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Central Coast Law Society Christmas Party 2021

We were so pleased to be able to finally enjoy an in person Christmas Dinner this year which was held at the Reef in Terrigal on Friday 10 December 2021. Special guests, her Honour Judge Costigan (FCFCOA Division 1 – Newcastle Registry) and Barrister Robert Quickenden were able to join us to celebrate the end of 2021.

Thank you to Rosemary Long and Michael Daly who are both retiring from the Committee this year after many years of service.

We look forward to more in person events in 2022!

Coast Shelter Donation

The Central Coast Law Society were fortunate in 2020 to obtain a regional grant from the Law Society of New South Wales for local service Coast Shelter which provides accommodation and support programs for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or escaping domestic and family violence. The grant was matched with a donation from the Central Coast Law Society and $4000 was donated in total to this important service. CEO Michael Starr and Margie Portass from Coast Shelter attended with Central Coast Law Society President  Ivan Kent and Treasurer Tamara Tunnicliff on 21 January 2021 to accept the donation.

Christmas 2020 Members Dinner with Richard Harvey

The Christmas dinner was held on Friday 18 December 2020 at L’Isle de France restaurant in Terrigal.  We were fortunate to have the President of the Law Society of NSW, Mr Richard Harvey and President of Law Council Australia, Ms Pauline Wright attend to celebrate with us the end of 2020. The event was well attended by our members and those attended were lucky enough to hear some stories from Patrick Donnellan (who was the receipient of an award celebrating 50 years of legal practice) and from long serving Committee Member Val Richardson who shared some of their experiences as lawyers serving the Central Coast Community. We thank Val for her many years of service to the Central Coast Law Society and congratulate again Patrick Donnellan for his award.


Christmas Dinner 2019

The Central Coast Law Society Christmas Party was held at the Box on the Water, Ettalong Beach on Friday 13 December 2019.

At the Dinner, incoming President Ivan Kent thanked Rosemary Long on behalf of the members for her service as President of the Central Coast Law Society over the last 3 years. Rosemary has contributed countless volunteer hours to the Society and ensured that our region’s lawyers are strongly represented and we greatly appreciate that contribution.

During her time as President, Rosemary has been responsible for strengthening the Society in many ways. Rosemary has encouraged and lead the development of many projects including a new Constitution, a new website and assisted with the re-invigorated Young Lawyers on the Central Coast.

We thank her for her service to the organisation and the lawyers of the Central Coast.

September Dinner with NSW Law Society President Elizabeth Espinosa

Dinner Meeting – 18 September 2019 at L’isle de France, Terrigal

Many of you attended the dinner meeting where our guest speaker was the NSW Law Society President, Elizabeth Espinosa, who spoke about a wide range of issues effecting the profession. It seemed that everybody had an enjoyable night, at what was a great venue.

On the night Rosemary presented Dominic Nash and in absentia, Natasha Konic, with the Law Society of NSW 25 years of admission recognition Certificates.  We also presented Stephen Cutler with our Certificate of Acknowledgement for his 50 years of admission as a legal practitioner and of his longstanding membership of the Central Coast Law Society.


Ryan & Seton Lawyers win 2019 Regional/Suburban Firm of the Year

Central Coast Lawyers donate $4,000 to Domestic Violence Program

The Central Coast Regional Law Society, which represents more than 180 lawyers across the Central Coast today donated $4,000 to ‘Rondeley’, the Central Coast’s Domestic Violence Program which provides crisis accommodation and assists with finding more permanent housing for women and children escaping domestic violence on the Central Coast.

The donation will be used for two “Get House Ready” kits. The kits, which include whitegoods and appliances will assist Rondeley to furnish new homes for women and children leaving their homes to escape domestic violence.

On 20 August 2019, Rosemary Long, President of the Central Coast Regional Law Society and Michelle Meares, one of its Committee members delivered a cheque for $4000 to Rachel Willis, Chief Executive Officer of Coast Shelter on behalf of the Rondeley Program. Ms Long said: “Lawyers on the Central Coast deal with the victims of domestic violence on a daily basis through the Gosford and Wyong Local and District Courts and the family lawyers of the Central Coast are also assisting clients with domestic violence regularly.”

Recent Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) data shows the Central Coast rate of domestic violence is on a sharp increase and the region now has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in New South Wales. In 2017, the region overtook Blacktown with a rate of 76.1 personal AVOs per 100,000 population compared to the south west Sydney area’s 56.2 AVOs. From 2017 to 2018, the rate of increase of domestic AVOs on the Coast has alarmingly doubled.

