AWLA end of year function and QC debate
- By Keri Monks, AWLA Executive
On Friday 15 November 2013, the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA) held its AGM and a sell-out dinner at the Northern Club to celebrate another successful year.
A crowd of over 100 female members of the profession gathered to enjoy a delicious meal and a special guest debate between the four AWLA members who were appointed to the rank of Queens Counsel in 2013: Kate Davenport QC and Christine Meechan QC (who formed the affirmative team); and Gillian Coumbe QC and Frances Joychild QC (the respondents).
The debate was chaired by Judge Claire Ryan. The speakers debated the topic “that you can, and should, have it all”, with a cricket-inspired audience scoring system of 4s and 6s.
The 6s were of course immediately turned upside down as the affirmative team entered the room, complete with theme music and Wonder Woman costumes. Their detailed instructions on the “75 Simple Steps” to being perfect were hilarious.
On behalf of the respondents, Gillian Coumbe QC’s Patsy Stone impression was flawless (and maintained throughout her full eight minute speech), while Frances Joychild QC managed to combine cutting wit with persuasive argument. Needless to say, the Judge reserved her decision.
The debate was a wonderful opportunity to showcase what funny, clever and talented ladies we have in the profession, and AWLA was very grateful to all four debaters and Judge Ryan for agreeing to take part.
The dinner also offered the chance to formally announce the winner of the Margaret Wilson Scholarship, Katherine Tetz-Laff.
After completing her Legal Executive Diploma, Katherine was invited to study law at AUT and she has proved to be a very capable student. She has attained excellent grades, fully immersed herself in university competitions and community organisations, while somehow finding the time to mentor two younger law students at AUT. She aims to finish her degree with first class honours and to go on to do her masters with a focus on human rights violations and remedies.
AWLA was very pleased to award Katherine this scholarship. All those on the scholarship committee agreed that she both met and exceeded the criteria for this award, and that she was a perfect ambassador for AWLA’s theme this year of “breaking through”.
AWLA Committee member Rebecca Rendle, AWLA Treasurer Anna McConachy, Auckland barrister Rachael Reed and AWLA President Angela Hansen.
Rachael Reed and Kate Davenport QC
Catherine Atchison and Judge Sinclair
Kate Mills, Felicity Monteiro, Jess Sewak, Janna McGuigan and Sarah Pidgeon
Keri Monks, Kristin Bradley and Angela Hansen