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  • 14 Jan 2021 5:57 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Asian Australian underrepresentation in the legal profession survey and study

    Mr Jim Tong, a student at the UNSW is currently drafting an empirical thesis examining the underrepresentation of Asian Australians in the legal profession. The thesis is being supervised by Professor Rosalind Dixon.

    The thesis intends to shed light on the experiences of Asian Australians working within the legal profession to create an empirical grounding for a broader conversation about the nuanced challenges that Asian Australian lawyers face and the possibility for reform.

    As part of this thesis, Mr Tong has created a survey to distribute to AALA members. This will be used to more accurately determine the causative factors leading to underrepresentation within the law and will be contrasted with experiences of Asian Australians in other comparable industries.

    If you have a minute, please access and complete the survey here

    If you have any questions, please let AALA or Mr Tong know 

  • 03 Jan 2021 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    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:

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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:

    1. 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 nsw@aala.org.au by 22 January 2021.

    2. 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 nsw@aala.org.au 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."

    CONTACT US:

    nsw@aala.org.au

    Follow AALA on LinkedIn and Facebook.



  • 23 Dec 2020 1:47 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)


    On 16 December, the WA Branch of the AALA held its first session in its Superwomen Series: ‘In Conversation with Cheryl Chan’.

    The event was held jointly with the Corrs Women In Business Group and was generously sponsored and hosted by Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

    WA Branch President, Belinda Wong, interviewed Cheryl, who is Legal Counsel, Asia Pacific at BP Australia, about her unique career journey and highlights, spearheading diversity and inclusion in the professional world and advice for up and coming practitioners.

    An inspirational evening was had by all.


  • 22 Dec 2020 10:31 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    A profession for the wealthy? The enduring problem for diversity in law

    by Kate Allman, LSJ Online, 1 December, 2020

    It is said that those who come to equity must come with clean hands. But what of those who come to the law with empty pockets? Statistically speaking, most lawyers in Australia come with pockets lined by wealthy families and relatively privileged backgrounds. In comparison, prospective lawyers from low socio-economic circumstances battle systemic biases and disadvantage. Until this changes, the legal profession cannot hope to achieve true diversity.

    Read full article

  • 17 Dec 2020 6:55 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    2021 National Digital Events Series - invitation to members

    The National Digital Events Series was launched in 2020 and has gained significant attention as an accessible, attractive and practical mode of engagement, and skill and profile building, and CPD. 

    The 2021 AALA National Digital Events Series will provide members with an exciting range of webinars on CPD topics and diversity themes.

    The series gives members the opportunity to present a virtual and when possible 'live' or 'hybrid' CPD event on any topic relevant to an area of practice, or a diversity theme, as well as to collect CPD points. 

    We ask members to submit an Expression of Interest to present and lead a discussion, workshop or presentation. If there any topics that you would like covered by the series, please also let us know. So that we can start organizing our 2021 program we ask you to contact us by 7 February, 2021

    To submit your EOI or for further information contact Matt or John at: events@aala.org.au

    Read flyer

  • 12 Dec 2020 5:44 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Addressing diversity in the profession (while still a student) by Naomi Neilson, Lawyers Weekly, 30 November 2020

    By year two of law school, Chimnonyerem Duru felt overlooked by teachers and peers, and was largely disadvantaged because of her race. To prevent others from having the same fate, she created an organisation aimed at addressing and promoting diversity in law.

    From law schools through to courtrooms, the legal profession has a very obvious issue with diversity: it’s rare to find it. After years spent being overlooked, ignored and largely disadvantaged due to her race, Chimnonyerem Duru developed African Legal Connect Australia (ALCA) to create a space for African lawyers to connect and succeed in law.

    Speaking on the second episode of The Protégé Podcast, Ms Duru said it was the little things during her first few years of law school that really set a devastating standard for the profession and inspired her to design an organisation where it did not exist.

    To read further

    Listen to the entire interview here!


  • 12 Dec 2020 5:35 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    School of Business and Law of ECU is hosting a CPD event on Monday 14 December 2020, from 4.30pm-6.30pm (AWST):

    ‘Specific Performance In Favour of A Purchaser of Land - The Contemporary Australian Position’ by Mr Ken Yin

    and

    ‘Climate Change, Human Mobility, and International Law’ by Dr Mostafa Naser.

    While the seminar will be held in ECU (Perth), participants can join the seminar online via ZOOM (the meeting link is provided in the flyer). Attendance is free, but the participants need to register. There are two CPD (knowledge) points and there will be food and drink afterwards.

  • 09 Dec 2020 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    Join us as we celebrate and reflect on the ideas and conversations that shaped AALA in 2020 and hear from our panel about the projects and issues that will shape us in the new year. 

    To register, please click here


  • 02 Dec 2020 10:04 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group e-journal — call for article submissions

    The Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (APRAG) is inviting article submissions for the APRAG E-Journal to be published in February 2021. Articles must be submitted by 30 December 2020 to Kotchaporn Sathansub at secretariat@aprag.org

    The submission guidelines are available here


  • 29 Nov 2020 9:44 PM | Anonymous

    The WA Branch had a wonderful time on 27 November 2020 at its End of Year Dumplings & Drinks, with its committee, members and supporters enjoying delicious treats at Shy John's Brewery. 

    The WA Branch thanks everyone who took part in their events and initiatives during 2020.  

    We look forward to 2021 with hope and excitement! 


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