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  • 05 Nov 2020 11:22 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    A new branch of Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) was established in South Australia on 1 October 2020. With its recent establishment, AALA now has branches in SA, ACT (also established on 1 October), WA, Victoria, Qld and NSW, cementing its place as a national organisation. 

    Jessica Teoh, a Director at Laity Morrow, is President, and Brian Vuong, a Director at Kain Lawyers, is Secretary, of the inaugural SA Branch.

    AALA welcomes our new SA branch! 

    For further information read full article from The Bulletin - Law Society of South Australia "Asian Australian Lawyers Association establishes new branch" 

  • 05 Nov 2020 11:08 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Header Image

    AALA Vice President Molina Asthana has been announced as a finalist in the Women in Law Awards 2020 as Thought Leader of the Year. As a finalist, she has been recognised among Australia’s top female legal professionals. Congratulations to Molina on this much-deserved honour.

    To see all 2020 Finalists

    Winners announced at the awards ceremenony on 10 December, 2020. For more information is here.

  • 04 Nov 2020 11:35 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Dear Member


    Further to our previous e-mail, please find below in image format (for better readability on mobile devices) the dates of the AALA National AGM and State and Territory Branch Meetings, along with the last date you can renew your membership or join AALA to be eligible to vote at the National AGM and your relevant Branch Meeting:

    If your AALA membership has lapsed and you would like to renew your membership, please renew online now through our website by logging in using the button at the top right of the web page. You can check whether your AALA membership is current via this method as well.

    If you would like to join AALA as a new member, please visit here and sign up now.

    We will send a formal Notice of National AGM and formal Notice of your relevant Branch Meeting in due course.

    Kind regards

    Matt Floro

    AALA National Secretary

    on behalf of the AALA National Executive Committee

  • 27 Oct 2020 9:22 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    LIV election and AALA representation - Molina Asthana and Zubair Mian

    Molina Asthana, our AALA National Vice President is nominated for the role of Vice President of the Law Institute of Victoria. She has been on Council for 4 years and on various committees for 5 years before that. Molina chairs the Sexual Harassment Taskforce at the LIV, contributes regularly on policy submissions and is a regular contributor to the LIV Journal. She has extensive governance experience on various boards including the Graduate House of the University of Melbourne, AFL South East Commission, Gymnastics Victoria and Good Shepherd AUSNZ and is a member of the Football Federation of Victoria Tribunal. Her advocacy work has won many awards and is occasionally reported in media. To read further, go to: http://www.aala.org.au/resources/LIV%20election%20statement.%20pdf.pdf

    If you are a LIV member, please support Molina by filling out the proxy form you would have received with the notice of AGM and is available on https://www.liv.asn.au/About/Council-Governance/AGM-Notice.aspx. You can vote for her under item 5 of the proxy form.

    Our National Executive member Zubair Mian is also running for Council. He is a long standing practitioner and founding member of AALA and Vice President till 2017. His past and present positions held include President, Eastern Solicitors Law Association since 2012, LIV Executive Council, LIV Committees including Bail review, Diversity, Access to Justice, LIV Awards, Membership and various others, registered Mentor LIV & AALA and LIV Council Liaison NSLA & MPLA. You would have received the notice of elections and you can vote accordingly.

  • 17 Oct 2020 11:55 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    'Take a seat at the back': Lawyers, judge hit out at racism in the law

    by Tammy Mills, The Age, 15 October, 2020

    "Are you the defendant or are you the witness?" Sam Pandya is neither. He's the president of the Law Institute of Victoria, the state's top legal society. But it's a question he's been asked in court more than once...

    Along with a Victorian judge, he has taken the unusual step of speaking out as new figures show the profession has a cultural diversity problem. In information collated in Victoria for the first time by the Legal Services Board at the request of the institute, lawyers renewing their practising certificates have been asked about their cultural background. Of the 17,000 lawyers who responded (70 per cent of registered practitioners), about 80 per cent said they were from an "Australian" or Anglo-Celtic background, 5 per cent were Chinese, 3 per cent were Indian and fewer than 1 per cent said they were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. The lack of diversity is a known issue in the sector. A poll last year of 11 of the big commercial firms found while 25 per cent of law graduates and non-partners had an Asian background, only 8 per cent of partners were Asian.

    Read more

  • 14 Oct 2020 12:13 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Race discrimination commissioner warns Australian partner visa changes could ‘segregate’ marriages

    by Naveen Razik, SBS News

    Commissioner Chin Tan said the government decision to add an English language requirement for partner visas had led to 'justifiable concern' among the community. 

