The Women Lawyers Association of South Australia (WLASA) is committed to the elimination of sexual harassment in the South Australian legal profession and will continue to dedicate significant time and resources into achieving this.
We particularly note and acknowledge the release of the Equal Opportunities Commission report into Sexual Harassment in the South Australian legal profession. We are current developing an action plan in response to this.
While we continue to develop our action plan we thought it was important to share with you an important initiative developed by the WLASA for the benefit of our members. This initiative commences immediately.
While the WLASA recognises that it cannot provide the necessary therapeutic and expert support needed for a member who may be subject to bullying or harassment, we want to ensure that we are able to provide further assistance to our members in this area. This is why we have established the WLASA Support Person role and we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ruth Beach as the inaugural WLASA Support Person.
Ruth’s role will be to act as a contact for any member who may want to discuss bullying or harassment issues, but the support will not extend to counselling or legal advice.
The WLASA Support Person will be supported by the WLASA with the provision of numbers for LawCare, BarCare, counsellors or psychologists and names of law firms that could assist the member if they wish to take the issue further. The WLASA Support Person will not be authorised to suggest that a claim is or is not made and again, would not provide any legal advice, but will rather act as a sounding board for any WLASA members that chose to contact her. The WLASA Support Person will not be asked by the WLASA Committee to provide the names of any persons who have contacted her, but will be required to report on volume of calls and to raise any issue that she considers the WLASA Committee may need to address, for example, a systemic issue.
Any member can contact Ruth directly for a confidential (and anonymous if wished) discussion by calling 0423738827 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If the WLASA Support Person feels as though the member is in a position of harm, she is to immediately contact the WLASA President, who then may contact the SABar President, The Law Society of SA President or another entity as the WLASA President determines.
The WLASA is also available to provide support to our individual and corporate members seeking resources or further information on these matters and encourage you to contact us at email@example.com or me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org at any stage.