Episode 81 – An International Women’s Day special episode with the 4 of the best- The Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC, Anne-Marie Rice, Jacoba Brasch QC and The Honorable Diana Bryant AO
For this final week of March I have decided to create a special episode, pulling together some of my favourite moments in four interviews with four amazing women lawyers in my month long celebration of ‘International Women’s Day‘ I have had so many amazing guests on my show that to narrow it down to four was a task in itself but these four women lawyers have all had an impact on my career in some way and so I couldn’t help but share their stories again.
All of these women have had a huge impact on the legal profession, the role of women in and out of law and are inspirations to all those whom they mentor.
The Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC- Episode 25
One of my favorite interviews was with the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC. Margaret, who is now retired, leaves a legacy as a trailblazer in law particularly in Queensland as she was the first female District Court Judge in Queensland, the first female president of an Appellate Court in Australia, as well as President of the Queensland Court of Appeal for nearly 20 years. In this snippet of our interview Margaret shared some of the challenges she faced having been appointed to the Court and shortly thereafer falling pregnant. I found this part of our conversation a bold reminder of the significant change that has occured for women in our profession in just the last 25 years.
Margaret and I also spoke about:
- How the Pension Leave Act had to be changed as Margaret was the first ever female District Court Judge in Queensland.
- The creation of a maternity leave policy for Judges in the Queensland Courts.
- The support she received from other Judges of the Courts.
- Her advocacy during her time on the Courts for organisations such as the Womens Legal Service Qld
- Margaret’s passion for social justice and advocacy
- Margaret’s highlights in her career
You can listen to my full interview with Margaret here
Anne-Marie Rice – Episode 9
Like me, Anne-Marie is a family law Solicitor here in Queensland. She is well-known in the legal industry for her intellect and insight, and has held executive positions in some of family law’s most significant committees. In our earlier interview she shared her career journey with me and divulged plenty of wisdom on overcoming the obstacles that many of us face on a day-to-day basis.
In this excerpt of our earlier conversation, Anne-Marie and I discuss-
- Anne-Marie’s realisation that she needed to slow down and change her approach to life and work to find her happiness.
- The ‘why’ of Anne-Marie’s work ethic.
- Discovering collaborative practice and how that has impacted on Anne-Marie’s career as a family lawyer
- The client-centric approach vs. the Court or litigation process – how to tap into this approach in order to really help people.
- Why Anne-Marie encourages every lawyer she meets to consider the humanistic approach in law.
Listen to my full interview with Anne-Marie here
Jacoba Brasch QC- Episode 4
Jacoba Brasch QC was a dream guest and is a real life ‘law-idol’ of mine. Jacoba has an incredible energy and has learned to succeed in the legal industry and be happy in it. This is one of the many reasons she’s such an inspiration to me and plenty of others. She has a wonderful outlook on how to lead a balanced and contented life and this has no doubt been framed by the significant challenges she and her family have managed along the way.
In this snapshot we talk about:
- Family life and why this is the core of who Jacoba is as a person.
- Her hopes as a mum- raising her girls to know that as women they can do anything.
- AJacoba’s entry to law at the ripe old age of 16 and why she lasted only 20 minutes!
- The highlights of Jacoba’s career since as a Barrister.
You can listen to the full podcast interview with Jacoba here
The Honorable Diana Bryant AO
My final guest for this episode of influential and inspirational women lawyers is the Honourable Diana Bryant AO, who served as the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia from 2004 to 2017. Before her appointment to the bench, Diana practised as a family lawyer with a national firm in Perth and spent ten years at the Victorian Bar, where she became Queen’s Counsel.
I had the chance to interview Diana only weeks before her retirement from the Court and it really was one of my favourite interviews of the show. If you haven’t listened to the full interview I really encourage you to do so.
Here is a snippet of what we spoke about:
- Growing up in Melbourne Diana Bryant became a lawyer after following in her mother’s footsteps.
- The challenges of being in a male dominated profession in the 1960s, 70s and beyond.
- The reason that Diana chose family law.
- Diana started her career in WA in a firm that grew quickly.
- Diana’s early experience having joned a male dominated Board (and having to request a female toilet be installed on the board room floor of the building!)
- Her role as a longstading advocate for Gender equality in and outside of law.
You can listen to the full interview with Diana here.
Sit back and enjoy this special Podcast as we continue to celebrate International Women’s Day for the month of March.
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 weeks episode here