Lawyer makes headlines for the NRS

1 June 2012

image of Kathryn O'Brien

Kathryn O'Brien, a Brisbane lawyer who relies on the NRS to make phone calls to do her work, has been featured as one of Womens Weekly magazine’s ‘Women We Admire’ in their latest issue, released this week.

The family law practitioner from Geebung in Brisbane is celebrated as the first Deaf lawyer to work in an Australian court.

O’Brien says the NRS plays an essential role in her fast-paced work, allowing her to both make and receive phone calls, something otherwise not possible for her. ‘It is an everyday necessity for me,’ she says. ‘I’m grateful for the way the NRS supports me to communicate clearly and professionally with my clients and others in the legal system. I just couldn’t do without it’.

While O’Brien works with both deaf and hearing clients, she has a particular passion for representing Deaf Australians who ‘cannot speak for themselves’ and hopes her professional success will highlight the needs of the deaf community for better legal representation.

O’Brien says that she feels very proud to join the ranks of those Deaf pioneers who have worked to advance recognition of the capabilities of Deaf Australians.

‘I hope that future Deaf generations may take my story as a precedent - and go on to succeed in ways beyond their own dreams’.

As for the response to her newfound fame as magazine pin-up, O’Brien says her Facebook page has been a-buzz with comments from friends and colleagues. Her parents, meanwhile, are celebrating in a more traditional manner. ‘Suffice to say’, O’Brien laughs, ‘a copy of the magazine is going straight to the pool room of the family home’.

See the Women's Weekly profile on Kathryn.

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The National Relay Service is an everyday necessity for me. I'm grateful for the way it supports me to communicate clearly and professionally with my clients and others in the legal system. I just couldn’t do without it."
picture of Kathryn O'Brien, Deaf lawyer

Kathryn O'Brien

Geebung, Queensland