Page 3857 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022
As the nation’s capital and the most educated city in Australia, Canberra is privileged to be home to a large number of legal professionals. As with any professional group, there are members’ associations and awards nights. I am going to speak about two of those gatherings and one pending.
It was a pleasure to join the Law Society annual dinner and awards night earlier this month. I would like to pass on my congratulations to the various award winners: the Government Law Award winner, Mr Patrick Hornby of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau; the ACT New Lawyer of the Year Award winner, Ms Liana Tomassini of the United Workers Union; the Pro Bono Service Award winner, Pierre Johannessen of Johannessen Legal, with special commendations to Chloe Curran of Hijazi Curran Cameron Lawyers; the ACT Firm of the Year winner, Griffin Legal; and the winner of the final award of the night, the President’s Medal, Claudia Maclean of the Women’s Legal Centre.
It is always a delight to catch up with my fellow members and colleagues in the Asian Australian Lawyers Association. By and large, they are young professionals really seeking to put their mark on the profession and to advance the diversity that they bring to our legal community. A coffee catch-up with them was also earlier this month.
I want to congratulate Nelson & Hill and Adero on their successful amalgamation, Adero Law opening up its new office in Hobart Place just a couple of weeks ago. It was also good to join the celebration with Synergy Law, on their first anniversary of operation.
The other significant awards event I attended just last Friday was the National Golden Gavel and Australian Young Lawyer Awards at the Hyatt Hotel. For those who are not familiar with the term, the Golden Gavel competition is a humorous presentation by a young lawyer, given short notice, of a topic that is meant to entertain and stimulate. I make special mention of the presentation by the ACT’s representative, Daniella Fiocco. But the winner, from Victoria, was Michaela Kennedy. The People’s Choice Award went to Emma Wei from New South Wales.
Tomorrow I look forward to attending the ceremonial swearing in of Justice Belinda Barker at the ACT Supreme Court. I look forward to joining the legal professionals and justices at that time.
Also, tomorrow night, the Law Council of Australia is holding its gala dinner and presentations of the President’s Awards for Excellence in the Australian Legal Profession. In addition to that, I am keen to engage with leading stakeholders. Some of these conversations I publish; some of them I keep confidential. Of the ones that I have published recently through my social media, it was good to talk with the Women’s Legal Centre ACT and the Domestic Violence Crisis Centre ACT about resourcing and pursuing policies that are important to them, and seeing how much we can get on board with their very worthy agendas.
The Canberra Liberals believe in the importance of a thriving legal profession in the ACT. A strong legal sector ensures a strong society and, indeed, a just one. I am