September 27, 2011

The peak body representing women lawyers in NSW for the advancement of women in the legal profession.

Dear Members & Colleagues

Following the sold out success of our 2011 Women Lawyers Association of NSW Awards Presentation Dinner held on Friday 23rd September, it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners.

• Woman Lawyer of the Year in Private Practice: Anna Walsh

• “In House” Woman Lawyer of the Year, sponsored by Blake Dawson: Kate Perumal

• Woman Lawyer of the Year in a Community Organisation: Emma Golledge

• Woman Lawyer Advocate of the Year; Julia Baird SC

• “Up And Coming” Woman Lawyer of the Year, sponsored by Middletons: Claire Hammerton

A ‘Highly Commended’ Award was presented to Dr Chandrika Subramaniyan

The Executive Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to The Honourable Elizabeth Evatt AC by our guest speaker, The Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley AO.

We congratulate all our nominees and Award recipients for this year’s NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards; please click here to view their profiles and further information in regard to our Awards.

In addition to our Awards Program this year, founding member, life member and long-serving committee member, retired Barrister Janet Coombs announced the recipients for Life Membership honours. In recognizing the contribution and support of these ten women as noted below, we were recently advised of the loss of one our founding and Life Members, Zena Sachs, who died on 31 July 2011 aged 97. We are very much obliged to Leona Star for the obituary provided below.

We would also like to take this opportunity to gratefully acknowledge the support of our award sponsors, prize and gift sponsors, as also noted below, with our sincere thanks: The Law Society of NSW, the NSW Bar Association, the Attorney General & Justice Department of NSW, the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, Blake Dawson, Middletons, MGSM, NIDA, WomenOnBoards, Jacqui.E, Delicious Flowers, Ella Maiden, Frank Provost Paris Hair, Shoal Bay Resort & Spa, and the NSW Bar Association Choir for their captivating performance.

We were thrilled to have so many attendees from our Principal Sponsor, The Law Society of NSW and from Westpac, the first bank to join as a Corporate Member of this Association. Photos from the Awards Dinner may be viewed on Happy Medium Photo Company’s website where you may also purchase copies:

Kind regards,

Rebecca Barry


27 September 2011


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.

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Life Membership Honours

Since 1952 when we were formally established, the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW has always worked hard to remain relevant to its diverse membership. The establishment of the Achievement Awards has been an integral part of this work. It is our pleasure and privilege to introduce this year a new addition to the Award’s programme, which we hope will be a continued feature in coming years.

Life membership is membership conferred by the Executive Committee of the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW on long standing members of the association. The last life membership was granted in 2007 to our Patron the Honourable Justice Jane Mathews AO, on our discovering that she was yet to be granted life membership despite our intentions, followed through at that year’s Awards Dinner, to appoint her as our Patron.

  1. Judith Benson
  2. Judy Beswick
  3. Audrey Blunden
  4. Margaret Brewster
  5. The Honourable Elizabeth Evatt AC
  6. Kay Loder AM
  7. Anne Needham
  8. The Honourable Mahla Pearlman
  9. The Honourable Margaret Renaud
  10. Anne Thomson

Obituary: Zena Sachs 1913 – 2011 by Leonie Star

Zena Sachs, who died on 31 July 2011 aged 97, was born in Sydney in 1913, the youngest child of a large family of Jewish immigrants who had moved from Poland to England before finally settling in Australia. She attended…

When Zena was a law student, women were allocated a small common room on the same floor as Stone’ office, which was isolated from those of the rest of the academic staff. Women students were separated from the bulk of their classmates, which contributed to a warm camaraderie among them. Possibly out of this supportive environment came the idea in the early 1950s to establish an association for women in the profession. Realising how important it was in the post-war period for women in law to have an alliance of their own, Zena became a founding member of the Women’s Lawyer’s Association of NSW, later becoming a Life Member in honour of her tireless work for the organisation. Together with other founding members, …

Please click here to view the full obituary.



Thank you!

NSW Bar Association
Attorney General Department of NSW



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