How long have you been with Seniors Rights Victoria?
Since 10 February 2020, so seven and a half weeks.
Have your impressions of SRV changed since you began?
I didn’t have any preconceptions. I anticipated it would have been a compassionate and proactive workplace in regards to the protection of seniors’ rights and that has been confirmed. I still have a lot to learn and feel very fortunate to be in a very supportive team. Despite still being a fairly junior lawyer I have found the transition to the new practice areas and workplace pretty seamless.
How long have you been a community lawyer ?
I have been a community lawyer for 14 months. Before that I had volunteered in community legal centres during and post studying law. My attraction to community law is the people that tend to work in this sphere and the difference we can make for vulnerable individuals. The people that tend to work in community law are compassionate and socially minded, which is the type of people I prefer to surround myself with.
Where did you work before coming to SRV?
Prior to coming to SRV I worked at Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre as a locum community lawyer and prior to that I was at St Kilda Legal Services as the community outreach lawyer predominantly working with people affected by homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction. Prior to that I was at the Transport Accident Commission for 12 months which was my first job as a lawyer. I career transitioned to law almost two and half years ago after working as an occupational therapist for 20+ years.
How do you think you might influence good outcomes at SRV?
I hope to achieve good outcomes for vulnerable seniors who have difficulty standing up for themselves and that perpetrators of abuse may think are unlikely to stand up for themselves.
Even while working as an occupational therapist I found myself readily advocating for my older clients and clients with disabilities and their carers in situations where I felt their rights to make their own choices/decisions were being infringed upon. So much so that in August 2010, I wrote to SRV with five case examples of abuse. I got a lovely reply from Sue and Philippa who I understand managed to obtain some funding to provide community education with my case examples.
What’s the one thing about you that would surprise other people?
I took classical singing lessons on and off for about 10 years as an adult as I love opera and musical theatre. I’m not that great at it though, because I never practised enough.