Donations by new Silks
Following the lead set by the silks appointed in late 2017, the silks “class of 2018” have marked their achievement in being appointed Senior Counsel by banding together and raising funds for a number of Bar-run and other charities.
In total, the 2018 silks who are practising members of the Bar raised a total of more than $80,000. Of that sum, about three-quarters was donated to four Bar charities (the Barristers’ Benevolent Fund, the Indigenous Barristers Fund, the Victorian Bar Foundation and the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery), with the balance shared by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the Environmental Defenders Office Tasmania, the International Women’s Development Agency Overseas Aid Fund, Lifeline Australia, the Magdalen College Oxford John Feltham BCL Scholarship, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Oxfam, the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Australian Chapter of the Batten Disease Support & Research Association and the Smith Family. Additional donations were made by the Crown Prosecutors who were appointed silk in 2018.
This is a superb achievement of which our newest silks should be very proud, and entrenches a tradition of philanthropy by newly appointed silks at the Victorian Bar.
Barristers’ Consortium—Invitation to Members
The Barristers’ Consortium is a collaboration between the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts and members of the Victorian Bar who believe in the transformational power of the arts and their ability to contribute to and shape public discourse. It was formed to assist in bringing challenging, provocative and inspirational works to be presented at the Festival that would otherwise not be seen here.
In 2017, members of the Bar performed in the Festival in Please Continue, Hamlet, a work which explored the nature of truth in a mock trial conducted, without a script, with actors playing the roles of witnesses, and different judges and counsel, over five consecutive nights. Last year, the Barristers’ Consortium helped to bring Flight to Melbourne (see picture, below)—a remarkable and heartbreakingly poignant work about our common humanity told through the eyes of two Afghan refugees, by an Australian author that had never before been seen on our shores.
Members who are interested in learning more about and potentially joining the Barristers’ Consortium in 2019 are warmly invited to attend this year’s launch. At the launch, the Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Jonathan Holloway, will introduce the extraordinary work which he would like to be able to bring to Melbourne this year, and provide a sneak preview of the program for this year’s Festival. I caught up with Jonathan during the week and was immediately captivated by his vision for what the Consortium might be able to achieve in 2019.
The event will be held over drinks and canapés on Tuesday 26 March, 6-8pm.
To register to attend the launch or for more information about joining the Barristers Consortium, email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registrations are essential.
Flight (2018) – an intimate portrayal of the journey of two orphaned brothers who flee Afghanistan with their small inheritance stitched into their clothes (sponsored by the Barristers’ Consortium)
Fire Gardens – Melbourne International Arts Festival 2018
A busy week
Apart from catching up with Jonathan Holloway (see above), I also met this week with Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP, chaired a meeting of the Executive of the Bar Council, met with a working group of barristers responsible for preparing a submission in relation to reform of defamation law, gave an explanatory interview to Channel Ten news on principles of sentencing, attended the private swearing-in of Justice Wilson (see below), and met in Sydney with representatives of the Australian Human Rights Commission in connection with their work on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. I also continued to provide feedback to members who applied for silk in 2018.
The Hon Justice Joshua Wilson and Dr Tim McEvoy QC – Family Court
Justice Wilson was sworn-in in a private ceremony on 12 March 2019. Justice Wilson was formerly a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
The profession will extend a welcome to Justice Wilson at a ceremonial sitting of the Family Court of Australia on Monday 18 March 2019 at 4.30pm.
Details of the ceremonial welcome for Tim McEvoy will be advised when they become known.
Her Honour Judge Alice Carter and Anna Boymal – Federal Circuit Court
Details of the ceremonial welcomes will be advised when they become known.
Federal Court Welcomes
The profession will extend welcomes at ceremonial sittings of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia as follows: