One of VWL’s key objectives is to remove barriers and increase opportunities for participation by, and advancement of,
women in the legal profession in Victoria.

VWL Run Club

Victorian Women Lawyers invites you to join our run club - Every Monday at 6:00pm. Starting on Monday, 12 April

Wellbeing is now recognised as imperative to building and maintaining a successful and rewarding career, especially for women working or studying in the legal field.

The Victorian Women Lawyers Networking Committee invites you to join our Run Club, to exercise your way to wellbeing by releasing some feel-good chemicals while connecting with others in this free and fun running group.

The group will run by the Yarra River and the Tan along the Royal Botanical Garden. It will be 45 minutes of fun whilst taking in the sights of our beautiful city. Participants are encouraged to attend the introductory session on the first day of Run Club.

It’s a great way to meet other VWL members and get fit at the same time.

So grab your running gear and join us! All levels of running are welcome!

For more information click here.

To register for the run club click here


Building on the success of the VWL Law Student Mentoring Program, VWL's Professional Mentoring Program is designed to enable female and female-identifying members of the legal profession to obtain the benefits that may be drawn from a 1:1 mentoring relationship.

A launch event will be held in the coming months for mentors and mentees.

Mentees must be members of VWL who have completed their legal studies. Mentees with all levels of experience in the profession are encouraged to apply – the program is designed to assist new graduates as well as more senior lawyers seeking advice on professional development.

Mentors must have at least 5 years experience in the profession and are not required to be members of VWL, though we do encourage mentors to apply to become a member of the organisation.

Applications for the Professional Mentoring Program are now closed.


About the program

The 2020 Warren Moot saw 16 teams appear before senior members of the Victorian judiciary. Participants engaged directly with members of the judiciary and senior members of the legal profession.

The Warren Moot was named in honour of the former Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC QC of the Supreme Court. Specifically designed to provide women an opportunity to test their advocacy skills and consider a career at the Bar, the Warren Moot is endorsed by the Honourable Marilyn Warren AC QC and proudly sponsored by Maddocks.

More information can be found in the competition flyer (view here).

Due to pandemic restrictions, this year’s Moot was held digitally.

Participants were invited to a digital launch of the 2020 Warren Moot on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 and heard from the Honourable Marilyn Warren AC QC and the Honourable Justice Rita Incerti. This discussion was then followed by practical exercises on effective written submissions and advocacy, run by Convenor of Women Barristers’ Association, Jennifer Batrouney AM QC, and effective research strategy, run by the College of Law.


  • Launch event: Wednesday, 26 August 2020
  • Mock Round: Monday, 31 August 2020
  • Round One: Monday, 14 September 2020
  • Quarter Final: Monday, 5 October 2020
  • Semi-Final: Monday, 26 October 2020
  • Grand Final & Presentation Evening: Tuesday, 10 November 2020


Warren Moot Honour Board

2020 Winners -  Amelia French, Amelia Hunter, Olivia Smedley and Sarah Tucker

2019 Winners -  Margie Brown, Steph Noack and Beatrice Paull

2018 Winners -  Alexandra Harrison-Ichlov, Michelle Ainsworth, Eleni Kannis and Emma Ffrench-Mullen

2017 Winners -  Julianna Marshall, Catharine Thorpe, Holly Jager and Paige Darby

2016 Winners - Ellen Williams, Kelly Butler, Bobbi Murphy and Holly Fairhurst

2015 Winners - Reegan Morison, Katherine Farrell, Amy Yeap and Alice Smith


About the program

The Law Student Mentoring Program is a joint initiative run by Victorian Women Lawyers and the Women Barristers’ Association. The program is endorsed by the Honourable Justice Rita Incerti.

Now in its 13th year, the program is a wonderful opportunity for female and female-identifying law students to gain insight into working in the law, develop valuable networks and share ideas with mentors in the legal profession. We are particularly proud to offer this opportunity for connection as the legal profession navigates the impact of the current COVID-19 crisis.

