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. 

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.

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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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Join Women Lawyers of Western Australia at our first ever Speed Introductions Event for an informative networking evening connecting private practice lawyers with female barristers.

The aim of this networking event is to raise the number of women barristers that are briefed to narrow the gender gap at the bar. One of Australia's most senior female barristers, Fiona McLeod, SC, said the bar was among the worst professions for unequal pay, due in part to the lack of opportunities for women to work on more expensive cases, despite their experience.

Ms McLeod said that the same pool of barristers may be being briefed out of "habit", while unconscious bias also played a role. WLWA wants to help promote the talent of women barristers in Perth by providing a platform for them to talk to private practice lawyers about their skills, experience, expertise and interests.

Members are ask to come prepared with your business card, elevator pitch and ready to make some great connections. 

Be a part of the cultural shift that encourages participants to seek out women barristers appropriate for the relevant matter.

The event will take place on Thursday 29 September 2016, 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the Foyer of old Supreme Court of Western Australia. 

The event is FREE for female barristers and private practice lawyers. Drinks and canapes will be served.

Register here Speed Introductions Event.

Please help us spread the word by sharing the flyer with your friends & colleagues.

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Drop everything for this exciting joint WLWA/UNDA seminar series in Fremantle on Saturday 8 October 2016 from 9am to 4:15pm. Opportunities abound to network at the event and afterwards.

With the national gender pay gap for the legal sector hoovering around the 30-35% mark and clients wanting even more value for money, WLWA wants you to join us and explore ways to more efficiently manage your practice and get ahead.

Open the flyer to see the full programme details, the registration form and more.

Register today by completing the registration form and emailing it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

WLWA is delighted to announce the Hon. Justice Lindy Jenkins will be the keynote speaker (Ethical dilemmas for women in the law).

We are also privileged to have Karen Farley SC, Theresa Farmer (Women Lawyer of the Year), Elizabeth Needham, Marie Stokes, Catriona Macleod, Kate McNally, Julianna Shearn, Maria Fifield, Charmaine Tsang, Charmaine Holyoak-Roberts joining us as panellists.

Meet leading Registrars from the superior courts who will share their tips with you - the Registrars of the Supreme Court (recently appointed Principal Registrar Larissa Strk), the District Court (Principal Registrar Shane Melville) and the Family Court of WA (Registrar Leonie Forrest).

With up to 5.5 CPD points on offer, register for these very reasonable prices:

WLWA member:    $270 All Day      $170 Morning Session     $140 Afternoon Session
Non-member:       $400 All Day      $250 Morning Session     $200 Afternoon Session

Morning & afternoon tea and drinks & nibbles at the end are included.

We encourage you to register by completing the registration form in the flyer and emailing it toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AWL Conference 2016

The Australian Women Lawyers National Conference (AWL 2016) is being hosted, for the first time, in Perth from 8-10 April 2016 at the Crown Perth complex. 

AWL 2016 brings together female practitioners, leaders and senior professionals from across the Australian legal sector to form new relationships, discuss ideas and learn from industry leaders. A signature event on the calendar of the Australian legal profession – the Conference will see managing partners, senior counsel, barristers, academics, in house counsel, public sector practitioners and female judicial officers in one place at one time.

The conference program includes a formal Welcome Reception at the Federal Court judges' balcony, overlooking the iconic Swan River and a premier Gala Dinner.

Some of the speakers include:

    • Jennifer Batrouney QC is the President of the Tax Bar Association
    • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
    • Professor Rosalind Croucher, President Australian Law Reform Commission
    • The Honourable Justice Antony Siopis, Federal Court of Australia
    • Caroline Kirton QC, Chair of the Law Council’s Equal Opportunity Committee
    • Leah Marrone, President, Women Lawyers’ Association of South Australia
    • The Hon. Justice Carmel McLure, President of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Western Australia
    • Fiona McLeod, Senior Counsel at the Victorian Bar
    • The Hon. Michael Mischin MLC, Attorney General; Minister for Commerce
    • Jane Needham SC, NSW Bar
    • Pia Turcinov, GAICD Innovation Strategist, Business Facilitator and Company Director
    • Elspeth Hensler, Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers and President Australian Women Lawyers

For further information on AWL 2016, including how to register (and claim up to 6 CPD points for the next CPD year), topics and list of speakers please log onto the conference website here

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Current and former members of WLWA can login here to renew, rejoin and access members-only content on our website