2021 NSW President's Message
‘…I think of the words of Dr. Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Doing our best now is an active thing, and so is knowing better. We don’t show up and then wait to magically know better.
We show up and then, when we are corrected, we keep working.
We listen hard so we can know better next time. We seek out teachers so we can know better next time.
We let burn our ideas about how good and well-meaning we are so we can become better next time.
Learning to know better is a commitment…the fact that the programmed poison of racism was pumped into us may not be our fault, but getting it out is sure[ly] our responsibility.’
Untamed: Stop pleasing, start living Glennon Doyle.
In 2017, I joined the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA). As a student, I was attracted to the diversity of events that AALA hosted and was delighted to find so much in common with so many people. In the NSW Branch of AALA, I found people who profoundly held dear to their hearts the history of their peoples and community; people who I could share jokes with about our parent’s odd traditions and quirks of being first/second generation Australians; and, most importantly, people who were equally perplexed and angry at the system of law and justice we have inherited.
In 2019, I was elected by my peers to serve as the Secretary to the NSW Committee with Wai-Kaey Soon as President.
Collectively, our Committee was dedicated to three key objectives. The first of the 2019 objectives was to increase our student membership. Fellow Committee member and now National Secretary Matthew Floro, launched the National University Subcommittee and I sat as the NSW Representative to this Subcommittee, tailoring our events and marketing to students. The second and third objectives were to increase our member engagement and rejuvenate our connections with our corporate sponsors. These objectives were surely achieved with the NSW Committee's launch of the inaugural Diversity Series. A six-part series, each hosted by a key corporate sponsor, exploring, targeting and discussing different aspects of "diversity and inclusion." These events were used as a mentorship opportunity to train and nurture our Committee members, encouraging leadership and creativity.
The Committee’s success in 2019 formed a strong platform for our outreach in 2020…until COVID came and then our game plan for the Year of the Pandemic quickly changed and adapted. Although 2020 may have thrown AALA off our usual game plan, it launched us on a trajectory back to what we do best: supporting our Members. We held more virtual events, connected more people and welcomed many new faces to the Committee for 2021 and it is with this energy that the NSW Committee welcomes you.
I introduce to you the NSW Committee of 2021:
This year, we invite you to engage with our NSW Committee by joining one or all of our NSW Subcommittees:
- Student Subcommittee
Is the perfect Subcommittee if you are a student and would like to get to know AALA and/or host collaborative events between your university society and AALA. This Subcommittee also encourages practitioners who would like to ‘give back’ and engage with students on a more direct level to join as a liaison between practitioners and students, mentors or guest speakers.
- Foreign Qualified Lawyers Subcommittee
This Subcommittee is well suited for practitioners and students who have studied overseas and/or are foreign qualified. This Subcommittee was launched by NSW Branch Members, Kripi Bhatt and Gillian Woon who are both foreign qualified lawyers and are passionate about easing the transition into the Australian legal profession.
- Policy and Data Subcommittee
This is the newest Subcommittee of the NSW Branch and welcomes those who wish to contribute to the research and collection of data to build a more informed picture of the legal profession. The objective of this Subcommittee is to strengthen the standing of AALA as a leading advocate for diversity and change in the legal profession.
To join any of the above NSW Subcommittees, you must be a current AALA Member. Joining a subcommittee is a great way to get to know AALA and the NSW Committee and can prepare you to join the NSW Committee as a formal Branch Member.
An invite to collaborate with the NSW Committee:
Are you a leader in your organisation? Do you have a story to share? Do you have a skill-set or the passion to teach and build a stronger legal community? There are two ways you can collaborate with AALA and the NSW Committee this year:
- HOST a March Madness Event: Each year, the NSW Committee host a series of CPD events from 1 – 31 March 2021. We are asking for Members to host a virtual CPD Event, on any applicable topic. You can choose a personal passion topic or specialisation and use this as an opportunity to build your confidence and networks. The March Madness Events are open to the public to attend. Submit your EOI to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 January 2021.
- PARTNER with us for a Diversity Series Event: Following on the success of the inaugural 2019 Diversity Series, the NSW Committee is inviting practitioners, firms and organisations to join as event partners in hosting an event that has a specific focus on any aspect of intersectional diversity. The objective of these events is to unite the community and give the audience an opportunity to listen, share and learn. Submit your EOI to email@example.com by 26 February 2021.
As the first female President of the NSW Branch, I am honoured to have been elected by my peers and colleagues to lead the NSW Branch into the new year. Passionate about intersectional diversity, this year my personal goal is to do better. I have this same goal for AALA and the Members I serve. The NSW Committee has a goal to do better in servicing our Members and our wider community. We know we cannot do it alone and by showing up more and having more conversations, we can learn more. I ask you to reflect and define what your better is and join us as we do better, together.
Individual and corporate memberships are available. SIGN UP today as an official Member of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association and join us as we forge a vision for a more united, just and representative legal profession.
"The NSW Committee has a goal to do better in servicing our Members and our wider community. We know we cannot do it alone and by showing up more and having more conversations, we can learn more. I ask you to reflect and define what your better is and join us as we do better, together."
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