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  • 10 Nov 2015 1:04 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    The Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) was formed in 2013 to create greater cultural diversity and understanding within the senior ranks of the legal profession. On 2 November 2015, we welcomed a new chapter with the formal launch of the New South Wales branch held at Baker & McKenzie’s Sydney’s office. Kingsley Liu, solicitor and director of The People’s Solicitors, was appointed President of the NSW branch.

    Over 140 people attended the launch, including the Race Discrimination Commission, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, members of the NSW judiciary, members of Parliament, representatives of NSW law schools, peak bodies such as the NSW Law Society, Law Council of Australia, Diversity Council Australia, NSW Bar Association, law firms, leaders of the business community and diplomatic representatives.

    We were privileged and honoured to have special guest speaker Mr Michael Kirby, former High Court judge who is an outspoken champion of diversity in the legal profession.

    Mr Kirby started by saying that ‘[n]othing happens in this world unless people stand up for themselves.’ He congratulated the AALA for collecting statistics which showed that even though 9.6 per cent of people within the Australian community are of Asian backgrounds, they account for only 3.1 per cent of partners at major firms. The statistics also show that people of Asian backgrounds comprise of only 1.6 per cent of the Bar and 0.8 per cent of the judiciary.

    Mr Kirby acknowledged the importance of this research:

    ‘You only build the future on the basis of the truth of the present. It’s a wonderful thing that these figures are now known and therefore we have to address them and ask “Well, does it matter?” If it matters, “Why has it happened?” And if it’s happened, “What can we do about it?”

    Mr Kirby noted the importance of diversity in the law:

    “Law is not an ordinary profession… Law is about the values that inform what we do, how we do it and outcomes… therefore it’s more important in law to reflect the diversity of values than it is in just about anywhere else because law is about power … And if values affect the exercise of power, it is very, very important that the diversity of values and the experience of backgrounds should be reflected.’

    He made the important point that because the judiciary usually comes from the bar then we will not ‘provide the catching field for the judiciary unless you have more people in the level of partners at legal firms and members of the bar and silks within the bar.’

    Dr Tim Soutphommasane gave the vote of thanks to Mr Kirby and highlighted the good work that the AALA is doing in starting the conversation on cultural diversity in the legal profession.

    We are delighted with the success of the launch and we are excited to work with the NSW branch in undertaking initiatives and activities to further the objectives of the AALA.  


  • 06 Nov 2015 1:00 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    On Monday 2 November 2015 the AALA officially launched its NSW branch.

    Thank you to all who attended and helped make the event a success. Over 140 people attended the launch, including guest speaker the Hon Michael Kirby. 

    Lawyers Weekly recently published an article on the launch. To read more, please click here

  • 02 Nov 2015 9:30 AM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    The Law Institute of Victoria is pleased to announce a closer relationship with the Asian Australian Lawyers Association Inc (AALA), with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. The MOU represents a partnership of mutual interest between the two associations that will provide them both with in-kind support and benefits

    CEO of the Law Institute of Victoria Nerida Wallace said:

    The LIV has a long tradition over its 156 years of fostering emerging associations of lawyers and of people who work in the law.  With the emerging closeness to Asia, this agreement shows a recognition that the practice of law across Australia is moving to meet new and exciting opportunities that engagement with Asia will offer.

    President of the AALA Reynah Tang, said:

    The LIV has long been a leader in promoting the issue of diversity in the legal profession and played an important role in setting up the Asian Australian Lawyers Association at a time when the issue of cultural diversity was not receiving much attention elsewhere in the legal profession.

    This arrangement will formalise the connection between the LIV and the AALA. It will provide us with the resources and moral support that are so important to facilitate vital change in this area. We look forward to the continuing close involvement between our two organisations.

    To view the official media release please click here to visit the LIV's website. 

  • 30 Oct 2015 9:17 AM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    The 'Business Diasporas in Australia: Maximising people to people links with Asia' project forms part of the Securing Australia’s Future (SAF) program, which is led by the Office of the Chief Scientist. The project examines the role of Asian Australians in facilitating links with Asia, particular China and India.

    If you have had experience dealing with those countries (in legal practice or any other business), we would encourage you to complete a survey online about your experience. Your responses will shape recommendations to improve government policy and trade and business practices, with the final report presented to the Office of the Chief Scientist and the Commonwealth Science Council in early 2016.

    This is an important piece of research and consistent with the AALA's position on the need to work with Asian Australians to better engage in Asia.

    You can access the online survey here in English or 中文

    For more information, please click here to visit the website of the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA).

  • 28 Oct 2015 9:20 AM | Sining Wang (Administrator)


    In 2015 Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across all sectors.

    From October 1 2015 the remaining funds of the initiative will provide women in all sectors with grants for leadership development. More specifically, grant applications are open to women all sectors at two levels. Please click on the preferred program link for details.

    1. Senior Management and Executive level Women Leaders can apply for $12,000 Individual Grants to undertake the Advanced Leadership Program.
    2. Women Managers can apply for $4,500 Individual Grants to undertake the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program.

