Nine newly admitted solicitors joined the Queensland Law Society (QLS) Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise event at the Sunshine Coast last night to recognise long-standing members.
The new solicitors were Sean Grierson, Darren Kerr, Zoe Naylor, Veronica Powell, David Rule, Jessica Siebel, Rozlyn Spring, Emily Story and Mac Tuomi.
QLS President Chloé Kopilović, a Sunshine Coast local, welcomed them to the profession and said she knew “this is an incredible place to live, work, and practice law – and the numbers tell the story”.
Michelle Britton, Tracy Connolly and Tariana Murchie.
She said the Sunshine Coast Law Association was the second largest DLA in the state, with 497 current practising certificate (PC) holders across the region and consistent with the rest of the state, having more female PC holders than male.
“There are also 18 practitioners aged over 71 continuing to deliver the benefit of their extensive knowledge and experience,” she said. “More than 46 per cent of practitioners fall within the ages of 26 to 45. Over 43 per cent are aged between 46 and 70.
“These statistics leave us with no doubt that we are lucky to have a diverse legal community here on the Coast.
“Unfortunately, the data also tells us that we have 37 less PC holders locally than we did in the previous financial year.
“This puts the spotlight on the importance of future-proofing our profession – particularly as Sunshine Coast Council forecasts our population will boom to over half a million residents by 2041 – at an average rate of over 83 hundred people a year.
“And why wouldn’t they want to live here…what’s not to love?!
“It is vital we build on the foundations of past success by equipping the next generation of lawyers with the skills and knowledge at the heart of a thriving career. A career that will hopefully prove as long and illustrious as those exhibited by our pin recipients – both past and present.
“This issue is something that strongly resonates with me. I am very proud of the fact that when I became QLS President at age 35, I became the youngest woman to take on the role. More importantly, I was part of the early career lawyer cohort.”
While recognising the 25-year and 50-year pin recipients, Chloé acknowledged the volunteers from the Sunshine Coast area.
Samantha Bolton – QLS Councillor, and a member of our PMC Committee, CPD Committee, and Professional Conduct Committee
Sammy-Lee Brown – Sunshine Coast Law Association committee member, who is also a newly-admitted practitioner
Pippa Colman – Accredited Specialist in Family Law and Sunshine Coast Law Association committee member
Mitchell Devine – Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury and Workplace Relations, a member of the QLS Specialist Accreditation Committee, Workplace Relations – and also a 25-year pin recipient in 2020
Bridie Edwards – QLS Councillor, and a member of our CPD Committee and Professional Conduct Committee
Glenn Ferguson AM – Past QLS President, Senior Counsellor, Specialist Accreditation Committee – Immigration Law, Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, and 25-year pin recipient in 2016
Jayana Kerr – committee member, Sunshine Coast Law Association
Callum Lee – also committee member of the SCLA
Julian Porter – member of the Access to Justice and Pro Bono Law Committee
Michelle Richardson – Secretary, Sunshine Coast Law Association
Mehera Saunders – Accredited Specialist in succession law, and member of both our Specialist Accreditation Committee – Succession Law, and Succession Law Committee; and
Trent Wakerley, member of our Elder Law Committee.
Chloé also acknowledged Michael Beirne, who finished his term as QLS Senior Councillor earlier this year, and also received a 25-year pin in 2011.
“Throughout his decade-long tenure, Michael was very supportive of the profession, and gave of his time and expertise voluntarily. QLS is grateful for your service, Michael, and we thank you for your excellent representation of the profession in the Sunshine Coast region.”