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Launch of Mandatory Reading: Lawyers and Life in the Northern Territory

The President of the Society, Maria Savvas said "The Society is proud to launch this impressive publication, a 280-page coffee table style book, written and published by well-known and respected local historians Peter and Sheila Forrest. It is replete with wonderful photographs and compelling stories of the colourful men and women of our law. Theirs is a great Territory story."

"The Society commissioned the Forrests to write this book to commemorate a significant milestone for the Society. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Society's formation and it was seen as the perfect time to capture and record the human dimension of the legal profession in the Northern Territory," Maria Savvas said.

Mandatory Reading will be launched on Saturday 1 September 2018 at a Gala Dinner being hosted by the Society.

Reflecting on the book and the story it tells, Maria Savvas observed "There are many interesting characters of the Northern Territory legal profession, from the early lawyers such as William ‘Villainous’ Smith, the first lawyer who arrived in 1873 under questionable circumstances, and its first female lawyer Nancy McPhee who arrived in Alice Springs in 1936, through to modern legal figures whose names will be very familiar to Territorians such as Richard (Dick) Ward, Ian Barker QC, George Cridland and the Hon. Chief Justice Michael Grant. The Forrests have done a magnificent job of drawing out the personal stories of these and many other people and their impact on the changing face of the Northern Territory as it evolved from an outlandish outpost, through to self-government and on to the vibrant community we call home today."

Peter and Sheila Forrest said "Since 1873, lawyers have come to the Territory in search of opportunity. They found it, in a jurisdiction that has always been different and challenging. They stayed and made a remarkable contribution, to both the law and Territory lore. It was our great honour and privilege to tell their amazing stories."

The book will be available for purchase from the Society directly and from bookshops in Darwin and Alice Springs (cost $66.00)

An image of the front cover of the book, featuring part of the triptych More Than One Side by Geoff Todd, can be provided upon request.



Ms Maria Savvas, President, Law Society NT

Office details

Office: 3/6 Lindsay St. Darwin NT 0800
Post: GPO Box 2388 Darwin NT 0801
ABN: 62 208 314 893


Please note that the Society does not offer legal advice.

A list of lawyers can be found here.

Telephone: (08) 8981 5104