Melinda Upton - Chair
Global Co-Chair, Intellectual Property & Technology, DLA Piper
Melinda Upton is a leading intellectual property lawyer and Global Co-Chair of Intellectual Property and Technology (IPT) at global law firm DLA Piper. The firm’s IPT practice group comprises over 500 lawyers across 25 countries.
Prior to this role, Melinda led the Australian business of DLA Piper as Co-Managing Partner, and also held the role of Head of Intellectual Property and Technology in Australia.
Melinda has extensive experience across all aspects of brand protection, exploitation and enforcement, both in Australia and globally. She has acted for domestic and global companies across a range of sectors including construction, retail, hospitality, real estate and technology. She has worked side by side with corporate, financial services and insolvency colleagues on transactions involving significant IP assets in the Asia, North American and European regions. Melinda regularly presents on protecting and maximising the value of brands, addressing issues such as trademark protection and enforcement, IP policy, corporate branding and rebranding strategies, marketing and advertising, social media, green marketing and other intellectual property issues. She has also acted extensively for a number of pro bono clients.
Melinda is a passionate advocate for workplace health and wellbeing in the legal profession. She established DLA Piper’s first bespoke mental health and wellbeing program called SPEAK, is a founding member of DLA Piper’s International Health & Wellbeing Steering Committee, and works tirelessly to raise awareness about mental ill health, and help drive positive change across our industry.
Melinda is also a strong advocate for the advancement of women to leadership positions. She is a champion of DLA Piper’s global Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW) initiative – a program designed to foster an environment of support, encouragement and shared insight for women, and to inspire our future leaders. Melinda served as Chair of LAW in Australia for a number of years.
When Melinda isn’t working, you’ll find her enjoying backyard cricket with her family and friends, on the tennis court or doing “the bay” with one of her running friends or gorgeous collie, Watson.
The Hon Justice Stephen Burley
Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
The Hon Justice Stephen Burley was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia on 23 May 2016.
His Honour graduated from the University of Sydney in Arts and Law and was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1987.
He was subsequently awarded a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in the United Kingdom. He was awarded an Associate in Music, Australia (AMusA) by the Australian Music Examinations Board in 1982.
Justice Burley practised at the Bar from 5 Wentworth Chambers, Sydney, from 1993 until 2016.
He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2007. Whilst at the Bar, his Honour practised in commercial law, specialising in patent, copyright, trademark, designs and confidential information cases.
Chief Legal Counsel, Canon Australia
David is the Chief Legal Counsel and Director, People & Finance at Canon Australia, after having worked in-house as a lawyer at Telstra for more than nineteen years. Prior to moving in-house, David worked in private practice for Mallesons Stephen Jaques, having started his legal career working for Mallesons in Taiwan. Outside of work, David is a fanatical photographer and one of the founders of the Laws of Creativity portrait project, exploring the role that creativity plays in the practice of law. David is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
David believes that factors such as globalization, technology and artificial intelligence are presenting profound disruptive challenges to the legal profession, that the profession will only be able to meet these challenges by delivering increased value to our clients and businesses in the form of insight, empathy and commercial opportunities, and that we can only deliver this increased value if we foster working environments where we and our people are able to operate at our mental peak.
Greg de Moore
Greg de Moore is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry based at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital. Greg works as a clinician, teacher and researcher in the fields of neuropsychiatry, general hospital psychiatry, deliberate self-harm and the history of medicine. He is currently Director of Clinical Services, Mental health, across the Western Sydney Local Health District. As a recent Director of Psychiatry Training, he oversaw the psychiatric education of young doctors as they worked towards becoming psychiatrists. Greg also works closely with Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW, and has a strong interest in assessing and managing the mental health of professional sporting men and women. He is affiliated with Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney.
Born in Melbourne of parents who migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka, Greg has lived in Sydney for over 30 years. Outside of the hospital he has combined his medical interests with Australian history to write and co-write four books:
- Tom Wills
- A National Game
- Finding Sanity: John Cade, lithium and the taming of bipolar disorder
- Australia’s Game
The book Tom Wills sprang from Greg’s study of suicide and was based on ten years of research unearthing original medical records, letters, text books and notes previously believed to have been lost or destroyed. This book won numerous awards and was short-listed for the National Biography Award. Greg has also written on the need to preserve psychiatric records as a precious storehouse of clinical and social history. Finding Sanity is the story of Australia’s greatest mental health achievement: the discovery of lithium for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Why Committed to the Foundation
My role with the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation offers me a great opportunity to educate and work with the legal profession to promote mental health issues within the profession and, more broadly, the general community.
Greg de Moore’s recent Minds Count publications/presentations:
Interview for Lawyers Weekly, 17 March 2023, ‘Aussie lawyers are (almost certainly) exhausted. What can be done?’
Panel Discussion: Managing your mental health in the legal profession and best practice for employers. Law Society of NSW, 22 February 2023.
Interview for mental health month, Kirrily Schwarz, Law Society Journal, October 2021. “Perfectionism” in the legal profession.
Wellness Daily podcast – Episode #50 Psychiatrists need mental health support too – 4 March 2020.
‘Asking for Help’, The Australian Corporate Lawyer, Vol 29, issue 2, Winter 2019.
Bench TV- Improving Mental Health and Resilience in Legal Practice – A personal reflection – Parts 1 & 2 – April 2019.
Podcast for ‘Off the Record’ for the Law Society Journal, Kate Allman, 15 March 2019. Burnout in the Legal Profession. Published 27 March 2019. https://player.fm/series/off-the-record-2430701/episode-3-burnout
Interview with Kate Allman, on alcohol and lawyers. Published as ‘One too many’ in Law Society Journal, September 2018.
Interview, ABC radio national, for ‘The Law Report’, by Damien Carrick, 11 July 2017 on mental health in the law focusing on the topic of vicarious trauma.
Interview, ABC radio, Australia, AM Programme, interviewed by Thomas Oriti, 16 May 2017, on mental health and the legal profession.
Interview by Jerome Doraisamy, Lawyers Weekly, on the topic of eating disorders in the legal profession. Published 19 April 2017, ‘Are eating disorders being forgotten in the fight for wellbeing?’
Managing Partner, Swaab
Mary Digiglio is the Managing Partner of Swaab, a mid-tier commercial law firm. In this role Mary leads by example, with an authentic leadership style and a focus on promoting and protecting the well-being of people in the legal profession, diversity in the workplace, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2019, Mary was recognized by Lawyers Weekly as the law firm partner Wellness Advocate of the Year.
Mary is an accredited Smart Collaboration Accelerator coach.
She is also the practice group leader of a dynamic team of property lawyers at Swaab, is a New South Wales Law Society accredited specialist in property law and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mary’s Board advisory and Committee roles include:
- being a director of the Minds Count (formerly Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation);
- being a member of the International Bar Association Wellbeing Taskforce
- being a member of the Women’s Leadership Council for Meritas; and
- being a director of the Cameron Brae Group, a family owned and operated property development business in Sydney’s south west and New South Wales’ south coast.
Mary Digiglio publications:
Bench TV- Improving Mental Health and Resilience in Legal Practice – A personal reflection – Part 2 – April 2019
Senior Associate, Ashurst Australia
Thomas Gaffney is a Senior Associate in Ashurst Australia’s Canberra Disputes team.
Thomas has been a director of the Foundation since April 2010 and its Treasurer since October 2012 . He was a member of the Foundation’s Working Party (now National Committee) from April 2010 to March 2016 and its chair from July 2014 to March 2016.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Thomas was the co-founder and co-ordinator of the Macquarie Law School Peer Assisted Learning Program (LAW PAL), which established a supportive community of practice, including pastoral and educational assistance, to law students
Why committed to TJMF
In January 2009, the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Institute released the ‘Courting the Blues’ report based on a nationwide survey commissioned by TJMF. The report found that the prevalence of mental ill-health in the legal profession was disproportionate to other professions and the population as a whole.
Immediately after the report was released, Thomas and his fellow Macquarie Law School students committed themselves to doing everything they could to ensure that their fellow students and friends would not be added to those statistics. From that commitment, Thomas and his fellow students devised and implemented the LAW PAL program, inclusive mentoring programs, and a student group committed to resilience, diversity and pastoral care.
On the back of his work on the LAW PAL program, Thomas was asked by Marie Jepson to join the Foundation’s board.
Thomas considers it an honour and a privilege to work with the Foundation on such a worthwhile cause.
Jerome Doraisamy is a former lawyer, having left legal practice after stints in commercial firms, academia and research, and a major federal government inquiry, to publish his first book, The Wellness Doctrines for Law Students and Young Lawyers, in October 2015. It peaked at #2 on iTunes and has been sold, in both paperback and eBook form, on all six continents. In May 2018, he published his second book, The Wellness Doctrines for High School Students, following which he spoke at the Melbourne Writers Festival and Somerset Storyfest.
He currently works as the editor for Lawyers Weekly.
Jerome is committed to Minds Count because he doesn’t want any legal professional, emerging or existing, to experience the stress, anxiety and depression that he did as a young lawyer. Having come out the other side stronger and with an improved sense of self, Jerome is motivated by sharing his own experiences with others and imparting wisdom about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to striking the right balance between the personal and professional in law.
In his spare time, Jerome is an active blogger, reader, podcast listener and cake baker, and also plays multiple team sports every week, including indoor soccer, touch football and mixed netball.
Desi Vlahos is an Australian lawyer and mentor of Practical Legal Training at Leo Cussen Centre for Law, Victoria.
She was admitted in 2005 and has practiced in mid-tier, suburban and private firms. In 2013, Desi completed a Graduate Diploma of Education with a focus on legal studies and literature. As a certified mental health first aid trainer, Desi is a strong advocate for mental health, the wellbeing of new lawyers and the profession as a whole.
Desi sat on the International Bar Association’s Wellbeing Taskforce charged with tackling the problem of poor mental health and in promoting working practices to help to improve wellbeing within the legal profession. She was recently appointed a commissioner on the newly established IBA Professional Wellbeing Commission and is also the APAC liaison for the IBA Academic and Professional Development Committee.
Desi operates a workplace consultancy Wellceum supporting legal and professional services integrate a longitudinal measurement system to manage psychosocial risk, comply with legislative duties and make visible social impact. Most notably, Desi was named Australia’s Lawyer’s Weekly Women in Law Wellness Advocate of the Year for 2021 and 2022.