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Council: LIV Update

Council: LIV Update

By Rachel Cox


LIV councillor Rachel Cox gave her introductory speech at the February Council meeting. This is an edited version.

I hope that in my time on Council, I can contribute meaningfully and actively alongside the people driving change. 

Law means a great deal to me, not least because of the long hard road that led me to practising. I look forward to now being in a position to give back to the profession that fulfils and challenges me.

I grew up in Geelong, attending Geelong High School and then Deakin University. My family is as blue collar as the Kerrigans from The Castle, and the similarities are striking at times.

My ATAR didn’t see me move into studying law right away, so my next choice was a bachelor of social work. I began my bachelor of social work, but after my first lecture I discovered I was expecting my daughter Sky. I switched to off-campus mode. It didn’t take long until I changed my mind about social work and enrolled in journalism.

I had dreamt of law for as long as I can remember. I liked to argue, and if I thought something was fair or right, I couldn’t quite let go of it.

One morning I saw a corner of newspaper advertising a mid-year intake of law students. I sat the tests and secured my place. I was a full-time working single mum to a young child. Finally, I graduated.

I love law for the same reason I love politics. There is an underlying pursuit of what is right and logical. It might sometimes take a convoluted path but there is little doubt of the principles we are striving to honour. 

This pursuit of what is right and fair led me to become a foster carer around 10 years ago, and today I have three-year old Emily in permanent care with our family. She has multiple disabilities and is the most challenging experience of my life to date, but I adore her. And I believe that distributing our fortune, whether financial or otherwise, is important. I will never be able to stop fostering. It’s in my blood. Law wasn’t always compatible with caring for screaming, withdrawing newborns, and fostering is largely the reason I struggled to survive in firms. In 2016 I opened my own family law practice with a partner. She retired last June and today Halcyon Legal is just me. I practise in family law exclusively.

Law is a challenging profession. I want to support people who have had similar experiences to me, those who might be juggling parenting with law, those who might be struggling to build their networks and who just can’t seem to get a foot in the door, and those who are finding themselves wondering if they might have done all of that study for nothing. 

I would love to see even more networking and mentoring for new lawyers. I want to see firms pay more than lip service to flexible workplace arrangements, and I want to see the LIV become known as the best way to network for new lawyers.

I’m also passionate about early intervention with trust accounting and practice management more generally–  helping people long before the auditor arrives. I know how terrifying it can be once you’re given that principal practising certificate and you’re on your own out there. I also hope to represent the interests of those in small suburban practices through my role as secretary of the North West Lawyers Association.

I’m grateful to have a forum to put forward some ideas and views, and also to ask questions and learn from the wealth of knowledge of other Council members and LIV staff.

Notice of LIV AGM

The Annual General Meeting will be held from 6pm on Wednesday 20 November 2019 at the LIV, Level 13, 140 William Street, Melbourne.

LIV Governance


Stuart Webb


Sam Pandya


Tania Wolff

5th executive member

Brendan Lacota

Immediate past president

Belinda Wilson

LIV council members

Molina Asthana Tim Freeman John Toohey
Tom Ballantyne  Simon Libbis Meghan Warren
Gerry Bean John McPherson Kathy Wilson
Caroline Counsel Tom May   
Rachel Cox  Carrie O’Shea  


Ballarat & District Law Association

James Remington 5337 0266

Bendigo Law Association

Juliana Smith 5444 1181

Eastern Suburbs Law Association

Zubair Mian 9888 5885

Geelong Law Association

Aaron Jolly 5222 2077

Gippsland Law Association

Daniel Taylor 5152 6262

Goulburn Valley Law Association

Charles Hart 5820 0200

Mornington Peninsula Lawyers Association

Kelly Beck 9670 5000

North East Law Association

Amanda Toner 5752 1493

North West Suburbs Lawyers’ Association

David Gonzalez 9379 7306

North West Victoria Law Association

Tristram Lock 5022 2622

Northern Suburbs Law Association

Antonella Terranova 9432 0266

Southern Solicitors Law Association

Celina Roth 9592 7744

Western District Law Association

Jessica Dowdy 5572 1600

Western Suburbs Law Association

Danielle Leo 9334 6803

Wimmera Law Association

Patrick Smith 5381 2222

To find out more about LIV governance and representation or to contact LIV Council members see or phone the secretary to the Council on 9607 9513 or email

About the LIV: The LIV represents about 19,000 lawyers and people working in the law in Victoria, interstate and overseas. Our members offer their commitment, diversity and expertise to help shape the laws of Victoria and to ensure a strong legal profession for the future. The LIV promotes justice for all advancing social and public welfare in the operation of the courts and legal system as well as advancing education and public confidence both in the legal profession and in the processes by which the law is made and administered. As the peak body for the Victorian legal profession, the LIV initiates programs to support the needs of a changing profession, promotes an active law reform advocacy agenda, responds publicly to issues affecting the profession and broader community, delivers continuing legal education programs, and continues to provide expert services and resources to support our members.

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