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Newcastle and Hunter women lawyers excel as finalists in Women Lawyers Association of NSW Achievement Awards

Posted on 13th September 2021
Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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Newcastle and Hunter women lawyers excel as finalists in Women Lawyers Association of NSW Achievement Awards

Five (5) Hunter lawyers and academics are finalists across five categories in the upcoming 2021 Women Lawyers Association of NSW Achievement Awards (WLANSW).

Catherine Henry, founder and convenor of the Newcastle chapter of the Women Lawyers Association of NSW, said it is extremely pleasing to see a good number of Newcastle and Hunter finalists in the awards.

Her firm, Catherine Henry Lawyers, is the sponsor of the Regional Lawyer of the Year Award for which 3 of the 5 finalists either practise in – or have a connection with – the Hunter.

Ashleigh John Associate Director at Mullane & Lindsay and President of the Hunter Valley Family Law Practitioners Association is a finalist for both the 2021 Regional Lawyer of the Year Award and Private Practice Lawyer of the Year.

An Alumni of the University of Newcastle Law School, Claire Booth, now practising in Dubbo is also a finalist for the Regional Lawyer of the Year Award. As is Hunter Valley family law practitioner Joplin Higgins of Joplin Lawyers.

University of Newcastle Law School academic Kcasey McLoughlin is a finalist for both the Legal Academic of the Year and Change Champion of the Year. It’s been a big year for Kcasey who has just given birth to her second child and has also recently submitted her book for publication on the female judges of the High Court – ‘Law, Women Judges and the Gender Order: Lessons from the High Court of Australia’.  

And last but certainly far from least Sarah Breusch who teaches at the University of Newcastle Legal Centre is a finalist for the Community Lawyer of the Year award.

Catherine said the Newcastle and Hunter region has some outstanding female lawyers and academics. She wished all the finalists the best of luck.

“Awards such as these are important to promote individual achievements and are necessary because of the continued gender equity issues in the legal profession,” Catherine said.

“We have equal numbers of graduates but women are still under-represented in senior roles and firm ownership,” she said.

“Despite equal pay for equal work, there is still a gender pay gap.”

“Affirmative action policies such as the Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy are another way of promoting gender equality and it is good to see an award category recognising this issue.”

About the Awards

The NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of outstanding women lawyers, mentors and firms who achieve excellence in their area of practice and help create opportunities for women in the law. The awards are back in 2021 after being cancelled last year, due to COVID-19. The winners of 11 individual awards and one organisational award will be progressively announced online between September 13 and 28. Life members and a Life Achievement Award will be announced on September 29 and 30.

  • Woman Lawyer of the Year – sponsored by Bartier Perry 
  • Rising Star of the Year – sponsored by The College of Law
  • Private Practice Lawyer of the Year – sponsored by David Talintyre
  • Corporate Counsel of the Year – sponsored by The Law Society of NSW
  • Government Lawyer of the Year – sponsored by Melinda Griffiths Lawyers
  • Community Lawyer of the Year – sponsored by Law CPD
  • Regional Lawyer of the Year – sponsored by Catherine Henry Lawyers
  • Legal Academic of the Year
  • Barrister of the Year – sponsored by New South Wales Bar Association
  • Change Champion of the Year – sponsored by Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers
  • Mentor of the Year – sponsored by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • Outstanding Law Firm of the Year – sponsored by Danny King Legal.

 Principal sponsor of the Awards is the Law Society of NSW.

About the Newcastle Chapter of Women Lawyers Association of NSW

WLANSW Newcastle is one of two regional chapters of the Women Lawyers Association of NSW. It works with WLANSW to:

  • support the advancement of women lawyers in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW
  • monitor and respond to issues affecting women lawyers in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW
  • ensure that membership of WLANSW continues to benefit regional lawyers and barristers.

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