Victorian Bar elects new council members

“The executive includes an unprecedented four women,” the new council president says

Victorian Bar elects new council members

The Victorian Bar has elected new members to its council.

Newly appointed president Christopher Blanden QC highlighted the diversity of the new bar council, which he said represents the Victorian Bar’s membership. Overall, the bar council welcomed nine women to its ranks.

“The newly elected 21 bar councillors are an apolitical and diverse group of barristers,” he said. “We are particularly delighted that the executive includes an unprecedented four women.”

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Blanden is joined by senior vice president Róisín Annesley QC, junior vice president Helen Rofe QC, honorary treasurer Mary Anne Hartley QC and assistant honorary treasurer Robyn Sweet. These officers will be at the helm for the duration of the 2020-2021 term.

Blanden said that the voter turnout for the 2020 bar council election, which came in at about 70%, was “the highest in the Victorian Bar’s recent history, and a very substantial increase compared to the previous election.” The appointments were announced on 11 November.

He acknowledged the contributions of the outgoing bar council executives.

“This year has been a challenging year for all.  Like us, our predecessors have believed in the great institution that is the Victorian Bar and have sought to contribute to its fabric,” Blanden said. “The 2021 Bar Council acknowledges the service of our predecessors on the Bar Council and particularly the outgoing office bearers Ms Wendy Harris QC, Mr Simon Marks QC, Mr Sam Hay QC, Mr Stewart Maiden QC and Ms Gabi Crafti.”

Blanden said that the new council was looking forward to working on behalf of the members, and collaborating closely with the courts, the state attorney-general and the federal attorney-general.

The other recently elected councillors are listed in order of seniority as follows:

Queen’s Counsel, senior counsel or junior counsel of not less than 15 years’ standing

  • Paul Holdenson QC
  • Simon Marks QC
  • Dr Ian Freckelton QC
  • Dr Suzanne (Sue) McNicol AM QC
  • Paul Hayes QC
  • Eugene Wheelahan QC
  • Darryl Burnett

Junior counsel of not less than 6 years’ standing and not more than 15 years’ standing

  • Paul Kounnas
  • Benjamin Murphy
  • Amy Wood
  • Ben Jellis
  • Nawaar Hassan

Junior counsel of less than 6 years’ standing

  • Nicholas Phillpott
  • Roshena Campbell
  • Lana Collaris
  • Lachlan Molesworth

As per the bar council’s tradition, the officers were elected through secret ballot.

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