The latest news from Women Lawyers of Western Australia (Inc.).  If you would like to submit an article or news item, please Contact Us.

Having extensively reviewed the costs associated with our existing activities, the services we want to be able to provide to our members and the membership fees of similar organisations nationally, we have decided to adopt a more streamlined approach to membership in the future. 

Membership Benefits 

All of our memberships already include access to the following benefits: 

  • Supporting the community objectives of WLWA - law reform submissions, promotion of women in the law, consultation on judical appointments, promotion of policies that support gender equality in the legal profession, periodic review of the Gender Bias Taskforce Report
  • access to monthly E-News email newsletters keeping members up to date with all things relevant to women in the law
  • access to mentoring programs tailored for women at all stages of their legal careers - student mentoring, ad hoc career mentoring, advocacy mentoring
  • member-priced tickets to social and CPD events, which are some of the cheapest in WA 
  • from 2018-19, early bird access to tickets for the annual Honours Dinner

In addition, student membership includes a FREE ticket to our annual Meet the Judiciary event, when students and practitioners can meet and get to know Judicial Officers from the various WA Courts.  

New Membership Structure 

As of 1 July 2018, memberships will be sold in the following categories: 

Student Members

[any woman currently studying a law degree] 


 Ordinary Member - Junior 

[any woman employed as a graduate, lawyer up to 5 years PQE or paralegal]


Ordinary Member - Senior  

[any woman employed as a lawyer, more than 5 years PQE]


 Associate Member

[any woman who supports the aims of WLWA and not employed as a lawyer]



To ensure that we continue to engage women working in the law accross a diverse range of areas, the Committee has also resolved to provide at 20% discount on the above membership prices to: 

  • Women employed at a Community Legal Centre
  • Women working outstide of the Perth Metropolitan area


In recognition of the loyalty and support of our existing members, the Committee has further resolved that our existing subscribers and any new members can, until 30 June 2018, renew or subscribe at the existing member prices and categories. 

Your subscriptions will then be automatically migrated into the new membership structure. 

However, any renewals or new subscriptions entered after 30 June will be charged at the  new rates above. 


Individual Membership

If you are already a member and simply want to renew your membership, click here

If you are not yet a member and want to join before the 1 July price change, click here.

Firm Sponsored Membership

If you are a firm wanting to:

  • renew membership on behalf of existing members employed by your firm;
  • purchase a new subscription on behalf of your employee,

please download and complete this form and forward it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. if you require an invoice, please let us know via your email. 

PLEASE NOTE: any new members whose fees are being paid by their firm on their behalf still need to apply for membership online to set up their profile, username and password, and select "offline" as the payment method.


On 15 September 2017 at the Melbourne Town Hall, over 100 women lawyers gathered together to celbrate the 20th anniversay of the creation of Australian Women Lawyers, the conglomerate body of all state and territory women lawyers associations. 

The women lawyers of Western Australia were represented by committee and general members, and a wonder ful night was had by all. 

We said goodbye to the long standing patron of AWL, Her Honour Chief Justice Bryant of the Family Court of Western Australia. Her Honour, being something of an adopted Western Australian with a long term connection with our state, kindly joined us for a photo to commemorate the night. 

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We were also privileged to be among the first to hear the exciting news of AWL's new patron, her Honour Chief Justice Kiefel of the High Court of Australia. Her Honour could not be present for the dinner, but sent her congratulations to AWL and acceptance of her new role via video. 

Kiefel CJ Web Bio


In a unique project sponsored by RegaliaCraft, Women Lawyers of WA is pleased to announce that we now have available for use by our members a custom-designed maternity bar jacket which can be worn at all stages of pregnancy! 

If you are pregnant and engaged in appearance work, please contact WLWA for more information - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photos below are courtesy of our volunteer model, Heather Williams, who kindly volunteered her time and figure to be fitted for these robes. 

