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  • 27 Nov 2019 7:42 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)


    Presented by: African Australian Legal Network; Asian Australian Lawyers Association; Australian Italian Lawyers Association; French Australian Lawyers Society; Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association; and North American Australian Lawyers Alliance Donations will be made to Looma Community Incorporated 




  • 19 Nov 2019 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    On 12 November 2019, the Victorian AALA held a session on “Cultivating Self-Appreciation” in conjunction with Peace Lab, generously hosted and sponsored by Bank of Melbourne. The session focused on rewiring participants’ minds and brains to overcome the negativity bias often said to be ingrained by both the legal profession and Asian cultural background, with the aim of moving away from being our own worst enemies and towards being our own best friends. Thanks to Elva Zhang for running this session and Bank of Melbourne for providing a fantastic venue.

  • 18 Nov 2019 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    On 7 November 2019, the Hon. Judge Philip Misso, Judge in Charge of the Common Law Division of the County Court of Victoria, presented on the topic of “The Trial – Preparation, a Trial plan and the Language of the Trial”, in the third installment of the Court Advocacy Series run by the Victorian Asian Australian Lawyers Association and Maurice Blackburn.

    His Honour emphasised:

    • the importance of preparing early and comprehensively, as factual circumstances may change such that crucial evidence is not available at a later date;
    • the need for a trial plan to break down a case into its fundamental elements, identify the questions to be answered, shortcomings of the case and evidence required, and facilitate prioritisation of tasks to be completed in the lead-up to trial;
    • that in opening, the case to be put (including the facts, relevant legal principles and application thereof) should be summarised in a concise and pithy manner, to allow the judge to focus on pertinent material when presented in further detail thereafter;
    • that in making applications, it is advisable to get to the point and explain what is being sought, why it should be granted and set out the evidentiary basis; and
    • that the language of the trial varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but can be learned by careful consideration of the relevant authorities.

    His Honour also acknowledged that different styles of communication and advocacy can be effective, so long as you get to the point in terms of stating what you want, why you want it and what legal principles and evidence you rely on in support.

    We thank His Honour for his time, expertise and support, and Maurice Blackburn for collaborating with AALA for this series.

  • 11 Nov 2019 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    The Victorian AALA celebrated Diwali on 23 October 2019 with festive treats, a dance performance by the AALA committee and a banquet feast.

    We hope those who attended found inspiration and insights about cultural diversity as elaborated by our esteemed guest speaker, Miss Priya Serrao (Miss Universe Australia). Her speech highlighted her upbringing being a migrant family and the obstacles faced whilst moving to a new country. She also spoke about her passion and contribution towards cultural diversity.

    Molina Asthana, the national Vice President spoke about Diwali which is a festival in the Hindu Culture as signifying good over evil and light over darkness. it is celebrated with lighting earthen lamps, fire crackers, buying metallic objects, new clothes, exchanging gifts and eating a lot of Indian sweets.

    For members who celebrated this festivity, we hope you had a Happy Diwali and may there be abundant blessings of victory, freedom and enlightenment.

    If you have not yet done so, now is the time to renew your membership for the 2019- 2020 financial year. As a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, it is only with your support that we can continue in our efforts to promote cultural diversity in the Australian legal profession.

    You can renew online through our website aala.org.au by logging in using the button at the top right of the web page. If you don't know your password, you can reset your password at http://aala.org.au/Sys/ResetPasswordRequest.

    If you are not yet an AALA member, please be sure to sign up at http://aala.org.au/page-18087.

    For any queries about membership please email us at info@aala.org.au.

  • 29 Oct 2019 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Going beyond the accepted merits of diversity and challenging the status quo by shifting personal mental paradigms and bringing more inclusive cultural practices to the legal profession was a key message of the ‘Beyond Diversity – the Next Step’ event hosted by Muslim Legal Network (MLN) and the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) on Tuesday, 8th October 2019.

