All practising members are invited to the release of the results of our ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey. The release will take place on 18 October 2018 from 5:15pm in the Neal McPhee Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East, 205 William Street, Melbourne.
Many of you participated in the Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar survey conducted in June, which was designed to obtain a better understanding of the levels of wellbeing of Victorian barristers. We now have the findings from the University of Portsmouth.
The findings are a treasure trove of information—positive and not-so-positive—that will be used to help us identify what actions and resources we can put in place to better support and assist health and wellbeing at the Bar.
I hope you can join us for this important briefing. To register, email email@example.com.
The nomination period for the Bar Council election is underway. If you are considering nominating – and I urge you to do so – your nomination form must be returned by this coming Monday 15 October at 5pm sharp.
For more information about nominating, eligibility, voting and the conduct of the election, see the notice below. Voting will open at 9am on 29 October and close at 5pm on 14 November, with the results being available shortly after the close of voting.
In each of the past two weeks, I have given members some insight into the work that is done by the Vice-Presidents of the Bar, Wendy Harris QC and Simon Marks QC.
This week, I want to let members know about the work done by the Bar Council’s Treasurer, Sam Hay. The least visible of the executive roles, it is a role of considerable importance and responsibility. The Bar Council is always acutely conscious of the fact that the Bar’s budget must be managed prudently, so that subscriptions can be kept to the lowest possible level that is consistent with the provision of the services that the Bar is required to provide and that members expect.
Sam is a former Assistant Honorary Secretary and Honorary Secretary of the Bar Council, positions that are key to the operation of the Bar Council and the smooth operation of the Bar itself. He has been elected to Bar Council in each year since 2014, and has served on the Counsel Committee continuously over that period. He was the Assistant Treasurer in 2017, before joining the Executive as Treasurer in the current Bar Council.
Sam has served on the Bar’s Audit and Finance Committee since November 2016 and been Chair of that Committee since November 2017. He has chaired two of the working groups appointed by the Bar Council to review our governance and has served as a member of the constitutional reform working group chaired by Simon Marks QC. He is a member of the Legal Costs Committee which has functions under the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014. With me, he is one of the two trustees of the Barristers’ Benevolent Fund.
Sam is also the Deputy Chair of the Banking and Finance section of the Commercial Bar Association and a member of the Victorian Legal Admissions Committee.
Obviously, Sam’s contribution to the community of the Victorian Bar over many years has been remarkable. As Treasurer, he has acquitted his responsibilities with exemplary diligence and skill. As with the other members of the Executive, I have throughout my term as President relied heavily on his wise assistance and counsel.
As we head into this year’s election, I think it is important that members have information about the very considerable, and never-ending, body of work that is done voluntarily by Bar Councillors to ensure the smooth functioning of our complicated college of 2,100 independent practising advocates.
The Reconciliation Working Group has an ongoing role monitoring the implementation of the Bar’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The working group reports that in the third quarter of this year:
I thank all those involved in the implementation of the Bar’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Barristers’ Consortium—a group of our members—is the presenting partner for Flight, which is currently playing as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Many members of the Consortium attended a production of Flight on Tuesday evening, followed by a reception with the author of the work on which the production is based (Hinterland by Caroline Brothers), representatives of the production company (Vox Motus) and the Artistic and Executive Directors of the Festival.
The work is astonishing in its creativity. After descending into the bowels of the Arts Centre, on a flight of your own, you are seated in a booth, fitted with headphones, and immersed in the world of Aryan and Kabir, two Afghan boys who flee Afghanistan with a dream of finding refuge in England. Their story unfolds before you in a series of static diorama that are illuminated in turn as a carousel scrolls past your eyes.
The season extends to 21 October so it is not too late to get a ticket. There was a review of the show in The Age earlier in the week.
Congratulations to Victorian Bar members Alanna Duffy and Timothy Hoare and former Victorian Bar member Constantinos (Costas) Kilias, who have been appointed as Magistrates. Their Honours Magistrates Hoare and Kilias and were appointed effective 10 October. Alanna Duffy’s appointment will be effective from Monday 15 October.
Details of ceremonial welcomes are to be advised. I wish them all the very best personal and career satisfaction in their service to the law.
The Profession will extend a welcome to The Hon Justice Michael Wheelahan , who was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court effective 3 October, on Friday 26 October at 9.30am.
The Profession will extend a welcome to their Honours Magistrates Jade Bott and Michelle Mykytowycz on Tuesday 16 October 2018 at 9.15am. Their Honours were sworn-in privately by Chief Justice Ferguson on Monday 20 August 2018, following their appointments on 14 August 2018.
[MC: I did not write the following item. I do not really understand what it is about.]
Over the course of 50 days, two teams of 12 contestants (12 'Contenders’ and 12 ‘Champions’) battled it out in the Fijian Jungle to take out the title of Australian Survivor (broadcast on Channel 10). The goal of Australian Survivor is to 'outwit, outplay and outlast' the other 23 competitors in a combination of physical, mental and social challenges in a hostile environment. One of the Victorian Bar’s own, Sharn-Adelle A Coombes (‘Sharn’) was one of the 12 Champions to compete in this Battle Royale. Sharn successfully outwitted, outplayed and outlasted 22 of her competitors, frequently taking out physical immunity challenges, and came very close to taking out the title of Australian Survivor, coming runner up to another Champion, 5 time Olympic Medal Swimming Champion, Shane Gould. Using her professional skills as a barrister, Sharn successfully persuaded 4 out of 9 jury members to vote for her, but Shane Gould scraped home with 5 Jury votes. An anonymous Australian Survivor tragic at our Bar has stated: ‘Clearly, one jury member has failed to correctly spell the name of the real winner. The results should be referred to the Court of Disputed Returns, ASAP’. Well done Sharn!