The WLAQ promotes the interests and advancement of Queensland’s female legal practitioners by enhancing awareness of the valuable contribution that women make to the practice and development of the law.

We celebrate the outstanding women practitioners who have made a significant contribution to Queensland’s legal profession.

Awards Criteria

The WLAQ Awards are open to any woman holding a law degree who is actively involved in the legal profession or a law-related field in Queensland (including private practice, community legal service work, government, academia, in-house practice or self-employed). Current WLAQ Committee Members are not eligible to be nominated for an Award.

In addition to the criteria required by each award category, nominees should demonstrate professional excellence and integrity in her chosen field and, through her work and activities, have displayed an awareness for the needs and concerns of women and contributed to the advancement of women in the law. Nominees cannot self-nominate, you must have a third party nominate you for the award.

In the case of the Leneen Forde AC WLAQ Woman Lawyer of the Year, the nominee should have achieved a high level of skill and/or office in her chosen field and contributed to the advancement of the women generally and/or within the legal profession. Previous winners have included former Queensland Law Society President Megan Mahon, Margaret Brown, The Honourable Ann Lyons, Professor Rosemary Hunter, Susan Francis, Clare Endicott, Rachael Field, Samantha Betzien, The Hon Justice Sue Brown QC, Dr Kerri Mellifont QC, Anne-Marie Rice, Bridget Cullen, Rebecca Treston QC, Jamie Shine and Kara Thomson.

The WLAQ Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year award celebrates women involved in the legal profession or a related field in Regional Queensland. “Regional Queensland” means anywhere in Queensland except within a 50km radius Brisbane (which includes Ipswich and Caboolture), as determined by WLAQ Committee at its discretion. The award is designed to recognise women who have overcome the difficulties related to working in regional Queensland as well as recognising their personal achievements. Previous winners include Lisa Neil, Magistrate Sandra Pearson, Maxine Baldwin, Kristyn Everett, Catherine Cheek, Thelma Schwartz, Tanya Straguszi, Kyna Morice, Bevlee Reaston and Jerry Tucker.

The WLAQ Emergent Woman Lawyer of the Year award recognises women who has been admitted as a legal practitioner for five years or less as at the date of the Awards or, if not admitted, who has completed a law degree not more than seven years ago. Previous winners include Lisa Oldham, Genevieve Dee, Samantha Carroll, Carla Klease, Sylvia Ng, Sunni Dawson, Tanya Diessel, Charlotte Campbell, Amie Mish-Wills, Ashleigh DoRozario, Jessica Popple and Hannah McNeale.

The awards selection panel will comprise of senior representatives of the legal profession in Queensland. All nominations will remain confidential. The decision of the selection panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Nomination

In order to be nominated for any of the awards, you must be a female holding a law degree who is actively involved in the legal profession or a law-related field in Queensland (including private practice, community legal service work, government, academia, in-house or self-employed).

There is no restriction on who the nominator (proposer) is, that is the nominator can be anyone. However, WLAQ will not be accepting self-nominations.

The Criteria, and information on how to nominate is available in the WLAQ Awards Criteria.

Nominations for the 2023 Awards Night are now closed. Nominations for the 2024 Awards Night will open in the latter half of 2024.

Please email any questions direct to president@wlaq.com.au