Cultural diversity in law EDO NSW

Cultural diversity in the law panel discussion

BJ Kim, International Program Manager at EDO NSW, spoke on Cultural Diversity in the Law at a well-attended Tuesday Q+A panel organised by the Asian Australian Lawyers Association.

30 August 2018

The event – the Annual William Lee Address 2018 - was named in honour of the first barrister of Chinese descent to be admitted to the NSW Bar in 1938.

This year, the Chinese Australian community celebrates 200 years of Chinese settlement in Australia. So it’s a good time to take stock of the extent to which Asian Australians are represented in leadership positions in the community, including the legal professional.

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BJ Kim, centre, with panellists Julie Chai, CEO Asian Leadership project, and Kenneth Nguyen, Partner, Ashurst.

A large audience enjoyed the frank and lively Q+A session on the challenges and opportunities for Asian lawyers in Australia. Participants heard that the starting point for discussion about diversity is reconciliation with first Australians and that movement towards gender diversity will help other minority groups. These issues, however, do not necessarily need to be dealt with consecutively.

Baker McKenzie partner and head of the firm’s BakerDNA cultural diversity initiative Richard Gough mentioned that the results of the Law Firm Cultural Survey should be coming in very soon. This survey aims to track cultural diversity at partner and senior leadership levels at Australia’s leading law firms. Mr Gough said that there is potential for the survey to be used by other organisations and industry groups.