The first week of May 2021 has been an exciting and busy one for members of the Victorian Bar.
Appointment of Victorian Solicitor-General
The week commenced with the announcement of the appointment of Rowena Orr QC as the next Solicitor-General of Victoria, the State’s most senior legal advisor and advocate. Echoing the comments made earlier in the week by the Victorian Bar President, Christopher Blanden QC, the State of Victoria is lucky to have the benefit of Rowena’s exceptional legal talent and experience.
On Tuesday evening, Dr Ian Freckelton QC and Junior Vice-President, Helen Rofe QC, attended the second Iftar Dinner hosted by the Victorian Bar in partnership with the Australian Intercultural Society. Special thanks to the Deputy Chair of the Victorian Bar’s Equality and Diversity Committee, Astrid Haban-Beer, who was instrumental in the success of the evening, which was a sell-out event. I understand an excellent evening was had by all.
Pro Bono Awards
On Wednesday evening, I was delighted to attend the 2021 Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards ceremony at the Commonwealth Law Courts with the President. The winner of the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Trophy, Matthew Albert, gave an impromptu but truly inspirational speech, acknowledging the tremendous support of his wife, his dedicated instructing solicitors who run their practice from the kitchen table after hours, and his clients. Matthew currently holds close to one hundred pro bono briefs on behalf of Indigenous clients seeking safe and comfortable housing in the Northern Territory. Matthew is a very deserving winner.
Warm congratulations to the all winners:
March 2021 Readers
To round off the week, on Thursday evening the President presided over the Signing Ceremony and attended the celebratory dinner which was held at the Essoign Club. Congratulations to the March 2021 Readers who successfully completed the Readers’ Course and signed the Bar Roll on 6 May 2021. The Honourable Justice David Beach provided plenty of inspiration and encouragement to the newly minted barristers in his address. I wish them every success at the Bar.
Victorian Bar Dinner
The Victorian Bar Dinner is shaping up to be a great night, with table registrations closing prior to the RSVP date. There is currently a waiting list and staff are working hard to determine final table numbers.
Annual flu shots
The Bar is offering members the annual flu vaccination on 25 and 26 May 2021. There are a limited number of appointments available to Bar members from iMedical, and they will be allocated on a first-in, first-served basis. More details about the vaccinations and booking instructions are in the notice below.
Vale The Honourable Peter Heerey AM QC
I note the recent passing of The Honourable Peter Heerey AM QC on 1 May. Peter was an active and highly respected member of the legal profession for many years - Peter was an energic and skilful advocate, a wise, patient and considered Judge and much-admired colleague, friend, and Bar member. More details about Peter’s illustrious career and funeral are here.
Róisín Annesley QC