Women Lawyers’ Association congratulates Nicola Roxon on her appointment as the first Australian woman Attorney-General

The Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW (WLANSW) congratulates the Honourable Nicola Roxon MP on her appointment as the first Australian woman Attorney-General. The appointment of a woman Attorney-General marks a significant achievement in the advancement of women in the legal profession.

WLANSW also extends its congratulations to Anne Rees SC and Kirsty MacMillan SC who have recently been appointed as Judges of the Family Court of Australia in the Sydney and Melbourne registries respectively. WLANSW looks forward to the contributions they will make to the law and the status of women in the legal profession.

Despite the outstanding success of some women in senior positions within the law and politics, the promotion and retention of women within the legal profession remains a major issue. The need to improve the status and working conditions of women lawyers in NSW is echoed by the findings of the report “The Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession” released by the Law Society of NSW on 1 December 2011. The report highlighted that despite the rapid equalisation in the male to female ratio of solicitors practising in NSW, the change has been significantly slower for women solicitors to reach the ranks of partners and principals.

The President of WLANSW and Legal Counsel at BT Financial Group Rebecca Barry remarks “WLANSW has no doubt that the reduced number of women in senior positions of the legal profession affects the numbers of women on boards and in senior government positions. WLANSW takes this opportunity to encourage recognition of the importance of gender equality in all workplaces and in particular will be encouraging the Law Society of NSW to go further than mere Recommendations. There must be clear KPIs and ways to measure whether any of the Recommendations are adopted and result in any significant change.”

For further information, please contact Kathryn McKenzie, Executive Officer on 0466 157 087 or at executive@womenlawyersnsw.org.au.

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