Bar Council election results
The results of the Bar Council election were received by the outgoing Bar Council at 1pm yesterday, following which the newly elected Bar Council met for the first time and elected office-holders for the coming year.
The Bar Council for 2018/19 comprises 12 women and 9 men. There are six new faces (marked with asterisks in the list below):
President: Matt Collins QC
Senior Vice-President: Wendy Harris QC
Junior Vice-President: Simon Marks QC
Treasurer: Sam Hay
Category A (silk or counsel of not less than 15 years’ standing)
Category B (counsel other than silk, of not less than 6 and not more than 15 years’ standing)
Category C (counsel of less than 6 years’ standing)
At the commencement of the meeting of the newly elected Bar Council yesterday, Wendy Harris QC nominated me to continue as President. I accepted the nomination and was elected unopposed. The remaining members of last year’s Executive were also re-elected unopposed.
I am very grateful both to members of the Bar, for the confidence they have shown by re-electing me, and to the incoming Bar Council, for its support in reappointing me as President for the coming year.
I believe that the stability we have achieved in the ranks of the Executive will be a real boon to the Victorian Bar in the year ahead. All of us already understand our roles; none of us needs time to find our feet. We intend to capitalise on this stability by continuing to improve the governance of the Bar Council. We will be particularly looking to effect reforms aimed at ensuring that the work of the Bar Council is spread more evenly among not just the Executive, but the whole of Bar Council.
As regular readers of my weekly message will know, the Bar Council is actively effecting a very busy agenda across many fronts, with the objective of expanding the market share of barristers, providing enhanced member services, fostering excellence, and being a strong, independent and authoritative voice.
I congratulate all those who were elected to Bar Council, and I thank the outgoing Bar Councillors who have served over the past year but did not re-stand for election or were not re-elected: Fiona Ellis, Julia Frederico, Susan Gatford, Caroline Kenny QC, Barbara Myers and Justin Wheelahan. All made a very substantial contribution to the Bar’s governing body.
I also thank those who stood for election, but were unsuccessful. The number of candidates prepared to stand shows what a vibrant place the Victorian Bar is, with no shortage of talented members prepared to contribute to our college.
Call for Expressions of Interest for the position of Assistant Honorary Secretary to Bar Council
Congratulations go to last year’s Honorary Secretary, Nicole Papaleo, who was elected to Bar Council in category C. Her vacancy has been filled by the appointment by Bar Council of last year’s Assistant Honorary Secretary, Andrew Bell, leaving a vacancy in the role of Assistant Honorary Secretary.
The roles of the Honorary and Assistant Honorary Secretaries are vital to the smooth functioning of the Victorian Bar. They attend Bar Council meetings and have responsibility for membership matters, including addressing and making recommendations to Bar Council in relation to readers, new members, transferring members and disclosure matters. They also assist the Counsel Committee in relation to disclosures and investigations, and are a frequent port of call on my part in relation to matters arising under the Bar’s Constitution, rules and policies.
Expressions of interest are sought from members for the role of Assistant Honorary Secretary. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your expression of interest by 26 November at 4pm.
Call for Expressions of Interest for Victorian Bar Committees
Expressions of interest are also sought from those members of the Bar who wish to remain on, or become a member of, one or more of the Bar’s Committees in 2019. Committees are appointed by Bar Council once a year.
Committees are standing committees of the Bar Council, responsible for reporting to Bar Council on the work falling within their remit. The scope, composition and responsibility of Committees is set out in their respective Charters, as are the roles, expectations and terms of Committee members. Charters are available on the Bar's Website.
The valuable work done by the Bar’s Committees is made possible through the willingness of our members to ‘give back’ by contributing their time and skill to a Committee that best matches their interest and expertise. There is more information in the Notices section below.
All expressions of interest will be reviewed by the Executive of the Bar Council, with assistance from staff in the Bar Office. Existing chairs of Committees will also be consulted. A recommendation as to the composition of Committees for 2019 will be made to Bar Council before the end of the year.
The Bar Council is committed to ensuring that all members of the Bar have a fair opportunity to participate in the important work of the Bar, including by regular refreshment of the composition of committees, consistent with their Charters. Whether you wish to continue service on a Committee, or have thought in the past that you have something to contribute, but have either not applied or been disappointed, I encourage you to put in an expression of interest.
A busy week
Apart from the election, declaration of the polls and two Bar Council meetings, I also held my first weekly catch-up with our new CEO, Katherine Lorenz, on Monday, and on Wednesday I met with the Chair of the Chief Justice’s Preliminary Evaluation Committee for the appointment of silks, the Hon Stephen Charles AO QC. Tonight I will be in Sydney, where I’m looking forward to moderating a Hypothetical about religious freedom, with an all-star panel, at the ABA/NSW Bar national conference. I’ll be staying on for the duration of the national conference, before attending a council meeting of the Australian Bar Association (for its annual elections) on Sunday morning.
Vale George Beaumont QC – funeral service Tuesday 20 November 10.30am
This week the Bar received the sad news of the passing of George Beaumont QC, a Legend of the Bar. George was a leader in his field of Taxation law in Australia and abroad. His contribution to our Bar included serving as Director of Barristers’ Chambers’ Limited and on Bar Committees for New Barristers, Fees and Law Reform. There are more details of George’s extraordinary life in the Bar’s Obituary, which is published to our website.
The funeral will be held at St Aidan’s Uniting Church, 17–21 Duggan Street, North Balwyn, next Tuesday 20 November at 10.30am.