History

In June 1994...

In June 1994, the APLA newsletter announced that the national organisation was fully incorporated and that the state branches in Queensland and South Australia were formally constituted. By this time the APLA already had 124 members from all across Australia, and state convenors were working hard to fight for plaintiffs' rights.

Many of the early state convenors are still ALA members today — Peter Carter (Qld); Nick Xenophon (SA); Sukhwant Singh (WA); Angela Sdrinis (Vic) and Catherine Henry (NSW). Our thanks to these ALA members who were so critical in the early days and have continued their commitment.

Click here to read the full newsletter from June 1994.


APLA's first National President

Peter Semmler QC was the first ALA (then known as APLA) national president. Peter had the job for four years — from 1994 to 1998.

The other first national office bearers for the organisation were:

Secretary: Roland Everingham

Treasurer: Anne-Maree Farrell

Ordinary members: Rob Davis, Nick Xenophon, Angela Sdrinis and Michael Higgins

Thanks to their hard work and enthusiasm, the organisation grew quickly and by the end of 1994 we had 210 members. Peter, Rob, Nick and Angela are all still ALA members today — thank you!

See below for an extract from Peter Semmler QC's President's Message in the first APLA Membership Directory, produced in 1994. Click the image to enlarge.

Women in the ALA

At end of 1994 just 36 of the ALA’s members were female — some 16 per cent of our overall membership. Female participation in the ALA is very different today, with women making up 50 per cent of our 1,300 members.

Although women featured prominently on state and national committees, it was 2008 before the organisation had its first female National President — Clara Davies. Since then we have had three more female presidents: Geraldine Collins, Laura Neil and Noor Blumer.

Click here to see a list of ALA’s first 36 female members.


The ALA's female National Presidents: (L–R) Clara Davies (2008–2009), Geraldine Collins 2013–2014), Laura Neil (2017–2018) and Noor Blumer (2018–2019).