WATL Prospectus 2015/16 & Pilot Workshop 29 May 2015

On Friday 29 May from 7.30am–12.30pm WATL’s priorities in 2015/16 were discussed in relation to legal workplace health interventionsand attendees participated in a pilot workshop delivered in conjunction with the Black Dog Institute. This event was sponsored by Staite Henningsen Klein.

WATL’s 2015/16 program, based on recommendations in the LIV report Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy, includes awareness-raising and educational programs to meet objectives in relation to:

  • Health promotion – focusing on systemic and work environment issues in the legal community, physical drivers for mental health and the importance of social connectedness
  • Primary prevention – helping lawyers understand their own risk factors for becoming unwell, and when, where and how to seek help

This interactive morning provided participants with valuable information on how to improve the wellbeing of legal professionals and provided insights into the future of WATL.

A detailed Prospectus of WATL’s priorities in 2015/16 can be found here.

2014 TJMF Annual Lecture

The LIV is proud to support the 2014 TJMF Annual Lecture which will be held on Thursday, 23 October 2014 from 5:45pm – 8:30pm at the Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building 305 William Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.

The guest speaker for the Lecture will be the Hon. Justice Virginia Bell AC, Justice of the High Court of Australia on the work of the Foundation in bringing the “TJMF Psychological Wellbeing Best Practice Guidelines” to life.   

Earlier this year TJMF launched its best practice guidelines which encourages and supports the legal profession in raising awareness of mental health issues and understanding the methods of management that assist create healthy and supportive workplaces.

LIV Young Lawyers – Wellbeing and the Law

Duncan Cameron Michelle Sharpe The Hon Justice Shane Marshall Reynah Tang

On 14 November Reynah Tang hosted a LIV Young Lawyers Wellbeing and the Law panel discussion.  Guest speakers, including WATL Ambassador, The Honourable Justice Shane Marshall, Federal Court of Australia, Michelle Sharpe, Barrister and Duncan Cameron of the Mental Health Review Board  spoke with young lawyers about the incidence and impact of mental Illness within the legal profession. That the issue is real, but that it is an issue not without remedy – with many people affected having been successfully treated; that mental illness doesn’t discriminate, of the need for greater awareness as to know and understand triggers and symptoms and most importantly that it is OK to talk about it

The panel consisted of:

The Honourable Justice Shane Marshall, Federal Court of Australia provided tips and advice on:

  • His experience with mental illness and lessons learnt along the way
  • Discussion of the various avenues available for help (e.g. his suggestions for things that worked for him, and general suggestions)  
  • Key message, anyone can be affected, it does not matter whether you are a judge or a law student and it is OK to seek help

Michelle Sharpe, Barrister, Victoria Bar provided tips and advice on:

  • Takinginstructions from and managing clients with mental health issues
  • Referring clients to specialised mental health services
  • Maintaining personal mental health and wellbeing during legal practice

Duncan Cameron, Community Member, Mental Health Review Board provided insight into:

  • His role on the Mental Health Review Board and what this entails
  • Some real life cases / case studies he has witnessed or has been involved in and lessons / messages to be taken from them

The event was moderated by Reynah Tang, Past President, Law Institute of Victoria.

See the photo gallery.

Community Legal Centre CPD Day

Sophie McNamara, Robert Richter QC

It was an honour to have Robert Richter QC speak in his capacity as a WATL ambassador at Russell Kennedy’s fifth annual CPD Day for Community Lawyers.

The day represents a key aspect of Russell Kennedy’s pro bono focus on building the capacity and supporting the work of the community legal sector. The 2014 CPD Day was attended by 64 lawyers representing 23 different organisations. 

Thank you to the WATL Foundation for their contribution to the day. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the day in general, and Mr Richter’s presentation in particular, with many people indicating on their feedback sheet that they found his presentation to be thoughtful, engaging and that it was a very important topic for their organisations.

Sophie McNamara | Associate
Russell Kennedy

See more photos from the day.

Media Coverage

Interview with The Honorable Bernard Teague - Chair of Wellbeing and the Law Foundation - Part 1 - 9/09/13

Interview with The Honorable Bernard Teague - Chair of Wellbeing and the Law Foundation - Part 2 - 9/09/13

Interview with Adam Lunn - ABC Melbourne Drive - 12/09/13

LIV President's Blog - Wellbeing and the Law: A new beginning

Yesterday was National R U OK? Day and I was joined by some of law's most respected and recognised names to launch a new Foundation to address mental health in our profession.
Read more.


2013 Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Annual Lecture

External Media Releases

Young Lawers Journal

















Law Institute Victoria Victorian Bar