The grant was made with the assistance of a Regional Grant from the Law Society of NSW. The Central Coast Regional Law Society is one of 29 regional law societies within NSW which represents and advocates for its members at the Law Society of NSW.  A grant is available annually for each region from the Law Society of NSW and the Central Coast Law Society chose this year to assist Rondeley Domestic Violence Program (part of Coast Shelter) which supports women with or without children who are escaping domestic violence. The Rondeley Program provides practical and moral support, as well as crisis accommodation in five cottages, following which the staff can assist clients secure more permanent housing.

A Central Coast woman who recently was assisted by the program to set up a new home for herself and her children said “it was a very dangerous situation for myself and the children and Rondeley supported me from when I first made contact with the program. They kept myself and the children safe and didn’t judge me. I doubt I could have been strong enough to leave without their support. I felt like I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel without them. Their program helped me regain my strength and helped me get back on my feet again.”

Central Coast Women’s Leadership Program – The Opportunity Collective   

Several local lawyers participated in the The Opportunity Collective’s Central Coast Women’s Leadership Program in 2019. On Wednesday 14 August 2019 awards were delivered by Central Coast Mayor Jane Smith and Councillor Jilly Pilon to mentors and participants upon successful completion of the program. The Opportunity Collective was started by MacMasters Beach local Suzy Miller and aims to help women achieve leadership positions and improve the economic development for women, in regional areas of Australia.

Michelle Meares and Danielle Captain-WebbLocal lawyers, Melanie Taylor from Scope Legal and Michelle Meares from Watts McCray Lawyers volunteered as mentors for the 5 month program in 2019. Ms Meares mentored Danielle Captain-Webb, an indigenous criminal lawyer from Legal Aid Gosford.

Ms Captain-Webb said of the program: “Having a mentor to springboard ideas off, motivate and encourage me through the duration of the Opportunity Collective program has been an extremely valuable experience and I would encourage everyone to learn more about/apply for the program. It also allowed me to align my ideas and goals in a clearer way and allowed me to focus on perfecting work/life/balance”

The Central Coast Women’s Leadership program has been running for 2 years on the Central Coast and pairs women in pre to middle management roles with women and men in senior leadership. The program has won NSW Business Chamber Awards and been a fantastic success.  There are mentors and participants this year from the Department of Finance, Central Coast Council, Fairhaven, Mars Group, Dashing Group, Job Centre Australia, Legal Aid, Hammond Care, Gosford Private Hospital. Star 104.5, Bounce Partners, NSW Better Regulation Department, NSW Police and Uniting.

Thanks to funding support from Central Coast Council – Community Development Fund, The Opportunity Collective were able to offer five scholarship positions for Indigenous women or women from a disadvantaged background on the Central Coast in the 2019 program.

The Opportunity Collective is now running in Newcastle and Maitland and recruiting for mentors and participants in the 2020 Central Coast program. Both men and women are invited to participate as mentors with former Gosford Mayor and CEO of Newcastle Jets, Lawrie McKinna a mentor for the Women’s Leadership Program in Newcastle in 2019.

For more information visit


Bay to Bay Running Festival 2019

Many hardy lawyers were brave enough to run in the Bay to Bay annual event on Sunday 16 June 2019. The Central Coast Law Society Team of nearly 30 members comprised of lawyers and administrative staff completed the 12 km run/walk from Woy to Woy to Gosford with our committee member Louise McDonald completing the 28 km half marathon. A great day was had by all and the event involving more than 3,000 runners overall raised over $100,000 for Central Coast charities including Camp Breakaway, the Central Coast Local Health District and St Brendan Catholic School’s The Hive Program.


Dinner Meeting with Judge Costigan – 5 June 2019

Special General Meeting (SGM) & Special Resolution
At the Special General Meeting on 5 June 2019, twenty-eight members in attendance, including proxies, voted unanimously in favour of a motion to repeal the Constitution of the Central Coast Law Society and adopt the new Constitution.  The purpose of the amendments was to update provisions generally, set a maximum number of the Committee at 12 members, and tidying up some minor drafting issues.

Dinner Meeting on 5 June 2019
Following the Special General Meeting, the dinner meeting was held at the Reviver Bar in Gosford.  Federal Circuit Court Judge Jane Costigan spoke at the meeting and it was very pleasing to see so many members turn out on what was a very cold night, and in competition to the State of Origin match.  Judge Costigan spoke about the amendments to the Family Law Act in relation to the family violence and cross examination scheme, with the pivotal change being that as and from 10 September 2019 personal cross examination will be banned in family law proceedings in certain circumstances where allegations of family violence have been raised, to prevent a party asking questions of another party or witness directly, rather than having questions asked by a lawyer.  The ban exists because personal cross examination by an alleged perpetrator can expose victims of family violence to re-traumatisation, and affect their ability to give clear evidence.  Download a Fact Sheet from Legal Aid NSW summarising the changes.