It is a pleasure to be providing my first update and an honour to be your President for the 2022/23 term. I would like to thank Simon Gates, Immediate past President for his significant contribution to the role in the past 12 months. In particular the work Simon did with the law school and University of Tasmania was highly appreciated by the students, profession and judiciary. Thank you for your service Simon.
I would like to thank retiring Council members Ian Arendt and Trevor McKenna (former President) on their significant contributions to Council. I am sad to see them both go and have had the benefit of their involvement on Council for many years. Congratulations to Julia Higgins and Alison Wells on their elections to Vice President and Treasurer and Executive members, Amelia Higgs, Carey Higgins, Simon Gates and Robert Hegarty. Welcome to new members Luke Taylor and Imogen Cook who I know will be efficient and valuable members of Council.
ABC Hobart contacted me for comment regarding the resignation of Vincenzo Caltabiano. That resignation came as a surprise and I congratulate him on his appointment to the Magistrates Court of Victoria. Vincenzo has worked closely and well with the Society since he commenced in the role in 2019. I wish him all the best in his role.
I appeared on ABC radio with Mel Bush on the morning of 19 October 2022 and the Mercury and Advocate have done articles on my appointment to the role. The Society has met with the profession in many different forums and the key message we are getting is there is a skills shortage. Attraction and retention have been a continued theme for some years now but has undoubtedly increased since COVID. While I do not proport to have all of the answers, I am keen to work with firms and other members of the profession to see what can be done in this space. The mental health of our members is another primary concern of mine.
I have nominated the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation as my nominated charity. This is for two reasons, the tragic but inspiring story Council member Amelia Higgs has been through and the untimely death of my grandmother who died from ovarian cancer at just 45. Amelia has been doing an impressive campaign for Froctkober 2022 and if you would like to donate, please see the attached link Frocktober – Amelia Higgs.
I look forward to being your President for 2022. If you have any concerns, please contact myself or any members of Council. They are all there as elected representatives and eager to hear your concerns.