    Australia's race discrimination commissioner has urged the federal government to consult with key community stakeholders on a new English language requirement for partner visas, warning it could serve to "segregate" migrant couples.

    Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan on Tuesday said the inclusion of the requirement in last week's federal budget came as a surprise to those leaders in the multicultural sector.

    The peak body for migration agents in Australia, the Migration Institute of Australia, has also told SBS News it received no prior warning.

    Read more:

  • 13 Oct 2020 11:02 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Backlash against English language test for partner visa

    By Tony Zhang; Lawyers Weekly, 12 October 2020 

    The new English language test requirement for partner visas has caused backlash across communities and couples overseas, along with some policy shifts for migration agents and law space.

    Foreigners who fall in love with Australians would have to complete 500 hours of English classes before they are allowed to stay in the country permanently.

    Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge revealed new details of the English language requirement, announced in Tuesday’s federal budget, for people applying for partner visas.

    The test also applies to an applicant’s spouse, if they are a permanent resident rather than an Australian citizen.

  • 11 Oct 2020 8:56 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Statement from Asian Australian Lawyers’ Association National Executive - English language test

    The AALA National Executive is concerned about the recent announcement in the Federal Budget introducing an English language test for individuals seeking a partner visa as well as their sponsors, if they are permanent residents rather than Australian citizens.

    AALA is concerned that this test may have a discriminatory effect on particular groups of immigrants more than others. It may also impinge on a person's fundamental human right to marry their partner of choice. AALA calls on the government to provide further consultation with multicultural communities on the proposal prior to the planned introduction of this requirement in late 2021.

    AALA asks if there is any evidence that the proposal will help support English language acquisition and enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes. Otherwise, AALA is concerned that the proposal may lead to further division.

    Further reading: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/english-language-requirement-for-australian-partner-visa-applicants-to-begin-late-2021

    Media contact:

    Molina Asthana, mailto:vicepresident@aala.org.au 0400785299

  • 07 Oct 2020 11:36 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)


    Dear Member

    Thank you very much for attending or supporting the inaugural National Cultural Diversity Summit on Saturday 3 October.

    With your support, the event was a great success. Over 300 people Zoomed into the Summit. We reached over 1,500 people via our Facebook livestream.

    The Summit was AALA's largest event ever.

    Over three and a half hours, we heard from eminent speakers and entertaining performers. We challenged misconceptions, discussed policy and advocacy, and developed ideas for change.

    And we united to share AALA's vision of promoting cultural diversity in the legal profession and beyond.

    We thank our Sponsors, The College of Law, Baker McKenzie and TIMG, for their generous support.

    We are grateful to our Industry Partners, Australian Bar Association, Queensland Law Society, Bar Association of Queensland, Victorian Bar, and The Law Society of South Australia, for their wonderful partnership.

    Soon, we will share with you videos of the Summit via our AALA YouTube channel. In the meantime, we kindly ask for your feedback on the Summit so that we can build on the experience for next year.

    Many of you will have attended the terrific cooking break presented by Dr Moni Lai Storz (of the Singing Wok Restaurant) during the Summit. Moni has kindly agreed to share her delicious recipe for Hokkien Mee, which she demonstrated at the Summit.

    Join AALA or renew your membership, attend our events, participate in our Mentoring Program.

    Let's be the change we want to see.

    Kingsley Liu, AALA National President

    Molina Asthana, AALA National Vice President

    Anand Shah, AALA National Summit Convenor and AALA Queensland President

  • 07 Oct 2020 11:28 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    AALA National Digital Events Series - Career Workshop Series - Interview Skills

    As part of the AALA's National Digital Events Series, the AALA invites you to attend the second session in its Career Workshop Series, on the topic of interview skills.

    The Career Workshop Series is an initiative specifically targeted at law students and graduates from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. It is intended to equip them with tangible career-oriented skills and knowledge, in order to help them overcome the additional obstacles faced in the job-hunting process associated with being from CALD backgrounds, and indeed, leverage their cultural backgrounds as a source of competitive advantage.

    This session will take the form of an informal fireside chat with senior legal practitioners who have been decision-makers in recruitment processes at corporate and commercial firms, including:

    • Gillian Woon, Special Counsel at Baker McKenzie;
    • Natasha Toholka, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright; and
    • Tuanh Nguyen, Director (Legal) at PwC.

    The topics intended to be explored include:

    • preparing for interviews;
    • responding to questions; and
    • building rapport and establishing cultural fit.

    There will be a 1 hour panel discussion, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.

    Zoom dial-in details will be provided in the confirmation email following registration.

    Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a mock interview after the session.

    To register 

    If you have any queries, please contact Kelvin Ng at:students@aala.org.au





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