    Expressions of Interest

    To request a Scholarship Grant Application Form or additional information please refer to the Expression of Interest form.  Please note that we need your expression of interest by 30th November.

    Should you wish to discuss the initiative in more detail please contact Ian Johnson at the office of the National Industry Scholarship Program, Australian School of Applied Management on 03 9270 9016 or via ijohnson@asam.edu.au

  • 22 Oct 2015 5:34 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)


    For our members in Victoria, voting is now open for the 2015 LIV Council Elections.

    Zubair Mian, Vice President of the AALA, is running as a candidate under the Suburban category. We would encourage members to support Zubair, who has a strong commitment to promoting diversity within the profession. Zubair's nomination statement is below.

    I Graduated from Melbourne University in 1985 and was admitted to practice in 1986. I am an experienced commercial litigator, principal at Mian Phillips, Lawyers, a boutique practice now in Surrey Hills, I established in 1988.

    In 2014 I received Law Institute of Victoria, Certificate of Service Award and in 2015 I was finalist for, The Suburban Solicitor of the Year Award.

    I was humbled, privileged and honoured when appointed Councilor and Board Member of LIV in August 2015. If interested, you may view and read my maiden speech to LIV Council at the link below: http://www.liv.asn.au/Practice-Resources/News-Centre/Speeches/LIV-Councillor%E2%80%99s-Maiden-Speech

    I believe the Legal profession is going through challenging times. As we navigate through changes brought about by Legal Profession Uniform Law, strong leadership is essential to represent your interests. My diverse experience inspires me to represent you with compassion, sincerity and conviction.  My core promise to you, I will not disappoint you.

    I am a strong advocate for ethnic and gender diversity in Legal Profession, passionate about improving conditions for Young Lawyers; assisting new graduates find employment and gain experience to further their career progression.

    I currently serve as:

    • Managing partner and Principal, Mian Phillips & Co, Lawyers;
    • President of Eastern Suburbs Law Association, since 2012;
    • Founding member and Vice president, Asian Australian Lawyers Association, since 2013;
    • Registered and active Mentor LIV, AALA and informally since 1995;
    • LIV Council Representative MPLA.

    My contact details as follows:

    Zubair Mian
    Principal Lawyer
    Mian Phillips & Co. Lawyers
    422 Canterbury Road
    Surrey Hills VIC 3127
    Tel: (03) 9888 5885 | Fax: (03) 9888 6066
    Email: zubair@mianphillips.com.au
    web:   www.mianphillips.com.au

  • 14 Oct 2015 5:37 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    On Thursday 29 October, the University of Melbourne's Asian Law Centre and Transactional Law Centre will co-host the seminar “The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), Legal Services & The Regional Context”.

    This event is not hosted by the AALA, but AALA members are warmly invited to attend.

    The seminar discusses the impact of ChAFTA on the trade in legal services between China and Australia and locates ChAFTA within the broader regional context. AALA's Treasurer Molina Asthana will a panelist at the event.

    Following the seminar, two recent publications from authors at the Asian Law Centre will be launched:

    • Andrew Godwin and Timothy Howse, Legal Services under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement: Surveying the Landscape (Asian Law Centre Briefing Paper)
    • Andrew Godwin, China Lexicon (Vantage Asia)

    The event will take place at King & Wood Mallesons Level 50, Bourke Place 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne from 5.30pm – 7.00pm.

    For more information about the event, please refer to the event flyer.

    To register for the event, please click here.

  • 14 Oct 2015 5:47 AM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    The Australasian Lawyer has recently published an article on the importance of diversity in today's law firms.

    To read the article on Australasian Lawyer's website, please click here.

  • 12 Oct 2015 5:50 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    Zubair Mian, Vice President of the AALA, was recently appointed to the LIV Council. Zubair's maiden speech has now been posted on the LIV website.

    To read the speech on the LIV's website, please click here.

  • 09 Oct 2015 5:57 PM | Sining Wang (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    Please see below event invitation from the Diverse Australasian Women Network. The event is hosted in partnership with the AALA. .

    DAWN will be holding our fourth conversation in partnership with the Asian Australian Lawyers Association. We are very excited to have Katherine Teh-White, Managing Director of Futureye and former Senator for Victoria Tsebin Tchen joining us on October 14th to kick start our conversation on the topic:

    “Us & Them: What would it take for Asian Australians to feel accepted in Australian society”.

    Reynah Tang, President of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association will be facilitating and Dai Le, DAWN’s founder will be MC-ing.

    Baker & McKenzie has generously offered to sponsor our fourth conversation. A special thanks to Tuanh Nguyen from Baker & McKenzie. The Event will be held on:

    Date: Wednesday, 14th of October 2015

    Time: 6pm for 6.30pm start

    Where: Baker & McKenzie

    19/181 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000

    Please register & buy your ticket here: http://dawn.org.au/events/dawns-4th-asian-australian-leadership-conversation/ 





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