You have seen our posters around the law school, you have seen them on Facebook and you have heard us talking incessantly about this event. It is our last big bash of the semester, and the day we welcome the newly elected committee.
Joining us at this big bash were the following special guests:
Belinda Lo (Principal Lawyer, Eastern Community Legal Centre)
Jared Heath (Special Counsel, Corrs Chambers Westgrath)
Kate Austin (Managing Associate, Litigation and Dispute Resolution at Allens)
Amanda Threlfall (Industrial Officer – Australian Education Union)
Tamara Hamilton Noy (Administrative Appeals Tribunal, MLS Criminal Law Lecturer)
Graham Robinson (Principal Lawyer, FairWork Ombudsman)
Also in attendance were guests from the LSS and from the Melbourne Law Masters Students Association.
The event began with an announcement by the re-elected president, Laura Blandthorn, highlighting the achievements of the LLSN. To date, we had:
increased our membership and our outreach;
engaged with Faculty regarding the diverse learning needs of Later Law Students;
engaged with Faculty about the need to include family violence in the special consideration policy; and
contributed to the layout of the new enrichment centre, which is open to law students only.
While our proposal for lecture recordings had not been successful, faculty wants to work closely with the LLSN to ensure that the learning needs of Later Law Students are being met. To this end, Laura reminded members and friends of the network to participate in a short three-minute survey regarding teaching practices that have been helpful for their learning.
Laura also thanked our members for participating in the long but necessary wellbeing survey. The results of the survey formed the basis of better-designed proposals to meet the needs of Later Law Students.
The newly elected committee was presented at the event, and they are:
Laura Blandthorn – President
Marionne Tolentino – Treasurer
Georgia Percy – Secretary
Dimity Payten – Wellbeing Director
Andrew MacDonald – Third Year Representative
Clare van Balen – Second Year Representative
Chenzi Dong – Second Year Representative
Lauren Sapic – Second Year Representative (who unfortunately sends her apologies for not being able to come for the event).
The old committee were thanked for their service:
Samantha Wimala – Secretary
Annabel Triese – Third Year Representative
Sarah Lunny – Third Year Representative
Julia Nikolic – Second Year Representative
Mary Michele Connellan – Second Year Representative
Christine Thornton – First Year Representative
Nathaniel McCracken – First Year Representative
Outgoing Third Year Reps Annabel and Sarah. We will miss their ever cheerful ways!
From left to right: Annabel, Marionne, Julia and Mary.
The outgoing secretary joked that she felt like this was her retirement party which resulted in some laughter.
Following the speech, we spent the night mingling and getting to know our guests. We learnt that our guest, Kate Austin’s mother was a later law student, and they both studied law around the same time. Both mother and daughter ended up embarking on different paths: Kate chose the commercial law route, while her mother picked the CLC route.
Our guest, Belinda Lo explained to us that as later law students, our life experience shows our maturity and this can be an advantage when we apply for legal roles. This was echoed by Tamara, who serves as a member at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and teaches criminal law to JD students.
We learnt that our guest, Jared Heath has had a wealth of experience that included being a Principal Lawyer for the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The secretary and Jared shared a moment expressing their mutual admiration for former Supreme Court judge, the Hon Ms Marcia Neave AO.
Guests Graham Robinson and Amanda Threlfall realised that they had a mutual acquaintance, thus showing us how close-knit an area of law can be. Graham also spoke to the secretary about his trip to Singapore and marvelled at how clean and ordered it is.
We also caught up with alumni member, Yeru and former president, Adam Lodders. Yeru is very close to being admitted to practice after doing her PLT at Leo Cussen. Adam is the Executive Officer at the Melbourne Networked Society Institute’s Advisory Board.
As the night drew to a close, the special guests left as it was a work day the next day. The rest of us migrated downstairs and spent the rest of the time catching up. Since it would be the last time the outgoing secretary works on such a huge event, we decided to have a picture taken of the executive committee of 2016 as a keepsake.
2016 Executive Committee: Samantha, Laura and Marionne
As we near SWOT-VAC, the LLSN would like to wish all its members the very best for the coming exams. We would like to announce that we have a coffee initiative for SWOT-VAC – come by Room 535 for your dose of caffeine (coffee or tea) and a snack (chocolate, tim tams and other biscuits). Watch this space for the opening times of our office!