence Hill under Toronto’s Diaspora Dialogues program for emerging writers. At SALCO, Silmy practices primarily in the areas of Immigration and Poverty law and provides services to clients in Bangla, Hindi, Urdu and English.

Fareeha Aziz

Community Legal Worker

416-487-6371 ext 47

 

Fareeha has over ten years of experience working in the areas of social justice, law reform and transitional justice issues. She brings her years of experience working with the South Asian community including in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Thailand. Fareeha has conducted many training programs and been part of several research and publications in the areas of human rights, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. She holds a Masters in Law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Prior to joining SALCO Fareeha worked at CASSA to develop a Legal Toolkit: A Guidebook on Transitional Issues for Refugee Youth. She is a Mediation Coach and an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioner. She offers services to clients in Tamil, Sinhala, and English.

Iqra Rafique

Staff Lawyer

416-487-6371 ext 42

Iqra Rafique was called to the bar in June 2018. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York University, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School.  In law school, Iqra worked as a Division Leader at the Community and Legal Aid Services Program, where she assisted clients with income security matters, tenancy disputes, and applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Iqra also worked at a non-profit organization focused on ending violence against women and youth as well as at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. After law school, Iqra articled at the legal branch of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, where she gained experience in civil and estates litigation, family law, and guardianship and power of attorney matters. At SALCO, Iqra practices primarily in the areas of immigration and income security law and provides services to clients in Urdu and English.