AWL Award

The Australian Women Lawyers Award (AWL Award) recognises women who have provided long term leadership and commitment in the support and advancement of women in the legal profession.

The founder of the AWL Award is the Patron of Australian Women Lawyers the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia the Hon. Diana Bryant AO QC who established the Award to recognise the long term contribution that women have made to the profession through non-traditional pathways and in supporting the development of female practitioners.

The Award was first conferred at AWL’s 4th National Conference held in Canberra in 2012.

Nominations for the AWL Award are open every two years and the recipient is announced at AWL’s bienniel national conference Gala Dinner.

Nominations for the next AWL Award will be sought in 2018 prior to our 7th National Conference to be held in Sydney (date to be determined).

Previous Winners

2012 – Elizabeth Heenan (WA)

2014 – Rosalind Croucher (NSW)

2016 – Hon Dr Robyn Layton AO QC (SA)

Judging Panel

Patron of AWL
President of AWL
Representative from AGS (Award sponsor)
Representative from the host State of the AWL National Conference
Representative from the judiciary


Nominations Open

Nominations for the next AWL Award are open now!

Who Can Nominate

Nominations for the AWL Award can be made by any member of the public, individual, organisation and/or Association that has direct links to the legal profession.

How to Nominate

All nominations must include a completed nomination form and the following supporting documentation:

  • 100 word profile outlining/capturing why the nominee should win the Award
  • Brief resume or chronological summary outlining the nominee’s professional history
  • Details and examples of specific activities and/or contributions that address the selection criteria (5 pages maximum)
  • A signed declaration of acceptance of nomination by the nominee

The selection committee may at its discretion request further information from a nominator.

The deliberation of the selection committee is confidential and the selection committee reserves the right not to make an award.

The decision of the selection committee is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Application Criteria

In assessing nominations the selection committee will give consideration to the extent to which submissions demonstrate a nominee has been active and, or, effective in at least three of the following criteria:

  • Been an inspirational role model for other women within, or aspiring to, the legal profession;
  • Been involved in, engaged with, and/or demonstrated leadership within the legal community and/or the wider community;
  • Provided support, encouragement and promotion to the careers of women within the legal profession;
  • Contributed to the advancement of equality for women in the legal profession;
  • Mentored women within the legal profession;
  • Furthered women’s contribution to the practice and development of law;
  • Encouraged and influenced other women to pursue a legal career;
  • Made a contribution that has been voluntary or largely uncompensated;
  • Contributed to the understanding of, and the support for, the legal rights of all women;
  • Promoted justice and equality for all women;
  • Contributed to law reform and its administration particularly relating to women;
  • Championed the identification and eradication of discrimination against women in the legal system and in the community generally;
  • Participated in the community;
  • The degree of difficulty associated with the nominee’s achievements.

The selection committee will also give consideration to the nature and length of each nominee’s involvement in the legal profession when comparing nominations.

Submission of Nominations

Nominations must be marked confidential and submitted by the due date outlined in the nomination form.

All nominations will be treated as confidential by the selection committee. However AWL and its State and Territory Women Lawyers Associations reserve the right to publish the names of nominees prior to the AWL Conference Gala Dinner together with details of each nominee’s profile in any AWL or State and Territory women lawyer Association publication(s).

By submitting the nomination form and supporting documentation the nominee and nominator consent to extracts from this material being published by AWL and its State and Territory Women Lawyers Associations for this purpose.

Annoucement of the Award

The recipient of the next AWL Award will be announced at AWL’s 7th National AWL Conference Gala Dinner to be held in Sydney in August 2018.

Previous Members of the Committee