ACC Australia is committed to creating and promoting a more diverse and inclusive Australian in-house legal community. With support from the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee, the association launched the inaugural i-LEAD awards (In-house Lawyers Equality and Diversity) which celebrate how the recipients have succeeded against the odds, and our diverse and inclusive legal community.
Jorja Bright, law student at the Queensland University of Technology
Jorja is passionate about representing her Indigenous culture and showing young indigenous students and people that they can pursue a career in any industry. Jorja is living proof that seeking an alternate pathway to your preferred course can sometimes work for the better. After studying Journalism for six months through the Oodgeroo Unit at the Queensland University of Technology, she realised this was not the career path for her. Jorja then worked full time in law clerk and assistant roles, where she realised that instead of supporting lawyers, she wanted to become a lawyer.
Jorja says this Award will give her “the opportunity to have wide exposure to people, events, clerkships and information that I may not get to experience otherwise. Ultimately, the impact that this has is an advantage in my professional career to advance my skills in order to become a better Paralegal and eventually an outstanding lawyer.”
Brydon Truong, law student at the University of Technology Sydney
As someone from a non-English speaking background, Brydon has had to seek out and create his own opportunities. With an older brother on the Autism Spectrum, Brydon has taken on carer responsibilities on top of his work and student commitments. This has lead to Brydon actively job-seeking and reaching out to others to support both himself and his family.
Brydon applied for the i-LEAD Award because, while he has a lot of self-discipline and drive, he says “the opportunity as a law student to seek guidance from industry professionals and mentors which can give me a better opportunity to succeed in-house. This will also give me the opportunity to continue to support my family to the best of my ability and inspire others who may face similar circumstances.”
David Quinn – Senior Manager, Policy, Enterprise Compliance Westpac
After completing the 2020 ACC Australia Mentoring Program, David’s mentor encouraged him to apply for this Award. As part of the mentoring program David worked through several key themes, one of which was self-confidence.
David says that despite early challenges, he is now proud to be a member of the LGBTIQ+ community. “The best outcome for me in attaining this Award would be to boost my confidence and drive. I will benefit from opportunities to build confidence and develop some untapped skills (such as leadership) that would empower me to be a better lawyer and support other in-house legal members of the LGBTIQ+ community in their own journey. Going forward, I hope to be able to provide guidance, insights and support to others, to make their own personal and/or professional journey that bit easier, as well as promote and foster a more diverse and inclusive in-house legal community.”
Each award recipient gains priority access to several 2021 ACC Australia events, resources, and invaluable networking opportunities, not to mention a two-year honorary ACC Australia membership! Congratulations to the three winners.