Australia’s Law Society Presidents
The year ahead presents new opportunities for law societies across the nation. Just as they were settling into their new roles, Lawyers Weekly asked each new president what they hoped to achieve in 2004, and what path led each to his or her new position.
New South Wales — Gordon Salier
A solicitor for more than 40 years, Salier runs a general sole practice in Sydney and is also a cost assessor with the Supreme Court. This year his focus will include the continuation of last year’s Pathways program, which is aimed at retraining lawyers to move into new areas of legal work.
Victoria — Chris Dale
The Law Institute of Victoria took on Chris Dale on 1 January this year. He practises in litigation and dispute resolution as a partner at Clayton Utz’s Melbourne office. Dale studied law at Monash University. This year he intends to work with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Marilyn Warren to determine the future direction of the Court.
Western Australia — Ian Weldon
A Perth barrister, Ian Weldon studied at both Oxford and London and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1977. He has a broad based practice in litigation and opinion work. Weldon sees 2004 to be the most exciting for the Law Society, and is keen to continue his work with the legal profession to implement the new Legal Practice Act 2003.
Australian Capital Territory —Bill Redpath
Bill Redpath was announced president of the ACT Law Society in September 2003 having previously served terms as its vice-president. Redpath is committed to improving “the resources and administration of our ACT Courts, the profile of the legal profession and access to justice”.
South Australia — David Howard
David Howard took up his post as president of the SA Law Society in October 2003. He has wide civil litigation experience and studied law at the University of Melbourne. Howard hopes to ensure that the SA Attorney General preserves SA disciplinary systems, professional indemnity insurance and guarantee fund.
Queensland —Glenn Ferguson
For the 2003-2004 post, Glenn Ferguson has taken on the role of president. He saw a major issue to be the implementation of the government’s regulatory regime for the profession, and intended to make sure that the views of the profession and its basic rights were communicated to the government and public.
Northern Territory —Merran Short
Merran Short was elected president of the NT Law Society in September last year. She has over 10 years legal expericence in the Northern Territory. She seeks to encourage further participation between members of the legal profession and the Society and to increase public awareness of the services the legal profession provides to the community.
Tasmania — David Gunson
David Gunson took on the position as president of the Law Society of Tasmania in October last year. He has been a practitioner for 33 years, Senior Counsel, president of the Bar Association and chairman of the Legal Aid Commission for 12 years. With the Law Society, Gunson hopes to restore the public’s faith in the legal profession.