Victorian Bar Media Release - The Changing Face of the Victorian Bar in 700 images


If a picture paints a thousand words, the 700 photographs on display at the Victorian Bar’s ‘Changing Face of the Bar’ exhibition tell the rich story of the dynamic and diverse modern Victorian Bar.

Renowned photographer, Bill Henson, is today opening ‘The Changing Face of the Bar’, a photo exhibition by Garth Oriander at the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery, that contrasts today’s Bar with the Victorian Bar of the 1930s and 1980s.

More than 700 currently practising barristers have been photographed, in everything from surf life-saving gear and sporting lycra to formal robes, to celebrate the increasing diversity of today’s Bar.

“Comparing the Victorian Bar’s membership at three specific points in time provides a dramatic illustration of how much our Bar has changed over the course of its 135-year history,” said Dr Matt Collins QC, President of the Victorian Bar.

“The 700 modern photographs in this exhibition contrast with a photo from the 1930s, depicting 150 grim-faced and similar-looking white men, and a 1980s photograph—taken at a time when women comprised only about five per cent of the State’s barristers and the Bar could boast of only one woman QC, Susan Crennan, later a High Court judge.

“The ‘Changing Face of the Bar’ exhibition highlights how significantly the Victorian Bar has changed. Today, more than 40 per cent of barristers who have practised for 15 years and under are women. Our members were born in more than 30 countries and speak 37 languages.

“It is not every day that more than 700 barristers agree to do something together. This exhibition is a graphic testament to our collegiality and diversity, uniting our most senior and revered members, Presidents past and present, and our newest advocates.”

The exhibition will run from 6 September to 7 December at the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery, Owen Dixon Chambers West, 205 William Street, Melbourne. Entry is free.

The State of the Victorian Bar Survey.

Abhi Mukherjee, Felicity Gerry QC, Dr Adrian Hoel, Mark Purvis, Paul Rule, Ruth Champion
Katrina Chow, Maree Norton, Jason D Pizer QC, Angela Lee, Megan Fitzgerald and Peter Jopling AM QC
Reiko Okazaki, Melissa Marcus, Justin Wheelahan, Georgina Schoff QC and Teri Konstantinou

Media Enquiries: 

Michelle Hindson on +61 414 207 049 or by email to

Katherine Lorenz on +61 3 9225 7990 or by email to

News Category: 
Media Release