Anna Hendry

Anna Hendry

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I help employers and insurers to navigate personal injuries claims. I mentor law students and junior solicitors to develop their own careers in this area. I hope I am raising kind, compassionate and resilient children.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Experiences, perspectives, contributions.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

The opportunity for people of more diverse backgrounds to dream of, qualify for and participate fully, in legal work. Change must occur at all levels from schools and university entrants up to partners, the Bar and the Judiciary.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to help people through advocacy.

Anna is a Partner at HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Lucy Dickens

Lucy Dickens

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

Bring together people, process and technology to design innovative legal services.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Gender, race, perspectives.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry? 

Rid ourselves of time billing!

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I was better at English than Maths… luckily I’ve found more meaningful reasons to stay!

Lucy is a Legal Innovator at Doing Law Differently

Keertan Samra

Keertan Samra

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)

I provide women with information and legal advice about their options to help them make an informed and safe decision for themselves and their children.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

To help disadvantaged members of our community that have barriers and difficulties with accessing legal assistance such as homelessness, literacy or financial barriers.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Inclusivity, representative, meaningful.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry? 

To have meaningful connections and conversations with diverse people in the legal industry, and the desire and willingness to make meaningful changes to allow those from a diverse background to be able to achieve the same opportunities as their peers at all levels of the legal industry.

Keertan is a Solicitor at Women’s Legal Service Queensland

Kristan Conlon

Kristan Conlon

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now?

Every day is different but it is all about the people around me. I connect people to assist them in getting solutions and outcomes and I connect people within my team to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to do their very best.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?
This really came down to the fact that I was better at English than maths. My passion and interest was definitely more in the sciences side and I was interested in all the different therapies and actually began these studies in my first year. My work experience was not in a law firm, it was in a gym!

I was just better at English, I did extremely well at Uni in my first year and people started suggesting I should study law so I took their advice, found I was good at it and so the rest is history.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?
1. Gender, more specially gender equality.
2. Diversity of thought. I genuinely think that surrounding you with people that are different from you helps you see everything in a different light.
3. Self-reflection. I think to be open to other people’s thoughts, opinions, experience and to want to learn from this you need to be able to self-reflect.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?
We need to expose this industry from both within and from outside of the industry. What I mean by that is that we need to ensure that people are able to be exposed to people that are different to them whether that be gender, sexual orientation, race, age etc. We need to see and hear differences and develop an understanding. Importantly we need to look outside legal and learn from other industries and be open to what they have done.

Kristan is a Partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Francine McNiff

Francine McNiff

(24 March 1948 – 2 April 2015)

Francine McNiff graduated from Monash University with a BJuris LLB. She taught at Monash for over 10 years in addition to working as a consultant at Martin Bartfeld & Associates.

Francine went on to become the Principal Legal Officer and Acting Director of the Policy & Research Division of the Victorian Law Department.

In 1987 she was appointed a Children’s Court Magistrate, making her the first woman Judicial Officer in Victoria.

Katharine Elizabeth McGregor

Francine McNiff

(16 May 1903 – 25 June 1979)

Katharine Elizabeth McGregor was admitted as a solicitor and barrister by the Supreme Court of Queensland in October 1926.

She was the first woman in Queensland to be admitted as a barrister, although she did not go on to practice as one.

Katharine went on to become a partner at her father’s law firm and later opened up her own firm in 1935.

Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan

(2 August 1861 – 9 June 1932)

Edith Cowan was the first woman to be elected to an Australian parliament in Western Australia in 1921.

In 1894 she became the founding secretary of the Karrakatta Club, a women’s club in Perth that campaigned for female suffrage. Edith was later involved in the establishment of the Western Australian National Council of Women.

She was a foundation member of the Children’s Protection Society and the first woman to be appointed to the Children’s Court bench.

Roma Mitchell

Roma Mitchell

(2 October 1913 – 5 March 2000)

Roma Mitchell was an Australian judge, lawyer and state governor. She was Australia’s first judge and the first woman to be a Queen’s Counsel.

Roma was admitted as a barrister in 1935 and was later appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1962. In addition to her career as a lawyer, Roma was a family law lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

She became a Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1965.

Christian Jollie Smith

Christian Jollie Smith

(15 March 1885 – 14 January 1963)

Christian Jollie Smith studied law at the University of Melbourne and was later admitted as a solicitor by the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1912.

After moving to Sydney in 1919, she went on to become a foundation committee member of the Communist Party of Australia in 1920. Christian became the second woman in New South Wales to be admitted as a solicitor in 1924.

Kathleen Margaret Trevelyan

Kathleen Margaret Trevelyan

(24 October 1920 – 21 November 2010)

Kathleen Margaret Trevelyan graduated from the University of Sydney in 1959 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. She became the seventh woman to actively practice law in New South Wales, with an interest in family law.

Kathleen later became the vice-president of the Women Lawyers’ Association of New South Wales.