Applications to participate in this year’s program as a mentor or mentee are now OPEN. Matched pairs will be notified by end of June.
A digital launch function for the program will be held in July.

Program history

Each year VWL receives expressions of interest in the mentoring program from students of a number of Victorian universities and tertiary institutions, including the University of Melbourne, Monash University, LaTrobe University, Deakin University, Victoria University, RMIT and Swinburne University. VWL seeks to match these students with interested legal professionals to undertake a formal mentoring relationship of at least 12 months.

The mentoring program was first launched in 2008 and has the honour of being endorsed by Program Patron, the Honourable Marcia Neave AO, who chaired the Royal Commission into Family Violence and previously sat as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. In 2016, the Honourable Justice Rita Incerti joined the Honourable Neave as a co-patron of the program, prior to the Honourable Neave’s retirement as a patron of the program in 2019. Justice Incerti is a committed member of VWL and actively supports the professional development of female lawyers through mentoring.

The number of students expressing interest in being mentored has grown substantially since the program commenced in 2008. This demonstrates that the mentoring program continues to be highly relevant to women who are preparing to enter the legal profession, particularly as issues of sex discrimination, gender inequality, and unconscious bias, as well as obstacles to flexible work practices, remain prevalent. In recent times, we have also seen an increase in interest from participants in regional centres reflecting VWL’s focus on increasing participation by members from regional areas.

In 2015, the program matched 131 mentors and mentees. In 2016, this number grew to 186. This year, similar to previous years, VWL will match hundreds of mentors and mentees. In order to manage the overwhelming popularity of the program and encourage support for VWL, students wishing to participate in the program are required to be a VWL members (membership is not a requirement for mentors).

VWL has now matched over 1,500 pairs in mentoring relationships since the program’s inception.

Please direct any queries about the program or the digital launch event to the program coordinator, Erin Meeking, at [email protected].

Pay Transparency Project – Reducing the Gender Pay Gap

Data shows that women are paid less than men in Australia for carrying out the same kind of work.  For example, women working full time in Australia are paid 17% less than their male counterparts, and the gap is even bigger in the legal profession.  To combat the gender pay gap, VWL has created informative resources and advocated for law reform.

The Work Practices Committee has developed a series of fact sheets.  These fact sheets explain steps business have taken, in Australia and around the world, to reduce the gender pay gap.  In particular, the fact sheets provide the case for "pay transparency", explaining what it is and why it works. 

In addition, the Law Reform Committee made a submission to the Senate inquiry on the Fair Work Amendment (Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2015.  Following VWL's submission, members of VWL's Executive were invited to speak to the Education and Employment Legislation Senate Committee. This has provided VWL with an opportunity to advocate strongly for steps toward the implementation of pay transparency, which would allow women lawyers, and all individuals, to talk openly about their pay.   

To empower members to take action against the gender pay gap, VWL has commenced a series of events.  After holding a pay negotiation seminar on 13 October 2016 (Closing the gender pay gap: How to negotiate your pay, conditions & employment contract) and a seminar on the business case for pay transparency on 21 November 2016, VWL will continue to add events to the series.

You can access resources and submissions here:

Check out the presentation pack from our 21 November 2016 event: pay-transparency-slides-21-nov-16

Diversity and Inclusion – In Touch Cards Project

In 2016 the Diversity and Inclusion embarked on a project to inform women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities who are experiencing family violence about the support services available to them.
To this end, the Committee produced and printed business-card sized contact cards in three languages: Arabic, Vietnamese and Chinese. The cards contain a message informing women that if they are experiencing family violence, they can seek help from the InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, an organisation that specialises in providing assistance to women from CALD backgrounds. The cards also list contact information for the police and for the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre.
To date, the Committee has distributed over 700 cards in each language to a variety of organisations, including migrant resource centres, community and cultural organisations, neighbourhood services, social services, health services and universities. We are continuing to distribute cards and a second print run is planned. It is hoped that as a result of this project, more CALD women who are experiencing family violence will be aware of the services available to them and receive the assistance they need.

