Quality and consistency through collaboration

Sparke Helmore Lawyers is delighted to announce that Josie Dempster, a lawyer in the firm's Canberra office, has won the 2018 Katrina Dawson Award from the NSW Bar Association.

The Award was established in honour of barrister Katrina Dawson who was tragically killed in the Lindt Café siege. The Katrina Dawson Award seeks to encourage women to practise at the NSW Bar. The Award is open to women who have passed the NSW Bar exam and are committed to enrolling in a Bar Practice Course within 18 months. It is awarded on the basis of their academic qualifications, leadership in the community and having an interest in participating and fostering life at the NSW Bar.

Josie Dempster is an associate in the Commercial Insurance practice group at Sparke Helmore Lawyers. Raised in Moruya, she completed a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian National University. She was admitted to practice in the ACT in June 2015 and passed the NSW Bar exam in February 2018. Since joining Sparke Helmore she has mentored junior lawyers, served as the firm's pro bono and community coordinator and supervised the firm's involvement in various charity events.

Commenting on her receipt of the Award, Josie said, "I am honoured and privileged to have been chosen by the NSW Bar Association as the recipient of the Katrina Dawson Award this year. As I said in my application, from what I have read about Katrina, we share an intense desire to strive for excellence, to exceed other people's expectations, to give more than we take, to be fierce and fearless, but also to be gentle. If I can achieve one-twentieth of what Katrina achieved in her short but fulfilling career, I will be immensely proud of myself."

Arthur Moses SC, President of the NSW Bar Association, said, "Katrina Dawson will not be forgotten by the NSW Bar. Katrina mentored many young women at the NSW Bar in what at times can be a difficult and challenging profession. This Award seeks to continue the work of Katrina by encouraging women to practice at the NSW Bar. Josie Dempster is a worthy recipient of the Katrina Dawson Award and we look forward to welcoming her to our profession."

Phillip Salem, National Managing Partner at Sparke Helmore Lawyers, congratulated Josie on behalf of the firm. "We are delighted that Josie has been recognised for this award. It's a marvellous personal achievement, and we're thrilled that the firm has been able to provide the environment that encourages young lawyers like Josie to fulfil their career ambitions."

About Sparke Helmore

We’ve come a long way since our doors first opened in the Hunter in 1882. We’ve had an office in Sydney since the ‘60s and we recently opened our ninth office in Darwin.

We cover five key areas of law – Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Insurance, Government, Statutory Lines of Insurance and Workplace – with more than 30 specialised areas of expertise. We’re a truly national, full service and proudly Australian firm that delivers results through deep collaboration with our clients. Wherever our clients need us, that’s where we’ll be.

Covering a big country needs a big team—we’re more than 880 people now and still growing. And in true Australian spirit, we’re friendly, approachable and easy to work with. And when you work with one of us, you get the expertise of all of us.

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