Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 74 - Dec 2015
Sunshine Coast Professional Development Day Print E-mail

15 August 2015 


his year marked the 6th one day mini-conference hosted by the local members of the Bar on the Sunshine Coast. The event was initiated with the assistance of the Bar Council and the hardworking staff of the CPD unit. It’s now evolved into a locally run event that focuses on delivering as much content in one day as possible. Its aim is to be practical, informal, inexpensive and interactive. The emphasis is on those things immediately relevant in any practice on a day to day basis. Experienced presenters can work close up with the smaller group size and there’s plenty of time for questions. This year the event made it to 73 attendees at the Maroochydore TAFE complex.

sc_01.jpgThe involvement of the University of the Sunshine Coast who provide a very suitable venue has allowed the event to grow. The Committee concentrates on encouraging members who might not otherwise get to larger CPD events in person to attend. These groups include of course our local colleagues and especially other regional members. This year Mark Glen made the record as the long-distance attendee coming down from Cairns but John Bailey took the honours for the longest time spent getting here, driving as he did from out Dalby way. Ipswich and the Gold Coast also provide substantial contributions. Other groups likely to attend are members in academia, those working as in-house Counsel or Government Legal Officers (DPP, LAQ etc). Readers were given a discount rate this year to help them commence their practice with a flying start.

The program has evolved to cover all four compulsory streams (Barristers Skills, Ethics, Practice Management and Substantive Law) and to get as many sessions into a day as we comfortably can. There are 6 sessions, each an hour long with short and convivial breaks in between. We have an informal dinner afterwards for those who can afford to linger and chat in one of the many excellent restaurants that the Maroochydore area offers. It’s no black tie event with the darkest thing present this year being the mood of those who were following the Bledisloe Cup.


sc_02.jpgBar Council members and many silks have over the years given generously of their time to present. This year was no exception with Diehm QC, Hughes QC, Mellifont QC and Allen QC marking the arduous journey north on a sunny winters day. The Sunshine Coast judiciary also play their role, regularly attending the event, presenting, chairing or contributing to the sometimes lively debates. We were most fortunate to have Justice Bond present on Written Advocacy this year and to contribute to the interaction during many sessions. The local Bar rounds out the program presenting on topics such as Andrew Wallace’s Effective Legal Research and participating in interactive panel discussions like Kerri Mellifont QC’s daring Handling a Hostile Bench. It also provides the engine room for running the event handling pre-conference printing, sign in desk, catering, audio/visual and assistance for guests finding the coffee shop with the free real coffee we include at lunchtime.

The event is possible because of the ongoing support of legal publishers Thomson Reuters/Westlaw and CCH/Wolters Kluwer providing goodies and demo packages for attendees and speaker gifts.

The Conference Papers and programs are available at http://andrewsinclair.com.au/?page_id=243

The event will be held again next year and is pencilled in for 13 August 2016 (the Saturday after People’s Day at the Ekka). Suggestions for the program and volunteers to present are welcome to Andrew.Sinclair@innsofcourtsc.com.au'

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