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In May 1994, Geraldine Byrne's article was published in Brief  Volume 21 No. 4 pages 13 -17 (the Law Society of Western Australia's flagship publication) tracing the stories of the remarkable first female lawyers of Western Australia. 

You can read that article here.

As part of our commitment to promoting and assisting women in the legal profession, WLWA is pleased to announce that sets of robes are now available for use by our members for court appearances, free of charge. 

Robes will be available at the District Court.

We are delighted that Regalia Craft has kindly donated a pregancy bar jacket as well as the WLWA embrodriery on the purchased items. In addition Regalia Craft is extending a WLWA membership discount on the purchase of any bar robes. Thank you very much to Regalia Craft for enabling this very important initative to happen. 

If you would like to reserve robes for an appearance or assist us as a model, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RegaliaCraft are also proiding a special offer on legalwear to our members - se our member benefits page for more information. 

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WLWA contgratulates Justice Gail Archer on her appointment to the Supreme Court on 29 May 2017.

Her Honour, who has more than 20 years practice experience, will be the fourth woman currently sitting as a judge in WA's Supreme Court. Her Honour commenced legal practice at the Crown Solicitor’s Office (as it then was), before joining the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1993, remaining there until 2002.

Her Honour already has an outstanding professional history. From 2002 to 2004, Justice Archer was Principal Counsel of Legal Aid WA. In July 2004, she began practising as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2007. WLWA are pleased to honour the appointment of such a respected and experienced female barrister to the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

 Read more in the media statement from the WA Attorney General.

Members are encouraged to attend the ceremonial sitting to welcome her Honour on Monday 19 June 2017 at 4.30pm in Court 4.2 of the David Malcolm Justice Centre. The sitting is open to the public.

Invest in yourself: Advice from women with diverse careers in the law 

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On 5 April 2017, before an audience of nearly 100 legal professionals and law students, a panel of women with diverse career paths in the legal profession spoke about their experiences, reflected on the current status of women in the law, and gave advice for those of us considering our own career progression. 

The panel discussion focussed on Chapter 2 of the 20th anniversary review on the implementation of the 1994 report of the Chief Justice’s Taskforce on gender bias in the law and the administration of justice in WA, entitled Career Paths for Women in the Legal Profession. You can review Chapter 2 of the report here and the Law Society of Western Australia's response here.

Chaired by Charmaine Tsang, a partner at Lavan (our host for the evening) the panel brought together experiences from private practice, government, in-house counsel, academia and the judiciary and featured: 

  • Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO
  • Justice Janine Pritchard
  • Jodie Hatherly, General Counsel and General Manager Legal, INPEX
  • Kate Offer, Lecturer & Director of Disruption, UWA Law School

The night concluded with an opportunity to network over drinks and canapes. 

From an attendee: "It was so interesting to hear the diverse range of career paths that each of the panelists went down and the tips that were shared were extremely practical. Attendees were encouraged to always be open to new opportunities, invest in your education, never stop learning, outsource tasks that don't need to be done by you, set boundaries and enforce your priorities. It was particularly encouraging to learn that not everything needs to be achieved straight away and that a career in the law is a marathon not a sprint."



WLWA's 2017 Honours Dinner was held on Friday, 10 March 2017 at the Grand Ballroom, Crown Towers. There were 276 guests in attendance and it was wonderful to see so many people attending to celebrate women in law including the honourees and award winners.

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The Dinner celebrated and honoured the appointments of:

  • The Honourable Justice  Banks-Smith, Supreme Court of Western Australia;
  • Magistrate Osborn, Famiyl Court of Western Ausrtalia;
  • Magistrate De Maio, Magistrates Court of Western Australia;
  • Magistrate Johnston, Magistrates Court of Western Australia;
  • Magistrate Longden, Magistrates Court of Western Australia;
  • Carmel Barbagallo SC, on her appointment as Senior Counsel; and
  • Amanda Forrester SC, SC, on her appointment as Senior Counsel.

