UNLSA has been supported by determined, energetic Committee members and enthusiastic Newcastle law students since 1994.
In particular, we recognise the following Honorary Members for the substantial contribution each individual has made to the Association.
Sam has been a committee member since 2015. He started as the Director of IT, and moved into the role of VP Finance & Marketing in 2016. In just his two years, he has been crucial to the success of this LSA. It is rare that someone dedicates the time and effort that Sam has in just those two years. He has not only done an exemplary job as Director of IT and VP Finance, but has gone above and beyond his role. In 2015, he helped my term as VP Events more than what was required, and has continued that with my term as President. Sam has always been a voice of reason, and would offer to help with anything he could. Below are only some of the things where he has showed that he deserves an Honorary Membership.
- Helped produce, act in, and edit competition videos;
- Upgraded hosting and helped build the new website;
- Helped implement the online membership system;
- Built in-house replacement system that lets us control the sign up form and which auto updates to the mailing system;
- Designed the Orientation Guide;
- Been on call to committee members for all financial and budgeting matters;
- Designed Law Revue and Law Ball marketing packages and promotion (Revue 2015, Law Ball 2015 and 16) including posters and custom place settings (including glittering masks with me for hours on end before law ball);
- Raised the issue of member privacy and helped implement shielding;
- Directed and edited video recording of the Newcastle Law Revue for the third year in a row;
- Performed data analytics on Law Ball ticket sale data comparing the last 4 years, leading to some interesting discoveries such as optimal release times;
- Assisted implementation of online voting through drafting of Constitutional and By-Law amendment packages;
- Saved the YouTube account and published media for the first time since 2013;
- Built the UNLSA Online Store for textbooks and merchandise – processing $1,137 worth of transactions since its inception at the start of this semester;
- Mixed music and video for law ball 2016;
- Helped design a new sweater look; and
- Managed implementation of EFTPOS system for in-person sales, and live updating budget trackers.
Chris has been a committee member since 2014. In 2014 he was Senior Student Representative. In 2015 he was Director of Social Justice engaging in a successful Social Justice Forum and an extremely successful Women in Law breakfast.
This year he has been an outstanding VP Admin.
As VP Admin he has gone above and beyond on several occasions. This includes the use of an SGM as a means of passing constitutional change. He has created the structure in place to allow online voting for future years. He has revitalised the UNLSA office ensuring that it can facilitate the running of bookshop smoothly.
Chris has been a long running member of Law Revue taking part in law revue from 2012 to 2016. He has been script editor since 2013. This included the time consuming task of putting together the script and writing the majority of many scripts over the past few years. He has been one of the longest-serving participants and writers in Law Revue, writing main story plots, parodies, video scripts and comedic scripts. He has designed and drafted the programs for 2015 and 2016. He has consistently taken on the role of video editor.
His contribution to revue has allowed the show to grow into what it is today. He has helped created the professional standards we see in our law revue at the moment. As a member of revue he has consistently helped facilitate the culture of openness which has seen revue grow into a wonderful support network for several students.
Chris someone who has helped build the UNLSA through revue, online elections and his role as VP Admin into a long lasting organisation. He has gone above and beyond, putting into pride and effort as a committee member, VP Admin and revue member. For this he is deserves to be nominated for Honorary membership.
Meena is a third-year JD student who originally hails from Toronto, Canada. She was the VP Events in the 2014/15 UNLSA term, and is the current President for the 2015/16 term.
Meena’s time with the UNLSA is nothing short of remarkable. She is the first JD student to take on Presidency, as well as the first international president in the UNLSA’s history. She took on the role of VP Events single-handedly and broke records for the UNLSA’s charity trivia night, Law Revue, and Law Ball while in the role.
Meena has always been a strong advocate for the interests of students, particularly those in the JD program which is still in its fledgling stages. Her advocacy grew during her term as President, bringing serious issues to the attention of the law school and working closely with
key faculty members to negotiate a resolution to conflicts.
