On behalf of the recently appointed committee of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association it is my pleasure to welcome you to the first HALnea newsletter.

It will be a privilege to serve as National President of HAL.

The progress of the Association has been remarkable due to the hard work, passion and commitment of members, for which I extend my gratitude and appreciation.

Positive progress has been made towards making the Association a truly national organisation, with representation under the amended rules of each of the eight chapters on the National Committee.

The next year will be an exciting one in the development and further maturity of the Association, with planning well underway for high calibre events around Australia and the Rhodes International Conference.

The Association has now matured into a highly respected National Association with Chapters launched in each State and Territory, hosting of high level events and links developing with lawyers overseas.

We are honoured to have eminent Patrons throughout Australia and acknowledge their invaluable support.

It has been a privilege to have had as speakers, not only the Patrons, but many other eminent jurists and scholars.

In each of the past three years the South Australian and Queensland Chapters have hosted the Perry and Freeleagus Orations respectively, in recognition of the contribution that two great lawyers of Hellenic origin made to the law and the community. These events have become fixtures in the legal calendar of events held in South Australia and Queensland.

This year the Victorian Chapter hosted the successful inaugural HAL Victorian Chapter Oration by Justice Nettle of the High Court of Australia. Justice Nettle joins the following current or retired High Court Justices to have honoured the Association by speaking at HAL events: Chief Justice Robert French AC; Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC; Justice Patrick Keane AC; and The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG.

Next year the aim is for HAL to host Orations in each Chapter throughout Australia. It is anticipated that some members will take the opportunity to travel interstate to meet colleagues and be part of high calibre events.

The Association has reflected on the remarks made by Chief Justice Robert French AC, when launching the Queensland Chapter, that the formation and evident strength of the Association is an encouraging sign of the capacity that it has to contribute in a positive way to Australian society.

To this end, the Association has been developing a mentoring scheme for lawyers and future lawyers from diverse backgrounds, held fundraising events and embraced cultural diversity.

The Association is delighted to recently have had a significant increase in new members, both of Hellenic background and philhellenes, who have an interest in Hellenic law, philosophy and culture and advancing diversity, law and jurisprudence for the public benefit.

Again, on behalf of the committee, I thank you for your support of HAL and look forward to your participation in future events and activities hosted by the Association.

To keep members informed it is proposed to circulate a newsletter to members several times a year. In the interim, members are encouraged to regularly check the website for CPD events, activities and other matters of interest.

I encourage you to join HAL  or renew your membership if you have not already done so.

Best Regards

Manuel (Mal) Varitimos CBE QC
President, Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association

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