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  • 06 Oct 2018 8:38 PM | Anonymous

    The AALA recently held its 2018 Annual General Meeting in Melbourne, broadcasting live in different cities, including Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. 
    It would not have been possible without the generous sponsor of Corrs Chambers Westgarth Lawyers.
    Congratulations to all committee members recently elected, or re-elected.
    Looking forward to a new year of exciting events, collaborations and new opportunities, onwards and upwards!
    #aalaeventsmelb #culturaldiversity

  • 24 Sep 2018 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    The 2018 AGM of the AALA will be held on Thursday 4 October 2018 at 6.30pm AEST / 4.30pm AWST.

    Branch Meetings for each of the AALA State Branches will be held immediately prior at 5.30pm AEST (4.00pm AWST for the WA Branch Meeting).

    For more information and to register for the Branch Meetings and AGM, please click on the relevant link below:

    New South Wales  Victoria Western Australia   Queensland

    Materials for the 2018 AALA AGM are available below:

    Notice of AGM

    AGM Proxy Form

    AALA Executive Committee Nomination Form

    Please refer to the relevant Branch Meeting pages above for the relevant proxy form and Branch Committee nomination form.

  • 21 Sep 2018 7:11 PM | Reimen Hii (Administrator)

    The Queensland Asian Australian Lawyers Association branch is holding its inaugural Litigation Workshop on Thursday morning 8 November 2018.  Tea, coffee, and a light breakfast will be provided.

    The topic will be “What to Do When Things Go Wrong”. What do you do when:

    • the day before a contested hearing you learn that your opponent has briefed a barrister that acted for your client 6 months ago on a direct access brief?
    • you go to receive a civil judgment and the judge has unexpectedly ruled against your client
    • your client is sentenced to an actual term of imprisonment and the corrective services officers start to circle?

    The Workshop will be delivered by a panel of barristers from a range of experience and practice areas. It is designed to give lawyers within the first 5 years of practice practical advice and tips they need when practising in litigation.  

    Date: Thursday 8 November 2018 
    Venue: Baker McKenzie, Level 8, 175 Eagle Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 
    Time: 7.15am for a 7.45am start 
    Cost: Free for AALA members, $10 for practitioners, $5 for students

    For further details and to register go to www.aala.org.au/event-3068023.

    Registrations are essential as spaces are strictly limited.

  • 20 Sep 2018 8:00 PM | Anonymous

    The co-authors of a paper on what parity in cultural diversity looks like are the winners of this year’s William Ah Ket Scholarship.

    The paper, by Kelvin Ng and Ming Kalanon, looked at cultural diversity by focusing on Asian Australians in the legal profession. The paper discusses the need and business case for cultural diversity, before focusing on how cultural diversity is measured.

    The paper was chosen by a panel of judges: The Hon. Justice Margaret Beazley AO, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal; His Honour Judge Joshua Wilson, of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia; Professor George William AO, Dean of UNSW Law; and Patrick Ibbotson, partner and Chairman of Maddocks.

    Kelvin and Ming, who are graduate lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright, will each receive $3,000 for their winning paper.

    Chuan Jun Yeap, a lawyer at Marshalls+Dent+Wilmoth Lawyers, and Gisela Nip, a lawyer at Clayton Utz, were each awarded $1,000 as runners up. Chuan Jun’s paper highlighted the impact of unconscious bias and disproportionate gender representation in the legal profession. Gisela’s paper examined the consequences of a lack of cultural diversity on Australian company boards.

    This year marks the second year of the William Ah Ket Scholarship, an initiative by 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.

    The winner of the William Ah Ket Scholarship was announced at a ceremony held tonight in the Sydney office of Maddocks, who is the sponsor of the scholarship. William Ah Ket was an articled clerk at Maddocks in 1903.

    AALA vice-president William Lye, OAM, congratulated the winners of this year’s scholarship.

    ‘The scholarship honours the career of William Ah Ket by asking junior members of the legal profession and law students to think deeply about diversity and equality in the law and the way the law deals with equality and diversity.

    ‘This year’s papers were outstanding as they tackled major issues that William Ah Ket confronted as a solicitor and then a barrister and that we as a profession and as a wider community continue to grapple with today.’

    Maddocks partner and chairman Patrick Ibbotson said the firm was proud to be supporting the scholarship.

    ‘Maddocks takes great pride in leading the discussion within the legal profession about how we can encourage greater diversity and equality within our own places of work and the greater community.

    ‘We are proud that such an important legal figure as William Ah Ket began his legal career with Maddocks more than 100 years ago and that we are able to honour his contribution to the profession in this way.’

  • 16 Sep 2018 9:51 PM | Anonymous

    The "Stress Management The Eastern Way" workshop was held last Thursday, 13 September in conjunction with R U OK day. This workshop is a collaboration between AALA and Peace Lab, proudly sponsored by Bank of Melbourne

    The main discussion was about mental health issues in the legal profession from the framework perspective of Neuroplasticity whereby the nature of lawyers' work have cultivated the negativity bias of the brain. "Non Doing" was also discussed reflecting the studies of ancient Chinese Taoism.

    This is one of AALA's first initiatives in focusing on wellbeing. The workshop was a great success, and was well received by our attendees. There were also lucky draw gifts generously provided by Bank of Melbourne#aalaeventsmelb#culturaldiversity


  • 06 Sep 2018 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    The Asian Australian Lawyers Association is proud to invite you to attend the announcement of the winner of the William Ah Ket Scholarship 2018.

    We are delighted that The Honourable Justice Margaret Joan Beazley AO, President of the Court of Appeal, New South Wales will provide the keynote address at the award ceremony on 20 September 2018.

