Report on the 2018 Women Lawyers of Western Australia Inc Honours Dinner

On 16 March 2018 the 2017/18 WLWA Committee, dressed in black in recognition of the Times Up movement, hosted a sold out event with almost 350 guests at Crown Towers.

The night kicked off with a traditional “welcome to country” performed by Mrs Doolann-Leisha Eatts of the Whadjuk Nation alongside her husband, Mr Walter Eatts.

Honours Dinner Welcome to Country 2018

Following the traditional welcome, Ms Teresa Farmer from Gold Sponsor John Toohey Chambers welcomed guests with a brief speech in which she charged WLWA members to own “being awesome” in their professional lives.

Honours Dinner sponsor speech John Toohey 2018

With the entrée underway, the achievements of the Honourable Justice Diana Bryant, retired from the Family Court of Australia, and Judge Anette Schoombee, retired from the District Court of WA, were honoured.

Judge Schoombee thanked WLWA for their support in her career development following her arrival in Perth from South Africa in 1987, noting that WLWA membership gave her a sense of belonging in the legal community.

Honours Dinner Judge Schoombee 2018

Guests were treated to a keynote speech from the Honourable Justice Diana Bryant, who shared many interesting anecdotes along the way (including at least one reference to pink taffeta) and noted the importance of events such as the Honours Dinner in a “Times Up” era.  Without Prejudice will feature more on this speech shortly.

Honours Dinner Justice Bryant 2018

As guests continued to be wined and dined, the following appointments were honoured:

  1. The Honourable Katrina Banks-Smith (Federal Court of Australia);
  2. The Honourable Justice Gail Archer (Supreme Court of Western Australia);
  3. Acting Justice Jennifer Smith (Supreme Court of Western Australia);
  4. The Honourable Gail Sutherland (Family Court of Western Australia);
  5. Judge Belinda Londsdale (District Court of Western Australia);
  6. Judge Kate Glancy (District Court of Western Australia);
  7. Judge Fiona Vernon (District Court of Western Australia);
  8. Judge Wendy Gillan (District Court of Western Australia);
  9. Judge Amanda Burrows SC (District Court of Western Australia); and
  10. Magistrate Belinda Coleman (Magistrates Court of Western Australia).


With so many to be honoured and so many more needing to be recognised, WLWA took the step of additionally acknowledging the following appointments in the dinner booklet: 

  • Hon. Jane Crisford SC – Appointed Chair of Legal Aid Commission of WA
  • Amanda Forrester SC – Appointed as Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Carmel Barbagallo SC – Appointed as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Acting Magistrate Robyn Cohen – Appointed as Acting Magistrate of the Family Court of WA
  • Acting Magistrate Leonie Forrest – Appointed as an Acting Magistrate and as Deputy Principal Registrar of the Family Court of WA
  • Magistrate Annette Andrews – Appointed as Acting Principal Registrar of the Family Court of WA
  • Registrar Jocelyn Connick – Appointed as Registrar of the Family Court of WA

To conclude the formalities of the evening, awards for Woman Lawyer of the Year, Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year and Junior Woman Lawyer of the Year were announced (this year there was no separate award for Rural, Regional and Remote Woman of the Year):

  1. Woman Lawyer of the Year – Haley Allan from the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia (West Kimberley Office).
  2. Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year – Jennifer Kiss, General Counsel at the Public Transport Authority.
  3. Junior Woman Lawyer of the Year – jointly awarded to Krista Dunstan, Principal Policy Officer at the Commissioner for Children and Young People and Katy Welch, solicitor and registered Migration Agent at The Humanitarian Group.


Before the night concluded, raffle winners were drawn for prizes from KBE Human Capital, Cullen Wines and Kailis Australian Pearls.  As the winner of the Kailis prize was announced, all but one winning member of the 350-strong crowd groaned in unison. 

A door prize donated by Fremantle Arts Centre Press was taken home by Libby Fulham, Executive Director of the Legal Practice Board. 

Guests continued to mingle until midnight, with lively conversation occasionally paused to allow guests to strike a pose at our special WLWA photo booth.

Honours Dinner photo booth 2018

In closing, the WLWA Honours Dinner was a wonderful occasion for members to reflect on the current status of women in the law and celebrate the achievements of fellow members in the legal profession.

The WLWA Committee looks forward to honouring further achievements and appointments of women in the profession next year.

We sincerely thank all of our sponsors of the night: 

Gold Sponsors: John Toohey Chambers

Honours Dinner John Toohey group 2018  

Silver Sponsors: Law CPD, Lavan

  Honours dinner law CPD group 2018  Honours Dinner Lavan sponsor photo 2018

Bronze Sponsors: ADR Centre, College of Law:, Kim Wilson & Co 

Honours Dinner Kim Wilson Co sponsor photo 2018 Honours Dinner ADR Centre sponsor photo  Honours Dinner College of Law sponsor photo 2018

Raffle and door prize Sponsors: Kailis Pearls, Cullen Wines, KBE Human Capital, Crown, Fremantle Arts Centre Press

Kailis logo  Cullen wines logo  KBE logo

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