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.
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!
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.
The OWLS Meet the Committee Drinks at Carousel on Wednesday 12 April was a wonderful evening and a great chance for OWLS and prospective OWLS to get together and have a drink and nibble. Thank you to so many of you for coming out on what was a rather wet evening! The OWLS Committee is looking forward to bringing you another year of entertaining, thought provoking and worthy events.
The OWLS Annual General Meeting was held at Ombrellos Bar and Restaurant on Tuesday 28 February 2017. Many OWLS members turned out in support of the meeting and mingled over drinks prior to the meeting starting.
The AGM began with the 2017 Committee being established. Once again we have a full OWLS Committee with a number of changes taking place. Kim Jarvis stepped down as convener with Ruth Ballantyne taking her place. Kim’s leadership, support and commitment to the role has been invaluable. Shayne Milne has stepped into the role of deputy-convenor. We have four new members, Becky Ensor, Emma Bourke, Shaan Ross and Megan Exton. We are thrilled to welcome Megan on board who is OWLS’ first law student representative, a role which we hope will strengthen ties between OWLS and the female law students studying at the university. Sarah Eckhoff, Anne McLeod, Lenore Brady and Louise Trevena-Downing have all stepped off the committee and we thank them immensely for their service and contributions over the years.
As well as general business matters, discussions were also held regarding the ongoing archiving/history project and the Marion Thompson Trust.
At the conclusion of the meeting OWLS members were fortunate enough to listen to a captivating presentation given by Professor Jacinta Ruru on her path to law and her role as the new co-director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence.
Members then stayed on for dinner, making the AGM a successful event for 2017.
Are you looking for a new challenge for 2017? New to Dunedin? New to the Profession? Hard working? Have you been on the Committee before?
THE OWLS COMMITTEE NEEDS YOU!
OWLS is looking for new and experienced practitioners to join the 2017 OWLS Committee. OWLS aims to provide networking and educational events for female practitioners in Otago. The Committee represents the diverse needs of our members and we need your help to achieve this!
ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS NOW UNTIL FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2017
Please fill in the following nomination form: OWLS Committee Nomination Form 2017
If you have any questions please email OWLS at email@example.com or phone Kim Jarvis on 03 477 8781.
On Friday 14 September 2016 OWLS hosted a special Gala evening to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of OWLS at the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. The Judiciary, Queens Counsel, Life Members, past and present members, the Law Faculty, and the local profession all attended in large numbers (133 in total), much to our delight, to help OWLS celebrate in style.
At the start of the evening, guests were welcomed with canapés and a Jazz Band, which was followed by a delicious meal and dessert bar provided by BB Catering. Master of ceremonies Anita Chan QC helped the evening run smoothly, and guests were treated to extremely impressive speeches from Sally McMillan, and the Hon. Dame Silvia Cartwright. Sally shared some of the history of OWLS and played excerpts from the oral histories of Life Members Marion Thomson and Margaret MacKay, which was particularly special. She also wove Ethel Benjamin’s journey into a rather inspiring fairy-tale. Dame Silvia gave an engaging speech about her experiences as Governor-General and the various hats she wore in that role! It turns out she should be a stand up comedian!
Our Convenor, Kim Jarvis, presented owl brooches to three Life Members, the Hon. Dame Silvia Cartwright, Judge Annis Somerville, and Judge Rosemary Riddell, after it had been discovered that the tradition of giving such brooches to life members did not begin until after their appointments, thus they had previously missed out!
The formalities of the evening were concluded by cutting a stunning cake in the shape of a law report, which was made by the Slice of Heaven Cake Company and a series of formal photos by photographer Jemma Wells, including members of the first OWLS committee, past convenors, and all past and present OWLS members. Once the formalities had concluded, guests danced the night away to live music from The Plus Ones. The Gala was certainly a night to remember and was enjoyed by all in attendance. We look forward to doing it all again in another 10 years! A big thank you to the extremely hard-working Gala Sub-Committee for pulling it all together in such style!! All photos by our photographer Jemma Wells. Check out more of her work at <http://www.jemmawells.com/>.
On Monday 26 September 2016 an OWLS panel consisting of Anita Chan QC, Professor Nicola Peart, Rachel Brooking, Stephanie Pettigrew, Kim Jarvis, and Ruth Ballantyne spoke to 50 enthusiastic female law students for the Society of Otago University Law Students’ (SOULS) Wellness Week. The panel spoke about their experiences as female lawyers and academics and discussed things they wish they had known before they started out. This event also doubled as an OWLETS forum, with many in attendance, and other students joining up subsequently. Thank you to Julia Tillett (the SOULS Welfare Representative) for organising this event and to Russell McVeagh for providing the afternoon tea. We hope to have more events like this one in the future as part of the OWLETS programme.
On Thursday 25 August 2016, the OWLS Committee hosted an event at Ombrellos with female law students from the University of Otago Faculty of Law who are interested in being involved in a new student branch of OWLS to be called the OWLETS (the name for a young OWL). One of the Committee’s goals this year was to build a closer relationship with our law students and to encourage more of them to become OWLS members. We intend to run the OWLETS group a bit like the Wise OWLS programme with a few social events alongside several lunchtime forums each year. Interested students will also be able to join OWLS if they wish and attend regular OWLS events. An OWLETS sub-committee has been established made up of six passionate female law students and they will be responsible for liaising with OWLS and administrating a separate OWLETS Facebook page under the guidance of Deputy Convenor Ruth Ballantyne. Based on the impressive number of students in attendance (approximately 35) and their wonderful enthusiasm this initiative has got off to a great start.