Christine Garrick may have been the proudest parent in the room on Saturday night when her son Jason received the Pride In Law Award at Brisbane City Hall.
For the first time, the Pride in Law Award winner was announced as part of the 2023 Queensland Law Society (QLS) Excellence in Law Awards Gala.
Each year, the Pride in Law Award recognises and rewards outstanding contribution and commitment to the practice of LGBTIQA+ inclusion in the legal profession in Queensland.
Jason is currently the Senior Lawyer in the Violence Prevention and Women’s Advocacy Team of Legal Aid Queensland.
The rugby union and sports fan took to the stage with “a gidday” to the crowd, later warning the audience “he may get emotional”.
“My mother Christine is here. I wanted to thank her. It must have been so hard at times for you to watch your baby grow up.
“You’ve seen the moments of fear, doubt and harassment, and loss of opportunities. You’ve watched me crack. But with the strength of your love, and through moments of doubt, you given me the ability to find joy in thunderstorms and I adore you.”
Jason also thanked the QLS and Pride In Law organisations.
“Thanks for entrusting me, a relative newcomer in the Queensland legal profession ,with this award,” he said.
“It is for queer lawyers like me and celebrates access to justice in the Queensland community. I have had eight years at Legal Aid Queensland. This is greatest honour and achievement in my life.
“Thank you for trusting my judgment, and allowing me to think outside the box when I go ‘I think we should go do this’.”
Jason has worked in family, domestic violence and child protection jurisdictions since admission.
He sits on the Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee of Queensland Rugby League and is a Director of Proud2Play Inc., a nationwide grassroots LGBTIQA+ inclusion in sports organisation.
Before working in law, he worked in the mining industry and was a Director of CanTeen, the Australian Organisation for Young People Living with Cancer.
Jason will also speak at the annual address held in November at the Banco Court, which is where the award has traditionally been announced.
Nominations were invited from peers in the legal profession for practitioners who had demonstrated commitment to addressing LGBTIQA+ inclusion and advocated for change within workplaces, through academia, legal and/or social systems.
Nominations were marked against three key criteria: leadership, advocacy and inclusion.
The award was presented by Pride In Law President Duncan MacDougall.
Keep an eye on QLS Proctor for profiles of the award winners.