Change Makers Podcast Episode 3: LGBTIQ Advocacy in the Legal Profession

In this special episode of the Change Makers Podcast, LGBTIQ Advocacy in the Legal Profession, the Co-Chairs of Thomson Reuters Pride at Work delve into transgender diversity and the common law, alongside the importance of wellness among young, LGBTIQ lawyers. 

Featured are guest hosts Shelley Mulhern, Head of Client Management, and Tim Pollard, Head of Primary Law at Thomson Reuters Legal, Asia and Emerging Markets.

Together they spoke with Rachael Wallbank, capturing her inspiring story in the lead up to Wear it Purple Day, a day fostering supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for young people. Hit play to hear the podcast:

Podcast show notes

Rachael is an Accredited Specialist in family law and principal of Wallbanks, a firm specialising in family law and succession law in New South Wales, Australia. Her story is nothing short of remarkable, both professionally and personally. Between 1999 and 2003, Rachael acted for the successful applicant in a case that made legal history for Transgender people in Australia. 

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In this particular case, Rachael’s client was a man, originally born female bodied, who was seeking the right to be legally married as a man to his female partner. This had personal significance for Rachael, as in the 1990s she affirmed her female sex. Rachael’s personal experiences and unique perspective enabled her to bring a special quality to her advocacy for her clients in this case. The result of the case was a landmark decision with international effect and is one of her career highlights.

“It’s one of those examples that you can be involved in legal practice, and suddenly find that what you’re doing has a great deal of importance, to a whole lot of people that really need help. And I think that’s why a lot of us study the law…and enter the legal profession. I was just very fortunate that case came my way”

– Rachael Wallbank speaking on the Change Makers Podcast
Picture from left: Tim Pollard, Rachael Wallbank and Shelley Mulhern

With research indicating that Transgender people can experience higher levels of stress, mental illness and depression, Rachael offers Tim and Shelley ideas on what she believes would make a difference to improve these outcomes. 

Thomson Reuters Legal would like to thank Rachael for sharing her story on the Change Makers Podcast. To our Legal Insight readers, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe to the Change Makers Podcast for updates on future episodes.

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