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Smokeball Community

Women-In-Law Embracing Equity – Sheetal Deo

This March, we are excited to celebrate International Women's Day 2023 by shining a light on the inspiring female finalists from the 2023 Community Hero Awards, who are forging equity and change in the legal sector.

International Women's Day (March 8) is an incredibly important day for us to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender parity.

This year's theme, #EmbraceEquity encourages everyone to play their part in creating a fair and inclusive world within their sphere of influence.

In that spirit, we have invited all the inspiring female finalists from Smokeball’s 2023 Community Hero Awards to share their stories and discuss the impactful work they are performing that is forging equity and change within the legal space.

Congratulations to our 2023 winner – Sheetal Deo

In our first episode, Smokeball’s General Manager, Bianca Bowron-Cuthill, had the pleasure of interviewing our 2023 Community Hero Award Winner - Sheetal Deo.

Sheetal receives this honour for her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in the law, and for improving access to justice through reimagining the business model for legal services.

Lawyer by qualification, advocate by choice

Sheetal is a strong believer in using positions of power and privilege to support and empower others, Sheetal is passionate about inclusive practices, access to justice and education. She occupies many roles across the legal, not-for-profit and advocacy sector, where she channels her passions to drive social impact.

Sheetal founded Shakti Legal Solutions, an innovative low-bono law firm designed specifically to improve access to legal assistance for everyday people through a unique ‘pay what you can’ model for eligible clients.

Outside of her practice, Sheetal is a Queensland Law Society Councillor, works with the College of Law as an adjunct lecturer, runs a diversity and inclusion consultancy (The Diversity Collective), and volunteers her time as the co-founder and President of Ethnic+ a not-for-profit association that supports diversity within the rainbow community and fosters connection and compassion with allies.

Listen in as Bianca and Sheetal unbundle:

  • Sheetal’s journey into law, and what lead her to create her unique low-bono law firm - Shakti Legal Solutions.
  • The passion behind creating The Diversity Collective and Ethnic+; organisations Sheetal has pioneered to advocate for diversity and inclusion in law.
  • Her experience as a woman-in-law, and the key challenges she has seen and faced personally.
  • Sheetal unpacks what the International Women's Day 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity means to her.
  • How traditional pathways into law are shifting, and how it’s not about finding your fit; but creating your fit.
  • With World Pride 2023 taking place in Sydney (marking the first time an Australian city has been chosen to host the global celebration), Sheetal discusses what it means to her to celebrate pride.
  • Plus, Sheetal shares how she will use her Community Hero Award travel voucher grand prize - a story that warmed the Smokeball teams hearts!



Sit back and enjoy this interview with Sheetal Deo!

Watch this space as we have more incredible stories to share throughout March.

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