Downs and South Western Queensland Law Association

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Downs & South Western Qld Law Association

The Downs & South West Queensland Law Association was originally established in its present form in 1937. In fact, the Association is a little piece of history all on its own, as it is the oldest Law Association of Queensland. The Association is said to have been established in the late 19th Century; however, fell off the radar in the early 20th Century. Eventually, the Association was restarted in 1937 and has remained in operation since that time.

The Association prides itself on being an integral part of the legal community on the Darling Downs and in South Western Queensland. 

The Association provides its members with an array of events which focus on both networking and education through professional development programs and courses. The Association organises regulara continuing legal education seminars since 2015, as well as assisting to run the Toowoomba Intensive of the Queensland Law Society CLE program. 

Benefits for members include invitations to social events within the region, including the early year Cocktail function, Annual Law Ball, and the end of year Christmas Party. Further, members have access to attend the professional development programs and courses, and access to educational updates.

I've met so many who have opened doors for me and remained in my life both personally and professionally. After a while, networking doesn't feel like 'networking.' It's both serendipitous and unpredictable, and something that just naturally becomes part of your work life and your personal life. 

Narciso Rodriguez

2020 Committee

Executive Committee

Sarah-Jane MacDonald

President

Sarah-Jane is a solicitor with MacDonald Law, having commenced working with her Father in 2006. She finished her schooling and undertook her University studies in Toowoomba and is very committed to improving our region. Sarah-Jane was awarded the Toowoomba Region's Young Citizen of the Year award in 2011 for her community involvement. 

Sarah-Jane primarily practises family law and is focused on working within collaborative law approaches to achieve client and child focused outcomes.

This is Sarah-Jane's fourth year on the management committee, and second year on the Executive Committee.

Naomi Cox

Vice President

Naomi works as a Solicitor at Dean Kath Kohler Solicitors practicing in family law, child protection and domestic violence. Naomi has been involved with the Association and a committee member since 2011.

Amie Mish-Wills

Secretary

Amie is an Industrial Relations Lawyer and a Director of the South West Hospital and Health Service (Queensland Health). Previously a Lawyer at Clifford Gouldson Lawyers and student representative at the University of Southern Queensland, Amie is passionate about having an active presence in the legal community and is proud to represent her peers as a member of the Downs and South Western Queensland Law Association. Amie has served as the Secretary of the Association for more than 3 years and her contributions to the local profession were recognised when she received the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland's Emergent Woman Lawyer of the Year Award for 2019.   

Meagan Murrell

Treasurer


Meagan practises exclusively in Family Law and is an Associate at Wilsons The Family Lawyers.  Meagan returned to Toowoomba, and the Committee, in late 2019 after spending some time in Sydney.  Meagan is passionate about assisting her peers in creating and maintaining strong collegiate relationships within the region, and is particularly focused on encouraging and empowering young lawyers to achieve their goals. 

 

Max Sutton

Family Law Representative

Max is a Solicitor at Best Wilson Buckley Family Law, practising in all areas of family law. Max holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from USQ Toowoomba and was admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia in 2017.  Max is looking forward to active involvement in the local legal community and is proud to represent his peers through essential collegial support for regional practitioners.

Bill Munro

Immediate Past President

Bill was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1978. He is an accredited specialist in Personal Injuries Law.

He sees the District Law Association as playing an integral part in the effective delivery of legal services to the community and for the well-being and governance of the profession within the region.

Bill is anxious to ensure that the traditional values and professional courtesies which have distinguished the profession over the centuries are maintained and at the same time ensuring that the practice of law remains relevant, rewarding and interesting to its members.

He is heartened by the advances in technology which enable continuing legal education to be made available to members throughout the region and by the camaraderie and goodwill which is evident among practitioners, despite the rough and tumble of everyday practice with its associated stressors.

He is committed to ensuring that the views and concerns of members are well known by the judiciary and the government of the day. He recognises that the profession is under scrutiny at many levels of society and is committed to leading the association in this region by seeking to ensure that its members continue as “…ethical, engaged professionals and citizens  who understand the social, economic and environmental influences on and impact of their actions, and who are self-directed, resourceful, resilient and adaptable to change”*.

* University of Southern Queensland School of Law and Justice


Committee Members

Emily Hawthorne

Committee Member

Emily works as a solicitor at Reynoldson Law practising in Commercial and Property Law. This is Emily’s third consecutive year on the Committee, and she again looks forward to engaging with all members of our legal community, and focusing on ensuring the professional enjoyment of all members practising in our region.

Carolyn Howe

Committee Member

Carolyn was first admitted in the United Kingdom in 1997, and then Australia in 2004.Carolyn is currently Special Counsel at Shine Lawyers, and a past President of the Downs & South Western Qld Law Association.

Agnes Derrick (née Redulla)

Committee Member

Agnes is a lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing (with Distinction) from the Queensland University of Technology. Agnes is passionate about keeping our legal community connected and has previously been a Management Committee Member in 2018. Agnes is excited to be back on board as a Management Committee Member in 2020 and proud to support the provision of personal and professional development opportunities to all members of the Downs and South Western Queensland Law Association.

Annabel Myatt

Committee Member

Annabel works as a solicitor at Donaldson Law practising in personal injury law, specialising in historical sexual abuse law. She has worked in the legal profession since 2015 and was admitted as a lawyer in 2016.

Being born and bred in Toowoomba, Annabel is active in the community and regularly volunteers her time at the Toowoomba Advocacy Support Centre (“TASC”) and Rosies – Friends on the Street. This is also extended into the sporting community where she plays women’s AFL for USQ Cougars.