Monday 22 October 2018
Maddocks senior associate Tamsin Webster has been awarded the 2018 Australian Young Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia.
Tamsin, a member of the firm’s Employment, Safety and People team in Melbourne, won the prestigious award for her contribution to the profession and community over the last 10 years through her pro bono work at Maddocks and volunteer work for various community organisations.
She received the award at a Law Council of Australia dinner in Adelaide on 19 October.
The Australian Young Lawyer Awards is conducted annually by the Law Council of Australia’s Young Lawyers’ Committee and recognises excellence in young lawyers and young lawyer organisations.
The judges chose Tamsin for her pro bono work at Maddocks and volunteer work, which has included assisting Refugee Legal, Justice Connect and the Human Rights Law Centre. For the past two years, Tamsin has been the coordinator of the Refugee Legal program at Maddocks and volunteered at Refugee Legal clinics every four to six weeks.
Tamsin has also been a member of the team who assisted with a special leave application to appeal a decision of the Supreme Court of Nauru to the High Court of Australia on behalf of an asylum seeker. This experience led Tamsin to assist in the drafting of a guide for law firms assisting with asylum seeker appeals to the High Court of Australia from the Supreme Court of Nauru, for Justice Connect.
Since joining Maddocks in 2011, Tamsin has also run at least five judicial review cases for asylum seeker clients in the Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court, performed pro bono work for the Mental Health Legal Service and volunteered at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Footscray Community Legal Centre and the Fitzroy Legal Service.
Tamsin said her pro bono and volunteering work was a reflection of her passion for human rights.
‘My dad is a lawyer who has done a lot of pro bono work with refugees and indigenous communities and he instilled in me from a young age a strong sense of social justice,’ she said.
‘I have also been fortunate to work for Maddocks, a law firm that has encouraged me to combine my employment law work with my pro bono and volunteering work.’
Maddocks partner Ross Jackson, who nominated Tamsin for the award, said the award was great recognition for Tamsin’s contribution to human rights law.
‘Tamsin’s sense of empathy, high emotional intelligence and strong values make her an inspiring role model for all lawyers,’ Ross said.
‘Her desire to use her skills and talents for the benefit of those less fortunate is impressive and her contributions to a long list of organisations have been significant.
‘Maddocks is incredibly proud of Tamsin’s achievements and her track record of making a difference for those needing access to legal assistance.’
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