In her time as President, Meena has made herself and her home available to committee members when they were in need of help. Even when she was back in Canada, she straddled two time zones in order to make herself available.
She has also spearheaded the upcoming UNLSA Mental Health Week, a week-long event dedicated to addressing mental health issues faced by university students and young legal professionals.
Meena’s time with the UNLSA has been marked with ambition, hard work, and an unwavering vision for what the UNLSA can achieve both now and into the future.
It has been a great honour for the current committee to have worked with Meena, and so it would be fitting for the UNLSA to make her an Honorary Member of the Association.
Clare Griffis has been actively involved with the University of Newcastle Law Students’ Association since the beginning of her time at university.
In 2010 she volunteered to assist the then competitions director in running the client interviewing and negotiation competitions, acting as a client and timekeeper despite not being a member of the committee.
Clare joined the UNLSA Committee officially when she was elected in the 2010/2011 term as the Director of Competitions (Skills). At the beginning of her term, the second Director of Competitions changed degrees and Clare found herself suddenly tasked with performing the duties of two people by herself. Clare took on this challenge and through hard work oversaw a significant increase in student participation in competitions. Under Clare’s directorship competitions participation grew from 5 teams in 2010 to over 30 in 2011.
The competition structures and rules that the UNLSA now uses were the result of hard work and collaboration by Clare during her term.
The following year, she held the position of Vice-President (Education) in 2011/12. As VP Education and Student Representative on the Faculty Board, Clare finalised the push to reinstate honours as part of the LLB. This qualification had been removed in previous years by the university and the 2012 cohort were at risk of completing a thesis without any recognition in the form of honours. In partnership with the law school Clare’s advocacy efforts resulted in the successful reinstatement of honours for law students, a contribution which is evident today and one from which students will continue to benefit in the future.
As President for the 2012/2013 term, Clare oversaw the successful inclusion of the Indigenous Representative position on the committee. Under Clare’s leadership the association hosted the biggest Law Ball in the association’s history and introduced new initiatives such as the Local Networking Evening and the End of Semester Breakfasts. Clare successfully lobbied the law school for a significant level of funding in 2012 and 2013 to support competitors at ALSA, believing that the best competitors from Newcastle deserved the opportunity to compete on a national level without financial burden.
As Immediate Past President, with the absence of the Director of Marketing, Clare stepped in to help the Director of Careers Publications with the design work on the UNLSA Graduate and Clerkship guides. This role was significantly outside the scope of her responsibilities.
Importantly though, it is the contribution that Clare continues to make as an ordinary member, long after her official obligations, that makes her contribution especially significant. As an individual with significant institutional knowledge, Clare has made herself available to Presidents and Vice-Presidents to provide advice and counsel when difficult matters have arisen,
or when the committee and the executive have needed to consider decisions made by past committees.
Clare has consistently gone above and beyond for the UNLSA over the last 5 years, and well and truly meets the Constitution’s requirements for honorary membership.
Alexander Wheeler has been involved in various capacities in the UNLSA since 2009, including 2nd Year Representative, Vice President (Events) and President in 2011/2012. During Alex’s role as Vice President (Events), he and his colleague Nick Wilkinson were instrumental in the introduction of Law Revue to UoN, for which he also acted as a producer. During Alex’s term as VP (Events) the UNLSA saw a huge increase in attendance, largely attributable to Alex’s encouragement of active campaigning and advertising.In 2011/2012, Alex was elected as President. Alex was regarded by his peers as an extremely hard working President who strived to ensure that each individual committee member was being supported in their role. During his term, Alex continued Thomas Dougherty’s work in strengthening the UNLSA brand by creating an Online Use Guide.
In both 2012 and 2013, Alex worked in conjunction with the Law School to see an increase in support for Indigenous Law Students; a project that he initiated during his Presidency.
In 2013 Alex continued to support the UNLSA in his role as Immediate Past President. As IPP, Alex has continued to market the UNLSA to fellow and future students in his capacity as a rural, regional and remote ambassador.
