Episode 206 – When relationships are at the core of all you do with the Honourable Colin Forrest
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing the Honourable Colin Forrest SC. Colin has had a fascinating career in the law and just this last week has completed 10 years of service as a Judge in the Family Court and started the next chapter of his law life. I have had the privilege of knowing Colin for my 20 years in law and he is someone who I like to describe as the ‘poster child of happy lawyering!’ Colin’s career has taken him from his first role as an Associate to the wonderful Michael Kirby in the NSW Court of Appeal to achieving Silk, to life as a Judge and now life as a mediator and Arbitrator.
And while Colin’s achievements in law are something else, it is the way he has approached his life- his optimism and enthusiasm for so much, his endless efforts for causes and his kindness and compassion for others that I have come to know him for. It is this that makes him ‘the poster child of happy lawyers’! (And the fact he managed to fit in 3 gap years during his University studies- that surely makes for a happy law student anyway!)
So as we kick off a new year of happy lawyer podcasts I couldn’t think of a better guest to bring in 2021. My favourite tip from this interview- ‘You only live once so take as many gap years as you can!’
In this interview, Colin and I also chatted about-
- If Colin was not a lawyer he would have been a PE teacher- or perhaps in the world of theatre and maybe even politics.
- Colin grew up in Tamworth and never left the city until he finished High School when he moved to Düsseldorf, Germany for his first gap year.
- Colin’s aspirations to study law and become a barrister as a part of the first generation in his family to go to Uni.
- Attending the University of NSW, his competitive streak and some stories from his life-long friendships formed in the early years of his career.
- Halfway through his degree, Colin took another gap year where he lived in Japan for a year- and my favourite piece here- had a job singing Karaoke!
- In his first year of law, Colin received an Associateship with the incredible Michael Kirby AC CMG and shares his memories of the interview that landed him the job.
- His first job as a solicitor and what attracted him to family law.
- The flurry of colleagues Colin has worked with and why he so deeply values relationships.
- The early stages of Colin’s career during Expo 88 as a newly married home owner.
- In 1990 Colin joined Level 19 Inns of Court where he spent 20 years as a Barrister focusing on Family Law.
- The aspects of advocacy Colin enjoys including the competitive aspect and mental challenges.
- Colin now has beautiful adult children and shares his top tips for working out the ‘work/life balance.’
- 2010 was a big year for Colin, he turned 50, ran his first marathon and was appointed Silk and soon thereafter a Judge.
- The changes (and reasons for the changes) in the Family Court system over the last 10 years.
- A Judge’s perspective (and opinion) on the differing levels of the Courts, and his ‘magic wand wish’ for the Family Courts in Australia.
- Colin’s great career pivot of 2021, as he re-joins the force of barristers in Brisbane. (or is it Arbitration?)
- Colin’s top tips for building a happy content career in the law.
- Colin’s Happiness Tip!
Sit back and enjoy this interview with the Honourable Colin Forrest SC.