April 2022 | Shauna Stanley | Maurice Blackburn Lawyers


April 2022 | Shauna Stanley | Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers    

To me, leadership means...
identifying strengths in those around you, building up their capacity to lead in their own work, which in turn realises a shared goal. Leadership is empowering interdependence in a supportive environment.

The most rewarding part of my job is...
assisting people who, individually, would have the means to take legal action against well-resourced defendants, but collectively have a mechanism for redress through Class Actions. Class Actions enable communities and individuals with a common purpose to speak truth to power and challenge large institutional and corporate defendants. I believe that harnessing the power of the collective is rooted in the strong trade union tradition at Maurice Blackburn, and so it is very rewarding to know we are practising these social justice values at work every day.

My favourite fictional character is..
actually a pair of characters from The Country Girls trilogy, by Edna O’Brien - Cait Brady and Baba Brennan. Cait and Baba are friends who grew up together in rural Ireland who move to Dublin. This premise does not sound subversive, and yet in 1960 the first book was banned by the Irish censorship board, denounced at the pulpit, and publicly burned by the parish priest in Edna’s hometown. All because the book dared to breathe life into multifaceted Irish female characters, both of whom are funny, intelligent and resilient. Edna responded with strength by completing the trilogy and becoming an internationally revered writer. Cait and Baba to me represent a watershed moment in Irish literature. The courage of these characters to exist, and to dissent, in a stiflingly patriarchal post-colonial environment still resonates 60 years later.