Alex has been an integral part of shaping the UNLSA as the successful organisation it is today. It is for these reasons I am honoured to nominate him as an Honorary Member.
Jakeob Brown has supported the activities of UNLSA since his early years at University. Throughout his involvement with UNLSA, Jake has held Executive roles, namely, Vice President (Education) in 2008- 2009, President in 2009-2010 and Vice President (Education) in 2010-2011. At the same time, Jake represented UNLSA at a national level as the ALSA Vice President (Finance & Marketing) for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. He has also held a student representative position on the Faculty Board of Business & Law in 2010 and successfully advocated on issues concerning all law students such as the reintroduction of the Honours program.
Jake has put his heart and soul into the Association, guaranteeing UNLSA is viewed as a proactive and professional organisation. He has driven the establishment of close and ongoing relationships with sponsors to ensure UNLSA is seen as a valuable student body to both sponsors and students.
The extensive involvement of Jake in UNLSA activities has given the Association a strong voice from a University to national level. He has been a cornerstone for addressing Educational issues influencing Newcastle law students for many years and has provided wide support to Committee members across all portfolios.
It is without hesitation that I nominate Jake for Honorary Membership.
Thomas Dougherty was Vice President (Events) during the 2009 /2010 UNLSA Year. During this role, attendances at events by students substantially increased. Thomas and his colleague, Nick Wilkinson in Vice President (Events) produced the 2010 Law Ball at capacity at a new venue. During the last months of his term, he worked tirelessly with Rebecca Silberberg in amending our Constitution to the standard that it is today. Individually, Thomas went outside of his role for the benefit of the UNLSA to re-design all of the UNLSA’s marketing material. These included the sponsorship prospectus, letterheads, marketing posters, and all email accounts.
In the 2010 / 2011 year, Thomas Dougherty was elected as President of the UNLSA. During his term of office, he has introduced a culture of inclusiveness and professionalism into UNLSA to ensure excellence in everything the UNLSA offers. He worked tirelessly and in cooperation with other UNLSA members to produce high-quality publications, including introducing a new publication, Valens, that set a new benchmark for all Australian student associations. The results of Thomas’ dedication are the new UNLSA emblem, a redesigned, user-friendly website, a successful Law Revue and a full updated style guide that ensures UNLSA’s publication will remain consistent and professional. Thomas’s technical skills in design and IT have allowed him to expand UNLSA’s presence across social media, facilitate student access to vital university and vocational information and improve the marketing of the association to the wider community. Thomas leaves a legacy of professionalism, cooperation and design-consciousness that will facilitate further growth and improvement of UNLSA.
I motion for Thomas Dougherty to be placed as an Honorary Member of the UNLSA.
Jessica Norgard has been involved with UNLSA for a number of years in a variety of positions at both the committee and executive level as well as fulfilling the role of President in 2008/2009. In addition, she has taken on responsibilities outside of her role within UNLSA in order to further the aims of the association within the university the wider profession and her involvement with ALSA. Jess continues to contribute to UNLSA above and beyond what is required.
Michael Reville has been a keen and involved member of UNLSA for many years. Fulfilling the role of graduate representative for his entire degree even when UNLSA has been unable to fulfil the position. Michael has constantly gone above his required duties in his role on the committee and has set the foundation for the graduate representative into the future. His timeless commitment to UNLSA is deserved of honorary membership.
Rebecca Silberberg has been involved with UNLSA since her time at University beginning in 2004. Rebecca has been involved on the Committee and the Executive for a number of years in the roles of Vice President Administration and Education. She has invaluable institutional knowledge that she has shared with subsequent committees and always goes above and beyond in her selfless devotion and service to UNLSA. Rebecca has and continues to involve herself in every major decision UNLSA makes whilst at the same time being available to help and contribute her time and expertise to the most insignificant task. UNLSA has been lucky to have Rebecca’s involvement throughout her university life and recognition of her unwavering service to UNLSA with Honorary Membership is warranted.