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Women lawyers recognised at awards night

Women lawyers recognised at awards night

Judge Fleur Kingham was awarded the Queensland Law Society Agnes McWhinney Award on 1 October as part of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland's 2010 Awards Dinner. The annual award, which…

Judge Fleur Kingham was awarded the Queensland Law Society Agnes McWhinney Award on 1 October as part of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland's 2010 Awards Dinner.

The annual award, which commemorates Australia's first female solicitor, recognised Judge Kingham's significant contribution to making justice more accessible to the community and bridging the gap between land and resources issues within Indigenous communities.

"For more than 10 years Judge Kingham has been tireless in building awareness with government and mining stakeholders on the environmental impacts of their activities on Indigenous communities," said Queensland Law Society president, Peter Eardley.

"Her work in the environmental and Indigenous rights fields includes development of mediation techniques for representing Indigenous interest."

Other award recipients at the 2010 Awards Dinner included Woman Lawyer of the Year 2010, Linda MacPherson; Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year, Magistrate Suzette Coates; and Emergent Woman Lawyer of the Year, Debbie Kilroy OAM.

As Woman Lawyer of the Year, MacPherson is currently the executive legal manager, deputy general counsel of banking at Suncorp Bank. As head of the bank's legal team, MacPherson has significantly contributed to a number of profound legal reforms relating to women's equality in the workplace, including the ability for women to work part-time and from home. Over more than 20 years, including a stint as pro bono director of Clayton Utz in Brisbane, MacPherson has made significant and valuable contributions to the legal profession and also the community.

Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year, Magistrate Coates, is regarded as a champion of women's rights and has always been involved in the advancement of women in the legal profession and in Indigenous communities. Coates was appointed to the magistracy in January 2006 after conducting a sole solicitor's practice in Atherton, working with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Legal Service in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns and Legal Aid Queensland.

Emergent Woman Lawyer of the Year, Debbie Kilroy, spent much of her adolescence in youth institutions and was imprisoned as an adult between 1989 and 1992. In 1992 she co-founded Sisters Inside and became chief executive officer in 2010. Since her admission in 2007, Kilroy has worked part-time as a criminal defence lawyer at Callaghan Lawyers, alongside her continuing employment with Sisters Inside as CEO.

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