Leah Willersdorf QRR* President
Having been elected to stand for a second term as BIVR’s President in early September 2016 was truly a Wow! moment for me. I remember when I was 15 years old in Australia watching LA Law on TV with my mum and asking what the lady who was looking a little bored but tapping away on a weird-looking machine was doing. She suggested I asked my Secretarial Studies teacher; so I did. And here I am, President again of this wonderful organisation.
I always loved and had a flair for Pitman shorthand, typing and English. I did work experience in secondary school going to see what this court reporting malarkey was all about and fell in love with it straightaway. In 1989, I achieved the grades required to go to university in Brisbane to study a two-year Diploma in Business (Court & Parliamentary Reporting), passed with flying colours and I’ve not looked back since. Upon graduating, in 1992 I moved to Adelaide, South Australia to embark upon my chosen profession. I worked there in the Courts Administration Authority and loved every minute of it, so much so I even wanted to do the Saturday morning Magistrates’ Court sittings.
In 1995, I came to England for what was meant to be a two-year working holiday….it’s now 2011 and I’m still here. I love my career (and London) and the variety of the jobs that I do (ranging from court work, courts-martial, arbitrations, AGMs, press conferences, regulatory bodies, public inquiries, US depositions and STT, just to name a few). My absolute favourite jobs are American depositions, but I must admit that I’m not a fan of arbitrations. The opportunity to travel the world in this career is an added bonus that I certainly was never expecting, not to mention meeting people constantly and making new friends along the way.
I have passed the Institute’s Qualified Realtime Reporter exam.
I have been on the Council since May 2011and have endeavoured since then to make what I hope have been, and will be, useful contributions to keep this profession as skillful and fascinating as it is and always has been.
Oh, and the Saturday morning Magistrates’ Court sittings in Oz……these days I wouldn’t be offering my services for that as I’m usually transcribing!!!