Queensland Law Society

President's Update

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Welcome to November. What a 10 months we have had so far for 2017! This week, I will share a couple of our most recent highlights with you.

Last week we celebrated the first anniversary of our Modern Advocate Lecture Series (MALS), with the final lecture for the year, featuring the Honourable Justice Roslyn G Atkinson AO. On a dark and stormy night, members of our profession battled howling winds and driving rain to attend Law Society House, to hear Her Honour’s presentation. My thanks to her Honour for your impressive yet practical lecture. We at QLS are incredibly grateful to our judicial officers for embracing this series and contributing to its success.

It is hard to believe that one year of this series has come and gone. When I first devised this series last year, I was buoyed by the enthusiasm of QLS staff during the consultation phase, but as there were some external naysayers I was a little nervous. However, five sold-out lectures later and an astonishing number of participants in our cyberspace audience, has shown me that our members have a thirst for advocacy and collegiality. This is the spirit the MALS series embodies.

We also could not have achieved this level of success without the incredible support and enthusiasm of QLS Staff and the amazing speakers who have given so freely of their time and experience. I thank all of our eminent presenters for their support, and I look forward to welcoming many more prestigious names to the stage.

At the end of the day our profession is defined by collegiality, and I have been buoyed by the bonds I have formed with many QLS staffers who have contributed heavily to whatever successes I can claim. These friendships will endure well after my term and are the greatest reward I have received from holding this esteemed and storied office. There are far too many to name and thank in one column, but a special mention must go out to my super, Olympic gold medallist level EA, Pierina Goodale. Pierina is one of those legendary EAs that are spoken of in awed tones around law firms; she can get anything done, no matter how little time she has, and I could not have achieved what I have without her. Thank you so much P!

Our most recent piece of news I would like to share with you is the launch of our 2017 Call to Parties statement for the November state election. As is often the case with QLS initiatives, the call to parties received a unanimous ‘yes’ from the QLS Council last week, and as a result of the government’s announcement of the election date (25 November 2017), we have released this year’s statement.

As always, we drafted this statement in lengthy consultation with members of our profession – including the experts on our 25 policy committees. We have highlighted 10 areas of priority our profession sees as necessary for our community and called on the parties to commit to reform in those areas. Previously, we have seen our Call to Parties document form the basis for both sides of government to actively engage with the Society and use the document to form legal policy. It has been particularly pleasing to see the legislative successes we have had in the last two years around our last Call to Parties document. I look forward to seeing the same – or higher – engagement from the parties this time around. Thank you to everyone involved in this process. You can find a copy of the statement on our website.

With two months still to go in 2017, there is still plenty to do before we hit the Christmas break, so stay tuned! I encourage you to keep up to date via this weekly newsletter, our monthly magazine Proctor or via social media. The Society is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and I am personally on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Christine Smyth

QLS president