Wednesday, 15 June 2016

LGBTI Legal Service 6th anniversary celebration with Michael Kirby!

On 19 August I have the privilege of being one of two speakers at the 6th anniversary of the award winning LGBTI Legal Service. The other speaker is the ever inspiring  Hon. Michael Kirby, who needs no introduction.

The anniversary event will be held in the Banco Court, the ceremonial (and largest) court in the Supreme Court building in Brisbane.

When in 2009 it was announced that there were moves to have a service, I was very excited. I wanted to make sure this nascent service succeeded. I immediately blogged it, repeatedly, but more to the point I drew up a list of all the LGBTI family lawyers (and other LGBTI or LGBTI friendly lawyers) I knew, and went through the list, either by phone or email or both, trying to persuade as many of them to come along and take part. I figured if I did this, then the chances of the service falling over would be greatly diminished. I was determined to do all I could to make sure the service succeeded. What I was sure of was that the service was desperately needed. It would be a terrible thing if it failed.

Thankfully, many of the colleagues I contacted took up the challenge, and started volunteering for the service. The service was up, up and away!

I was rostered on the first night, with a commercial lawyer Caeli Lovell.  Despite all our preparations, we did not have any clients that night. It was disappointing. However, in preparation of the that first night, I bought two things: a cake from the Shingle Inn- with PINK icing and a bottle of PINK bubbles. I figured that this was an event that was worth celebrating. The others that night thought I was made, but then got into the spirit. A standard household candle was found, plonked into the middle of the cake, lit, blown out, and then we celebrated!

Five months later, on World Aids Day, the service was formally opened by the Hon Michael Kirby.

I remained a volunteer lawyer with the service until January this year, when I realised that I simply, sadly, no longer had the time available. A salami can only be sliced so thin! Last year I and several other volunteer lawyers received the Rainbow Keys Award for 5 years service as volunteers.

The service has now had hundreds of clients, a tribute to its success- and has done this all on the smell of an oily rag. It is the ONLY unfunded community legal centre in Queensland. It needs all the (financial) help it can get.

And now the former Justice Kirby will be joining again as the keynote speaker on 19th August. Please join him and me to make that night a night to celebrate and remember!

More details are here:

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