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  • 13 May 2019 11:54 AM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    The road for our cultural diversity may actually be unplanned but a cohesive journey with other parallel travellers. What started as a simple council development application to build a local prayer hall in Kemps Creek snowballed into a politically charged litigation fought in the media and the court room. Kingsley Liu tells Melissa Coade how his pro bono work for a small Indian Islamic community led him to represent other important human rights causes. See: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ei9obi76n8vtn5/The%20case%20that%20changed%20me.pdf?dl=0

    The article appeared in Issue 55 Law Society Journal, May 2019 at p 66

  • 07 May 2019 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    We are honoured to present the next installment of Victorian AALA and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers' Court Advocacy series. This event will feature County Court Judicial Registrars My Anh Tran and Sharon Burchell sharing their knowledge on interlocutory advocacy.

    The event details are as follows:
    Time: 5.15pm for 5.30pm start of presentation
    Date: Thursday, 30 May 2019
    Venue: Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Level 21 Boardroom, 380 La Trobe Street, Melbourne

    There will be no cost to attend for AALA members and Maurice Blackburn guests.
    Refreshments will be provided for networking after presentation.

    Please refer to the event flyer for more information.

    RSVP by Thursday 23 May 2019 via vicrsvp@mauriceblackburn.com.au or call Jessica Ogilvie at (03) 8792 7102.

  • 02 May 2019 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    The AALA and Maddocks are pleased to invite you to attend the launch event of the William Ah Ket Scholarship 2019 on 22 May 2019 to be held at The Chinese Museum, 22 Cohen Place, Melbourne. To register your attendance, please visit www.aala.org.au/event-3370351

    You will have the opportunity to view the Chinese Museum exhibition ‘One Million Stories’ which will include William Ah Ket’s story.

    The William Ah Ket Scholarship is an annual scholarship of $6,000 to be awarded to the applicant who produces the most outstanding research paper on a topic dealing with equality, diversity and the legal profession or law. There is also a prize of $1,000 each for the authors of two shortlisted papers.

    An initiative of the AALA and sponsored by law firm Maddocks, the Scholarship is designed to recognise the historical contribution of William Ah Ket to the legal profession as the first Asian Australian barrister in Australia.

    Please visit www.aala.org.au for more information about the William Ah Ket Scholarship 2019 and how to apply. 

    We hope you can join us at the launch.

    Finger food and drinks will be served.

  • 29 Apr 2019 12:38 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    As part of Law Week, His Honour Chief Judge Kidd of the County Court of Victoria will speak about the legal community’s burgeoning diversity, with increasing numbers of practitioners coming from different ethnic backgrounds. Even though this diversity is seen in practitioners it is yet to be appropriately reflected on the bench. The Chief Judge will talk about the strides made thus far to accomodate the diverse legal community; the challenges that lie ahead and the cost to our legal system if the bench does not reflect the diverse society in which we live. 

    Event title: Cultural Diversity in the Law

    Date and time: Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

    Venue: Australian Intercultural Society, Suite 2, 441 St Kilda Rd, MELBOURNE, VIC 3004

    His Honour Judge Kidd has been Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria since 28 September 2015 and previously was Senior Crown Prosecutor, Senior Counsel, Solicitor for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and an International Prosecutor at the War Crimes Chamber of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

    The event will be moderated by Molina Asthana, Vice President of the National Executive of the AALA and principal of Swarup Asthana Lawyers, practicing in commercial law. Molina has worked at top tier firms and at the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office. She has also received multiple awards for her work championing cultural diversity, including the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in 2014 and 2016.

    The event is organized by Australian Intercultural Society (AIS), a not for profit organisation operating in Melbourne since 2000 with the aims of promoting multiculturalism and fostering intercultural and interfaith dialogue. The event is free but bookings are essential. A light lunch with coffee and tea will be offered. 

    For more information on the event go to: https://lawweek.net.au/event/cultural-diversity-in-the-law/ or contact AIS on 03 9867 2248 or info@intercultural.org.au.

    Tickets can be booked at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/cultural-diversity-in-the-law-with-chief-judge-peter-kidd-registration-59863860418

  • 23 Apr 2019 8:38 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    The Asian Australian Lawyers Association is deeply saddened by the dreadful acts of violence in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday which took the lives of over 300 children, women and men, and injured many more, in two churches in Negombo and Batticaloa, and at several major hotels and other locations in and around Colombo. The tragic and senseless acts have occurred in a country that has already suffered so much tragedy over the last decades.

    The Association hopes that our members' families and friends are safe; we extend our heartfelt thoughts and wishes to the victims and sincere condolences to the victim’s families, friends and community.

