Do you need help?
Practising at the bar is unquestionably stressful. Analysis of Barrister Wellbeing and Quality of Working Life surveys shows that many barristers report high levels of stress, perfectionism and self-criticism. Two-thirds feel they do not get adequate sleep. Do you, or a colleague, need help?
BarCare is an independent professional counselling service designed to assist members to manage stress-related problems, such as marital breakdowns, drug or alcohol dependency and practice pressures.
Every year there are barristers who encounter personal misfortune and require assistance. The Barristers' Benevolent Association responds to calls for assistance without formality and without delays.
Connecting with colleagues at all types of events is an effective way to build a positive outlook, especially for those in the early years of practice at the bar. The committee organises Bench and Bar lunches, while the Bar Association fosters collegiality through the annual Bench & Bar Dinner, the Tutors & Readers Dinner, 15 Bobbers and other social events. It also supports a variety of interest groups, such as the Bar Book Club and the Knitting Club.
The Bar Association encourages members to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle by facilitating organised sporting and recreational activities and providing information about the benefits of sleep and good nutrition.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
The Five Ways to Wellbeing is an evidence-based approach to feeling good and functioning well. They are simple, every day actions to contribute to a positive experience of life. They are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.
Practising as a barrister requires careful planning and management of cash flows, tax liabilities, income protection and superannuation. Without proper financial advice, money matters can soon get out of hand.
Identify, mitigate and manage vicarious trauma and other threats to your wellbeing. Get the latest information about vicarious trauma, mental illnesses, online testing and current treatments from the Black Dog Institute, Beyond Blue and a host of Australian and international centres of excellence in the field of mental health.
Following the huge success of the ‘Eat Sleep Move’ series of webinars, the Wellbeing Committee has launched its new ‘Mind Matters’ series of webinars, beginning with 'Barrister Burnout', by Professor Gordon Parker AO.
The Safe Place is where barristers can meet, on the Zoom platform, and share with others any issues that they may be facing. Fundamentally, it is a confidential forum. Whatever goes on tour, stays on tour. Attendees can join the discussion group in an anonymised manner if they feel more comfortable doing so. The forum is moderated to ensure that as many barristers as possible can share with others what they are going through. No advice is given, but it is a place to be heard (confidentially).For more information, or to register for the next gathering, contact the Wellbeing Committee.
The Bar Association hosts regular CPD seminars on vicarious trauma, presented by Robyn Bradey, an accredited counsellor in private practice with over 36 years' experience. She regularly presents to lawyers on a range of areas from mindfulness and resilience to mental illness and suicide prevention.
Success at the bar means different things to different people. The Wellbeing Committee interviews members of the bench and bar about their professional life, as well as their passions outside of work. Each offers a unique insight into the meaning of “work-life balance”. They have agreed to share these discussions with members.
Contact the Wellbeing Committee
The Wellbeing Committee has a charter to encourage barristers to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. We facilitate organised sporting, social and recreational activities. If you have an idea to promote wellbeing, or would like more information about our initiatives, contact the Wellbeing Committee for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.