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    Legal Laneway Breakfast 2024

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    Event description

    Victoria Law Foundation warmly invites you to celebrate the beginning of the legal year at our Legal Laneway Breakfast.

    Our breakfast will be held in Hardware Lane, and will also be broadcasted live, so you can tune in from wherever you may be.

    We encourage everyone working in Victoria’s legal sector to join us to mark the opening of the legal year over breakfast and hear presentations from our list of speakers, including Attorney General of Victoria, Hon. Jaclyn Symes. 

      An Auslan interpreter will be present at the event. There will be vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options at this event; for further dietary requirements please email:  We encourage you to support our local small businesses and pick up a coffee on the way in or out of the breakfast from one of the fantastic cafes located on Hardware Lane."

      We'd like to thank Victorian Women Lawyers and the Victorian Bar for co-sponsoring the Acknowledgment of Country that will be presented by Djirri Djirri Dance Group.  

      Join the livestream:


      Hon. Jaclyn Symes
      Attorney-General of Victoria

      Jaclyn was appointed as Victoria’s Attorney-General in December 2020, tasked with delivering the Labor Government’s important reform agenda. 

      Jaclyn completed a Bachelor of Laws at Deakin University and was admitted to legal practice in Victoria in 2006. During her tertiary education, Jaclyn worked as a carer for people with intellectual disabilities. This job exposed her to the barriers to inclusion and restrictions on opportunity that those with a disability experience on a daily basis, and the importance of the Government putting in place the right policy settings to address their challenges.
      After finishing university, to further her legal training Jaclyn became an Industrial Officer at the Australian Services Union before moving into government as an adviser to Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls. In 2010, she was appointed as Senior Legal and Justice Adviser to then-Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews.

      In 2014, Jaclyn was elected Member for Northern Victoria, the area of the state she grew up in and where she is now raising her family. She has a passion for social justice and hard work and is focused on delivering a just and equitable justice system for all Victorians. 

      Jaclyn also serves as the Minister for Emergency Services and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

      Fiona McLeay
      Victorian Legal Services Board CEO and Commissioner

      Fiona was appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and CEO of the Victorian Legal Services Board in January 2018. She was reappointed to the role for a second five-year term on 8 January 2023.

      Prior to her appointment she was the CEO of Justice Connect, a leading not-for-profit organisation that provides free legal assistance to individuals and organisations by leveraging the pro bono skills of the private legal profession. Fiona has also held a range of senior roles at World Vision Australia, including that of General Counsel. Before joining World Vision, she worked at Clayton Utz, including as Special Counsel. Fiona has an LLB from the University of New South Wales and holds LLMs from both New York University and the University of Melbourne. She has also studied at both Harvard and Stanford Business Schools in the USA.

      Professor Nigel J. Balmer
      Research Director, Victoria Law Foundation

      As the inaugural VLF Research Director, Nigel led the development of the Research function at VLF including the Public Understanding of Law Survey (PULS). 

      At the Breakfast, Nigel will outline new findings from the coming PULS Volume 2 report that explores legal capability, who has it, and why it matters.

      He has been conducting empirical research for over twenty years and is an expert in the application of social science and modern quantitative methods to explore how the public understand and interact with the law. 

      Nigel’s research includes work on the role of law in everyday life; attitudes to justice; public experience of and response to legal issues; the interaction between legal and health problems; and design of legal services and legal aid. He is best known for his work on legal need surveys around the world, including recent guidance supporting global access to justice initiatives under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16. Nigel is also Honorary Professor of Law and Social Statistics at University College London.

      Hon. Justice Greg Garde AO RFD
      Chair, Victoria Law Foundation

      Justice Garde is a Reserve Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, capping a long and distinguished career in the law, starting in 1974. Beyond his career as a barrister and on the bench, Justice Garde has been highly influential in many aspects of our justice system.

      He is Victoria’s longest serving President of VCAT, and is currently Chair of the Law Library of Victoria Committee and the Supreme Court Library Committee; was a founding member of the Courts Council of Courts Services Victoria, and of the Judicial Commission of Victoria. He has chaired the Foundation since October 2020.

      Lynne Haultain
      Executive Director, Victoria Law Foundation

      Lynne leads the Victoria Law Foundation team. She brings with her a wealth of experience in the fields of communications, journalism and management.

      For 16 years, she worked with ABC Radio, including a stint hosting The Law Report on Radio National. She has also worked at the ACCC, the City of Melbourne, the Victorian Ombudsman and as a consultant. For over five years she has stood as Executive Director of VLF.

      Acknowledgement of Country presented by Djirri Djirri Dance Group

      Djirri Djirri are the only Wurundjeri female dance group, and are Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne) and surrounds. Djirri Djirri means Willy Wagtail in Woiwurrung, our Mother Tongue. Djirri Djirri dances honour our Liwik (Ancestors), Kerr-up-non (Family), Biik (Country) and animals. Djirri Djirri Dance Group dance together as cousins, nieces, aunties and mothers with daughters and teach their dancers to also sing in Woiwurrung language, their Mother Tongue.


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