Meghean and Emma spent their Justice Journey at The Public Trustee of Queensland.
We arrived at The Public Trustee for the Law Week Justice Journey job shadow program. We were met by Marketing and Communications Officer Kristin Rogers and received a bag of information and promotional items.
From left to right: Meghean Syemour, Tanya Urquart, Erica Gallagher and Emma Post.
After a briefing on the day’s activities from the Marketing and Communications team, we signed the Declaration of Secrecy in front of Qualified Justice of the Peace. The Public Trustee’s employees have been signing this document for over 100 years.
We then met with Erica Gallagher, Senior Director of Human Resources and Marcomms and Tanya Urquart, Manager Strategic Workforce Services. Together, Erica and Tanya provided an overview of the organisation and the Human Resources/Marcomms functions, as well as an outline of the ethics and values of the Public Trustee.
The Public Trustee makes around 25,000 Wills per year at no cost to Queenslanders, so we spent time with the Public Trustee’s Wills Manager Geoff Cameron to learn about what’s involved in making a Will. We learnt how important it is to have a valid Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney if you are over the age of 18.
Next on the agenda was an introduction to client experience with Rob Moran, Director Capability and Performance. Rob presented a video on the history of the Public Trustee and then provided an outline of the services provided by the organisation.
We were interested to learn that the Public Trustee provides a variety of services including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, and support for over 7,000 financial administration clients who do not have the capacity to manage their financial affairs.
As well as undertaking real estate sales, the Public Trustee makes contributions to the Office of the Public Guardian, Legal Aid Queensland and the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.
A highlight of the day was meeting with Peter Carne, CEO and the Public Trustee of Queensland. Together we discussed the role of the Public Trustee and Peter’s vision for the organisation. Peter also discussed our legal studies, ambitions and interests.
From left to right: Labo Agbejule, Emma Post, Meghean Seymour and Katherine Williams
Later in the morning, we met with the Office of the Official Solicitor. Mark Crofton, Deputy Public Trustee and Official Solicitor and Katherine Williams, Deputy Official Solicitor discussed the diversity of legal roles at the Public Trustee and talked about their professional career paths. Together they discussed conveyancing, management of prisoner estates, misappropriation by former attorneys and financial administrators for financial management clients and deceased estates.
Managing Lawyer Labo Agbejule provided a tour of the Office of the Official Solicitor and afterwards we met with some of the practice managers for lunch. The legal team discussed their own career paths and provided us with valuable advice for our final year of study.
After lunch, we met with Regional Manager Carly Cullen for a tour of the Brendale regional office where the Public Trustee’s 1300 360 044 contact centre is based.
Following the Brendale office tour, we went to visit the Wills Bunker, a state-of-the-art, temperature controlled building storing more than 1.1 million Wills.
Finally, we met with Sandy Carmichael, Assistant Manager Client Relations who explained how the Public Trustee’s Welcome Desk operates. The Welcome Desk staff look after all of the phone calls to 1300 360 044. Sandy provided fascinating insights into the duties and responsibilities of the staff, as well as interesting statistics on incoming calls.
This was the final activity on the Justice Journey with the Public Trustee. We were impressed by the Public Trustee’s expansive range of services and legal obligations.