Victorian Women Lawyers | VWList | February 2016
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Happy New Year

And hello 2016, VWL's 20th birthday year

In this 20th anniversary year we will celebrate and reflect on VWL's past achievements, and examine contemporary legal issues as we explore new ways to assist female lawyers in achieving a successful professional life and to promote women's legal and human rights more broadly. This year VWL plans to expand its membership to include women from a variety of backgrounds and from parts of Victoria beyond the Melbourne CBD. Our events in 2016 will focus on such issues as pay equity, family violence and career progression. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events soon!

Wed 24 Feb 2016
5.45 - 8pm
El Coco
120 King Street, Melb

A bit like ‘speed dating’, this event will see solicitors and barristers practising in commercial, family, criminal and public law network at dangerously high speeds! Hosted by the charismatic Fiona McLeod SC, the evening offers an opportunity to mingle with other professionals in a fun way.
Find out more and register.

Fri 11 March 2016
12 - 2pm
Plaza Ballroom
191 Collins Street, Melb

One of the most anticipated events in the legal calendar, this year Prof Megan Davis, director of the UNSW Indigenous Law Centre and chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will speak on public law solutions to disadvantage.

Find out more and register.

An Evening with Sisters Day Out
Sat 5 March 2016
6.30 –11.30pm
CQ Lounge
113 Queen St, Melb

Celebrating Aboriginal women and the successful story of Sisters Day Out, this special event
aims to raise funds for the program which is facing funding uncertainty.
Find out more and register.

About Sisters Day Out
FVPLS Victoria's Sisters Day Out program builds resilience and self-esteem among Aboriginal women and draws on cultural strength to reduce vulnerability to family violence. The program is set to deliver its 100th workshop and has attracted over 7,000 Koori women across Victoria since 2007.

Find out about sponsorship opportunities.
Appointments of public health service and public hospital board directors
Applications are now open for (non-executive) directors for public health services, public hospitals and Health Purchasing Victoria. The Minister for Health, the Hon Jill Hennessy MP seeks a diverse range of applicants, including people living in rural and regional areas, to help lead our hospitals and support the implementation of key reforms to drive performance, including safety and quality of care. Applications close 12 February 2016.
Find out more about the positions.
For more information, including how to apply, visit

In 2015, the ALP released a draft bill creating new federal offences to address the phenomenon of 'revenge porn' - the sharing of private sexual images and recordings of another person without their consent.
Following the referral of the Criminal Code Amendment (Private Sexual Material) Bill 2015 to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, VWL's law reform committee made a submission addressing learnings from a range of jurisdictions and policy implications for victims and the broader Australian community.
The Senate Committee's report is due 25 February 2016, after which VWL's law reform committee intends to host an event to encourage discussion on the impact of potential amendments to the bill and contributions to further law reform in the area.

At the end of 2015, members would have received their copy of Portia, VWL's annual report and journal. If you did not receive your copy of Portia 2015, please email or read it here.

Register now for AWL 2016!
'Where do we want to be in 5 years?' Australian Women Lawyers' 6th National Conference will be hosted in Perth from 8–10 April 2016 at Crown Perth. This highly awaited biennial event brings together female practitioners, leaders and senior professionals from across the Australian legal sector to form new relationships, discuss ideas and learn from industry leaders.
AWL 2016 will see managing partners, senior counsel, barristers, academics, in-house counsel, public sector practitioners and female judicial officers in one place at one time. The conference program includes a formal welcome reception at the Federal Court judges’ balcony overlooking the iconic Swan River, as well as a premier gala dinner.
Find out more and register.

Membership committee vacancies
The membership committee has been reconstituted, with new co-chairs and exciting plans for 2016. A key focus of the committee's work this year is broadening VWL's membership base to include, and offering events tailored for, women lawyers in suburban Melbourne and regional Victoria. New members are sought for the rejuvenated committee.
Other committee vacancies
New members are also sought for the justice, communications and WMLI committees.
To get involved in a committee, please email

VWL regularly profiles member employees of its sponsor firms. To read about Emily Hart, senior associate in the medical negligence team at sponsor firm, Maurice Blackburn visit the sponsor spotlight section of VWL's home page.
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