Written on the 23 August 2016 by Paris Faint


THE Women Lawyers Association of Queensland (WLAQ) has elected a new leadership team for the year ahead, at its recent AGM hosted by Clayton Utz.

Heading up the organisation as president for 2016/17 is Minter Ellison senior associate Cassandra Heilbronn (pictured left), a seasoned insurance and corporate risk practitioner.

Heilbronn is looking forward to leading the organisation through a year of action, focused on career growth and opportunity within the legal profession.

"Our main priorities for Queensland are two-fold, beginning with judicial appointments and process," says Heilbronn.

"The year ahead is about making sure that we engage with our members, find out what they want in terms of judicial or QC appointments and find who those leading women are making sure that we find people who we can recommend to the Attorney-General."

The second major priority for the WLAQ this year will be addressing the issue of equitable briefing, with the association set to provide recommendations to the Queensland Law Society ahead of a formal petition to government.

Heilbronn expects that the equitable briefing issue will form the basis of the largest profession-wide discussion in the coming months.

"The biggest quote to disruption will be in terms of equitable briefing, and helping people to realise that it's not going to be as difficult to implement as they might think," says Heilbronn.

"It's not going to take briefs away from people who otherwise may have received them, it's about creating that awareness and understanding that we can take active steps to brief those women."

Here is Brisbane Legal's snapshot introduction of the WLAQ executive committee for 2016/2017.



CURRENT ROLE: Minter Ellison, Senior Associate Insurance & Corporate Risk

ABOUT: Cassandra Heilbronn's foremost focus is the field of defence insurance work within her firm group.

For more than sevenyears, Heilbronn has also maintained a connection to fields including health law, medical negligence, personal injury claims and defamation disputes.

Heilbronn is a seasoned presenter and advocate within the legal community, having addressed a number of organisations in the past few years including the Australian Young Lawyers Conference, the 2015 QLS Symposium and the 2015 Money in Sport Conference.


WLAQ POSITION: Vice-President

CURRENT ROLE: College of Law Queensland, Executive Director

ABOUT: For more than a decade, Ann-Maree David has worked with the College of Law.

David is a seasoned professional in the fields of dispute resolution, legal advice and mediation assisting students through all stages of their professional legal training.

In the past, David has been involved with a number of industry organisations including Australian Women Lawyers and the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association where she served respectively as the director, and the summit committee chair.

This is David's second consecutive term as the Vice-President of the WLAQ.


WLAQ POSITION: Vice-President

CURRENT ROLE: North Lane Chambers, Barrister

ABOUT: Amanda Stoker is the WLAQ's voice at the bar, providing insight into the issues at the forefront of the courts and judicial system.

Stoker has spent the past five years with the North Quarter Lane Chambers, and has previously worked with Minter Ellison Lawyers and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Her primary areas of practice include bankruptcy & insolvency, commercial law and criminal law.



CURRENT ROLE: Thynne + Macartney, Special Counsel

ABOUT: Nichola Di Muzio received her family law specialist accreditation in 2001, and has worked primarily as a family lawyer since her admission.

Before joining Thynne + Macartney as special counsel almost two years ago, Di Muzio worked with firms including Cooper Grace Ward and the Queensland Family Law Practice.

Outside of the legal profession Di Muzio is also a talented musician and playing member with the Brisbane Symphonic Band, an organisation with which she formerly served as president.



CURRENT ROLE: King & Wood Mallesons, Solicitor

ABOUT: Following her graduation from Bond University last year, Madeline Cameron Wardleworth has already stamped a lasting impression on Brisbane's legal community.

During her time with King & Wood Mallesons, Wardleworth has maintained rotations through the mergers & acquisitions, dispute resolution, and projects practice teams.

Wardleworth has also co-ordinated the Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic program and volunteered pro-bono with a number of organisations including the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service, the Unrepresented Litigant's Legal Service and the National Children's and Youth Law Centre.

Author: Paris Faint





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