Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Australian Women Lawyers (1997 - )

Feminist organisation, Peak Body and Professional association


Australian Women Lawyers (AWL) Limited is the peak body for women lawyers associations throughout Australia. The association was established on 9 September 1997, in Melbourne, Victoria.

Concerned primarily issues relating to the practice and advancement of women in the legal profession, AWL's founding principals, as reflected in AWL's inaugural Memorandum of Association, executed on 9 September, are to:

  • achieve justice and equality for all women;
  • further understanding and support for the legal rights of all women;
  • identify, highlight and eradicate discrimination against women inherent in the legal system and in the community generally;
  • advance equality for women in the legal profession;
  • create and enhance awareness of women's contribution to the practice and development of law;
  • provide a professional and social network for women lawyers.

The founding patron of AWL was the Hon. Justice Mary Gaudron QC who was appointed to the position on 19 September 1997. She held the position until 20 February 2009. The first AWL President was Victorian QC, Alexandra Richards, who held the role for four years 1997-2001.

Sources used to compile this entry: Australian Women Lawyers Website, Australian Women Lawyers, 2016,

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Nikki Henningham

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National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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ISSN 2207-3124