Queensland Law Society

2020 QLS Future Leaders Committee Election Results

After several weeks of spirited campaigning in a close election, the future of our profession has spoken for the inaugural QLS Future Leaders Committee (FLC)!

QLS would like to thank the membership for participating in the election, and also congratulate and recognise all candidates for their time and effort campaigning. It has been inspiring to see your passion and dedication to shaping the future of the legal profession.

All candidates have been appointed by Council as an ordinary member of the FLC. At the first QLS FLC meeting in 2021, three office bearers (a President, Deputy President and Vice President) will be appointed by the FLC members.

 

Our new QLS Future Leaders Committee members for 2021-2022:

Georgia Athanasellis

Minnie Hannaford

Maddison Harrington

Matthew Hollings

Rebecca Murray

Zoe Navarro

Kate Pidgeon

Simon Playford

Storm Scarlett

Ella Thomas

Ellen Wood


Georgia Athanasellis

Georgia Athanasellis

Hi - I'm Georgia, a young lawyer currently spending half my working week as an employment lawyer and the other half on secondment at QAI, a pro bono legal service that helps some of society's most vulnerable people. Both roles, though very different, have shown me that the practice of law is all about the human connections we make with our clients and colleagues. Never before has that been more true, or challenging, than in 2020. As a profession we must continue to serve the community, but we can only do that if we first support each other. If I were lucky enough to serve on the Committee, I'd aim to ensure that young lawyers from every part of our profession and our State are offered opportunities to connect and learn from one another so that all our voices can be heard.


Minnie Hannaford

Minnie Hannaford

I am a solicitor, admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 2016. During my early career I gained significant experience on both major projects and large scale litigation and now as an Associate in the Disputes Resolutions and Litigation team at Holding Redlich, working with some of Brisbane's most inimitable Partners. I have always had a keen interest in social justice, which permeates my work, through Holding Redlich's pro bono program and my prior volunteering with Caxton Legal Centre. I am an avid supporter and ally of LGBTIQ+ communities and peoples of culturally or ethnically diverse backgrounds. As a member of the profession, I acknowledge the immense privilege I have, without restraining or silencing the difficult challenges faced by junior practitioners of diverse backgrounds.


Maddison Harrington

Maddison Harrington

Maddison is a junior in-house lawyer currently working as a Legal Counsel at Griffith University. She is the legal advisor to the University's People & Wellbeing Team with a primary focus on employment and industrial relations matters. She was recognised as being an "Inspirational Woman in Law" in the Women Lawyer's Association of Queensland's "inspo list" on International Women's Day this year for her advocacy work. Maddison has a demonstrable passion for diversity and inclusion, especially for LGBT people in the law. Outside of work, she a Committee Member on the current QLS Early Career Lawyers Committee, and also sits on Out for Australia's National Executive Committee as the State Director for Queensland. Maddison is a member of Griffith University's Equity Committee and is Chair of the University's Pride Committee. She hopes to continue being able to represent both the rainbow and in-house communities as part of this new Committee.


Matthew Hollings

Matthew Hollings

I have had a less than "traditional" legal career, from studying regionally to working in a large city law firm, moving in-house and now transitioning to work alongside members of the Australian legal community, assisting them to adopt new and technologically empowered ways of practice. In my most recent role as a legal technologist I have been able to gain a keen insight and understanding of the challenges faced by the profession, and in particular the future leaders of the legal industry, across a huge array of practice areas, backgrounds and organisational types. The practice and business of law is changing rapidly, and I want to use my unique experience to assist this growing demographic of the Queensland legal community to develop a clear pathway forward that builds on the great start made by some trailblazers in our profession, and creates a future full of possibilities for all lawyers.


Rebecca Murray

Rebecca Murray

Fear of isolation is common among young professionals and may be an obstacle to innovation. I want to help young lawyers overcome fear of isolation, especially sole practitioners and lawyers in government. These groups particularly face professional isolation, where access to a support network of legal colleagues is often more difficult. Legal careers come in all shapes and sizes and we should encourage those lawyers wanting to take "the road less travelled". That's the path I took and I've never looked back! If elected to the QLS Future Leaders Committee this is what I will focus on. I am Director and founder of the firm RTI Consultants and specialise in Right to Information and Privacy law. I believe these niche areas of law are fundamental to the operation of a democratic government. When I'm not working, I watch bad reality tv shows, read crime novels and eat chocolate!


