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CPD Doesn’t Have to be a Drag!

April 16, 2024

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About the event

Does the end of the CPD year fill you with dread? Tired of late nights cramming webinars to make up your Continuing Professional Development points? Do you yearn for CPD events that are interesting, engaging, even fun?

Welcome to CPD doesn’t have to be a drag, the first of a monthly seminar series for legal professionals supporting the LGBTI Legal Service.

Join your colleagues and community for a fun and engaging legal seminar and drag trivia night at The Wickham.

Strutting out from the standard CPD seminar format, this event will see two engaging expert lawyers let loose on a legal topic of interest to LGBTIQA+ people and allies. Enjoy a lively Q&A emceed by comedian MJ O’Neill and drag queen Roxanne Redacted, followed by a round of drag trivia.

Our first event will feature two human rights experts discussing expanded protections for LGBTIQA+ people coming into effect on 29 April and proposed reforms to the Anti-Discrimination Act to protect drag performers.

About our speakers

Benedict Coyne is a barrister at the Queensland Bar who specialises in discrimination law, employment law, human rights law, and administrative law, inter alia. Benedict has completed a Masters in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and previously served two terms as national president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) during which time he initiated and co-led the campaign for a Human Rights Act for Queensland. Benedict is briefed in the Valkyrie & Hill v Shelton (“Drag Queen Story-Time”) appeal instructed by the LGBTI Legal Service and led by Greg Barns SC.

Heather Corkhill is a Principal Policy Officer and LGBTIQ+ liaison officer at the Queensland Human Rights Commission. Following a decade working as an alternative dispute resolution practitioner, including in the area of human rights and anti-discrimination law, Heather is now involved in the proactive, systemic policy work of the Commission, including conducting human rights reviews, reporting on progress of human rights in Queensland, engaging in law reform processes and developing guidelines to support compliance.

Roxanne Redacted is a Brisbane-based drag queen who is known for her campy performances and love for all things 80s and 90s. With a quick wit and a flair for fashion, Roxanne is a force to be reckoned with on the local drag scene. Whether she’s lip-syncing to classic pop hits or serving up her own unique brand of comedy, Roxanne always leaves audiences wanting more.

MJ O’Neill is a comedian who has done a remarkable number of things. Her list of things includes leadership roles with global strategic consultancies and Fortune500 technology firms, ten albums of ‘playfully antagonistic’ electronic music, and a very brief stint as Australia’s most read home loan expert. Currently, she assists LGBTI Legal Service as a communications and engagement advisor.

Why legal practitioners should attend

“The updates to the protections offered to trans, gender diverse and intersex people under Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act are long overdue, and very welcome. These changes will make the law clearer and more inclusive, and this is a timely opportunity for members of the legal profession – no matter what area of law they practice in – to make sure they are across what those changes mean.” – Heather Corkhill

“As a trans woman, I’m directly affected by many of the legislative changes we’ll be looking at in the session. In a time where the rights of queer people of all kinds are increasingly under attack, it’s heartening that Queensland’s legal community is instead taking a meaningful step in the other direction” – MJ O’Neill

“This event is a great opportunity for members of the profession to learn about these upcoming changes to anti-discrimination law, hear more about the work we’re doing, connect with friends and colleagues and be entertained by talented queer performers. And the cherry on top – you can claim a CPD point too!” – Jo Sampford, Director & Principal Solicitor

About the LGBTI Legal Service

For over a decade, LGBTI Legal Service has been at the forefront of law reform for LGBTIQA+ equality, inclusion and safety, including the changes to anti-discrimination laws.

As a small, underfunded community legal centre, this work has always been supported by our incredible allies from the legal profession, solicitors, barristers and firms who have generously given their time pro bono to provide expert advice to clients, prepare law reform submissions and act in strategic litigation matters. Several of these cases have informed ground-breaking law reform such as the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2023.

“The LGBTI Legal Service is an excellent and courageous organisation that punches well above its weight and is not afraid to pursue truth and justice for its clients. A great honour to be involved in the Service’s very important work for law reform, justice, fairness and (substantive) equality for all.” – Benedict Coyne

All proceeds from ticket sales support the vital work of the LGBTI Legal Service protecting clients from discrimination, vilification and online harassment, and pursuing strategic litigation cases to improve laws for LGBTIQA+ Queenslanders, including queer performers and drag artists.

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