John Toohey Chambers were proud to yet again be the Platinum sponsor for the Biennial Family Law Practitioners' Association of WA Awards Night held on 6 May 2016. Fraser Robertson gave the speech on behalf of Chambers and the text of that is herewith.
Speech – Fraser Robertson – FLPA Awards Night
Chief Judge, Justice O’Brien, Magistrate Stewart, Magistrate Sutherland, Registrar Forrest, nominees for the awards to be presented this evening and other distinguished guests to numerable to mention.
I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to speak tonight on behalf of John Toohey Chambers who have been afforded the opportunity to once again support the Association as a platinum sponsor.
I extend my congratulations and those of John Toohey Chambers to the President, Nicole Croft, her vice presidents and committee members for arranging this fantastic evening.
John Toohey Chambers has enjoyed, for some time, a fantastic relationship with family law practitioners in Western Australia and also with the Association.
I might use this soap box, rather carelessly entrusted to me, to say a few words about the importance of the Association and the leadership that it shows and should continue to show.
Leadership in the legal profession is vital. There are numerous examples. Some obvious ones are the heads of various jurisdictions, some of whom are here tonight, and persons who are entrusted with the office of President (and Vice President) of organisations which can have considerable clout.
However, there are less well-recognised examples of leadership.
One is the leadership the Senior bar. I refer in particular to those whom are Senior Counsel and offer leadership in the form of taking a junior and mentoring other barristers – of which I must attest to have been a significant beneficiary of.
Another less well recognised example of leadership is that which we honour tonight. It is earned by dedication and hard work, which brings with it the respect and admiration of peers. Those who we recognise this evening are leaders within the profession and excellent examples to emulate.
Whilst there are rather obvious examples of individual leadership within the Association – the Association has a more important role as a whole. The Association must offer leadership within not only the profession, but the community.
The Family Court of Western Australia is horribly under-resourced. The Family Court needs more judicial officers more than the Fremantle Dockers need a key forward.
It is, in my view, it is a significant role of the Association to take a lead in lobbying the government to ensure that the Court receives adequate resources. Only by showing, and continuing to show, such leadership is the government likely to consider adequately resourcing the Court.
Unlike my beloved Fremantle Dockers, who are rather handily leading their way to a wooden spoon and a number 1 draft pick – the Association might actually be in a position to lead the way to a time where the Court is not horribly under resourced and actually have an adequate number of judicial resources – you never know – it may even happen before Fremantle win a flag.
Thank you and enjoy your evening.