Competing at world level in power-lifting and at national level in weightlifting provided the Law Society of NSW's fifth female president, Mary Macken, with the skills and experience needed to excel in her career.
Equating the sports arena to the legal profession, Macken said the two strength sports, which she has pursued for 15 years, have helped her to understand people and deal with high pressure situations, skills which will be beneficial in all spheres of her new role as 2010 President of the Law Society.
Although Macken no longer participates competitively, she appreciates the benefits that sport has had on her legal career. Citing her experience in national and world competitions, Macken said: "You get to deal with people in extremely anxious situations... [which] helps you to motivate a team, to deal with pressures, people and dynamics ... I understand people," she said.
"It's the same thing. You get out there on a platform weightlifting and it's an anxious situation. You're the focus. You're out there on a platform and it's very similar, in a way, to a lot of the things I do for the Law Society - you're out there speaking on a contentious topic or some debate."
Macken has worked in the legal profession since her admission in 1985, however, throughout her career, she has maintained a balance between study, sport and career - citing sport as "a great leveller".
With a Masters in Law and Masters in French from Sydney University, Macken has managed to pursue her passion for sport, which she now does "just for fun" and, she said, to keep her balanced.
- Briana Everett