Newcastle Christmas Cocktails, 5.30pm 3rd December


Dear Members and Friends,

2014 has been an exciting year with the reinvigoration of the Newcastle Chapter of WLANSW and a number of very successful and well attended functions. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting these great events and Newcastle women in law, as we take a look back at this year’s event highlights below.  We also hope you will join us to celebrate the year that was and discuss what you’d like to see in 2015 at our upcoming Christmas Cocktails event on 3 December as noted below, which is set to be a great value evening in a social setting which includes live entertainment, canapés and refreshments. [Click here for registration details].

In March, we celebrated ‘Trailblazing women, Art and the Law’ at the Newcastle Art gallery, where we enjoyed the ‘SHE: true stories, ordinary and extraordinary’ exhibition, with entertainment by an all-female string trio from the Newcastle Improvised Music Association and special guest speakers which included a number of well-respected local women lawyers.  We were lucky enough to have Helen Wilson SC, who has since been appointed as a judge of the District Court of NSW in April and the Supreme Court in October, share her experiences as a female lawyer and barrister in the field of criminal law.  We are proud to offer our congratulations to her honour on her well deserved appointments to the bench.  We were also privileged to have on our panel Lyn McLardy, the first practising female solicitor in Newcastle; Anne Kinnear, who established her own firm Kinnear and Company in 1994; and Kate Lindsay, a senior member of the academic staff at the University of Newcastle, who shared their diverse experiences as women in the legal profession.[Click here for photos; Click here for the flyer]

In May, a number of panellists at various stages of their legal careers discussed the question of ‘To bar, or not to bar?’  Chaired by Barrister and Immediate Past President of WLANSW, Margaret Holz, our distinguished panel included Barrister Dominique Burns, who practices primarily in Family Law and in the Children’s Court; Deborah Moss, who has practised at the bar in Criminal Law for Legal Aid clients since 1995; Michelle McMahon, who was called to the bar in 2010, and Sarah Blakelock, a tax litigation partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers. The panellists discussed their reasons for considering (or postponing) a career at the bar, and attendees were entertained with amusing stories of real life at the bar, practical tips on how to establish and maintain a successful practice and some insightful career advice. [Click here for the flyer]

In August, we hosted an evening on the topic of ‘Choose your own adventure: Alternative careers for women in the law’.  This showcased a highly regarded panel of professional women who all chose very different avenues of legal practice and career paths, from private practice to corporate boards, in-house counsel roles and academia. Chaired by Suzie Leask, Senior Associate at McCullough Robertson Lawyers, our panellists included Jennifer Flinn, General Counsel of the University of Newcastle; Jann Gardner, former Managing Partner of Sparke Helmore and now director of multiple boards; Anthea Gilmore, Vice President & Legal Counsel Australasia of Bally Technologies; and Dr Nola Ries academic and researcher at The University of Newcastle.  It proved to be an entertaining evening with the panellists sharing career advice, their story on how they got to be where they are, and an honest discussion on how they seemingly do it all. [Click here for photos; Click here for the flyer]. 

Please ensure you’re on the WLANSW mailing list or join the organisation to receive updates, event invitations, and member benefits. Please click here for the Membership Form, and check your inbox in the New Year for some exciting events we have planned for 2015!

We hope to see you at an event soon for networking and inspiring conversations to support Newcastle women in law! 


Kind regards,

Natasha Walls



Support the organisation that has supported women in law since 1952.

For further information on joining or to renew your membership please contact our office or visit our website.

Click here for the Membership Form.

Natasha Walls, President WLANSW

Who are Australian Women Lawyers (AWL)?

Formed in 1997, AWL is the national body representing and funded by women lawyers associations in Australia. The current AWL Patron is the Honourable Chief Justice Diana Bryant of the Family Court of Australia.

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