150 years of history now on show

Interesting historical items from the earliest days of the Queensland Law Society (QLS), including the first minutes, are now on display in the Supreme Court Library Queensland.

Last night QLS Vice President Rebecca Fogerty opened the A Force for Good: past, present and future exhibition, which celebrates the 150-year milestone, at the Banco Court before the Selden Society Lecture.

“This has been a truly collaborative effort, and the result is an insightful journey through the Society’s 150-year history of providing leadership, guidance, and support to the legal profession in our state,” Rebecca said.

“The exhibition includes artefacts from the earliest days of the Society including the first book of minutes from the Society’s inception.

“Some of these items are on display here this evening to give you a small taste of what you’ll find upstairs on level 12 and will hopefully incite your curiosity to visit the exhibition itself.

“Celebrating this important milestone provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on how far we have come as a profession, and to recognise those who have served and contributed to our proud history.

“From just 15 solicitors in 1873, the Society has grown to represent more than 11,000 members and regulate the Queensland legal profession on behalf of more than 14,000 solicitors.”


The exhibition features a 1932 voting paper, Queensland Law Association Annual Reports (1908-1927) – of which the 1915 report was delayed by the beginning of World War 1 – and the QLA Letter Book, which recorded a variety of correspondence topics.

A trophy from the Solicitors v Barristers Cricket Match in 1902 was also discovered during planning for the exhibition. It is on display but no records have been found to confirm the winner of 7 February match.

Beryl Donkin’s 40-year contribution to QLS is also celebrated with mementoes such as her OBE, presented by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace in 1975.

The former assistant secretary and Society secretary also contributed to the Queensland Solicitor’s Manual. Her copy, signed by editor William Kennedy Allan, forms part of the display.

The exhibition will run for six months on level 12 of the Supreme Court building, 415 George Street, Brisbane. It is open to the public on weekdays from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Search by keyword