The inaugural Women Lawyers Association ACT awards were announced on the evening of Thursday 3 November at a gala dinner at Old Parliament House. The night was a triumph for the ANU College of Law, with alumni winning in most categories and College alumna and staff member Margie Rowe (BA ’84, LLB ’84) being honoured in both the Community and the Academic categories.
Margie was honoured for her work as one of the founders of the Women’s Legal Centre ACT, having also been a member of its Board for 16 years and she has continued to provide pro bono service at the Centre. She has been an instrumental academic at the ANU College of Law since 2003 and has continued to engage in the advocacy for women as Chair of the ACT’s Domestic Violence Prevention Council and Secretariat to the ACT Community Law Reform Committee on the review of domestic violence laws.
Anneka Ferguson, Senior Lecturer of ANU Legal Workshop, congratulated fellow staff member Margie Rowe for her award. “This is a completely deserved award and it is a fabulous achievement to receive the award for two categories at once,” she said.
“Community and Academic – says it all,” said their colleague, Paul Maharg.
Other recipients from the evening included Nooraini Blumer (LLM ’08), from Blumers Lawyers, who won the top award of ACT Woman Lawyer of the Year. The selection committee praised her for her “tireless advocacy” for the interests of women lawyers.
Liz Huang Hughes-Brown (BAsianStudies ’02, LLB (Hons) ’03, GDLP ’05, GradCertAusMigrationLaw ‘16) was awarded the ACT Woman Lawyer of the Year in the category, Culturally & Linguistically Diverse or Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander.
The ACT Woman Lawyer of Year in the Private category went to Sarah Avery (BA ’05, LLB (Hons) ’06, GDLP ’07) of Ken Cush & Associates. Sarah was recently announced as the youngest lawyer to be President of the ACT Law Society and the award recognised her dedication to going beyond the call of duty to benefit others in the profession.
Helen Curtis (BA ’88, LLB ’88) took the prize for ACT Woman Lawyer of the Year in the category of Government. The committee announced that ‘In a town full of government lawyers, it can be difficult to stand out. Helen has done so.”
Angela Lauman (JD (Hons) ’14, GDLP '15) and Lauren Haywood (GDLP ’13) were the joint recipients of the Early Career category of the ACT Woman Lawyer of the Year awards.
The ANU College of Law was a major sponsor of the evening with Associate Professor Miriam Gani and Senior Lecturer Skye Saunders representing the College. The inaugural awards have been highly successful in achieving their aim of recognising and celebrating the remarkable achievements of women lawyers in the ACT and region.