Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Mary Kitson Award

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (14:47): My question is to the Attorney-General. Will the minister inform the council about the winner of the Law Society of SA's Mary Kitson Award in 2023?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:47): I thank the honourable member for his question, and I happen to have a little bit of information about that to let the council know about it. The Law Society's Mary Kitson Award recognises a contribution to the advancement of the interests of women lawyers or to issues in legal practice which affect women. The award recognises commitment to the advancement of the interests of women lawyers demonstrated in a range of activities over an extended period or any single activity of significance.

This year's Mary Kitson Award winner is Julie Redman. Julie has made a great contribution to the law in South Australia. Her tireless campaigning for our most vulnerable citizens has been one of great impact, and any one of her activities could have merited acknowledgement as an activity of significance, but it is a huge range over a career spanning decades.

Julie's story begins many years ago on Eyre Peninsula in 1978 when she first began practising. In her early years of practice, as a sign of what was to come, Julie was instrumental in the establishment of Port Lincoln's first women's shelter, providing the women of Port Lincoln a safe haven when escaping domestic abuse situations.

When Julie arrived to establish a firm in suburban Adelaide, she provided legal support to Bramwell House, one of Adelaide's first women's shelters. She then, after a decade of legal work, started to specialise in family law and joined JK & JR Alderman in 1987 before taking over and continuing as Alderman Redman until 2018. In 2018, she merged Alderman Redman with Adelta Legal to establish the Adelta family law unit.

Julie is well renowned for handling complex matters involving large property pools, family businesses, companies, trusts and third-party interveners. She is also highly regarded in dealing with complex children's matters with compassion, and is highly experienced with international efforts of relocation and of Hague Convention matters. Julie is an accredited family law specialist, a nationally accredited family dispute resolution practitioner, an independent children's lawyer and a nationally accredited mediator in mediation practice since 1990.

Julie is also an independent children's lawyer, appointed to ensure that a child's best interests are recognised and taken into account during family law disputes. It has been reported to me that she takes great care when dealing with a child's best interests, and this diligence received national acknowledgement when she was named the National Children's Lawyer of the Year by the National Children's Legal Service.

Her achievements do not just span inside the courtroom but also outside. Julie has made significant contributions to community organisations, which include chairing Uniting Communities for six years. She has also volunteered at various organisations including the Women's Information Switchboard, the Norwood Community Legal Service and the Law Society advisory service.

Julie was also the inaugural chair of the Law Society's Children and the Law Committee, a position she held for more than a decade. She also helped establish many other areas, including childcare centres. She has received numerous other awards and commendations, including as a finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Awards and the UNESCO Achievement Award for her work promoting children's rights within the legal system.

Julie's outstanding career has left a mark on South Australia's legal system, and her tireless efforts in advocating for the rights of women and children have made our state a better place. Julie has inspired many of the next generation of lawyers to help out our most vulnerable members of society. Her career and her efforts don't go unacknowledged in improving the lives of many, and I am deeply grateful for the impact she has had on our state. I am looking forward to the next generation of lawyers that will follow in Julie's footsteps.