Michelle Johnson (1973)

Alumnae Award: Contribution to MLC School and Philanthropic Endeavours

Michelle Johnson was President of the MLC School Old Girls’ Union from 1996 to 1998, and concurrently served as Old Girls’ Union representative member of the MLC School Council. She also served as a Foundation Board Director for MLC School between 1995 and 2006. Having been a boarder herself, she has a close link with former students from the Boarding house and remains passionate about fostering and maintaining those special links between boarder Old Girls and the School.

While at MLC School in the 1970s, Michelle undertook voluntary work at Repatriation Hospital at Concord on Friday afternoons which included writing letters and chatting to those patients receiving ongoing treatment for war injuries. Michelle was privileged to have shared historical accounts with patients and wishes now that she had encouraged patients to write historical accounts of their service. Michelle remains committed to an ongoing involvement with members of squadrons of the RAAF and Bomber Command is a committee member of the Bomber Command Association.

As a member of MLC School Guide Company Michelle received the Queens Guide Award in 1971 and the Margaret Thomas Memorial Award for Citizenship in 1972.

Michelle coached the MLC School Mock Trial Teams, a program conducted by the Law Society of New South wales for the period 1996 to 1998 with MLC School teacher Michael Moxham. The 1998 MLC School team were Grand Finalists in the competition.

Michelle holds a Masters of Laws with a Commercial Law Major from the University of Technology, Sydney, and was admitted as Barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1988 and as solicitor in 1990. Michelle practices as a solicitor and is in sole practice specialising in inheritance and elder law issues.

As Chairman of the NSW Branch of the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners for the period 2001 to 2006, she was awarded the Founders Medal for her commitment to the evolution of the Branch in NSW and Australia.

Michelle is an active member of the community, giving her time and experience on a pro bono basis to a number of organisations. Formerly Michelle sat on the Board of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation for 15 years a role she recalls as richly rewarding. In addition to her professional commitments advising not-for-profits in relation to governance and bequest programs, Michelle also assists the Australian Museum College Street Sydney with its Bequest and Trust program and the Microbiome Research Centre at St George Hospital, a project overseen by the University of NSW.

Reflections

What would you say are your three proudest achievements?

I have never really thought of myself as being proud of achievements rather being committed to achieving certain goals and expectations and honoured by successful outcomes. I have been honoured by the success of my practice and the knowledge that I hold the respect and trust of my colleagues and clients.

How did an MLC School education play a role in your life?

Being grateful for the values I took from the College and the corresponding commitment to give back.