Asian Australian Lawyers Tackle Unconscious Cultural Bias in 2021

Asian Australian Lawyers Association NSW Branch
Asian Australian Lawyers Tackle Unconscious Cultural Bias in 2021
9 March 2021

The Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) NSW Branch in partnership with the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW (WLANSW) Diversity and Equality Committee, have formed a Policy and Data Subcommittee to address the issue of cultural diversity targets for the legal profession.

As at October 2016, 72.4 percent of solicitors practising in New South Wales were born in Australia, compared to 27.5 percent of solicitors born overseas. Out of solicitors who were born overseas, 16.5 percent were born in the United Kingdom or Ireland, 4.6 percent were born in North America, 11.2 percent were born in Oceania, 41.6 percent were born in Asia, 9.5 percent were born in Europe, 7.8 percent were born in Africa, and 5.2 percent were born in the Middle East.

In 2018, the New South Wales Bar Association published data on cultural diversity at the New South Wales Bar, suggesting that 80.2 percent of NSW barristers identified as English, Irish or Scottish.

The WLANSW Career Intentions Survey, administered each university semester from semester 1 2013 to semester 1 2015, confirmed that out of 1,403 final year university law students and College of Law students, 69 percent identified their ancestry as originating outside of Australia.

“Unconscious cultural bias in the briefing of culturally diverse barristers and appointment of senior solicitors and barristers, continues to create a barrier to the achievement of a legal profession that is representative of Australia’s multicultural community,” says Marija Gurlica, President of AALA NSW Branch.
“It is now more than seven decades since the abandonment of the White Australia Policy. While its legacy is entrenched in our society, it is well and truly time that we confront the legacy by shattering the bamboo ceiling in the legal profession,” says Mrs Gurlica, “AALA NSW Branch looks forward to the opportunities that 2021 brings to tackle this important issue.”

For further information and enquiries, please contact Marija Gurlica (NSW Branch President) or David Chong (NSW Branch Secretary) on .

Click here to download: AALA (NSW) Press Release (March 9) FINAL

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