The incredible Sarah Jones  is a Senior Associate  at O'Sullivan Davies  where she practices in Family Law .

Sarah says she joined the WALA committee because “ I wanted to contribute to the advancement and support of women in the profession. There is so much being achieved by women and I wanted to know about it and share it with others”

The hardworking Sarah has  two roles - Membership Officer and Chair of the Communications Working Group where she is ably assisted by Daniela Ion, Genevieve Smit, Chloe Samuels, Danielle Hadida, Jessica Stokes.  She is responsible for the administration side of membership and communications to members, for producing E-News newsletters (like the one you are reading now!) on a monthly basis and overseeing projects like Without Prejudice, our history of women in the profession, publication and promotion of the benefits of membership and of events organised by our other working groups.

Sarah and her working group have so far this year produced E-News each month, managed the transition to a new membership structure, received approval and funding  to create a new website for WLWA, commenced an archival project of historical materials related to WLWA and women in the legal profession, promoted WLWA to potential new members, promoted and managed ticket sales for a number of events, produced online articles for our website.

The Communications Working Group’s biggest project is creation of a new website. This should be delivered prior to our AGM in October 2018.

Sarah says, “If I could get away with playing latin music (bachata, salsa, reggaeton) all day in my office, I would. Teaching social dance was my second job until I had kids (which made it a lot harder to get to evening classes!) and I still love the music”

Her proudest achievement is “Any day when I feel I haven't dropped any balls when juggling family, kids, job and self is an achievement for me!”

Jo Alilovic

The fabulous Jo Alilovic is a Director of 3D HR Legal which is a  boutique employment law firm in the South west. When asked why she joined the WLWA Committee she says

“ I moved to the south west in 2016 and have become very conscious of the difference in resources between the city and regional/rural areas. I wanted to help bring some of those resources/events to the country. I decided to do this by getting involved in Women Lawyers – as I am passionate about doing what I can to make change in the world of work so that more women stay in high level careers, particularly after starting a family.”

Jo is the Chair of the Women in the Legal Profession Working Group where she works with some amazing women on the working group namely Shemali Samaraweera, Lucy Dickens, Nicole Rajoo, Samantha Gomez, Aleasha Sanchez, Naline Behere. Jo is also our valuable Liaison Officer for Regional, Rural, Remote Women Lawyers. Jo combined these two roles recently when her working group organised the first WLWA regional event in Bunbury in May with guest speaker Judge Julie Wager. It was well attended and received fantastic feedback from attendees. They are currently are looking to hold a second function in October with guest speakers from the south west region.

The Women in the Legal Profession Group is currently working on lots of things:

1.         Sexual harassment survey. We are working on a survey to find out the incidence of sexual harassment in the legal profession in WA. Hoping to have the survey to members in August.

2.         Workplace policies. We are currently researching existing policies with a view to producing template workplace policies on maternity leave and breastfeeding at work that firms without dedicated HR may use. Hoping to have this completed in October.

3.         Confidential Register for Judicial Appointments. We are working to create a register where women who are interested can confidentially express interest in upcoming judicial appointments. This will be completed in line with the website upgrade that is currently occurring, and will go live at the same time.

She has not always been a lawyer and once worked as a travel consultant in the town of Yulara, located next to Uluru.

Jo’s proudest achievements are “In my personal life it would have to be my 3 kids. They drive me nuts, but they are wonderful. Professionally, my proudest achievement is taking a leap of faith and opening my own practice. It’s been incredibly challenging, but also the most rewarding thing I have done as the challenge has led to significant personal growth.”



Shemali Samaraweera is WLWA’s hardworking secretary as well as being made an Associate of Bennett and Co on 1 July 2018 – Well done Shemali! She practices in Commercial Litigation, Wills and Estate Planning. 

Shemali took a well worn path to being on the WLWA committee by first being coopted onto the Committee in 2016/2017 before being elected to be the Secretary of the WLWA Committee in 2017/18. She joined the WLWA committee to assist and contribute to the significant work WLWA carries out in the Western Australian community with respect to promoting, encouraging and empowering women in the law. 

As Secretary of WLWA, which effectively means she documents the day to day running of the Committee by way of Committee minutes and resolutions, updates regulatory bodies regarding WLWA (such as the Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission) and organises the Annual General Meeting for 2018. The amazing Shemali is also a member of the Women in the Legal Profession Working Group, which is led by Joanne Alilovic. The Legal Profession Working Group have a number of projects on the go including, reviewing the current WLWA awards categories, preparing a sexual harassment survey to collect invaluable data and preparing a maternity leave policy. The Legal Profession Working Group hopes to have these projects delivdelivered within the next few months.

A little known fact about Shemali is that she has a Spoodle named Michael Faraday, who is named after the 19th century scientist. 

Thanks Shemali your contribution to the smooth running of the WLWA Committee is greatly appreciated

At our AGM on Tuesday 18 October 2017, Ms Wendy Gillan was elected as President of WLWA.  As Ms Gillan has now been appointed as a judge of the District Court of Western Australia (effective 12 February 2018), The Committee resolved on 13 February 2018 to fill the vacancy by nominating the elected Vice President, Charmain Tsang, to the role of President, and to nominate Ms Clare Thompson (a former president, long term member and convenor of the AWLT) to fill the vacancy of Vice President.

Our current Committee is therefore as follows:


President:  Charmaine Tsang

Vice President: Clare Thompson

Treasurer: Jacqui Brown

Secretary: Shemali Samaraweera

Other Committee Members:

Nicola Ashford 

Jessica Stokes

Sarah Jones

Tuba Omer 

Amy Preston-Samson

Jo Alilovic

The Co-opted Committee Members subsequently appointed by Committee resolution are:

Mintie Tantiprasut

Maria Fifield

Jessie Poon

Michaela Stanton-Cook

Emma Luck 



For information on joining one of our 6 Working Groups, please see our Working Groups tab.

The members of the WLWA Committee for 2016 / 2017 are located here.

Each of the six (6) working groups is chaired by one of our Committee members as set out here.

We acknowledge the support of our Patron Emeritus, Her Honour Toni Kennedy AO.

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