Anyone who says you can’t combine business with pleasure hasn’t had the good fortune to travel to our state’s sunny north for work purposes. Far North Queensland at this time of year is perfect: mild temperatures, crystal-blue skies and (in my case) eager members all keen to contribute to our profession and society.
I was fortunate enough to attend, and speak at, the North Queensland Law Association Annual Conference—not that it wasn’t just a little intimidating as well. The line-up of speakers was impressive, and the NQLA is to be congratulated on arranging such a successful event. I am sure I can speak for all attendees when I say that a great and informative time was had by all, a wonderful conference all round.
I caught up with some of the local CLC lawyers and the prosecutors in Townsville as well; it is always worth getting that view from the coalface. The more stakeholders I can speak with on the trips, the more responsive QLS can be to the needs of the profession.
I also got the chance to speak at a LawLink event at James Cook University, which was a great opportunity to connect with some of the future of the profession and get their ideas and thoughts. The LawLink Program was established by QLS in 2003; it aims to bridge the cultural divide between Indigenous law students and the legal profession and you can read more about it here. It was an invigorating experience to engage with such bright and enthusiastic people. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I also managed to get up to Cairns and visit with the local DLA, as well as most of the local Magistrates and some individual law firms and members. This is one of the best aspects of the job as President: meeting with the profession personally, getting feedback on what their priority issues are, and working out a way we at the Society can help to address them. I am always amazed at the great ideas our members have, and look forward to using this feedback to improve our services to the profession and the community.
I am going to be able to continue my ‘working in paradise’ run, although this time in the south, when I attend the Gold Coast Symposium in the first week of June. The QLS team has put together a great program and attracted excellent presenters, so hopefully I will see a lot of you there. If you are interested in registering click on the above link, but don’t wait too long; it is a popular event!
Speaking of such things, QLS has more going on in the regions over the next month, as the Modern Advocate Lecture Series, Solicitor Advocates Course and Legal Matter Management workshop all take place in Cairns from 20 June to 22 June. These events provide practitioners with useful skills for better serving their clients and the community, as well as giving them the opportunity to mix with fellow professionals and build all-important professional networks; I encourage our members in Cairns to have a look at those links and to get involved if you can.
Finally, as this hits your inbox, we are in the midst of National Reconciliation Week—a time for all of us to reflect on what reconciliation means to us and what we can do to get closer to it. I have written about this on our Law Talk blog, and encourage all members to find out about this important week, and go about finding their path to reconciliation.
We are all in this together, and the sooner we start acting together, the sooner we’ll be one united Australia with a strong, wise voice and a free and joyous spirit.
Until next time, may our path be grounded in truth, and may we walk it together with courage.