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  • 10 May 2018 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Expert Evidence in Australia and Japan

    Co-hosted by the Asian Law Centre and the Asian Australian Lawyers Association Inc.

    Date: Monday 4 June 2018
    Time:5.30pm - 7.00pm
    Venue: Room 920, Level 9, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton, 3053
    Registration here

    All welcome. Please forward this information to those who may be interested.

    Complex cases often require expert knowledge to achieve appropriate resolution in the eyes of the parties and society. But it is challenging for judges who don't have specific expertise or experience in the relevant field to decide those cases. For ordinary civil cases requiring expertise,parties in Australia bring experts to the court and the cases are resolved by examining their opinions. On the other hand,in Japan, the courts appoint experts and solve those cases based on their opinions. This seminar will focus on how ordinary civil cases which need expertise are resolved in Japan and highlight the differences in ways of thinking of solutions for these cases between Australia and Japan


    Yuri Takemura is a Judge in the Yokohama District Court in Japan. She received the degree of Bachelor of Laws from the Faculty of Law, Osaka University in 2009, and the degree of Juris Doctor from the Osaka University Law School in 2012. She passed the National Bar Examination in 2012 and completed a year-longcourse of practical legal training as a legal apprentice in 2013. She was appointed a Judge in 2014 and dealt with civil cases at the Yokohama District Court from 2014 to 2017. She is a visiting scholar at the Melbourne Law School under the Overseas Training Programme of the Supreme Court of Japan (June 2017 – June 2018). This programme provides judges with an opportunity to gain insights on the administration of justice through comprehensive research on foreign jurisdictions.

  • 09 May 2018 6:05 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    Invitation to the inaugural Asian Australian Foundation Oration dinner (www.aafoundation.org.au) on Tuesday 5 June 2018 at 6.30pm at the Pavilion room at the Victorian Arts Centre

    The Asian Australian Foundation (AAF) was founded in 2015 and is a philanthropic community foundation that connects Asian Australians bringing together their resources and knowledge for public good, to shape a dynamic Asian philanthropic presence in Australia. 

    AAF’s mission is to enable and promote collective giving in the Asian Australian community in order to “Give Voice and Inspire Change” on issues that matter by building bridges across community. 

    Past grants made by the AAF include:

    • Enable provision of ten scholarships to bright young students in the Western suburbs (many of whom are of Asian heritage) facing difficult and disadvantaged circumstances. This support has enabled and given each of the recipients hope for their future in education and employment through our partnership with Western Chances. (www.westernchances.org.au)
    • Help address addiction and mental health through support and funding to Firststep (www.firstep.org.au) for a Case Management and Wellbeing Program
    • Enable Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic - www.arcvic.org.au) to provide specific workshops targeting the Asian Australian community that aim to provide an avenue for people to learn more about mental health and anxiety disorders in a supportive and safe environment and overcome the stigma associated with mental health. Such workshops also seek to work with parents to assist them identify anxiety in children and the support available
    • Spearhead a project to raise awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression amongst the Asian Australian community through our partnership and support of PANDA - Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (www.panda.org.au) which supports women, men and families across Australia to recover from post and antenatal depression and anxiety, a serious illness that affects around 100,000 Australian families every year

    This year, the AAF is launching the Asian Australian Foundation Oration dinner. The Oration will showcase and celebrate the contribution and impact of significant leaders of Asian heritage to Australia, communities and the world. 

    The Asian Australian Foundation Oration will be delivered by Dr. Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner.

    The topic will be: “ The challenges for diversity in an environment of increasing populism. Where does Australia sit in this spectrum and how should Asian Australians show leadership in embracing such challenges.”

    The dinner will also be an opportunity for networking, and to witness the awarding of grants to organisations that the AAF is supporting and has supported.


    It will be a meaningful and inspirational night on Tuesday 5 June 2018 at 6.30pm at the Pavilion room at the Victorian Arts Centre. 

    The Asian Australian Lawyers Association is putting together a table for the dinner.  If you would like to attend, please contact Ms Tuanh Nguyen at tuanh.nguyen.aala@gmail.com to register your interest.

     Details and bookings can also be made directly by 10 May 2018 if you wish to book your own table at:


  • 26 Apr 2018 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    AALA encourages its members to register for the HKABA Young Professionals Event on 2nd May 2018. 

    For more information, please see click here. Registrations to Gary Cheung at garcheung1080@gmail.com

  • 12 Apr 2018 2:20 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)
    The Victorian Bar has released "The State of the Victorian Bar" survey, which includes diversity statistics for the Victorian Bar.

    In particular, the statistics reveal 15% of surveyed members were born overseas, 37% had at least one parent born overseas, and 9% spoke a language other than English at home. The most common of those languages were Greek, Italian, French, German and Hebrew. 

    To read the survey reports, please click here.

    Further, the Australian Human Rights Commission has recently released its updated report "Leading for Change", which follows its previous report released in 2016. 

    The report finds, for instance, that only 1.6% of Chief Executives in Australia have an Asian cultural background, compared to 21% of the Australian population that has an Asian cultural background.

    The report includes statistics from the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (at pages 16-17, 20 and 28).

    To read the report, please click here.

  • 12 Apr 2018 2:05 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    The New York Times has recently published an article on the lack of cultural diversity in Australian Parliament.

