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Georgia gives a voice to young lawyers

The Callover host Georgia Athanasellis and producer Geoff McLeod during an outdoor recording session. Photo: Geoff McLeod

You might recognise Georgia Athanasellis’ voice before you recognise her face.

The University of Queensland lawyer is the voice of The Callover podcast, a Queensland Law Society initiative created by young lawyers for young lawyers.

It gives the next generation an opportunity to hear and be heard. The Callover is run by the Future Leaders Committee (FLC) and dedicated to inspiring connected, capable and healthy lawyers. It is about to start its third season with Georgia at the helm.

As part of the FLC committee and the podcast, Georgia is keen for listeners to connect, learn and be heard. And the coming FLC election is a chance for lawyers to do all of those things.


Georgia with the FLC committee in 2021.

She graduated in 2018 and has an impressive resume – an Associate in the Supreme Court and at the Fair Work Commission, a graduate at Allens and a part-time secondee lawyer to a pro bono legal clinic.

In all of these roles, she has found the practice of law to be all about “the human connections with clients and colleagues”. She found that particularly true in 2020.

Georgia kindly gave up even more of her time to chat with Proctor about why the FLC is important and the joys of working on The Callover.

What prompted you to join the FLC Committee?

After a couple of years of primarily working from my bedroom during the pandemic, I was eager to engage with the profession again. I hoped the FLC would be an opportunity to connect with lawyers from around Queensland and learn more about the different ways that law can be practised. I also thought that, through the FLC, I could share these experiences with other young lawyers and hopefully assist them on their journey.

What have been some of the highlights?

As I’d hoped, the FLC has been a great way to meet other lawyers from around Queensland and understand how the QLS operates. I was also happy to see that the annual netball tournament and the Young Lawyers’ Ball were welcomed back with such enthusiasm. However, the highlight of my time on the FLC is undoubtedly The Callover.


The Young Lawyers Ball returned in 2023.

The Callover is one of the FLC success stories. What do you enjoy about the podcast?

It is an absolute gift to hear about a topic or issue, want to know more, and then have your questions answered by an expert.  That is what I love most about The Callover.  It has also been a privilege to meet with exceptional people who are contributing to the profession and the community through their work in the law. I have been honoured to meet practitioners who are at a relatively early stage of their career, right through to some of the leaders of the profession including current and former Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges.

I’ve also found learning to prepare for, and conduct, interviews that are aimed at explaining topics and entertaining listeners (rather than just obtaining information from clients) to be both fun and challenging. It’s not something I’d done before and, while I still have a lot to learn about the art of interviewing, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed trying to develop that skill.

It’s entertaining and educational. Any outstanding episodes spring to mind?

That’s a hard question to answer because every episode is special to me, not least because I’ve learnt something different from each guest.

That said, interviewing Margaret McMurdo for International Women’s Day was an honour. When I suggested her as a potential guest, I don’t think we’d even released an episode, so I expected QLS to tell me to taper my expectations to someone who was not such a giant of the profession. When they called me a week later to say that she’d agreed to come on the podcast, I was both excited and terrified. I needn’t have been because her Honour was such an engaging and compelling speaker that she made my job as interviewer easy.


Margaret McMurdo

Another episode that springs to mind is my interview with Russell Marks. Due to the renovations at QLS, we ended up recording that interview in the park across the road from King George Square. Geoff, our wonderful producer, and I must have looked quite strange sitting on a park bench with a laptop, microphone and two headphones, but notwithstanding our unique set-up, Geoff, managed to make it sound as if we were in the studio. That episode was about journalism and the law, and the chaos of that morning certainly gave me a taste of what it might be like to be a journalist.

With season three around the corner, how you do juggle everything?

At times it can be a challenge, but I am lucky to have a great team who work behind the scenes to help me.  Other members of the FLC research the topic and guest and prepare draft questions. I then familiarise myself with that material and do any extra research I feel I need to so I am ready for the interview. The team at QLS then produces the episode and shares it with our listeners. I have already mentioned Geoff, who really is a wizard with his production skills. Without the hard work of everyone involved, The Callover would not be possible. 

Why would you encourage ECL to run for election?

Being part of the FLC has offered me opportunities that I could not have envisaged before nominating. I would encourage any ECLs who want to connect with their colleagues and the profession more broadly to nominate for a position on the FLC!

For more information about the 2023 FLC election, visit the webpage.

Keep an eye of QLS socials, website and Proctor for more FLC updates.

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