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Amelia Llewelyn, from the LGBTQIA Alliance and the Rainbow Lounge, with PIL President Duncan MacDougall. Photos: Supplied

James Cook University Law Students’ Society hosted its inaugural Pride in Law event at the Bebegu Yumba Campus in Townsville on 23 May.

A panel comprising Duncan MacDougall (President Pride in Law Queensland), Diane Ruhl (Partner – Ruhl Family Law), Kate Sheppard (JCU Wellness), Amelia Llewelyn (LGBTQIA Alliance/Rainbow Lounge) and Chey Hamilton (law student and President of James Cook University Student Association) with Panel Chair Olamide Kowalik (from the popular Tile and Olly Meets Podcast on diversity) led a lively discussion on issues effecting the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The panel, however, was specifically dealing with issues that students, and in particular those about to enter the legal industry, might be faced with.  Filitsa Kounias on behalf of the College of Business, Law and Governance did a wonderful job of closing the proceedings.

It is inarguable that studying law, and the practice of law are both challenging, and one can easily foresee how it would be more challenging for those who fall outside of the heteronormative paradigm, so a panel on this particular topic was not only important, but necessary, particularly for those students coming from regional areas who may not be aware of the supports that are available in the legal profession once they enter it.

Alexander Poletto (President), Amanda Anger (Vice President) and the balance of the James Cook University Law Students’ Society did a wonderful job of hosting this event, providing a welcoming space for this significant topic, and organizing a lunch for the attendees. 

The event was attended by more than 30 students and staff which demonstrated that there was an appetite for an event such as this, and room to grow the event into the future.

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The event was sponsored by Pride in Law, the Queensland Law Society (represented by CEO Matt Dunn who attended the event), the North Queensland Bar Association, The College of Law, James Cook University Law Students’ Society, James Cook University Students Association, The College of Business, Law and Governance, Wilson Ryan Grose Lawyers, Splatt Lawyers, The Rainbow Lounge, The Ideas Committee and Red Bull. 

It was a wonderful inaugural event and one which will hopefully be replicated on an annual basis in the future.

Mark Fenlon is part of the QLS Wellbeing Working Group.

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