Greg Johnson – 2013 President, NSW Young Lawyers
In 2013, NSW Young Lawyers will celebrate its 50th year. This is a tremendous achievement and is a tribute to the achievements of a long list of individuals who have served the organisation over the years. I am very proud to lead NSW Young Lawyers as President in 2013, and to continue the legacy set down by my many esteemed predecessors.
In 2012, we demonstrated why NSW Young Lawyers is increasingly looked upon as a major player in public policy. In particular, through our 15 substantive committees, this year we have:
- made no less than 30 submissions in a variety of areas of law reform, including criminal law, animal welfare and human rights;
- had a number of our submissions quoted in the NSW Parliament, and others picked up in media reports; and
- been invited to make submission to Parliamentary Committees, and to the NSW Law Reform Commission.
The last 12 months have shown a flurry of activity from our volunteer members, who never cease to amaze with their dedication and enthusiasm to making a difference in the profession, and in the community.
Other noteworthy achievements in 2012 included 'Creating Networks'. Creating Networks is an initiative of the NSW Young Lawyers Bushweb Committee, which is responsible for the organisation’s members who live and work in rural and regional NSW. Creating Networks involved the establishing of regional email lists to connect lawyers in rural and regional areas, including remote areas, and to provide those lawyers with the networks and contacts that lawyers in city areas take for granted. Creating Networks is a unique initiative, and was appropriately recognised in winning the 2012 Law Council of Australia’s Australian Young Lawyer Organisation Award, as well as the 2012 NSW Young Lawyers Patron Award for Best Professional Project.
NSW Young Lawyers has also continued its impressive work in civic education, continuing legal education, charitable work, an ever-expanding mentoring program and networking events.
I look forward to working with our new executive team. With Thomas Spohr (Vice President), Lisa Franzini (Treasurer) and Brenda Tronson (Secretary), we have at our disposal a first-rate team of experienced and tireless workers who will promote and advance the interests of NSW Young Lawyers and its members. I also welcome our new Executive Councillors Raymon Anderson, Nichole Hoskin and Natasha Walls, and welcome back re-elected Executive Councillor Robert Hoyles.
I am excited by the year ahead, and the potential for NSW Young Lawyers to take further strides forward. In 2013, we are looking to fully implement our Social Media Policy (which was passed by the Young Lawyers Council at our Annual Assembly on 10 November 2012), to continue and build upon our prolific contribution to policy debates, to engage and establish formal networks with young lawyers overseas, and to re-affirm our mission to serve all of our members (lawyers under the age of 36 or in the first five years of practice, and law students).
Finally, I must publically acknowledge, and thank, the outgoing President of NSW Young Lawyers, Heidi Fairhall for her leadership of our organisation in 2012. Heidi leaves (metaphorically) large shoes to fill, and will continue to advocate for the organisation in her role now as Immediate Past President. The organisation also farewells Daniel Petrushnko as outgoing Immediate Past President. Daniel’s vision and determination in his years of service for NSW Young Lawyers laid the foundation for so much important work which continues to this day. Daniel’s commitment, in particular, to mental health issues in the profession, demonstrated how we could make a real difference in the lives of our members.
For anyone looking to become involved in NSW Young Lawyers, and our committees, please do not hesitate to contact me. I encourage you to be involved, to join our ever-growing network, and to be a part of something larger than the individual. NSW Young Lawyers is your opportunity to meet and engage with people worth knowing, and to make a real difference in the profession.
NSW Young Lawyers