ACC Australia holds virtual national conference


The 2021 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Australia held its In-house Legal National Conference from 8-9 November. The virtual event was titled “Rethink limitations. Rethink possibilities. Rethink in-house.”

“While we were offered sessions to assist us in our In-house capacity, broaden our perception of how we might advance our company and our role beyond the expected, and rethink the way in which we work, we were also challenged on a deeper level to reassess our own personal journey, to look at our own moral compasses and think about how we would act in various ethically confronting circumstances,” Ingrid Segota, executive director at ACC Australia, told Asia Business Law Journal.

Ingrid Segota

“We were asked to think and rethink perceived limitations, unthought-of possibilities, and in particular ourselves and our roles as In-house counsel.”

Opening the first day’s sessions was an address by the Australian of the Year 2015 recipient, Grace Tame, who bravely described the horrors of her sexual assaults as a child, the disgraceful cultures that embolden and reward perpetrators, and the systemic legal oppression of victims. This challenging speech demonstrated her past and ongoing struggles as a result of these assaults, and the power of positive support she has received.

Continuing the call to create positive change, Kate Price, deputy chair, diversity, equity and inclusion committee at ACC Australia, guided discussions with Madeleine Motion, business manager at Herbert Smith Freehills, and Bronwyn Woodgate, chief of staff to the group general counsel at multinational mining, metals and petroleum company BHP.

Their discussion about how to have effective conversations between In-house lawyers and law firms deliver better outcomes for diversity and inclusion centred on the necessity for continuous, transparent, two-way conversations.

Other inspiring speakers included Chin Tan, race discrimination commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Julia Banks, a lawyer and former member of Australia’s federal parliament.

ACC Australia members can access keynote sessions and all sessions listed for viewing. For registration, please click here.