Sally Nicholes | Nicholes Family Lawyers
What do you think is the most important thing about community?
The most important thing about community is that we can belong to so many of them. Personally, I find comfort in the knowledge that I belong to a different community which represents each facet of my life. I belong to a community with my peers professionally within the family law space. I also belong to a community of mothers who are juggling competing demands while being the best possible support to their families. I also belong to the community that is the legal profession, including all those people who paved the way before me.
In a world that can often feel divided, communities bring people together and provide a sense of safety. In my family law practice, I have seen the community support be the wind beneath the wings of so many clients in their journeys to overcome difficult circumstances and obstacles that they are faced with. In turn, their communities have allowed them to move onto the next stage of their lives with confidence and support.
How do you give back to the community?
I consider giving back to the community to be a fundamental part of a lawyers role as an advocate. Beyond my day-to-day legal work, I have taken on a portfolio of pro bono advocacy work aimed at reform in areas affecting those who are most vulnerable, including children and marginalised communities. Earlier this year I was lucky to be involved with UNICEF in my capacity as Vice Chair of the World Congress and Children’s Rights, toward ensuring best outcomes for children in conflict situations. More currently, I am devoting my time to bringing together key stakeholders in the legal profession to work towards reforms aimed at strengthening Victoria’s laws against hate speech and hate conduct.
The best advice I have received is…
The best advice I have received is that the practice of family law often has less to do with the law per say, and more to do with the people. So often, we become caught up in the higher-level complexities and stress surrounding our line of work and forget that at the core of what we do, is people. It follows that I have always held myself to a high standard of empathy and compassion in my practice. I’ve learnt that often these elements which foster open communication and in turn, paves the way for more constructive and collaborative resolutions.
Outside of the law I enjoy…
After I sign off for the day, it brings me the most pleasure to spend time with my family and recharge. I love to encourage my children to make the most of the opportunities they are provided and ‘give it their best crack’ when it comes to extra-curricular activities like sports and athletics. Above else, spending time with family and friends allows me to keep a balanced perspective and enhance my wellbeing, making me more agile professionally and personally.