Adelaide Law School students visited Clare, Port Pirie and Port Augusta

Adelaide Law School students and staff thank all who generously contributed to our recent insightful exposure and engagement trip to regional and Aboriginal communities in SA.

An enthusiastic group of students and staff from the Adelaide Law School recently (April 19-21, 2022) hit the road to explore the many valuable opportunities to work in regional and Aboriginal communities throughout South Australia. With the generous financial support of the Law Foundation of South Australia, the group of 12 visited Clare, Port Augusta and Port Pirie in the north of the state and met with local lawyers, government representatives, community Elders and businesspeople, and members of the community. The goal was to highlight for students the excellent jobs and lifestyles that only living in the country can offer and to encourage them to consider employment outside of the big firms and cities upon graduation.

Group photo Regional Trips

The students enjoyed ‘placements’ with Port Pirie lawyers Paul Boylan (Boylan Lawyers) and John Voumard (Voumard Lawyers) to experience working in a regional law office and met with Aboriginal Elders in Port Augusta to deepen connections with this community and understand the fundamental importance of Aboriginal culture and lore within the Australian legal system. Charles Jackson OAM led an inspiring session in which he encouraged our students to contemplate a career in the country where they can work with Aboriginal communities and help address the legal issues those communities face.

A networking lunch with regional lawyers at Paulett Wines in Clare helped introduce our students to some more of the leading legal professionals in SA’s regional centres. Mellor Olsson’s Callen Bubner and Tayla Brown, and Johnston Withers’ Jason Bell and Ryan Varga, generously provided their insights into what life as a country lawyer is really like and encouraged our students to ‘take the plunge’ and embrace country practice. The students were told of the beautiful landscapes, personable clients and genuinely interesting work that await them outside of the city.

The ALS group had the privilege of enjoying a networking dinner in Port Pirie, attended by leading Port Pirie legal practitioners (including Hannah Combe, one of our graduate lawyers), Deputy Mayor and Workforce and Industry Coordinator for Regional Development Australia (RDA) Yorke and Mid North, Alan Zubrinich, and The Hon Geoff Brock MP, State Minister for Local Government; Regional Roads; and Veterans Affairs. These distinguished guests described Port Pirie and surrounding towns as some of the most innovative and interesting places to live and work in South Australia and highlighted the desperate need and countless opportunities for law graduates to work in these places.

Other sessions with Uniting Country SA (Yorke & Mid North) and the Tarpari Wellbeing Centre (Aboriginal Health Service) in Port Pirie cast a light upon some other service areas of need in the regions; areas well suited to law graduates looking to work in diverse roles outside of traditional legal practice. A strategy roundtable with Alan Zubrinich and the RDA also inspired ideas for helping attract law graduates to the country and identified some of the perks of country life – especially affordable housing and low cost of living.

All in all, the trip was a resounding success, and we are immensely grateful to those who attended, hosted, and helped show our students what amazing employment and life opportunities lie outside the city boundaries.

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