Episode 104 -Zoe Rathus on using your voice to make a difference
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer, campaigner, academic and all round great woman, Zoe Rathus. Now if you haven’t met Zoe before you are in for some fun this week! She admits early in our interview that she is famous for talking but I think I kept her (mostly) on track in this interview! Zoe is a lawyer I have looked up to for a long time thanks to her tireless advocacy for womens rights, equality and the prevention of domestic and family violence.
Zoe spent much of the first half of her career leading what we now know in Brisbane as the Women’s Legal Service (QLD) from its infancy as a small volunteer organisation to the beginnings of the successful organisation it is today. In this role Zoe was a zealous advocate, tirelessly petitioning policy makers and those working in the system for change. More recently Zoe has transitioned to a role as an Academic but her advocacy on behalf of women and families in the areas of family violence and family law has not stopped. She continues to research and campaign to improve policy in these very important areas of law.
Zoe will have you smiling along as she crams as many words as possible into this interview! I am so glad she did as I know I have only got a snapshot of the amazing work she has done and there is so much more to learn. She shared openly some of the challenges she has faced along the way and importantly how she has tackled them and of course her tips on happiness too!
Zoe and I also spoke about:
- If Zoe was not a lawyer she would have been a archeologist or an author-ess.
- Brisbane born and bred, Zoe shares with us why she chose law.
- Zoe’s experience of attending UQ here in Brisbane and what she enjoyed of her experience.
- Very early in her career as an Articled Clerk, Zoe found her feet advocating on behalf of women.
- Zoe perspective on the differences between the study of law and the practice of law.
- Zoe found her way to the Women’s Legal Service early in her career and attended the first meeting at Women’s house and her involvement with Women’s has remained a constant in her career to date.
- After a few years in private practice, Zoe found herself in a full time role at the Women’s Legal Service in 1989 where she would remain as a leader in the organisation for many years thereafter.
- Zoe’s experience working in the area of family violence- how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
- The importance of friendship to Zoe and how relationships sit at the centre of her happiness.
- Zoe’s time at Women’s- her experience, advocacy and the joys and challenges of growing a not for profit organisation in her time.
- Zoe’s decision to pivot into academia and some of the challenges Zoe has faced in having to tackle this role. Her research, teaching and the advantages of her role now.
- Advice that Zoe gives to those of us working with families dealing with family and domestic violence and her perspective on the challenges facing the Family Law System at this present time.
- As someone who is almost 40 years into her career Zoe shares how she has maintained her vigour and passion for this difficult area of law.
- The pros and cons of working in an area of academia.
- All things good baking and cooking.
- The benefits of talking a walk in the park and going outside.
- Zoe’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Zoe Rathus.
Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre- A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside
of the law.
Listen to last week’s episode here