    Together with Jane Lee from the ABC, the distinguished panel consisting of Special Counsel Cynthia Anandajayasekeram from Ashurst, Fatmir Badali of Counsel from Victorian Bar and Judicial Registrar Tuan Van Le from the Federal Court of Australia, shared their intimate and personal experiences and perspectives on how our own mentality can drive us forward in the face of perceived or actual bias and standards. If you missed the live event, you can tune in to the upcoming broadcast of Radio National’s – the Law Report. Stay connected with us to find out more soon!

    Our special thanks go to Ashurst, Melbourne Lawyers & Medications, Australian multicultural foundation, Russell Kennedy Lawyers and the ABC for their support of the event.

    Photo Credits: Sebastian Correa

  • 28 Oct 2019 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    AALA has partnered with the Bank of Melbourne to offer members a free workshop on Tuesday 12 November 2019 at 5.30pm, “Cultivating Self-Appreciation: Being Your Own Best Friend Experiment” conducted by Elva Zhang from Peace Lab.

    Lawyers are known for being "perfectionists" and "self-critical". Yet, excessive negative self-talk or criticism are not only counterproductive, but could result in undesired effects on our sense of self-worth and confidence.

    If we could not be our best support, our own cheerleader, who can?

    Come and join us at this workshop - "Being Your Own Best Friend Experiment", which was specially curated for lawyers by another lawyer - Elva who works as legal counsel for a Melbourne-based international shipping line. This experiential and engaging workshop was born out of Elva’s own struggle of overcoming her negative self-talk, and is designed to empower others to engage in more productive self-reflection and self-encouragement.

    Through a fun yet sometimes surprisingly challenging mindfulness game, you will discover how connected and supportive you are to yourself. Then you can make an intentional choice for positive change from inside out.

    We look forward to seeing you there! You can RSVP for the event here.

  • 22 Oct 2019 10:45 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    “William Ah Ket’s contribution to diversity in the legal profession”; William Ah Ket Scholarship Presentation by The Hon Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of Australia, Asian Australian Lawyers Association, Great Hall, High Court of Australia, 9 October 2019


  • 18 Oct 2019 7:10 PM | Reimen Hii (Administrator)

    The AALA (Qld) branch is proud to partner with the Justice and the Law (JATL) at the University of Queensland to present the JATL's first formal lecture and the 2019 launch of the 'Pandora's Box' academic journal. 

    Date: Thursday 24 October 2019
    Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm
    Location: Banco Court, Supreme Court of Queensland
    415 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
    Cost: $5.20 (Students) & $25.80 (Professionals)

    The lecture will be presented by Catherine Chiang, AALA (Qld) secretary and a barrister at Wilberforce Chambers in Brisbane. The theme of this year’s journal is ‘Identity in the Law’. The journal canvasses issues such as the gendered view of domestic violence law and rape law, and the same sex marriage plebiscite.

    The aim of Pandora’s Box is to open up academic discussion of legal, social and political issues to a broader audience. This is achieved by featuring interviews, articles and book reviews from distinguished judges, academics, and practitioners. 

    Registrations and further information are available at: http://www.jatl.org/jatl-lecture 

  • 11 Oct 2019 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    A Victorian lawyer has been named this year’s winner of the William Ah Ket Scholarship.

    Tienyi Long, a legal and governance officer at Glen Eira City Council in Melbourne, was awarded the scholarship for her essay on how equal justice can be achieved for diverse communities in a  multifaceted and complex society. Tienyi’s essay examines how the legal profession can become better equipped to respond to diverse clients.

    Tienyi received the award from High Court Chief Justice The Honourable Susan Kiefel AC at an event held on Wednesday evening in the Great Hall of the High Court in Canberra.

    Sydney graduate lawyer Sandra Hu and Melbourne graduate Amy Pereira were named as runners up.

    This year marks the third year of the William Ah Ket Scholarship, an initiative of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA). The scholarship is named after William Ah Ket, who in 1904 became the first Australian barrister of Chinese origin. It is sponsored by Maddocks, where William Ah Ket was an articled clerk in 1903.

