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African-Australian lawyers' network launched

African-Australian lawyers' network launched

By Karin Derkley

Networking 


Lawyers and law students from one of Australia's newest migrant communities have launched a network to provide support and establish stronger links with the wider legal community. The African Australian Legal Network was launched at Castan Chambers last week by Supreme Court Judge Michael Sifris. Judge Sifris is thought to be the first judge in Victoria of African heritage, having migrated from South Africa to Australia in 1986. He told the audience of around 100 people that he would have benefited from a group of this kind in his early years in Australia when, despite his expertise in the law in his homeland, he felt marginalised because of gaps in his local legal knowledge. It is so important to have a mentoring group where more established lawyers "can talk to upcoming practitioners and alleviate their concerns" and explain "simple things like what the local name is for a principle of law", he said.

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