Queensland Law Society

President's Update

img20170215_QLS_Update_President_banner_v2.jpg 

Now that our QLS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been approved by both Reconciliation Australia and Council, we are set to launch it officially on 5 July and will soon be providing information on the events planned to mark this occasion.

It is very much an ‘occasion’, as the RAP is a significant document and reconciliation is an issue that is relevant to the entire Australian community. By actively working to remove the cultural, social and economic ‘divide’ that has separated First Nations people from other parts of society for too long, we are a part of a process that will change our nation for the better.

I encourage all law firms to reflect on how they too can become a part of this process.

As a prelude to the RAP launch and to celebrate National Reconciliation Week, we invited Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland president Linda Ryle to a staff morning tea last Friday. Linda gave us an often amusing glimpse into her career to date, and provided insightful observations on her life as an Indigenous woman.

Friday also marked our Best Lawyers Breakfast, which acknowledged the achievements of those among us named on a variety of lists.

It is important that we celebrate the good and important work of lawyers in Queensland, and being recognised by your peers is a mark of excellence which underpins the hard work and expertise of our members.

I noted that some 23 young QLS members were listed as finalists for the annual Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 awards and I wish them the best of luck for the awards which will be announced in Sydney on 23 June.

Last week began sadly with the tragic death of Queensland Police Service officer Senior Constable Brett Forte in the line of duty. I expressed our condolences on behalf of Queensland solicitors, noting that many QLS members work closely with QPS officers and have forged relationships with them in their daily professional dealings. Constable Forte’s passing cut as deeply into the QLS family as it did the wider community.

Other business of the week included a Council meeting, which prompts me to note that we have been receiving plenty of member feedback on the draft of our 2017-2021 strategic plan. Our thanks go to those who have contributed useful suggestions, all of which will be carefully considered.

Finally, I would like to mention that I am very much looking forward to Gold Coast Symposium on Friday. As well as looking forward to catching up with members on my home turf, I also appreciate being able to don my succession lawyer hat for the ‘What’s new in succession law’ session.

As I’m passionate about my area of law, immersing myself in the latest case law and legislative changes in preparation reminds me why I love being a solicitor!

Christine Smyth

QLS president