Proctor : September 2018
5 PROCTOR | September 2018 There are several identifying characteristics of a true legal practitioner. In the July edition of Proctor, QLS President Ken Taylor spoke about one of them, civility. This month I would like to speak about another, ‘service’. This goes well beyond the service we provide to our individual clients. It extends to the community, through our pro bono work. It embraces the justice system itself through our belief in, and our efforts to uphold, the rule of law, along with our work to ensure ‘good law’. It is also integral to the legal profession itself, and the concept of ‘giving something back’. This can take several forms, including mentoring and providing advice and guidance, and the contributions we make through working on policy committees and sharing our knowledge and experience – such as by writing articles for Proctor! At Queensland Law Society, I believe it is important that we recognise those members for whom service is second nature. With this in mind, I have recently reassessed and revised the process of presenting our members with the lapel pins that mark 25 or 50 years of QLS membership. I see it as critical that we specifically acknowledge the contributions of these long- serving members by using the opportunity to speak about the service they have given to not only their clients but to their community, the law and the profession. In Townsville recently, we presented 25-year silver membership pins to Terry Browne and Jane Fittler and I believe that those present at the ceremony, including the recipients, appreciated the public acknowledgement of their contributions. Both the 25-year pin and the 50-year gold pin bear the Society’s coat of arms. This shield was designed in 1982 and modified in 2012 to the current form. It is composed of the central sceptre, which is a sign of royal authority in the area of justice; the Maltese Cross and Cooktown orchid, which represent Queensland, and the sunburst to symbolise Queensland as the sunshine state and enlightenment in justice and learning. Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, represents the Inner Temple Bar in London and the Southern Cross locates Queensland Law Society in Australia. We also recognise the service of our members through other events. For example, on Friday 10 August, we held a breakfast at Law Society House to acknowledge the contributions of the chairs and deputy chairs of our policy committees. These willing volunteers put in an enormous amount of time and effort in working for ‘good law’, preparing submissions on proposed legislation and discussing the myriad issues that are brought to the attention of these committees. We shared breakfast with more than 30 of our chairs and co-chairs, who appreciated the acknowledgement of their dedication and contributions, and enjoyed the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with colleagues. Another group whose contributions to the profession have recently been gratefully acknowledged is our QLS Senior Counsellors, who provide fellow members with all manner of practical advice and guidance on career, professional and ethical problems. These are highly experienced practitioners who are keen to give something back to the profession, and choose to do so by sharing their wisdom with those who need assistance. We paid tribute to their commitment at last month’s QLS Senior Counsellors conference. As well as a dinner event, it included an address from Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal President Justice Martin Daubney, a panel session on ethical issues featuring senior members of the judiciary, a session looking at mental health issues when dealing with practitioners, and an address from Acting Legal Services Commissioner Bob Brittan. I acknowledge and thank all those members who serve our community and our profession through many and varied ways. And if you feel there are better ways this service can be acknowledged, please send me your suggestions. Never a bystander My interview subject this month is no stranger to service. McCullough Robertson Chair of Partners Dominic McGann is – to use his own words – “never a bystander”. I think these are words that all leaders within the profession, and those who aspire to leadership, should take to heart. Dominic is a resources expert with more than 30 years’ experience as a general commercial lawyer and particular experience in native title and cultural heritage matters, on which he is an acknowledged authority. He joined McCullough Robertson in 1996 after holding key positions in the State Government, including Program Director of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Land Interests Program. I believe you will find his thoughts on workplace culture and related issues quite enlightening, and I commend his comments to you. Please turn to the next page. Rolf Moses Queensland Law Society CEO Our executive report Service – our mark of distinction Acknowledging those who give back Townsville 25-year membership pin recipients Terry Browne and Jane Fittler with QLS President Ken Taylor.