Women Lawyers – thinking of retiring/wondering what you will do?

Read on for a positive idea from Di Fingleton, Former Chief Magistrate of Queensland and Treasurer, Lyceum Club Brisbane Inc.

Hello, I speak to you from the realm of retirement, that period in our lives some of us look forward to, and some of us dread.

I can assure you that it is possible to retire gracefully, revelling in the time available to enjoy your favourite interests – be that travel, gardening, reading, golf, cinema, theatre – the list is endless.

Having been retired for almost 10 years now, I can assure you that retirement can be a challenging but also a surprising and even delightful experience. The first thing to enjoy is that it is so great not to have to turn up at the office every day and be subject to all the stress and tension of demanding clients and constant deadlines. And, you don’t have to wear a suit every day!

But what about the future? Will you be as intellectually stimulated, will you know how to cope with so much time on your hands? We hear so much these days about ‘wellness’ and ‘mental health wellbeing’. Now that we do not have the focus of our careers, what will be our focus?

Here’s the thing – if you have been a busy career woman, the chances are that you will be busy in retirement! But the difference is that you decide what you will do, at the start of every day. It is your decision and, at last, you really can start to do the things you have been putting off for so long, or indeed, enjoy new experiences.


I have one suggestion for you, on how you could plan for the stimulation that may be lacking in your current work-life or in retirement – that other side of your personality, the one that enjoys the cultural aspect of life but which you may have had to ignore while building and completing your career.

One approach you can take is to think of joining a club. There are many clubs for men and women – Tattersall’s Club; the Brisbane Club. Then there are women’s clubs in Brisbane and elsewhere, for instance, The Moreton Club, Zonta International, Brisbane Women’s Club. I know most about the Lyceum Club Brisbane Inc., established in 1909. The club has rooms at 99 Creek Street in the city.

I joined the club in 1991, while still working as a lawyer and I recently celebrated 25 years of membership. The club is a not-for-profit, apolitical club based on the concept of giving its members opportunities to enjoy cultural events, discussion on topics such as art, poetry, literature, and theatre in regular circles made up of other members. The club also regularly hears from experts from many areas – science, film criticism, artists, authors – at speakers’ forums. We call it lifelong learning.

Then there is the opportunity for friendships with women of many and varied backgrounds, gathering together to share their common interest in lifelong learning. There are Lyceum Clubs in other states within Australia and overseas, with opportunities to stay at clubs in other capital cities here and overseas. There are every two years, cultural events hosted by overseas Lyceum Clubs, with travel with other members guaranteed.

While most events occur during the day, there are evening events, as well as special celebrations held throughout the year, where working members can attend. Some interstate travel occurs, with several circles organising trips to areas of interest to members, in other parts of Australia.

The club has attractive rooms available for hire to members and outside groups for conferences, meetings and functions. For more information, please go to we welcome new members constantly and extend an invitation to women lawyers to consider joining.


If you have any questions, please address them to the membership secretary at

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search by keyword