A leading Hunter-based law firm that champions women’s legal issues and advocates for gender equality in the legal profession is a finalist in the Australian Women in Law Awards for the second year running.
Catherine said it is an honour for her and Tanya to be recognised among Australia’s top women lawyers. She said she has followed in her late mother’s footsteps in if you want to effect positive change you need to take an active role – in thought and action.
“True equality for women is still a big issue in the legal industry and the broader community,” Catherine said.
“I have tried to make a difference by mentoring and employing women lawyers at senior levels, providing flexible work arrangements and being an active leader in industry and community groups and causes,” she said.
Catherine championed her firm’s sign up to the Law Society’s Equitable Briefing Program to promote the use of female barristers. She is an Executive Member of Women Lawyers NSW and the Convenor of its Newcastle Chapter. She supports the University of Newcastle’s Empower program for female law and business students and uses the law to advocate on women’s health issues including abortion reform and vaginal mesh.
Tanya is being recognised for her work in developing and creating the firm’s Growing Stronger podcast. The free podcast, and the firm’s first, informs the community about elder law issues so they can better protect themselves as they age and avoid legal problems. The podcast has been downloaded more than 730 times and its per episode rates puts it in the top 50% of podcasts.
“As lawyers, we need to be creative in how we convey legal information to help clients and the public,” Tanya said.
“The award would be recognition that community education is an important part of legal practice, that lawyers can play an important role in the prevention of harm and protection of people,” she said.
Catherine said the accolades are due to the hard work, expertise and enthusiasm of the firm’s talented team of lawyers, managers and support staff.
“As a specialist health law firm we have many women clients, but we advocate and use the law to gain justice for all people in regional NSW, particularly the vulnerable.”
Catherine’s leadership, legal acumen and advocacy have already recently been recognised. She was named 2021 Newcastle Woman of the Year in the NSW Government International Women’s Day Awards and awarded the national ALA Civil Justice Award last year.
In the 2020 Australian Women in Law Awards, Catherine was a finalist for the Executive of the Year Award and the firm was a finalist for the Boutique Diversity Law Firm of The Year Award.
The firm is in the running for a swag of other upcoming awards.
On November 17, the winners of the 2021 Hunter Business Awards will be announced at the Civic Theatre. Catherine Henry Lawyers is in contention for three awards – Excellence in Business, Contribution to the Region and Outstanding Employer of Choice.
It is also a two-time finalist in the Australian Law Awards to be announced on December 2. The firm is one of eight finalists for Regional Law Firm of the Year and Catherine is one of 10 finalists for Regional Lawyer of the Year.