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Government Lawyers Conference

Government Lawyers Conference

Date & TimeFriday 18 June 2021 9am–5pm
Format Webinar
Price

Member

$495.00

Non-Member

$650.00

CPD Units 6
  • Ethics & Professional Responsibility
  • Professional Skills
  • Practice Management & Business Skills
  • Substantive Law
Venue Online, Digital Delivery View Map

Exclusive LIV Member Early Bird Price: 
Register for $360 when you book online by 4 June*

Using law to drive positive change

From the adaptive COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 to the long-term legislative changes occurring this year, the pandemic has served as a catalyst for government transformation. As we emerge from a reactive state, the 2021 conference program examines the need for public sector reforms to shape a more citizen-centred sustainable future.

This year's program opens with a keynote address by Victoria’s Attorney-General the Honourable Jaclyn Symes and covers a range of topical issues, from key takeaways from the mental health royal commission to the practicalities of remote work as a government lawyer. 

Further details below.

Program Overview

  • WEBINAR | Government Lawyers Conference - Friday 18 Jun
    • 8:50 AM Webinar Launch
      The webinar will launch ten minutes before the event begins. It is recommended that you log in a few minutes early to test your settings and familiarise yourself with webinar features.
    • 9:00 AM Conference Opening & Welcome
    • 9:05 AM Keynote Address – Reimagining How the Public Service Works

      2020 brought into sharp focus the importance of a strong, resilient and agile public sector and called for innovation and flexibility.

      As governments tackle the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, public sector leaders face new challenges as they focus on building the sector’s capabilities to respond effectively to short- and long-term issues and opportunities.

      In this keynote session, Victoria’s recently appointed Attorney General will provide insights into the public sector’s response to shaping Victoria’s "new normal" and what that means for legal practitioners working in government.

      Keynote: The Honourable Jaclyn Symes, Victorian Attorney-General

      Compliance area: Practice Management & Business Skills

    • 9:40 AM Omnibus Impact: A permanent shift?

      Around the country, the boundaries between governments and their departments were eroded last year as organisations were forced to work together, led by cross-governmental taskforces and supporting omnibus legislation. Accelerating several existing trends, public servants adapted to working remotely and digital service delivery became the name of the game. But which of these changes will stay and which can we expect to leave behind in a post pandemic world?

      Join our expert panellists as they explore the impact of the changes wrought by COVID-19 to the procedures and operating models of government agencies. Topics covered include:

      • Reviewing the aftermath of COVID-19 related change across each agency – what worked well, what didn’t and common themes
      • Technological developments and other business process changes brought forward due to the pandemic
      • How the changes to government policy and processes over last year will inform permanent change

      This session will incorporate a Q&A component where you will have the opportunity to ask the panellists questions about these issues and discuss your experiences.

      Panellists:

      • ACCC Representative – TBC
      • VCAT representative – TBC
      • Fair Work Commission Representative – Vice President Catanzariti AM, Fair Work Commission

      Moderator: Vanessa Twigg, Principal Legal Adviser, Victorian Ombudsman

      Compliance area: Substantive Law/Practice Management & Business Skills

    • 10:25 AM Morning Tea Break
    • 10:40 AM Privacy & Procurement: The statutory framework, what can go wrong and tips for getting it right

      In 2019–20, the Victorian Government Purchasing Board reported procurement contract approvals valued at over $1.9 million across eight Victorian Government departments, Victoria Police and Cenitex.

      With the move to digital service delivery for many government agencies over the past year, it is unsurprising that many of these contract approvals related to digital products and services. In this context and the broader government focus on enhancing digital capability, it is essential that practitioners understand the potential privacy, information handling and data management issues that may arise through the purchase and integration of these products through procurement processes and how to effectively navigate through them through the procurement process.

      This practical session will enhance your understanding of key issues in this area including:

      • Offshoring provisions in Software as a Service and professional services/support agreements including in the context of transborder data flows and grounds under which personal information may be transferred
      • Perspectives on the application of IPP 9, particularly in jurisdictions like the US that have a variety of differing standards of privacy law and the EU GDPR

      Speakers:
      • Sven Bluemmel, Information Commissioner, OVIC
      • Bryan Wee, General Counsel, OVIC

      Compliance area: Substantive Law

    • 11:40 AM Wellbeing Break
    • 11:45 AM The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System: What public sector lawyers need to know

      One in five Victorians will experience mental illness each year, and almost half of Victorians will experience mental illness during their life. Despite the number of people who experience mental illness in Victoria, only about half receive treatment.

      The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System delivered its final report in March this year, describing “catastrophic failings” in the system including over-reliance on medication, compulsory treatment and acute care. Delivering 65 recommendations across a 3000-page report, the report urges a transformation of Victoria’s current mental health system and puts the perspectives of people with lived experience of mental illness at the centre of service design and delivery. 

      This insightful session will take you through the key recommendations of the report, the reforms to come and what they mean for government lawyers.

      Speaker: TBA

      Compliance area: Practice Management & Business Skills

    • 12:45 PM Lunch Break
    • 1:30 PM How to Flex Flexible Working

      The introduction of the new Victorian Public Service Flexible Work Policy in March 2021 is designed to normalise flexible work in Victorian Public Service workplaces and contemplates wider and systematic change to how public sector employees do their work.

