Queensland Law Society

President's Update


One QLS resource that has been evolving into an informative asset is our Law Talk blog, which is available at medium.com.

It provides a platform for articles that offer more substance than those you may encounter on our Facebook or Twitter pages, or some of our other online outlets.

For example, this week I posted an article for the community on the need to only take advice from qualified legal practitioners, given recent reports about fake lawyers providing cheap or free ‘legal advice’, particularly via the internet.

My message – echoing the sentiments of the Red Adair quotation, “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – has resonated with the media, attracting some 68 mentions in newspapers and online.

I’ve also posted articles on financial elder abuse and our duty to protect the vulnerable, which tie-in with our campaign to raise awareness of financial elder abuse.

Shane Budden is another regular contributor, and you will enjoy his articles on a variety of topics, including what we can learn about team dynamics from rock bands and why we should increase diversity on the bench.

Some articles are opinionated, while others are particularly instructive – see Stafford Sheppard’s 10 tips for better advocacy. for example.

Our Law Talk blog plays a significant role in generating broader discussion on legal topics. It will continue to grow, and I hope you find it a useful resource to visit. I am proud of the diverse backgrounds, experience and views of our members. We are a richer profession for this. I welcome your contributions to this blog.

Looking back over the last week, my highlight was being invited to deliver the keynote address at the Queensland Cemeteries and Crematorium Association conference in Townsville on Friday.

I was able to unearth (sorry about that) some information of general interest. For example, in Queensland there is a looming shortage of land for burial (well, we won’t run out for 40 or 50 years, but we succession lawyers like to think long term).

As our state doesn’t have any renewable interment rights, we can’t ‘reuse’ our graves as they do in New South Wales, where after a certain number of years the original coffin is either buried deeper or completely removed so that another can be placed in the grave.

I also noted that there are no specific legislative requirements for burial in Queensland; they are managed by local council regulations and bylaws – and there currently around 77 local councils within Queensland. But while Brisbane has 12 cemeteries under management, surprisingly Brisbane actually has no local laws regarding burial.

While we will hopefully all grow old, topics such as these are very relevant as we plan for the needs of our ageing population. After all, government statistics suggest that over the next 40 years, the proportion of the population over 65 years will almost double to around 25%.

From Townsville I went straight to Hobart for a Law Council of Australia meeting on the weekend, then back to QLS this week.

I’d like to remind everyone of Wednesday’s live webstream on Communicating with Indigenous Queenslanders. The presentation by Dr Diana Eades will provide some great insights into the linguistic and cultural factors that impact communication between lawyers and their clients.

Following the workshop please stay online to watch the official launch of our QLS Reconciliation Action Plan.

Thank you & acknowledgements

Last week I noted that there are many people at QLS who contribute to our successes, and I would like to continue regular acknowledgement of our hard workers.

I receive many positive comments about the imagery and design that accompanies our marketing activities, including conference brochures, posters, and so on.

Our graphic design team, led by Clint Slogrove, are very much responsible for the ‘look and feel’ of QLS, and I think they do a wonderful job, so thanks to Clint, Alisa Wortley, Sam Bingham and Courtney Wiemann for their inspiring visions.

Christine Smyth

QLS president