    The winner of the scholarship receives $6,000, while the runners up receive $1,000 each.

    The winning paper was chosen by a panel of judges:

    • The Honourable Joshua Wilson, Justice of the Family Court of Australia
    • The Honourable Helen Murrell, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Australian Capital Territory
    • Professor Sally Wheeler OBE, Dean of ANU College of Law
    • Patrick Ibbotson, Partner, Maddocks

    AALA National President Kingsley Liu congratulated Tienyi on her successful essay.

    ‘This year saw the highest number of expressions of interest and the highest number of essays submitted in the scholarship’s history,’ Kingsley said.

    ‘The scope and quality of the essays were outstanding and the judges had an incredibly difficult job of deciding the winner from the shortlisted finalists.’

    The papers will be published on the AALA website in due course.

  • 11 Oct 2019 8:55 AM | Wai Kaey Soon (Administrator)

    On Tuesday 17 September 2019, the NSW Branch of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association in collaboration with Clayton Utz proudly hosted a special breakfast panel event - Women in Law: Lean In. This was the fourth event in AALA's inaugural Diversity Series 2019.

    Coordinated by AALA NSW Committee Member, Stefanie Cheong, Lawyer, Clayton Utz and moderated by award-winning mentor and advocate, Jennifer Harris, Special Counsel, Clayton Utz, the event welcomed an impressive panel:

    §  Kounny Rattley, Partner, Clayton Utz;

    §  Keshni Maharaj, Special Counsel (Partner from 1 January 2020), Clayton Utz; and

    §  Erika Aligno, Advocate at Inner City Legal Centre, Content Manager and Freelance Content Producer.

    Warmly opened by Ken Saurajen, Partner and cultural diversity lead at Clayton Utz, the partnership with AALA reaffirmed the firm’s strong commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace for its people.

    The AALA NSW Secretary, Marija Yelavich, provided a welcome on behalf of AALA. The theme of the morning was “Lean In”, promoting AALA’s commitment to intersectional diversity and the key message: humans must lean in to support each other…by openly sharing our stories, struggles and journey, we lean in. We learn that we are in fact not alone!

    Jennifer openly and warmly shared her own personal story about being a working parent, whilst navigating and excelling in her legal career. As special guest, NSW Law Society President, Elizabeth Espinosa, noted, the panel also discussed the importance of flexible working arrangements and the important role that partners, such as husbands, have played, in particular when choosing to be the stay-at-home parent in the relationship.

    Discussing key themes such as mental health and healthy relationships in both the professional and personal context, the panel’s key pieces of take-aways for the audience were as follows:

    §  Kounny:

    o   Take ownership and control of your career. I was hardworking but was otherwise quite passive when it came to my career and didn't think or plan too much when it came to the bigger picture. However I learnt that you need to not be passive and take control.

     §  Erika:

    o   If it [your career] doesn’t feel right, make sure you have something on the side so when you’re ready, you will have that skillset.

    o   Know when to rest: this will be the time to ask questions. You can work hard, but you need to rest. And also know when to quit.

      §  Keshni:

    o   Embrace and cherish your networks. While your ‘professional network’ is important, those who support you personally are those who you need to cherish. Also build your internal, ‘at-work’ network and support each other. This really helps with building resilience in your legal career.

     §  Jennifer:

    o   Law can be an isolating career if you let it. Connect with your community. It is worth putting the time and effort in building your own sense of belonging to pave the way for a rewarding and sustainable career.

    Sharing their stories with a room filled with all genders, the panel acknowledged and paid tribute to the history of sacrifice and resilience that made today possible. AALA acknowledges and pays tribute to the recent passing of The Hon. Jane Matthews AO. Without the leadership of such women, the legal profession would not be what we celebrate today. Whilst we must continue to push for change, welcome diversity and lean in, this event was a true testament to how important it is to understand that we are not the first, we will not be the last and as one woman rises, we all rise. 






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