Outrage over the dismissal of a toddler from the senate has prompted a female lawyer to talk up.
Senior partner Andrea Tsalamandris may work in a historically male-dominated industry but she said the courts are very understanding about her obligations as a mother, unlike the senate.
A partner at the Holding Redlich law firm in Melbourne, Tsalamandris was an instructing solicitor on the landmark Stolen Generations case in which indigenous claimants Lorna Cubillo and Peter Gunner sued the commonwealth for being forcibly removed from their families. Just ten days before the case went to the High Court, she gave birth to her first son.
Following the birth, Tsalamandris returned to her duties, wheeling her pram into the courtroom and crossing her fingers baby Kurt would stay silent while the special leave application was made.
Now a mother of two young boys, Tsalamandris is the “parenting partner” at Holding Redlich, overseeing a program that supports new and expectant mums within the firm and guides them on arranging flexible work hours, if need be.
Over the past seven years Tsalamandris said she has had her children with her in court on a “handful” of occasions. And while it was not ideal, she claims it was always understood.