After two years at the helm, Juliet Behrens decided not to stand for President for a third year and I have stepped into the role. Juliet has obviously left some very large shoes to fill but in doing so has also set a fine example to which I can aspire.
In her time as President, Juliet has taken WLA ACT from strength to strength including a huge increase in membership, numerous successful networking and mentoring events, and the formulation of a range of critical policy initiatives that have characterised WLA ACT’s practical and meaningful response to the NARS report. Thank you to Juliet and I am grateful that she will continue to be involved as our representative on the board of Australian Women Lawyers and as a member of our policy subcommittee.
Perhaps now more than any other time I feel an affinity with the objectives of our association to ‘Connect. Support. Engage’.
As I grapple with the challenges of working in a law firm, being a mother, teaching law and (I like to imagine!) having other interests, I realise the true value of these objectives. Without them, the challenges risk being too much to bear; with them, the challenges become surmountable and worth the effort.
It is an honour to take on the Presidency of WLA ACT and I do so with heartfelt commitment.
Tamara Sullivan, our former treasurer, has stepped into the role of Vice President and provides much appreciated assistance to me in overseeing the efforts of the association and fostering stakeholder relationships. Tamara has been a committee member for some years now and I am fortunate to have her experienced support.
I would also like to thank the former Vice President, Christina McPherson, for her tireless efforts over the past two years, particularly as Chair of the Events sub-committee responsible for organising so many fabulous events. We wish her the very best for her upcoming maternity leave.
Tiffany Long continues in the role of Secretary. We are fortunate to have her reliable hands to facilitate the smooth and efficient administration of the association and our compliance with legal requirements. The AGM ran seamlessly and efficiently thanks to Tiffany’s planning and execution.
Emma Lawrence is our new treasurer and also a new member to the committee. Emma has recently returned from many years’ practice in London with her lovely children in tow. I am delighted that Emma has taken on the treasurer’s role and will no doubt sustain the excellent financial records of the association.
I thank Tamara for her meticulous efforts as former treasurer and for ensuring that we passed our last audit report with flying colours!
As general committee members, it is wonderful to have the continued service of Georgina McKay, Georgina Gordon, Sarah Spottiswood and Kim Back. A big welcome to our two new committee members - Angela Li and Phillipa Spence – who bring fresh enthusiasm and perspectives to the committee.
Angela has also stepped in to fill Christina’s shoes as Chair of the events subcommittee so will have plenty to keep her busy this year!
Thanks to our outgoing committee members – Jacquelyn Curtis and Anne Louise Pham – for their valuable efforts on the committee.
Of course, supporting the committee are our sub-committees and these would not be possible without the generosity of members who are willing to participate on these: Juliet Behrens, Jacquelyn Curtis, Desiree Thistlewaite, Eleanor Hobba, Allison Clark, Christina McPherson, Christie Gardiner and Kelsey Davis.
If you are interested in becoming involved with any of our subcommittees, we would love to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I conclude the introductions with a big thank you to all the former, continuing and new members of the committee and sub-committees, for your willingness to volunteer your time to this important association and its objectives.
WLA ACT President