Melinda Upton - Chair

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

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.

David Field

David Field

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.

Greg de Moore

Greg de Moore

Board Member

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 recently stepped down as Director of Clinical Services, Mental health, across the Western Sydney Local Health District. Prior to this he was Director of Psychiatry Training, and 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. The book ‘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:

‘Pressing mental health issues in the legal profession’
The Law Society of NSW Council Planning Conference
Manly Pacific Hotel, 16 November 2023

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.

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?’

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

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

Desi Vlahos

Desi Vlahos is senior lecturer of the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian College of Applied Professions in partnership with the Law Institute of 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 is a commissioner on the IBA Professional Wellbeing Commission and the vice co-chair of 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 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Wellness Advocate of the Year for 2021 and 2022.

Margaret Cai

Margaret is a lawyer in the Competition team at King & Wood Mallesons. She was admitted in 2021 after graduating from the University of Technology Sydney in 2020 with the university medal in Law.

Margaret is passionate about psychological safety and wellbeing in the legal profession. She is currently a representative on the Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia’s Early in Careers Committee and a member of the UTS Law Advisory Board.

Margaret was also previously the President of the Australian Law Students’ Association, where she oversaw its partnerships with the industry and promotion of initiatives focused on mental health, bullying and sexual harassment.

Angela Sharpe

Angela Sharpe

Angela Sharpe is the Head of People and Culture of Swaab, a mid-tier commercial law firm. Working in human resources for twenty years, Angela’s experience spans across a broad range of industries including not for profit, legal, local government and information management services. Angela brings a pragmatic approach to the table, helping organisations and leaders implement and manage practical and meaningful wellbeing and mental health strategies in the workplace.

An authentic leader, Angela is particularly passionate about promoting the importance of truly understanding mental health in the legal profession and supporting those experiencing mental health issues to be successful in their careers. 

Angela’s Board advisory and Committee roles include:

  • being a director of the Minds Count Foundation (formerly Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation).
  • being an executive committee member of Bankstown City Netball Association in the role of Representative Co-ordinator.

In her spare time, Angela is committed to volunteering at several community sporting organisations and enjoys tending to her children’s sporting endeavours whether it be netball, basketball or swimming.