Essential work behind the scenes
One point five meters. Lockdowns. Restrictions. Social distancing. Curfews. These five concepts have dominated our lives since March this year, turning our working and private lives upside down. These dramatic changes to our way of life, while uncomfortable, have increased our awareness of the people who have both physically and virtually enabled us to be kept fed and working. I, for one, have even greater respect for teachers and childcare workers, and as I listen to my daughter’s zoom classes, I’m amazed at the incredible skill they employ each day when they teach. We also have a new respect for ‘front line’ workers – the shelf stackers, cleaners, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, hospital workers – and the court personnel and IT advisors who are arranging and helping us access the virtual meetings on which we now depend.
On behalf of the Bar, I’d like particularly to acknowledge the work of BCL staff, the clerks and their staff, who’ve nimbly transitioned to this new environment and many of whom, until these latest restrictions came into place, have been physically present in chambers – maintaining security, providing IT support, sorting the mail, answering questions and ensuring that as many members as possible are equipped to work.
Keeping fit in the mind, body and soul
The CPDs and information sessions that the clerks have organised have made an enormous contribution to keeping members’ minds active and practices alive. There’s also been a host of social and wellbeing activities that the clerks have facilitated that have helped members keep their bodies and souls healthy, and I’m delighted to let members know that Anna Svenson has very generously extended the offer to join the weekly Pilates class she holds for Svenson Barristers to all of those at the Bar. The 45-minute sessions on Tuesdays at 5:00pm run for six weeks from next Tuesday and are facilitated by Charissa Fermelis, Director and Physiotherapist of Grounded Movement. Interested members should register here.
It’s important that the Bar continues to nurture collegiality and strengthen the personal bonds that knit members together. VicBar would like to help facilitate this by arranging virtual group activities for members – whether it’s how to make the best cocktail or mocktail, cook the perfect steak, sharpen your knives, or meditate together. To help us plan events, please make your suggestions here.
We’re kicking off this new initiative next Thursday at 5:00pm with an online workshop with Yatren Nadu, who is well known to some members for yoga training, on breathing methods that will help you improve your willpower, self-discipline, confidence and clarity through understanding and practising the skill of conscious breathing. Members who are interested should register here.
And if you’re looking for some new workout ideas on YouTube, I am a huge fan of the Body Project‘s cardio sessions which cater to all fitness levels. Another fitness trainer, Natacha Océane, offers a wide range of equipment-free workouts. Natacha’s 20-minute full-body workout video is ideal for a quick workout before or after work.
Congratulations Felicity Gerry QC
Finally, I’d like to extend a warm congratulations to Professor Felicity Gerry QC, winner of this year’s Lawyers Weekly Barrister of the Year Award. Felicity won the award for her keen sense of social responsibility, dedication to pursuing justice for the vulnerable, and a desire to contribute to the success of fellow female practitioners in the legal community. Those who would like to learn more about Felicity’s achievements can read VicBar’s announcement of her win here.
As we slowly make our way towards spring and the weather warms slightly, I hope you find time to enjoy the fresh air this weekend.