Monday marks a most important occasion in the history of the Victorian Bar. On 12 April 1841, a Crown Prosecutor and four barristers (including Sir Redmond Barry KCMG QC) were admitted at the inaugural sitting of the Supreme Court in Melbourne. Dr Peter Yule, the author of the History of the Victorian Bar (currently in print), identifies this date as one that has the strongest case to mark the establishment of the Victorian Bar. Victoria was then the Port Phillip District of the colony of New South Wales. It would be a further ten years before Victoria separated from NSW to become a colony in its own right, and a further sixty years before Victoria became a state of the new Commonwealth of Australia. It is remarkable to consider that the Bar is, in a sense, older than Victoria as an institution and will celebrate its 180th anniversary this Monday. The Arts & Collections Committee has curated a 180th Anniversary display on the walkway between Owen Dixon Chambers East and West, which I would commend to members.
Child Care Submission
The Victorian Bar recently made a submission to the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP regarding the tax-deductibility of child care for consideration as part of the Commonwealth Government’s 2021-22 Budget process. The submission recommends that the Commonwealth Government adopt the proposal advanced by researchers at the University of New South Wales, which would give parents the option of receiving the existing child care subsidy or deducting child care expenses from their taxable income. We are grateful to those who worked on this important initiative – particularly Eugene Wheelahan QC and Nicholas Walter.
Members will find a copy of the submission here.
Christopher Blanden QC