The achievements of WLWA's former patron, The Honourable Carmel McLure AC QC (retired from the Court of Appeal) and Former Magistrate Jill Vander Wal (retired from the Family Court) were also celebrated.

WLWA is delighted to congratulate the recipients of awards which were announced at the Honours Dinner:

Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year: Dr Jane Power

Woman Lawyer of the Year: Lisa Boston

Rural, Regional and Remote Woman Lawyer of the Year: Lisa Ellery

Junior Woman Lawyer of the Year: Rose-Violet Arrey

Aboriginal Women's Legal Education Trust Scholarship: Emma Garlett

WLWA would like to thank everyone who attended the Honours Dinner especially the sponsors who were John Toohey Chambers (Gold sponsor), Law CPD and Lavan (Silver sponsors), and The College of Law and The ADR Centre (Bronze sponsors).


2018 Honours Dinner

The 2017 Honours Dinner was sold out a week prior to the event so please make sure you book in early next year!

We look forward to seeing you at next year's dinner.


To see the rest of the photographs taken by Monica Defendi Photography on the night, please visit our Facebook page at:

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The closing dates for nominations for the 2017 Woman Lawyer of the Year Awards and submissions for the Heenan Payne prize have been extended to Monday 20 February 2017.

The Woman Lawyer of the Year Awards recognise and reward those women in the legal profession who have made an outstanding contribution towards the legal profession, with regard given to the nominee’s achievements in the past, as well as to their ongoing contributions, at the time of nomination.

There are four categories for the Woman Lawyer of the Year Awards: Woman Lawyer of the Year, Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year, Junior Woman Lawyer of the Year and Rural, Regional and Remote Woman Lawyer of the Year.

See the selection criteria for further information. Don't forget to submit a consent to nomination form with your 2017 Woman Lawyer of the Year nomination(s) by no later than 5pm on Monday 20 February 2017.

The Heenan-Payne prize was established in the early 1990s to encourage the study of feminist legal issues. The prize commemorates the work of two trailblazing women lawyers in Western Australia, Mrs Joan Heenan and Mrs Vivien Payne. Applications from 2016 law students for the $1,000 prize should see the 2017 Heenan-Payne Prize Flyer (with the extended submission closing date of Monday 20 February 2017) for details of the application criteria and details on making a submission.



Save the date for the WLWA Honours Dinner which will be on Friday, 10 March 2017 at the exciting new venue Grand Ballroom, Crown Towers, Perth.

Invitiations and registrations will be out soon and will be available on our Events Calandar.

Celebrate (& nominate) remarkable women

Join us to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women lawyers in WA. At the dinner we honour women who have been appointed/retired to/from the bench, appointments to senior counsel, our 2017 Woman Lawyer of the Year Award winners, the recipient of the 2017 Aboriginal Women's Legal Education Trust (AWLT) Scholarship, and our 2017 Heenan-Payne Prize Winner.

There are four categories for the Woman Lawyer of the Year Awards: Woman Lawyer of the Year, Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year, Junior Woman Lawyer of the Year and Rural, Regional and Remote Women Lawyer of the Year.

The Woman Lawyer of the Year Awards recognise and reward those women in the legal profession who have made an outstanding contribution towards the legal profession. In respect of all four awards regard will be had to the nominee’s achievements in the past, as well as to their ongoing contributions as at the time of nomination.

For further information, see the attached selection criteria and nomination form. Nominations close at 5pm on Thursday 16 February 2017.

We also encourage you to speak with any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women who are eligible to apply for the 2017 Aboriginal Women's Legal Education Trust (AWLT) Scholarship. Applications for the 2017 AWLT Scholarship will close at 12 noon on Friday 10 February 2017. Full details are available in the 2017 AWLT Scholarship Flyer.

Further information about the Heenan Payne Prize is available on our Heenan Payne Prize webpage.


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