20 Year lunch: 29 September 2017

The annual OWLS 20 year lunch celebrates OWLS members who have been in practice for 20 years or more. This year Megan Bartlett of Webb Farry and Louise Garthwaite of Bond Street Chambers joined the 20 year club and were presented with flowers to mark the occasion. Congratulations to Megan and Louise and to our other OWLS members who have been in practice for 20 or more years. This is a very impressive achievement. The lunch at Nova was a lovely opportunity to catch up with colleagues and celebrate each other’s achievements. We look forward to hosting this event again in 2018 and to the continued celebration of our long-standing female practitioners.



Suffrage Day Breakfast: Tuesday 19 September 2017

On Tuesday 19 September, 20 OWLS members gathered at Vogel Street Kitchen to celebrate Suffrage Day and to listen to a captivating talk over breakfast by Dr Louisa Baillie about her life and family history and how that has shaped her career path to date and ultimately finding her way to becoming a facial forensic approximator.  Thank you to both Dr Baillie and to Vogel Street Kitchen for a lovely way to start the day!

21st Annual New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Commemorative Address: 8 September 2017

Our fellow OWL, the esteemed Professor Nicola Peart of the Faculty of Law, University of Otago, presented the 21st Annual New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Commemorative Address at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Friday 8 September 2017. The Address was entitled “Property rights on death:  Policies in conflict”.  Professor Peart captivated the audience of more than 180 members of the profession and public with the evolution of property rights on death in New Zealand culminating in today’s piecemeal legislation.

The topic of the Address was very timely, given the review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 currently being undertaken by the Law Commission.  Professor Peart outlined efforts over many years to improve the law, which continue today with the review being carried out.

The OWLS committee were thrilled with the turnout which reiterates the high esteem within which Professor Peart is held within the New Zealand legal profession, and was pleased to host another extremely successful event with the help of our generous sponsors the New Zealand Law Foundation, the University of Otago Law Faculty, and the Williams Trust. The Address will be available on the OWLS website and the DVD recording will be available to watch on the New Zealand Law Foundation website <http://www.lawfoundation.org.nz/> for those who missed out. The Address will also be published in an upcoming issue of the Otago Law Review.

Anne Bond event: Thursday 31 August 2017

On Thursday 31 August OWLS hosted Anne Bond (leadership coach) and Vivienne Seaton (Institute of Directors) to speak on issues relating to women’s under-representation at board level and what we can about it. The interactive session had a practical focus with advice on how to:

  • recognise our skill sets (know our worth!);
  • develop confidence as professional women;
  • overcome bias; and
  • seek out appropriate board and leadership opportunities

… all while maintaining a healthy balance across all areas of our very busy lives. Easy right?!

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and participate openly. It was a great opportunity to share and learn from each other.


OWLS diversity event: Friday 4 August 2017

Kathryn Beck and Chris Moore spoke to their work with the Women’s Advisory Panel to a capacity audience – addressing women’s access to and  participation at senior levels of the profession, pay equity issues and high attrition rates.

Statistics continue to reflect gender disparities in each of these areas. This is despite the fact that the number of women in practice is effectively equal to the number of men.

Empirical evidence confirms that genuine gender diversity in the workplace promotes productivity across an organisation. We all benefit.

The Women’s Advisory Panel continues to seek input from the profession in order to better understand the barriers for women in the hope that those barriers can be overcome.

This was OWLS’ third annual Diversity Event and was open to the entire profession. OWLS wishes to thank our colleagues who were able to attend and engage in the debate.

Mid-winter Christmas dinner: Wednesday 5 July 2017

The OWLS committee was thrilled to have close to 30 OWLS members join them at Ombrello’s on Wednesday 5 July for an evening of delicious food and great company.  The dinner was a lovely, relaxing opportunity for OWLS members to catch up with one another over a fabulous meal and drinks.  Thank you to all who rugged up and came out on a cold winter’s evening and to Ombrello’s for hosting us all.

History project fundraising quiz night: Thursday 8 June 2017

On Thursday 8 June OWLS held another successful and fun fundraising quiz night at the Kensington Hotel.  OWLS is very grateful to have raised more than $1500 to be put towards the history project marking the 30th anniversary of OWLS, and is thrilled to have raised more than $300 (being the proceeds from one of the raffle rounds) for the Women’s Refuge.  OWLS thanks all of the businesses below who so generously donated prizes for the raffles and to the Kensington for hosting us once again.  A big thank you also to everyone who attended and contributed to this fantastic fundraising night.

Quiz night logo sheet

Wise OWLS Speed Mentoring: Thursday 25 May 2017

Seven Wise OWLS and fourteen OWLS members attended a wonderful speed mentoring evening at Gallaway Cook Allan on Thursday 25 May.  The format was much like that of speed dating and was a great way for the younger OWLS members to get to know our Wise OWLS better and to garner some really helpful advice and support from them.  OWLS is very fortunate to be able to have so many of its more experienced practitioners who are willing to be mentors to the younger members of the profession and it is at events like this that OWLS is able to make the most of their experience and wisdom.  Discussions took place on almost every conceivable topic and proved to be a fun and lively evening.  Thank you to Gallaway Cook Allan for hosting and to the Wise OWLS for their advice and support as well as the Wise OWLS sub-committee for organising a fabulous event.



OWLETS Panel Event: Monday 22 May 2017

On Monday 22 May, 45 female law students attended a forum run by OWLS where nine OWLS members answered a myriad of questions from the students on the topic “What we wish we had known at law school”.  The students were particularly excited to hear from younger practitioners and professionals in their first few years of practice and the session proved full of lots of great discussion and laughs.  OWLS has received really positive feedback from the students about the helpful advice that they received from the OWLS members on issues ranging from what panel members did at law school that helped them in the first few years of practice/work to whether grades from law school impact on opportunities past your first graduate role.  There was so much interest and such a great response to the event that OWLS plans on holding another in the same format in the second semester.  A big thank you goes out to the OWLS members who came along to be a part of the panel and to the OWLETS sub-committee for organising a wonderful event!



Pink Ribbon Morning Tea: Friday 5 May 2017

The OWLS Committee was delighted to host its annual Pink Ribbon Morning Tea at Gallaway Cook Allan on Friday 5 May.  It was wonderful to have more than 40 OWLS members attend and we are thrilled to have been able to raise nearly $600 for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, an extremely worthy cause and one which, as women, we are only too happy to support.  Thank you to everyone who donated money and to those who helped to put on a delicious morning tea spread.  A big thank you also to Gallaway Cook Allan for hosting all of the OWLS and we look forward to putting on another great Pink Ribbon morning tea next year.