Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Law Society of South Australia President's Medal

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (14:44): My question is to the Attorney-General. Will the minister inform the council about the recipient of the Law Society of South Australia's President's Medal for 2023?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:44): I thank the honourable member for his question and his interest in the Law Society's President's Medal, which is well known. It gives me great pleasure to inform the chamber about the Law Society's President's Medal, which may be awarded to an individual or group who has, in the President of the Law Society's opinion, made an outstanding contribution to the profession or has provided outstanding assistance to the Law Society in the various projects and achievements of that president during his or her term.

Each year, the president may award the award once, and the award may be shared. This award is only awarded when the president identifies a suitably meritorious nominee. For these reasons, the President's Medal is not always awarded each year.

Recent previous recipients have included: in 2022, Paul Black, a barrister at Carrington Chambers, for his work in industrial relations law; Craig Caldicott in 2020 for his longstanding contribution in representation and advocacy in criminal law; Chris Boundy in 2019 for his work towards the review of the Australian Solicitors' Conduct Rules; Ross Womersley, now Chief Executive of SACOSS, in 2017 for his contribution to the work of the Law Society in various projects; and Diane Mifsud, executive assistant to the honourable Chief Justice, in 2016 for her outstanding contribution to the legal profession over some decades.

In relation to the question the honourable member asked on this year's recipient, as I have mentioned in this chamber a number of times, I am very pleased as Attorney-General with the work of the South Australian Legal Services Commission, which has been providing legal assistance to South Australians now for almost half a century. They are annually delivering in excess of 140,000 legal assistance services through the provision of legal information, advice and representation.

I am also very proud, as Attorney-General, that in addition to the two winners of the Justice Award for 2023, the President's Medal this year was won by another member of the Legal Services Commission, Ms Emma Shaw. Emma Shaw is the team leader of the Legal Services Commission's Major Indictable Unit and has been a member of the Law Society since 2011. During her time as a member, she has made a significant and meaningful contribution to the Law Society's work through involvement on the executive, the council and a large number of committees.

Emma has been a member of the council since 2018, the Ethics and Practice Committee since 2019 and the Criminal Law Committee since 2017, and joined the Governance Structure Working Group this year. She has been the Law Society's nominee on the Board of Examiners since 2017. Emma was previously a member of the executive in 2019, 2020 and 2022, the Court SA Criminal Practitioner Users Group between 2021 and 2022, the GDLP committee in 2020, and what was then the Administrative Law Committee in 2017 and 2018.

Emma is well known for her thoughtful and well-considered contributions to the committees of which she is a member. Her commitment to these roles serves as an inspiring example to others to follow in the pursuit of making a positive impact on the Law Society and the legal profession in this state generally.

Members of the Law Society often give up their time and energy outside normal working hours—on evenings, weekends and in the early hours of the mornings—to their project, and Emma exemplifies this selflessness. I congratulate and commend the winner of the President's Medal, Emma Shaw.