    The scholarship, sponsored by Maddocks, where William did his articles in 1902, will be awarded to the author who produces the most outstanding research paper on an issue related to equality, diversity and the legal profession or law.

    We will have the opportunity to hear a speech by the winning author summarising their research paper.

    Finger food and drinks will be served.

    To register, please click here.

  • 28 Aug 2018 9:39 AM | Anonymous

    The NSW Committee of the Australian Asian Lawyers Association hosted the annual William Lee Address on 28 August 2018. The Address was hosted by sponsor Baker McKenzie at the new Barangaroo office, welcoming our members to the territory of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation.

    Opened by Baker McKenzie Partner, Richard Gough and NSW Committee President Kingsley Liu, the night welcomed over 40 guests to listen to the esteemed panel:

    • Juliana Warner, Managing Partner Herbert Smith Freehills
    • BJ Kim International Program Manager Environmental Defenders Office
    • Ken Nguyen, Partner Ashurst
    • Julie Chai, CEO Asian Leadership Project and D&I specialist

    William Lee was the first Asian barrister admitted in the jurisdiction of NSW. Australian-born of Chinese heritage, Lee’s journey was defined by ambition and resilience. In commemoration of his legacy, the theme of this year’s Address was ‘Courage and Determination.’ Juliana Warner opened with: “in order to be inclusive, you need to think ‘inclusive.’ We need to be inclusive and culturally sensitive to differing leadership and communication styles.” Warner recalled an experience within Herbert Smith Freehills that certainly had a few heads nodding in approval, “we had a matter with a firm based in Singapore. We found our teams were not communicating and the process was strenuous. As a measure, our office engaged in cultural training- it helped us communicate better with the firm and progress our matter. We were able to organise a series of caucuses that promoted peer-to-peer communication…Cultural training was a revelation. I felt so bad about how I put my team mates in such a culturally uncomfortable position.”

    Julie Chai was welcoming of this cultural training. Chai works across numerous firms to improve engagement, retention and development of Asian-Australian talent, and enhance culturally sensitive D&I practices. Commenting on this, BJ Kim observed: “it is a two-way street. There is a certain amount of unconscious bias in society, but minorities have also adopted these biases. We have to stop apologising for being in the room. And this applies to all minorities. It doesn’t come easily and organisations need to provide support, like mentoring and policy implementation. But people also need to consider making the themselves more resilient through for example counselling and coaching services.” Ken Nguyen, passionate about leadership, had this tip to rising lawyers: “exhibit your confidence. Embrace different leadership styles as you learn. Embrace your individualism.” Incorporating intersectional feminism, Warner closed with, “we need to help ourselves. There are things we can do to take charge ourselves- such as, building our self-confidence in an appropriate way and learning skills.”

    Reflecting on his career progression into partnership, Nguyen found that, unfortunately, racial profiling and cultural micro-aggressions do not stop. But, what is changing is society’s intolerance- we are no longer dismissive of a casual racist remark, a taunt or a stereotype. Ken’s own stories sparked a dialogue within the audience, welcoming a series of reflections from practitioners within commercial, public and in-house sectors. The audience were also keen to hear from the panel about how individuals and firms can strategically respond. Reflecting on her own career story, Chai emphasised the importance of networking and made a distinction between sponsorship and mentorship. The AALA audience welcomed these strategies that provide a wide landscape for individual trail blazers and offices to work together in promoting intersectional harmony.

    This is where the value of the AALA is realised. The objective of the AALA is to provide a safe environment to confront the issues of racism and intolerance. By engaging with the uncomfortable, the AALA fosters a meaningful dialogue and inspires action. The Committee is extremely thankful to our audience and members and we hope to have you at our upcoming events:

    • The William Ah Ket Scholarship Award
      20 September 2018
      6 – 8 pm
      Maddocks, Sydney

    • Commercial Law in the Asian Century: Is Western Sydney Ready?
      15 November 2018
      6 – 8 pm
      Western Sydney University, Parramatta

    The AALA acknowledges and respects that the event was hosted on the land of the Eora Nation. The NSW Committee pays our respects to the Traditional Owners both past and present.

    Barangaroo is named after a power Cammeraygal woman who is a key figure in local Aboriginal culture and community. To learn more, visit: https://www.barangaroo.com/see-and-do/barangaroo/aboriginal-culture

  • 27 Aug 2018 10:22 PM | Reimen Hii (Administrator)

    Asian Australian Lawyers Association Queensland (AALA) and Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland (ILAQ) warmly invites you to attend its inaugural cultural awareness training seminar where a panel of esteemed and experienced Indigenous lawyers will be providing an introduction into Indigenous cultural awareness training aimed at legal professionals.

    The CPD will be held on 20 September 2018 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at:

    Law Society House
    Level 2, 179 Ann Street

    Registrations are now open at:  http://www.aala.org.au/event-3048033  

    ILAQ and AALA are committed to advancing cultural and linguistic diversity in the legal profession.  This is a rare opportunity for those working in the law to assist participants to gain an insight into Indigenous cultural diversity and from a general, historical, and social perspective which can be used to improve their own practices and gain better outcomes for Indigenous clients.

    The event is free for AALA and ILAQ members. We are also pleased to invite members to register non-member guests to attend this event at a nominal cost. Registrations are essential as spaces are limited.


  • 27 Aug 2018 10:50 AM | Anonymous

    The ABC Radio National History Listen is airing the William Ah Ket story at 11am tomorrow.

    Tune in to hear from William’s family members, Dr Sophie Couchman (Public Historian) and Reynah Tang (Immediate Past President of AALA) about Australia’s first Chinese barrister.

    The William Ah Ket story will also be available on the ABC Listen app and on the website after the story has aired: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/the-history-listen/william-ah-ket:-the-first-chinese-australian-barrister/10155706



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