Rural &


2023 Annual Conference



8.00 - 9.00am

Arrival and networking

8.45am | Official Welcome


  • Georgiena Ryan (Chair of Rural Issues Committee)
  • Peter Moffitt, Partner, Gordon Garling Moffitt

8.55am | Opening Address  

9.00 - 10.00am

Rural Conveyancing Update: Navigating the Evolving Landscape

Attendees will gain insights into the latest developments, trends, and legal considerations in the field of rural property transactions. Through case studies and practical examples, participants will explore the unique challenges and opportunities specific to rural conveyancing. This session aims to equip lawyers with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the evolving legal landscape, ensure compliance with regulations, and provide effective legal representation to their clients in rural property transactions.


  • Tony Cahill, Legal Author and Presenter

10.00 - 10.30am

Morning Tea Break incl networking

10.30 - 11.30am

The potential hazards of family arrangements

Attendees will explore the legal complexities surrounding family-related property matters, including inheritance, transfers, and disputes. Through case studies and analysis, participants will gain insights into identifying and addressing potential hazards of family arrangements. This session aims to equip lawyers with the knowledge and strategies needed to navigate sensitive family dynamics, mitigate disputes, and ensure fair outcomes in succession planning and rural property matters.


  • Ian Coleman SC, Culwulla Chambers

11.30 - 12.30pm

Chat GPT: Ethics and Professional Conduct Issues for Rural Lawyers 

ChatGPT and other forms of Generative AI are starting to be used by lawyers and legal practices. Will this be a time-saving, productivity-enhancing benefit for small firms and sole practitioners working in regional areas? Will it start to become an issue if you are not embracing new technologies?
Ethics and professional conduct issues need to be considered: confidentiality, privacy, privilege, duty of competence & diligence, client engagement, billing, supervision..the list goes on. Do you know if your staff are using ChatGPT and if so, do you have a policy that guides this usage. And what about other tech/AI like Chatbots?


  • Cathryn Urquhart, Professional Skills Trainer, Facilitator of the Legal Practice Management Course at College of Law

12.30 - 1.30pm

Lunch Break incl networking

1.30 - 2.30pm

NCAT Practice and Procedure for Administrative Review of Firearms Licensing Decisions

Attendees will delve into the intricacies of the application process, administrative review mechanisms, and legal considerations specific to rural areas. Through case studies and expert analysis, participants will gain insights into key legal issues, challenges, and best practices surrounding firearms licensing. This session aims to equip rural lawyers with the knowledge and strategies needed to effectively represent clients in firearms licensing matters, navigate administrative reviews, and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.


  • Theresa Simon, Principal Member of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal

2.30 - 3.30pm

Professional Rural Practice: Managing Conflicts of Interest  

Attendees will explore the unique challenges and ethical considerations associated with representing clients in close-knit rural communities. Participants will gain insights into identifying, assessing, and effectively managing conflicts of interest. This session aims to equip lawyers with the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to uphold professional integrity, maintain client trust, and navigate complex legal relationships in rural practice settings.


  • Linden Barnes, Senior Ethics Solicitor, Law Society of NSW
  • Anneka Ferguson, SFHEA, BALLB (Hons), GDLP, Grad.Dip Psych, M.IntLaw (Dist), Senior Lecturer, UNSW PLT, UNSW LAW, UNSW SYDNEY

3.30 - 3.45pm

Afternoon Tea Break incl networking

3.45 - 4.45pm

Addressing Domestic Violence and apprehended violence orders (AVOs) in Rural, Remote, and Regional (RRR) Areas: Legal Strategies and Support

Attendees will gain insights into the unique challenges faced by individuals in rural communities and the legal strategies available to address domestic violence effectively. Participants will explore the role of lawyers in supporting victims, navigating local resources, and advocating for legal protections. This session aims to equip lawyers with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to combat domestic violence, promote safety, and provide essential legal assistance to vulnerable individuals in RRR areas.


  • Kymberlei Goodacre, President, Clarence River & Coffs Harbour Regional Law Society
  • Melanie Alexander, Senior Solicitor, Gosford Legal Aid
  • Megan Raines, Senior Solicitor, Legal Aid Dubbo
  • Bridget Byrnes, Solicitor Legal Aid Dubbo
  • Toshi Weller-Wong, recently admitted as a Barrister, former regional solicitor in Bourke, Dubbo, Broken Hill

4.45 - 5.00pm

Closing Address

Program is subject to change.