Australia – In-house community in the heart of Australia

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From left to right: Rachel Launders, general counsel and company secretary, Nine Entertainment, and 2017 Corporate Lawyer of the Year; Karen Grumley, legal counsel, Queensland, at Pacific National and President, ACC Australia; and Annette Musolino, chief counsel, Department of Human Services, and 2017 Government Lawyer of the Year.
From left to right: Rachel Launders, general counsel and company secretary, Nine Entertainment, and 2017 Corporate Lawyer of the Year; Karen Grumley, legal counsel, Queensland, at Pacific National and President, ACC Australia; and Annette Musolino, chief counsel, Department of Human Services, and 2017 Government Lawyer of the Year.

The geographic heart of Australia, Alice Springs, was the setting for the recent ACC Australia 2017 annual conference. The unique location provided a spectacular backdrop for more than 300 delegates, who attended what is the largest annual event gathering of the Australian in-house community.

The event featured three days of keynote presentations, panels and roundtable discussions. Highlights include the welcome function at the spectacular Telegraph Station and a moving speech by Nova Peris OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia), where she recalled her personal story and challenged the audience on contemporary attitudes towards indigenous Australians.

Nova Peris OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) recalls her personal story and challenges attendees on contemporary attitudes towards indigenous Australians.
Nova Peris OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) recalls her personal story and challenges attendees on contemporary attitudes towards indigenous Australians.

Other highlighted speakers included Richard Dammery, chief legal officer and company secretary at Woolworths; Craig Katerberg, vice president legal and corporate affairs, AB InBev, Carlton & United Breweries; and Jason Smith, senior director and legal counsel, Apttus.

The event coincided with the 2017 In-House Lawyer Awards dinner. The annual in-house lawyer awards programme represents the most prestigious awards programme for the Australian in-house community and finalists are judged exclusively by their in-house peers. The 2017 Award winners were:

  • Corporate Lawyer of the Year: Rachel Launders, general counsel and company secretary, Nine Entertainment;
  • Government Lawyer of the Year: Annette Musolino, chief counsel, Department of Human Services;
  • Legal Team of the Year – Large: Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage – Lands Division, WA;
  • Legal Team of the Year – Small: Salmat;
  • Young Lawyer of the Year – Michael Hogan, general counsel, Wormald Australian;
  • Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility – National Australia Bank.

ACC Australia will host the ACC Australia 2018 National Conference in Brisbane from 14-16 November 2018.