International Women’s Day Accolades


International Women’s Day 2024 celebrations keep continuing at Legal Aid WA, with a number of past and present staff recognised for various achievements at different award ceremonies this year. 

Several Legal Aid WA staff featured at the Women Lawyers of Western Australia annual awards, which recognises women who have made an outstanding contribution to the legal profession, often achievements and successes that may not have been otherwise recognised.

Staff honoured for significant appointments were Rosie Myers, on her appointment as a Magistrate to the Magistrates Court of WA, Samantha Craig’s appointment as Registrar of the Family Court of WA, and Helen De Brito on her recent appointment as Director of Legal Aid WA.

Within the peer-nominated awards categories, we are pleased to have had four nominees from across the agency: Amanda Hockless and Charlotte Solomon, both from our Civil Law Division and both nominated for Junior Lawyer of the Year; and Karen Ward and Leanne Wykes, both nominated for the Regional, Remote & Rural Award.

It was a proud moment when Leanne was announced as the winner of the Regional, Remote & Rural Award. In her acceptance speech, Leanne spoke of her drive to work in and contribute to communities in regional and remote Western Australia.

“I made it clear from my first interview at Legal Aid that was where I wanted to work. In particular I had an interest in working in the North West of Australia, there was something about the remoteness, the untouched beauty, and cultural richness of this region that drew me to this part of the world.”

Leanne built her Legal Aid WA career in Fremantle, Midland, the Pilbara region, and now calls Kununurra home.

“It is an honour and a privilege to come to work every day in the East Kimberley. I work with nine other strong and intelligent women. I have four female First Nations colleagues who enrich me with their knowledge and experience and make me a better lawyer. I work with four other women lawyers and a paralegal and they all work tirelessly and achieve amazing outcomes for their clients every day of the week.
The conditions up here are harsh, we interview outside in 45 degree heat while on circuit, we spend lots of time in the humidity and red dirt conducting outreach and community legal education. I get to provide holistic support to my clients, advocating not only for the desired outcome in court, but also out of court, helping clients with disabilities get access to support through the NDIS, working with victims of family violence to reunite with their children through the child protection system, and supporting clients with drug and alcohol issues to get the treatment that they need.”

At another International Women’s Day celebration, Celia Waugh, Office Supervisor in the Albany Regional Office was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame, recognised for her dedication to volunteering in sport. 

Celia has been involved in surf lifesaving for 34 years as an administrator, trainer and mentor. She is a Life Member of Surf Lifesaving WA through her contribution to the Albany Surf Lifesaving Club, demonstrating an admirable commitment to serving her community.  

We are privileged to have such great colleagues, mentors, workmates and friends here at Legal Aid WA and are delighted to share their achievements.


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