  • 20 Apr 2019 7:38 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)
    The Anna McPhee Memorial Oration on Diversity and Inclusion is to be delivered by the former High Court Judge and leading Australian Jurist, and AALA patron, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, who will ask: ‘Has the time at last come for Australia to embrace a national Bill of Rights?’. The event will be held on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 at 11:30am to 2:30pm at Zinc, Fed Square for more information, see: https://www.dca.org.au/event/279 and to book https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=475266&
  • 16 Apr 2019 4:54 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    The Asian Australian Lawyers Association congratulates Shiva Pillai upon his appointment as a Victorian Magistrate (commencing 30 April, 2019). Shiva Pillai was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1999. He signed the Bar Roll on 22 Nov 2007 appearing in all jurisdictions and was an experienced criminal law advocate. Prior to coming to the Bar he practiced in criminal law for six years with Victoria Legal Aid and prior to that as a commercial litigator for four years. For further information, see: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/two-new-magistrates-appointed/

  • 10 Apr 2019 7:47 PM | John Arthur (Administrator)

    Australia, arguably being one of the most multicultural countries at this day and age, is populated with people from dozens of countries around the globe. Naturally, there are diverse ethnic and cultural groups present in our society, writes Sian Hur.


  • 27 Mar 2019 10:46 AM | Reimen Hii (Administrator)

    The AALA Qld branch is proud to support LawRight Inc’s Queensland Legal Walk as part of Law Week 2019.

    • Date: Tuesday 14 May 2019
    • Time: 6:30am for 7am start
    • Locations: Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville and Mackay.

    The Queensland Legal Walk unites communities to walk together and raise vital funds to ensure all Queenslanders have access to the legal system. The walk in Brisbane will be led by the Hon. Catherine Holmes, Chief Justice of Queensland, and the Hon. Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Training and Skills.

    The AALA Qld branch will be organising teams of walkers in Brisbane, and Cairns.

    If you would like to join one of the AALA’s teams, you can do so by clicking the join team button at https://2019queenslandlegalwalk.everydayhero.com/au/aala-qld. You can also make a donation to the team or individual team members if you are unable to join the Walk.

    The fundraising efforts will help LawRight continue to assist vulnerable individuals to access justice, and help remove the barriers to justice that reinforce poverty and exclusion.

    Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing friends, colleagues and supporters at the 2019 Queensland Legal Walk!

    Please contact qld@aala.org.au if you have any questions or issues about joining AALA’s teams.

  • 25 Mar 2019 1:36 PM | Wai Kaey Soon (Administrator)

    On Thursday 28 February 2019, the NSW Branch of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association marked the commencement of the Law Term by celebrating Females to the Front. Hosted by Baker McKenzie, this event welcomed NSW Law Society President, Elizabeth Espinosa and AALA National Vice President, Molina Asthana to launch the 2019 Law Term on a path of strength, humility and inclusiveness.

    Opened by Baker McKenzie’s Gillian Woon and hosted by Lawyer’s Weekly 2017 Female Student of the Year and AALA NSW Secretary, Marija Yelavich, the event embraced the many brilliant hats we all wear: we are parents, sons and daughters. We are partners, the wedding ring-kind and the bossy, sign your pay cheques-kind. We are solicitors, barristers, students and academics. We identify with the binary and fluidity of gender and sexuality. We know multiple languages and overcome the daily beauty and challenges of living in a connected city like Sydney. The message was clear: we are diverse and we have to continue to help the legal profession from the inside out.

    Special guest speaker and trailblazer, Molina Asthana shared with the audience of over 50 guests, her personal story from studying and practising in India to transferring her life and practice to Australia.  Molina emphasised that we must continue to push for change in the leadership echelons- welcoming more diversity is not only imperative to reflect the demographic but is a  decision that benefits the entire workforce and community.

    The audience’s response to the keynote speaker Elizabeth Espinosa’s story showed how valuable and cherished storytelling is. The legal profession has moved beyond diversity as a set of statistics and we want your story: we want to learn, develop empathy and grow in our common understanding. This touched on the key purpose of AALA: an association that advocates for intersectional diversity, a network of shared values and experiences whose common goal is to advocate for cultural equity and equality. Espinosa made a poignant statement: the Law is as expressive as it is disciplined. Diversity is a help. Not a hindrance. AALA welcomes Espinosa as the NSW Law Society President and applauds the inclusive approach to advocacy and policy. As Espinosa noted, ‘diversity is no longer the buzz word,’ and change is happening. It is up to all of us to engage in personal reflection and professional training that will create and promote a more inclusive community.





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