I do many presentations in a year. In most years, I present about a dozen times. Ok, that sounds like once a month. But of course it doesn't happen like that. It might happen once a week, just like last week when I presented to the Family Court of Auatralia about surrogacy. Much more often, presentations occur in clusters.
Just like when I get asked: how often do you go to court? Well it might be once every couple of months or once a week, or several times in the one week: it varies, and when it happens, too often there will be two or three cases on the same day!
The conference, the largest of its kind in Australia, will run in Brisbane on Saturday and Sunday. There are expected to be 200+ attendees taking part in sessions about all things to do with surrogacy. On Saturday I will moderate two panels: one about international legal issues and the other about using surrogacy agencies.
This week is an illustration of that chaos in action.
All week: the office renovation
Few things are as exciting, stressful or as disruptive as the office renovation. Quite simply we couldn't fit everyone at Harrington Family Lawyers in like sardines anymore and wanted to have some room to do mediations. So we took over the space next door.
For months, we have waited to be able to get the renovations under way. Now they are happening! Within the hour, two internal walls and our old front door are being ripped down. On the weekend we have had painters, electricians and carpenters in.
Today more mass chaos as offices and files are moved, with electricians hanging out of the ceiling, etc., ahead of the dreaded: the whole office is being painted Wednesday and Thursday. Oh what fun.
Out for Australia: Tuesday
Tomorrow night Out for Australia and Allens are holding an event in Brisbane, talking about the law and how it affects LGBTIQ people. I am one of the panelists. There are expected to be about 100 people turning up. There are still a few seats available. Looks like it will be a stimulating night!
Gay Dads surrogacy event: Thursday
On Thursday night I join renowned US surrogacy lawyer Steve Snyder and US fertility doctor Dr Said Daneshmand to talk about surrogacy in the US. The event is full. It is illegal for residents of Queensland to undertake commercial surrogacy in the US.
Canadian surrogacy event: Friday
On Friday I take part in a Canadian surrogacy event with Leia Swanberg from Canadian Fertility Consulting, Dr Daneshmand and Alex McNab, a Canadian surrogacy lawyer. Many Australians are now undertaking surrogacy in Canada- where surrogacy is altruistic, but unlike Australia is available.
Families Through Surrogacy conference: Saturday
Brisbane will host some of the top US experts on surrogacy, including Steve Snyder, Dr Daneshmand, and renowned surrogacy lawyer Andy Vorzimer, Dr Michael Feinman, as well as representatives from the big three surrogacy agencies: Karen Synesiou from the Center for Surrogate Parenting, psychologist Dr Kim Bergman from Growing Generations and lawyer Scott Buckley from Circle Surrogacy.
There will be many local speakers as well, including fertility counsellors Miranda Montrone and Michael Condon, and IVF doctors Warren deAmbrosis from Qld Fertility Group and Julie Lindstrom from City Fertility Centre.
And then, after hosting a dinner for some of the local and international speakers at the conference, my week will finally be over!