      In this thought-provoking session, hear our panel of experts discuss the journey they and their agencies have been on whilst embedding a flexible work culture during COVID-19 following the introduction of the new policy. The panel will also share their insights on effective strategies you can adapt for your team as you navigate flexible work in the public sector.

      Topics covered include:

      • Management styles and approaches with a team working flexibly
      • Wellbeing and flexible work 
      • Remote supervision of junior practitioners
      • Diversity and inclusion in the context of a flexible workforce
      • The future of flexible work in the public sector

      This session will incorporate a Q&A component where you will have the opportunity to ask the panellists questions about these issues and discuss your experiences.

      Panellists:

      • Danielle Taske, Director, WorkSafe Victoria
      • Frances Anderson, Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor
      • TBA

      Moderator: Veronica Belot, Principal Solicitor, VGSO

      Compliance area: Practice Management & Business Skills

    • 2:30 PM Short Break
    • 2:40 PM Bridging the Gap: First Nations cultural awareness for government lawyers

      When working with First Nations people and communities, lawyers need to be mindful of how their unique historical and social circumstances may impact understanding of, and attitudes towards, both the justice system generally and those who operate within it.

      This insightful session will provide a valuable opportunity for government lawyers to enhance their understanding of cultural competence as it relates to First Nations people to improve their practice and facilitate better outcomes for First Nations clients.

      Speakers:

      • TBC

      Compliance area: Professional Skills

    • 3:40 PM Afternoon Tea Break
    • 3:50 PM Ethics in Practice

      Reflecting on experience in the public sector, former Victorian Chief Justice The Hon Marilyn Warren AC once commented, “government lawyers are advisers to the government but not part of it. The role is fundamental to the rule of law…The role of the government lawyer is to provide strong, sometimes courageous, accurate and independent legal advice.”

      In this session, the LIV’s Michael Dolan will facilitate a highly interactive discussion with attendees about the role of a government lawyer through a selection of challenging ethical issues which can arise in the course of day-to day work.

      Topics for discussion will include a practitioner’s duty to the court and administration of justice, maintaining integrity and independence, protecting client legal privilege, avoiding conflict of interest, and what it means to be a model litigant.

      Speaker: Michael Dolan, Special Counsel, Ethics and Professional Practice, Law Institute of Victoria

      Compliance area: Ethics & Professional Responsibility

    • 4:50 PM Conference Close

Further Details

  • Full Description

    Theme: Using Law to Drive Positive Change

    From the adaptive COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 to the long-term legislative changes occurring this year, the pandemic has served as a catalyst for government transformation. As we emerge from a reactive state, the 2021 conference program examines the need for public sector reforms to shape a more citizen-centred sustainable future.

    This year's program will open with an address by Victoria’s Attorney-General, the Honourable Jaclyn Symes, and will cover topical issues including how government policy and procedure as a result of the pandemic will inform permanent change, key takeaways from the mental health royal commission as well as the practicalities of remote work as a government lawyer. 

    Hear from experts in the field and interact with them along with fellow colleagues from a range of government departments through an interactive digital platform. Whether you work in federal, state or local jurisdictions, or practice in-house with government-funded corporations and universities, there is something in this program for everyone.

    Topics include:

    • Privacy and government contracting: the statutory framework, what can go wrong and tips for getting it right
    • How to flex flexible working
    • Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system: what public sector lawyers need to know
    • Cultural competence
    • Ethical dilemmas in the evolving government sector landscape

    Virtual Conference Inclusions

    • Opportunities to ask questions and interact with presenters and other attendees via polls and digital Q&As
    • Short breaks following most speakers so you can take a break from the screen, get up and stretch your legs
    • Supplementary reading material, including PowerPoint presentations used by speakers emailed to all registrants following the conference
    • Complimentary recording of the conference

     

  • Presenters

    Keynote:

    The Honourable Jaclyn Symes, Victorian Attorney-General

     

    Confirmed speakers:

    Joe Catanzariti, Vice President, Fair Work Commission

    Sven Bluemmel, Information Commissioner, Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

    Bryan Wee, General Counsel, Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

    Danielle Taske, Director, WorkSafe Victoria

    Frances Anderson, Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor

    Michael Dolan, Special Counsel, Ethics and Professional Practice, Law Institute of Victoria

     

    Additional speakers to be announced soon.

  • Registration, Pricing & Webinar Information

    Registration Details

    Online registrations close 24 hours before this event begins. If you would like to book after online registration has closed, please contact the events team on phone 03 9607 9473 or email register@liv.asn.au.

    *Full Pricing Details

    Standard member Early Bird price: $360
    Standard member price: $495
    Accredited Specialist/Young Lawyer/CLC/Tarwirri member price: $338 (exempt from Early Bird offer)
    Non-member price: $650

    Webinar Details

    LIV webinars offer an interactive learning experience – wherever you are, from any device – and are run through Zoom. Register as you would any of our other in-person education and we’ll send you the webinar link and log in details the day before the event date.

    Please Note: Instructions are sent to the primary email address linked to your LIV account. If you do not receive an email from us, check the contact details in your LIV profile to confirm the correct email. If you have not received instructions from us within an hour of the event, please contact the events team at register@liv.asn.au or 03 9607 9473.

    For additional information on LIV webinars, see our Frequently Asked Questions.