The peak body representing women lawyers in NSW for the advancement of women in the legal profession.

Women Lawyers Association of NSW

07 April 2005    

Dear Members & Colleagues

President's Message

I had the opportunity to hear Justice Marilyn Warren, Chief Justice of Victoria, speak about Equality of Opportunity in the Law at the recent LAWASIA conference in Queensland. A central theme to emerge from her speech was that the exclusivity of the legal profession which by natural progression ensures the judiciary is largely unrepresentative of society can impede access to justice and threaten confidence in the judiciary. Creating opportunities in the legal profession for women and other groups such as those from indigenous backgrounds is not just about promoting those people but is a societal issue. When her Honour's speech is available we will endeavour to post it to our web-site. It is therefore fitting that Women Lawyer's congratulates Judge Megan Latham on her appointment to the NSW Supreme Court.

Louise Byrne

12 April 2005, Tuesday 12.30 pm "The Case for Flexibility - A Guide for Implementing a Flexible Workplace "

The launch of the Society's workplace flexibilty report will be held at the Law Society on Tuesday, 12 April 2005 at 12.30pm; no charge; light lunch provided; bookings essential - RSVP by 8 April direct to Melanie Domingo or 9926 0354.
Full details and your invitation is at:

13 April 2005, Wednesday 5.30 pm "Indigenous Barristers' Strategic Working Party" Fundraiser Cocktail Party at Sky Phoenix Restaurant, Sky Garden, Level 3, 77 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. $85 per person

Hear Noel Pearson speak about current Indigenous issues and support the NSW Bar Association’s Indigenous Barristers Trust which aims to increase the number of female and male Indigenous law students and lawyers in NSW.

Click here for details and registration:

or, contact Chris Ronalds SC:

28 April 2005, Thursday 5.30pm CLE Seminar "International Law" at the NSW Bar Association Common Room

Speakers: Nicole Abadee and Dr. Sarah Pritchard. Chair: Her Honour Justice Margaret Beazley. WLANSW Members $33; Non-Members $44 includes refreshments; bookings essential to
Further details will be posted to our Events schedule on our website shortly.

LAW WEEK 15-21 MAY 2005

18 May 2005, Wednesday 5.30pm
"Law as a Career: Raising the Bar" at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, Lecture Theatre 9, Level 2, 173-175 Phillip Street, Sydney. Speakers Panel: Jane Needham SC, Phillipa Gormly and Tiffany Wong. Chair: Michael Slattery QC. On conclusion of our presentation we will view a brief video produced by the Women Barristers' Association in VIC "Raising the Bar" - an entertaining and inspirational look at life at the bar from a woman's perspective through personal interviews with junior members of the bar, to senior silks and experienced judges. No charge; light refreshments; bookings essential to:

19 May 2005, Thursday 5.30pm
CLE Seminar "Mental Health Issues & The Law" - a growing concern and specialisation within the legal profession. Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street Sydney. Speakers: Tania Evers, Barrister; Michael Guiffrida, Forensic Psychiatrist. Chair: Her Honour Judge Robyn Tupman. WLANSW Members $33; Non-Members $44 includes wines by Tower Estate and refreshments. Bookings essential to
Further details will be posted to our Events schedule on our website shortly.

In Other News

Federal Government Inquiry into Balancing Work and Family
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services has invited WLANSW to make a submission to the federal government's inquiry into Balancing Work and Family. This inquiry will examine work and family balance as it relates to Australia’s current fertility rate, which at 1.7 births per couple is below replacement level for the population. We encourage members to forward any relevant comments or information to the Committee at: by Tuesday 12 April 2005. For terms of reference and further information:

Senate Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment (Trafficking in Persons Offences) Bill 2004 [2005]
On Wednesday 23 February, the Senate Legal and Constitution Committee held a hearing into the Federal Criminal Code Amendment (Trafficking in Persons Offences) Bill 2004 [2005]. Australian Women Lawyers had endorsed submissions made to the inquiry by World Vision Australia, which advocated for a more comprehensive scheme of offences targeting instances of child trafficking. Further information, copies of World Vision's submissions and the additional material submitted to the Senate Committee post-hearing are now available on the new Policy and Law Reform page of the website:

Inquiry into the Cornelia Rau Incident
As follow up to WLANSW's press release on the detention of Cornelia Rau, the Committee has drafted a letter to Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, and made a submission to the Inquiry into the Cornelia Rau Incident conducted by Mick Palmer, former federal police commissioner. In the letter and submission, WLANSW called for the Inquiry to be conducted as an open inquiry and for broader terms of reference to be given. Recommendations were also given for reforming the mandatory detention requirements under s189 of the Migration Act. The Committee thanks: the Lawyers' Reform Association of New South Wales; Barbara Rogalla, RMIT PHD Scholar; and Partick Bryant, Human Rights Barrister, for their support.

Download Cornelia Rau Inquiry submission (PDF 89Kb)

Events and News:
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For more information contact us
Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales Inc.
DX11563 Sydney Downtown/ 14A Lonsdale Close, Lake Haven NSW 2263
Ph: (02) 4392 1185 Fax: (02) 4392 9410
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