VWL collaborates with The Funding Network

VWL is partnering with the Funding Network at an event on Thursday 17 November 2016 that will highlight social change programs addressing the needs of people affected by family and domestic violence. In addition to The Funding Network, VWL is collaborating with Hall & Wilcox and the Women Donors Network to present the event.

Applications to pitch at this event are now open. To apply, If shortlisted, applicants should ensure they are available for a phone interview on Tuesday 11 October. Finalists should also ensure they are available for the pitch coaching workshop on Wednesday 26 October in Melbourne.

Date: 17 November 2016
Time: 5.30pm for a 6pm start
Venue: Hall and Wilcox, Rialto South Tower, 525 Collins St, Melbourne
Cost: $30.00 per attendee


More information is available TFN Melb 17 Nov Call For Applications Save The Date.

Dame Roma Mitchell Memorial Lunch: Friday 10 March 2017

Victorian Women Lawyers and the Law Institute of Victoria are proud to present the annual Dame Roma Mitchell Memorial Lunch, commemorating Dame Mitchell: the first Australian woman to be appointed as Queen’s Counsel, judge, chancellor of an Australian university and State Governor. The lunch will be held on Friday 10 March 2017 

Dame Roma Mitchell luncheon 2017  with Tasneem Chopra

Testing Justice: Why diverse leaders balance the scales

This year’s keynote speaker, Tasneem Chopra, will address the continuing need for diversity in the legal profession and beyond, sharing her passion as a cultural consultant and renowned social justice advocate.

Tasneem Chopra is a curator, consultant, author and prominent activist. Tasneem’s passion for addressing social justice issues has embraced many platforms. An independent cross cultural consultant, Tasneem delivers acclaimed workshops on diversity, identity and racism to varied audiences from Supreme Court judges to kindergarten teachers. Tasneem maintains her personal and professional experience inform her broader outlook on our social landscape where she advocates for social change and justice, particularly as these issues impact upon the disadvantaged and minorities.


The Lesbia Harford Oration 2015

VWL’s biennial Lesbia Harford Oration honours its name sake with a presentation by an eminent speaker on issues of importance to women.

Wednesday 9 September 2015 at 12:00pm for registration and 12.30-2.30pm for lunch

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, Supper Room, 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne

This year Clementine Ford will orate on how the mission for gender equality fits within the broader diversity agenda, and what the focus on diversity means for women.

In 2012, Clementine was voted one of Australia’s most influential female voices by Daily Life readers. In 2013 and 2014, those same readers selected her as one of Daily Life’s 20 Women of the Year.

Lesbia Harford – poet, novelist, law student, articled clerk and famously bisexual – is recognised as a pioneer of women in the legal profession.
Born in Brighton, Melbourne in 1891 Lesbia was a champion of workers’ rights, and at the same time a woman of her time. A time of world war, suffrage, the challenging of religious ideals and social upheaval – all of which contributed to the lyric voice discovered in the three notebooks of poems left behind after her early death in 1927.

Although forgotten for decades, Lesbia Harford is now seen as one of the first truly modern, urban figures in Australian poetry.

The 2015 oration coincides with the publication of a new collection of the poet’s work – Collected Poems: Lesbia Harford, edited by Oliver Dennis (UWA Publishing).

Ticket price includes two course meal and drinks, plus a copy of Collected Poems: Lesbia Harford

or more information download flyer

International Women’s Day 18th March 2015

The Victorian Women Lawyers’ Women in Government Committee is proud to again join with the Russell Kennedy Women’s Network in hosting a special International Women’s Day (IWD) event.
Join with your colleagues across the government sector to help 'make it happen' and hear from inspiring keynote speaker, Magistrate Rose Falla.
This event is invaluable for those who work in or for government, have an interest in government or are simply interested in marking IWD with engaging conversation.

You can find more information in the event flyer.