On 31 May 2017 the AALA Victorian Branch in conjunction with Monash University Law Chambers held an event to celebrate the launch of the Victorian Branch, the appointment of his Honour Magistrate Raj Malhotra and the recent awarding of the Medal of the Order to William Lye OAM, an AALA founding member and our current National Vice President.
Tuanh Nguyen, our National President introduced the members of the Victorian Committee. They are: Zubair Mian (President), Kerry Truong (Secretary), John Arthur, Kylie Chow, Angela Lee, Ian Nathaniel, Daniel Nguyen, Jenny Si and Jing Zhu. Tuanh noted that we have came a long way since our inception in 2014, with the total amount of members expanding to 650 in total.
Magistrate Malhotra spoke of his life journey, growing up in a migrant family of Indian origin in suburban Perth leading to him being an advocate and finally, as a member of the judiciary.
His Honour noted that his path was not without struggle: it had not always been easy to fit in at school as the only person of Indian origin. He described with humour that he often transitioned between different groups of students and could at different points be friends with the cool kids, smart kids, athletic kids, musical kids, South-East Asian kids and others.
He said that his parents strongly believed in higher education being key to a successful career and this was part of why he chose to study law.
Magistrate Malhotra graduated from the University of Western Australia and commenced practice in 1997. He worked in a small law firm following graduation and it was through this experience that he discovered his love for advocacy.
Prior to joining the bench, he had held various positions including Crown Prosecutor for the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions in Western Australia, a Senior Prosecutor at the Environment Agency in the UK, Manager of Prosecutions and Investigations at the Department of Transport in Victoria, Managing Principal Solicitor and Special Counsel at the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, General Counsel and Director of Regulatory Services for the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. Prior to his appointment he was a fulltime member of the Adult Parole Board.
His Honour shared three essential tips to having a successful career: be resilient and persevere, be an active participant in networking, and participate in mentorship.
Dr Weiping He as representative for Monash University Law Chambers gave thanks to the AALA for our collaboration and to Magistrate Malhotra as guest speaker. She conveyed the University’s admiration and support for the AALA’s efforts in promoting cultural diversity in the legal profession, and welcomed future collaboration between Monash University and AALA.