It is my honour to be able to serve and lead as the fourth President of the Australian Singapore Law Students Society (AUSLSS). I am pleased to introduce my fellow Executive Committee (Exco) colleagues of 2015/2016: Ms Nur Nadira Zainal (Flinders University), Vice President, Mr Joshua Ling (Australian National University), Secretary, Ms Beatrice Ho (University of Tasmania), Treasurer and our newest addition Mr Lamont Dev Manogaran (Murdoch University), Communications Director.
The Exco is preparing the AUSLSS to enter 2016, which marks our 5th year of establishment and a historic milestone. We endeavour to not only uphold the vision of the founders but to transform the AUSLSS to an advocacy body for all of our Australian Singapore legal interests and our friends who register with us as a fellow member in the AUSLSS.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Exco members of 2014/2015 Jeremy Sim, President 2014/2015, Meryl Liew, Secretary 2014/2015 and Giselle Ng, Treasurer 2014/2015 for their efforts in 2014/2015.
The first quarter of 2015 has already seen a fair share of sociopolitical changes to the legal sector and legal-education. Firstly the opening of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) on 05 January 2015, ushers in a new era for the practice of international commercial litigation in Singapore and creates never before seen potentials for the legal sector. Secondly the removal of the 8 approved United Kingdom (UK) universities not only changes the dynamics of international legal education for Singaporeans but also means that the Australian law schools need to work harder to continue to keep its place as a desired and approved university by the Government of Singapore. The AUSLSS will be part of this movement to ensure this stability.
Our focus is to plan for a 5 year master-plan which will see our strategies and goals culminate up till 2020. This will provide the framework for our future AUSLSS leaders to build and work upon beyond 2030.
Our immediate focus in 2015/2016 can be summed up in 5 points.
1. SUSTAINABILITY: To plan and prepare for long term AUSLSS continuity and sustainability.
2. NETWORKS: Establish stronger networks both in Singapore and Australia, by forging new partnerships and co-operations with both private and governmental stakeholders.
3. INITIATIVES: Establishment of landmark events and perfecting our publications.
4. EMPOWERMENTS: Empowering our university representatives and other ordinary members to lead in their right to achieve our shared objectives; and
5. FUNDING: To obtain as much funding and sponsorships through our initiatives to provide financial strength in developing initiatives for the future years.
Where events are concerned, the AUSLSS are planning events for both Australia and Singapore and I would like to share 2 highlights with you
In Australia, we are planning for a Chief Justice of Singapore Lecture in Australia and a State Dinner in Canberra to be held in September 2015. This is of course subject to the Chief Justice’s final approval in a short time to come. This will culminate with a formal dinner with a variety of distinguished guests form the Australian judiciary, government and practitioners.
Meanwhile in Singapore, the Annual AUSLSS Singapore Australia Legal Forum (SALF) will be held in 2016. This event will discuss legal and sociopolitical issues that would involve both the Singapore and Australian legal sectors. The SALF will culminate with a career fair, so get ready to network with firms at the event!
These 2 events are but our immediate highlights that we would like to excite you with. More events will be announced as soon as possible. It will be made available on a future events calendar on our AUSLSS website. So look out for our events calendar and other web initiatives in the coming future!
More often in Singapore’s history, our destinies were one of our making. The true measure of our Singaporean strength is how we rise to master the occasion when it does arrive. Every time we think we reached our capacity to the challenges before us, we look up and we are reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.
I will not deny that 2015/2016 is a challenging year but it is within the strength of the AUSLSS to make it. We will do what is hard, and achieve what is great and this is a time for us all to work together and reach for the stars.
As we build our efforts progressively towards our first milestone in 2016 and later to 2020, may we continue to invite others to join the AUSLSS and our causes, let us motivate others and ourselves as one big Singaporean family to make the future we desire to see. I invite each of you to heed our call for help and to lend us your support towards our variety of causes and events as we lay the foundations for future generations of Australian-Singapore law students.
May we head towards a glorious milestone in the history of the AUSLSS.
I wish you all a good year ahead and look forward to working and speaking to each and all of you in the future!
Paul Louis Liew
President, Executive Committee 2015/2016