    To read the article, please click the link below:


  • 19 Feb 2018 6:04 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)
    The Dual Identity Leadership Program is as an initiative of the Vietnamese Community in Australia - Victorian Chapter, funded by the Victorian Government, and aims to support young Vietnamese and other Asian Australians between 18-35 years old who are interested in understanding their dual heritage, enabling their leadership, and making a difference in the community. The program explores a range of themes including leadership styles, self awareness, history, diaspora and identity and belonging.

    For more information and to apply, see https://lnkd.in/feAMcMe

  • 19 Jan 2018 9:03 AM | Sining Wang (Administrator)
    The AALA would like to congratulate member Arvind Dixit on his recent promotion to Partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth. According to research conducted by the AALA in 2015, Asian Australians accounted for only 3.1% of partners in Australian law firms.

    The AALA also wishes to congratulate member Tim Wong and his team at Luxottica for being nominated as finalists for the Lawyers Weekly FMCG Lawyer of the Year and FMCG Team of the Year awards respectively. More details about the Lawyers Weekly 2018 awards can be found here.

    The AALA further wishes to congratulate Suresh Rajkumar Senathirajah and Minal Vohra on their appointment as Senior Counsel for Victoria late last year. Suresh and Minal join a small but growing number of Asian Australian silks. Research conducted by the AALA in 2015 revealed that, of some 6160 barristers in Australia, only 94 were Asian Australian - and of that 94, only 7 were Senior Counsel.

    In a previous speech by Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner, to the AALA, Dr Soutphommasane noted that "invisibility" of Asian Australians in leadership positions creates cultural assumptions and stereotypes about Asian Australians, which contributes to the issue of unconscious bias. The AALA therefore believes promoting the achievements of Asian Australian lawyers is an important part of promoting cultural diversity in the law. If you know of any Asian Australians that have made notable recent achievements, please let us know at info@aala.org.au.
  • 28 Nov 2017 9:18 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)
    The AALA committee has been contacted by Amy Choi, a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, who is conducting research on culturally diverse leaders in the legal profession.

    Ms Choi is seeking participants in Melbourne to be interviewed for her research. The interviews will be kept confidential, and the identity of the participants and their firms/organisations will be kept anonymous. It is anticipated that the interview will take approximately 1 hour. 

    The participant criteria are as follows:

    - Working in the legal profession

    - 'Emerging leader' such as Senior Associate or Senior Legal Counsel

    - 'Senior leader' such as Partner, Barrister, Judge or Head of Legal Counsel

    - Has an Asian cultural background (this includes Central Asia, such as Indian or Sri Lankan). They can either be a 1st generation migrant or born in Australia (2nd and subsequent generation).

    The AALA would encourage members who meet the criteria to participate in the research. Studies such as this one play an important role in advancing cultural diversity in the profession.

    For more information and to express your interest in participating, please click here.

  • 22 Nov 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    The AALA's inaugural William Ah Ket Scholarship was featured on ABC Radio's AM program.

    The report features comments from:

    • Paul Ah Ket, grandson of William Ah Ket
    • William Lye OAM, barrister and national Vice President, AALA
    • Patrick Ibbotson, Chairman, Maddocks
    • K. Thomas Abraham, winner of the inaugural William Ah Ket Scholarship
    • Jenny Wood, distant relative of William Ah Ket

    Click here to listen to the excerpt.

  • 21 Nov 2017 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    A solicitor in a Victorian government agency is the first winner of the William Ah Ket Scholarship, a $5,000 prize named after the first barrister of Chinese heritage in Australia.

    K. Abraham Thomas has won the scholarship for his paper Affirmative Action in Piercing the Bamboo Ceiling within the Australian Legal Profession.

    Mr. Abraham's paper considers the ‘bamboo ceiling’ in the legal profession and whether affirmative action is an adequate means to alleviate any inequalities, ultimately concluding that it would be preferable to harness ‘The Medici Effect’ (developed by Frans Johansson in his 2006 book of the same name) to ensure diversity of thought.

    Mr. Abraham, who is of Indian heritage, was admitted in 2015 and is ‘passionate about law and its interaction with society’.

    The winner was announced tonight at a ceremony in Melbourne.

    The judging panel for this year’s scholarship was:

    • Michelle Dixon, CEO, Maddocks
    • Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner
    • The Hon. Michael Kirby, AC, CMG, Former Justice of the High Court of Australia
    • The Hon. Chief Justice Wayne Martin, AC, Chair of Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity

    Chief Justice Martin said each of the essays on the shortlist were very interesting.

    ‘Each was very thorough and reflected a great deal of research and thought. In my view, each would have been a worthy winner of the scholarship.’

    The William Ah Ket Scholarship is an initiative by the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) designed to highlight the contribution of William Ah Ket and to encourage debate about issues related to equality, diversity and the law.

    The scholarship is sponsored by Maddocks, the law firm where William completed his articles in 1903.

    William joined the Victorian Bar in 1904, becoming the first Chinese barrister to practise in Melbourne

    AALA vice president William Lye, OAM congratulated Abraham on winning the $5,000 scholarship.

    ‘The quality of entries this year was outstanding, but it was Abraham’s paper that stood out,’ he said.

    ‘This year was the inaugural year for the William Ah Ket Scholarship and our aim is for this to grow into a prestigious legal scholarship.’

    For further information, contact Maddocks Communications Manager Jason Silverii on 03 9258 3509 or at Jason.silverii@maddocks.com.au.






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