State legal conference comes to Bendigo

9th May 2017

Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass OBE will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) annual Victorian Conference being held in Bendigo this Friday.

Ms Glass’ presentation will cover an ‘Investigation into the Management of Complex Workers Compensation Claims and WorkSafe Oversight’.

ALA Victoria President Geraldine Collins will also announce the winner of the 2017 ALA Victoria Civil Justice Award (CJA) on the day. In addition, the public are invited to attend a special ‘Writing and the Law‘ session hosted by Victorian Country Court Judge His Honour Chris O’Neill and authors Gideon Haigh and Julie Szego.

In addition, with issues such as Workcover, the Transport Accident Commission and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on the program, members of the Victorian legal profession are strongly encouraged to attend this conference to stay abreast of the latest developments in these fields.

The two-day ALA Victoria State Conference is being held at

 Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo from Friday 12 May, 2017 from 8:30am.

ALA Victoria President Geraldine Collins said the ALA Victoria State Conference 2017 will be an outstanding networking opportunity for the more than 170 lawyers, barristers and other legal professionals who have already registered to attend.

Ms Collins said that this year’s conference has a packed program, demonstrating the commitment that the ALA has to the professional development of its more than 1,400 members.

“Workers compensation issues are of vital importance to anyone who has been, or had a family member, injured in the work place,” Ms Collins said.  

“Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass’ presentation is an excellent opportunity for legal practitioners to get an update on the latest developments with WorkCover, and to ask questions about recent workers compensation rulings.”

“The ‘Writing and the Law’ session should also be fascinating,” Ms Collins said. “His Honour Judge Chris O'Neill of the Victorian County Court will discuss how writing and the law are intertwined with authors Authors Gideon Haigh and Julie Szego have both provided training to County Court judges in judgement writing and written books about criminal trials in Melbourne. Members of the public are welcome to attend this session for a small donation.

Ms Collins said that the conference was also an excellent opportunity for the legal community to recognise the achievements of this year’s CJA winner, to be announced on Friday morning.

Other conference highlights will include:

  • Panel session update on Transport Accident Commission matters - led by Geraldine Collins, Maurice Blackburn
  • Expert Evidence - The Hon Justice Andrew Keogh, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • WorkCover Panel Discussion led by Shaun MarcusArnold Dallas McPherson - Update on current Policy issues at WorkSafe, recent statutory benefit decisions and the practical effect of recent changes to the Common Law Ministerial Directions.
  • Workers Compensation: Jarvis’ Case and the Scope of Judicial Review of WorkCover Decisions; the relationship between compensation and common law damages entitlements. Andrew Moulds QCVIC Bar
  • Acting for a Person Under a Disability - Carolyn Ford and Alice Lau of Maurice Blackburn discuss the legal and practical considerations when dealing with clients who lack capacity, including obligations on legal practitioners, how to identify incapacity and processes for appointing substitute decision makers.
  • The NDIS: Scope of Scheme, Recent AAT Decisions and Implications for Compensation and Damages Law, Tom Ballantyne, Principal, Maurice Blackburn
  • Writing and the Law: Judgements & statutes, ‘true crime’ & fictions based on law – writing and the law are inextricably linked. Hear His Honour Judge Chris O'Neill in conversation with authors Gideon Haigh and Julie Szego 
  • All About Trial Preparation – Jacinta Forbes QC explains how to assemble the evidence needed to present your case.

The conference attracts up to 8 CLE/CPD points and is attended by plaintiff and defendant lawyers as well as representatives of the various regulators and insurers.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance is a national, non-profit association that promotes justice, freedom and the rights of the individual.

The full conference program can be found here: