Amber Sharp

Amber Sharp

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

Problem solver.

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

Strength in difference.

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

Confidence to challenge the status quo.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

LA Law junkie when I was growing up!

Amber is a Partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers.

Helen Driscoll

Helen Driscoll

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

I am a highly skilled communicator and listener with the responsibility and great privilege of guiding others to achieve their desired outcomes.

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

Inclusion, culture, depth.

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

A deep appreciation for what everyone can bring to the table, embracing creativity and thinking outside the box. I think many elements of prestige and stuffiness still attach themselves to the legal profession and often with negative connotations. Continual self awareness on part of all practitioners and consciously dropping these and reframing will go a very long way.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I became a lawyer because I believed it to be the best way to make a tangible difference to people’s lives and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. I believe law is a helping profession.

Helen is a Solicitor / Vice President at Rose Litigation Lawyers / Queensland Young Lawyers.

Virna Trout

Virna Trout

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

Risk Mitigator.

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

Different opinions, opportunity, growth.

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

People showing respect and understanding the positive changes that different opinions can bring to the legal industry.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I was interested in commercial law and wanted to support businesses to achieve their commercial outcomes.

Virna is the Head of Legal / In-House Counsel at FLSmidth Pty Limited

Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah KellyWithout mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I believe that me, my loved ones, and my clients have a right to an awesome life. My superpower is unwavering advocacy and relentless encouragement to help achieve this.

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

Embracing, imperative, enriching.

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

Those in the majority need to excavate their privileged experiences and thinking, the uncomfortableness of this does not matter.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to and change my story.

Kiarah is a Collaborative Family Lawyer at Brisbane Family Law Centre.

Anne-Marie Cade

Anne-Marie Cade

Anne-Marie Cade

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

A changemaker, peacemaker and out of the box thinker.

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

Inclusivity, respect and creativity.

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

A shift in mindset to a more collaborative approach where lawyers work with other professionals and a move away from the adversarial approach to more creative ways of dispute resolution.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

Improve the experience of clients and make legal services more accessible.

Anne-Marie is the CEO and Founder of Divorce Right Pty Ltd.

Clarissa Rayward

Clarissa Rayward

Clarissa Rayward

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

Accidental wellness advocate in law land and life manager for my kids, London and Daisy, and husband at all other times!

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

Difference, acceptance, broad thinking.

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

A willingness to listen and learn and not assume that because things have been done a certain way there is not other ways of approaching things.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

The ability to combine intellectual skill with helping others.

Clarissa is a Director at Brisbane Family Law Centre and Happy Lawyer Happy Life.

Shabarika Ajitkumar

Shabarika Ajitkumar

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

I work with clients across a wide range of industries, helping them to solve complex problems, including to structure, negotiate and implement significant transactions for their businesses.

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

Strength, talent, outcomes.

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

The adoption of diversity as a priority and core value by the legal industry and our clients.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I was motivated to study commerce and law to better understand the world and its institutions. From there, I was particularly drawn to commercial law because it offered a dynamic, varied and challenging career path.

Shabarika is a Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets at Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Meg Morgan

Meg Morgan

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

I would describe the work that I do as part advocacy and part problem solving. I have clients who ask for my assistance to navigate their business through tricky legal arrangements. Sometimes they ask for my assistance to navigate their business through tricky commercial arrangements. Usually it is a combination of both. I have colleagues who ask for my assistance with their clients for the same reasons. Team work is definitely a big part of what I do now and one of the parts of my job that I love the most. I have colleagues who ask for my assistance to help them navigate the legal industry itself. For better or worse (a bit of both in my opinion) the legal industry is still a rigid profession and wending your way through the industry is less overwhelming with some guidance.

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

Listening, empathy, positivity.

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

The legal industry gains its strength through its history and its stable foundations. We are an industry built on precedents. However if we just stick with this as the model it can also be a limitation when it comes to facilitating truly innovative and diverse thinking. I would like to see the legal industry maintain its foundation and, with a bit of focused planning and targeted initiatives, use this as the basis upon which we build up a profession that attracts, retains and engages with people across all sections of the community. The legal industry will remain a pillar of society where it represents all parts of society.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I love advocacy and problem solving! I feel so lucky to have found the industry that is right for me. The complexity of the way the law interacts with business was the main driver to enter into the legal industry. The main driver for me to stay is helping people navigate the law to succeed in business.

Meg is a Senior Associate at McCullough Robertson

Tessa van Duyn

Tessa van Duyn

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

My role is to enable and empower people to be their best selves and work together as a team to create a positive impact in the community around us.

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

Equality, creativity, courage.

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

In order to properly embrace diversity in all it’s guises, we need courage to shift our mindset as well as true cultural and structural changes.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to use my privilege to contribute to a more equal and just society and create a positive impact in the community.

Tessa is the CEO at Moores

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