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Women law students, lawyers learn in course

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WOMEN law students and top Australian and Papua New Guinean lawyers teamed up in a mentoring programme supported by the Australian government in partnership with the Papua New Guinea Legal Training Institute over the weekend.
The two-day course, managed by the Legal Training Institute (LTI) in partnership with the Victorian Bar, engaged 34 Papua New Guinean women law students in workshops on advocacy, ethics, and women’s advancement within the legal profession.
Speaking at the opening, Justice Hitelai Polume paid tribute to the late Justice Catherine Davani, recognising that her many achievements made her an inspirational role model for the LTI students to accomplish their own goals.
“Choose the path that you want to follow, and you follow that path.  We come from different backgrounds in PNG but I’m pretty sure our mothers and our fathers would always encourage us to follow that dream.”
LTI student, Vanessa Paul, said the local and international mentors were inspiring.
“They have shown that regardless of the environment or workplace we go into, it’s about our determination to do the best we can to prove ourselves worthy, that we deserve to be there, in that position.
“From these sessions, what I will take away with me, and try to pass on to other women is that we women are strong, we can be whatever we want to be.”
Victorian barrister Christine Melis told the LTI students to “dream big”, and be grateful for their blessings, friends and family.
“That helps me to get through every day, to continue to achieve, and know that I can do everything that a man can do.”
The course matched the students with men and women mentors, and was facilitated at the end of a week-long civil and criminal advocacy workshop with members of the Victorian Bar.

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