Last year, we conducted the biggest and most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of the state of the Bar. I will present the results of the survey at a special event next Tuesday, 27 March 2018, at 5.30pm in the Neil McPhee room on Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East. The results fall broadly into three categories: our changing demography; trends in relation to income; and changing work practices. The results provide a fascinating insight into the modern Victorian Bar, showing how far we have come in many areas, and where we face challenges. I encourage everyone to attend the event next Tuesday and look forward to seeing as many members as possible then. If you have not done so already, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register if you are planning to attend.
I am pleased to announce that, as part of the Bar’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and support for members, the Bar Council last night approved major updates to our policies concerning bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment. The new policies incorporate improved processes for the conciliation of grievances and the reporting of incidents. Members should also note the call for Expressions of Interest for Bar Conciliators in the “VicBar News & Events” section, below. Bar Conciliators will play an important role under the new policies. The new policies are the result of many hours of work by the Bar Council’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group, with the support of the Bar’s CEO and senior staff. I thank all those involved. The policies will be published to our website on Monday and will commence operation on 1 July 2018.
I attended two other events of note this week. First, on Monday, I attended a meeting of the Board of the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery, at which the future activities of the gallery and the forthcoming installation showcasing faces of the modern Bar were discussed. The installation is, I think, particularly exciting. It has been wonderful to see so many members embrace the “come as you are” theme in creative and weird-and-wonderful ways. There is still time to get involved—see the “Vicbar News and Events” section below. Secondly, on Wednesday, it was great to meet with the Victorian Bar News Editors and Committee and many contributors to the last edition, and to hear about what is in store for the next edition, due out mid-year. The work that goes into the production of our very high quality journal would be difficult to exaggerate—yet another example of the dedication of our members.