It was a doubly auspicious occasion for Squire Patton Boggs at the annual Asian Australian Lawyers Association’s (AALA) Lunar New Year Banquet, with the global business law firm picking up two awards. Members of the bench, the bar, solicitors and students joined together to celebrate one of the most important dates on the cultural calendar for millions of people from the Asia region and the diaspora and to honour members of the profession for their legal excellence and service to diversity and inclusion.
Perth managing partner and head of the Australian Corporate team, Tony Chong was named Diversity Leader of the Year, for his outstanding service to diversity and inclusion.
President of the Association’s WA branch, Belinda Wong, said: “Tony was recognised as one of the leading lawyers in his field in Perth and in the Asia-Pacific region. He is a trailblazer and continues to campaign for diversity and inclusion on a local and national level, tackling issues facing all diverse groups, not just Asian-Australian practitioners. He provides an inspirational example of a member of the Asian community breaking barriers and succeeding on their own terms.”
A recognised mentor to ethnic leaders, Tony has been an active participant in the West Australian Government’s Diversification of Boards program, the WA Law Society Make A Difference Campaign, and was recently appointed President of the WA Chinese Chamber of Commerce, where he has been an active member for the last 27 years. His passion to see Perth flourish as a liveable, vibrant and diverse city sees Tony actively engaged with government, business and the arts community through several corporate and social impact board roles.
In response, Tony said: “Many times, even today, I am still the only Asian person in the boardroom, at the head table or on the speaker program. And I am still one of a very few Asian leaders of a law firm across the country. The more visible I am, the more likely others will see it is possible to achieve senior roles and the more obvious it becomes to the wider community that Asians are underrepresented at the highest levels of business and industry.”
Representing the other end of the spectrum was the newest member of our Corporate Energy and Resources team, graduate Matthew Endo, who was acknowledged as Law Student of the Year.
Belinda Wong commented: “Matthew is well known to the construction lawyers in Perth after working as a Claims/Contract Specialist in a major resources project. Matthew has also lived around the globe, in the USA, Japan and Australia. All this while studying for his Juris Doctor. This is a true commitment to joining the profession.”
Matthew said: “I am honoured and humbled to receive the award. AALA helped me to understand the importance of staying true to my values and cultural background because that is who I really am. I am excited to be working at a firm that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion.”