First published 28 September 2020

The QUT Law Society (QUTLS) was joined by Corrs Chambers Westgarth to highlight the contributions of women as members of the legal community and celebrate the achievements of women in law.

The sold-out event, with more than 80 in attendance, attracted aspiring female lawyers and practicing professionals to discuss the legal industry from a female perspective. The event was one of the first opportunities of the year for law students to network with each other and professional women in the industry. Both key speakers at the event discussed this years’ theme: Each for Equal.

The theme, Each for Equal, recognises that equality is not a women's issue, it's a business issue, and gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, each one of us can also help create a gender equal world.

Helen Clarke, Partner-In-Charge at Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Brisbane Office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee of Diversity and Inclusion Council, gave an insightful speech about her personal experience as a female in the legal profession. Helen has a background in technology, digital transformation, privacy, cyber security, telecommunications, intellectual property, technology licensing, major procurement and outsourcing arrangements.

Helen Clarke, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Catherine Cheek, President of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland (WLAQ), also provided a poignant speech, sharing her excitement about changes in the industry and inspiring other women in the field. Catherine was awarded Queensland Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2017. Catherine prides herself on community service and is a strong advocate for those experiencing Elder Abuse. She is currently practicing as Special Counsel at Kennedy Spanner Lawyers

Catherine Cheek, WLAQ

Ella O’Brien, QUTLS Director of Diversity, Culture and Wellbeing shared, “These events are important to celebrate the women who forged our path into the legal industry and commemorate the women who, even now, are continuing on in order to make the journey a little easier for those who follow”.

The Diversity, Culture and Wellness portfolio for QUTLS is comprised of an entirely female team, “The QUTLS Management committee this year also holds a female majority. QUTLS is proud of these accomplishments,” Ella added.

QUTLS has a wide range of events for law and justice students, you can find out more here.