The presidents of QLS are a varied bunch, coming from all corners of the profession, all sizes of firms, and from many reaches of our state. That variety is our strength. Each of us bring different perspectives and priorities to the role (although I admit I am quite similar to the 2016 president).
On one thing, however, I think all presidents would agree: the term goes quickly! That was brought to mind for me when I realised that it was the end of the financial year, with my term half over; I could have sworn it was March just yesterday…
Physicists tell us that time ticks by at one second per second, and that the faster we move through space the slower we move through time. They never manage to explain why time moves more quickly when you are having fun, or have a heap to do, but that is my experience with the presidency: fun work and lots of it means time is flying.
Thankfully I can look back, at this halfway point, on a lot of good things QLS has done during the first six months of this year. We have delivered many outstanding services for members (for example, our Cyber Essentials Insurance, and the Solicitor Advocate Course) and have seen significant results from our advocacy efforts. Many things we have pursued for a long time are now being implemented by government and our contributions have been acknowledged by Ministers.
Those achievements are made possible by the work of many people, but due to the hectic pace of the presidency I rarely get the chance to thank them. Rather than leave it until the end of the year, when such things can often be drowned out by Christmas cheer, I thought I might acknowledge one group early: the superb, hard-working and friendly staff here at QLS.
Looking after our 13,000 valued members scattered across our great state is no small undertaking, especially when we need to make every penny count. The QLS team regularly goes over and above to ensure they deliver, and it is clear that they see their work as more than just a job. It is that passion for the mission of the Society that gets the job done, and it is a great thing to witness in action. So I pause here to thank every one of the QLS staff for their spirit and dedication. I can tell you that as President I find it quite inspirational.
This time of year is also when we do our annual Access to Justice Survey, through which we compile our Access to Justice Scorecard. That scorecard allows QLS to track trends and identify the barriers hindering access to justice for the people of Queensland. It only takes about five minutes, and I would urge everyone to have their say. The more respondents we get, the more accurate and effective our advocacy will be.
Looking ahead, August is gearing up to be a big month. Both the Hervey Bay and Kingaroy Intensives will be held, covering everything from ethics to cybersecurity. Regional practitioners should check out those programs and get along if possible. We will also hold the next instalment of the Solicitor Advocate Course, the Building on foundations workshop. This is the next step in the journey of solicitor advocacy (which we have noted before is the path to judicial diversity) and builds on the original course, examining the case theory as it relates to evidence-in-chief, cross-examination and closing submissions.
On 8 August we also have the third lecture in the Modern Advocate Lecture Series, to be delivered by Her Honour Judge Felicity Hampel SC of the County Court of Victoria. Judge Hempel has been instrumental in helping us to deliver the Solicitor Advocate Course, and I am very much looking forward to hearing her advice to our newer lawyers. If you follow the link above you will get to the registration details, and you will also notice His Honour Justice Henry’s excellent paper, ‘Wanted: Oral advocacy, apply at first instance’, from the second lecture this year. It’s well worth a read.
Until next time, I wish you all the best in your endeavours, and note that there is one good thing about time going by so quickly: each day brings us closer to getting our revenge on the NSW Blues next year—Queenslander!
Bill Potts, QLS President