Zoe Navarro

Zoe Navarro

I have 9 years PAE and am the Director of Navarro Lawyers in Townsville, practising in criminal and domestic violence law. The firm employs a junior Solicitor and law students. I am a current committee member of the Townsville District Law Association. My desire to join the Future Leaders Committee stems from my own experiences as a Junior Lawyer working in private practice in Townsville and Brisbane. My experience whilst not unique, involved immense pressure and stress on the job, with very little guidance and support from the profession at large, and pleas for help going unanswered. I have witnessed how those pressures can lead to good Lawyers making bad decisions that impact their career for years to come. I will strive to help implement an effective Mentoring Structure that I hope will help stamp out the bad culture in our profession and improve our standing with the general public.


Kate Pidgeon

Kate Pidgeon

I am nominating for the Future Leaders Committee because I want to make the legal profession more inclusive and welcoming for junior lawyers. I am a 2020 Graduate at Ashurst, currently in the Real Estate Team after a rotation in Corporate Transactions. Last year, I was an Associate in the District Court, where I served on the Social Committee. I have always actively sought to strengthen the social and professional communities that I have been a part of. My particular strength is in organising accessible and welcoming events that have a wide reach and attendance. I was on the Executives of both the UQ Law Society and the Justice and the Law Society, have undertaken extensive pro bono work, and am a Social Impact Champion at Ashurst. Outside of the law, I volunteer as a Surf Lifesaver. I would strive to embody the Society's values of respect, integrity and service.


Simon Playford

Simon Playford

Our fresh ideas should be heard, and our position on policy and procedure firmly understood. The Future Leaders' committee must remain true to their core mission to represent the next wave of leaders in our profession. I promise to make this happen for all of our early-career lawyers. I am a Business/Intellectual Property lawyer born out of a regional firm in Toowoomba, now building a new law firm for start-ups based in Brisbane. I appreciate the issues and challenges that our rural and metropolitan lawyers face in practice. I also understand those issues faced by our LGBTIQA+ members as a proud member of that community. I have leadership and governance experience as a not-for-profit director for several years, and I am a former committee member of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce Future Leaders. I enjoy community and stakeholder engagement, and am currently the Chair of headspace Toowoomba.


Storm Scarlett

Storm Scarlett

My service to the legal profession has so far included volunteering for pro bono clinics and LawRight events, advocating for diverse workplaces, and striving to develop my legal skills to achieve efficient and practical results for clients. I am always alert to ways in which the legal profession can be improved and I am keen to get more involved with shaping the future of the legal profession. I practise in Restructuring & Insolvency and Commercial Litigation. During my grad program I also did rotations in Corporate (Energy & Resources) and Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety. Outside of the legal profession, I can be found listening to live music, making my own music, exploring the world (pre-Covid), hiking, camping, playing soccer or playing tennis.


Ella Thomas

Ella Thomas

During her year as the Associate to His Honour Judge Harrison of the District Court in 2014, Ella was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia shortly thereafter. In 2015, Ella began working as a family law solicitor in Cairns before relocating to the Gold Coast in 2017, where she has continued to practise exclusively in family law. In her spare time, you will find Ella exploring southern Queensland/northern New South Wales (now within the Covid border bubble) with her family, two dogs and surfboards in tow.


Ellen Wood

Ellen Wood

Ellen is in her second year of practice working as a criminal defence solicitor with Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors. She is a passionate advocate for criminal reform and social justice issues and recognises the role she plays as a lawyer in the community and not just in the courtroom. Ellen is presently a member of the Early Career Lawyers Committee and would like to continue her activism for lawyers in early stages of their careers through being a criminal law representative of the Future Leaders Committee. She seeks this opportunity because she believes that young lawyers play an important part in contributing to broader discussion in respect of issues unique to the legal profession, as well as making submissions on legislative reform and policy developments. In her spare time, she is an avid hiker, volunteers with a community organisation assisting people living on the street and enjoys playing social sport.