A Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Theodora Ahilas has spent the past 22 years representing asbestos victims – assisting to create better futures for her often-terminally ill clients. Helping families to achieve compensation is no small task, but Ahilas says it is an honour even though some days she feels like she is “going into the trenches”.
“Part of the excitement of this job is that nearly every day is different. Things are unpredictable and ever changing.”
"Part of the excitement of this job is that nearly every day is different. Things are unpredictable and ever changing."
The best part of her role, she says, is meeting her clients, sharing their journey and helping their families. The most challenging aspect is finishing cases in the lifetime of her clients, due to the unpredictable nature of the disease and the lack of a cure. However, Ahilas sees firsthand on almost a daily basis how resilient the human spirit is.
“If you’ve watched a man or woman take their last breath giving a bedside testimony to receive an outcome for their family and to know that their family will be looked after financially, then you are forever humbled.”
Ahilas graduated with a Law degree from UTS in 1991. “I had a wonderful experience as a student of law at UTS. I loved the UTS degree, the course, everything.”
It has been a stellar year on the awards front for Ahilas, having won the 2012 Law and Justice Foundation’s Justice Medal for her compassion and commitment to obtaining justice for asbestos victims and their families.
“As a career highlight it was the absolute ultimate accolade. I still don’t believe it.” In 2013, Ahilas took out the UTS Alumni Award for Excellence, Faculty of Law. “I think why me?” she says humbly. No doubt the hundreds of asbestos sufferers and their families who Ahilas has helped throughout her career would understand why.
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