Issue 6, Semester 2
Content warning: Mental Health, Depression.
The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, in the process of rebranding itself ‘Minds Count’, plays an important role in championing better work place conditions for those in the legal profession when it comes to mental health.
With awareness comes greater understanding; 50% of law students, 33% of solicitors, and 20% of barristers reporting that they have experienced depression. That understanding, that the “mental health of every individual counts,” is paramount to ensuring that every effort is made to “embed sound mental health and wellness practices” in what will soon be your places of work.
This cause hits particularly close to home to those studying or practicing Law. For this reason, supporting an organization that strives to improve conditions makes good sense.
For 41 years the University of Melbourne Law School has produced an annual comedy sketch show, the Law Revue. The Law Revue, as quid pro quo, is keen to support the legal profession and has sought to give back in a meaningful way.
Over the last few years the Law Revue has donated a percentage of profits derived from tickets sales to TJFM. In 2017 the Law Revue raised $3,561 (in 2015, $4,956) for the charity and this is down to the support of the University community who come loyally, on mass, every year to see the show.
Participation in the arts has had a demonstrable effect on mental health and wellbeing and the LSS should be proud of enabling this activity. Every year a new cohort of 10 talented student actors, writers and comedians are selected. It has been a pleasure to watch as this little community strengthens, as friendships grow and talented creatives find a rewarding artistic outlet.
The demands of a post graduate course, coupled with part time work, has often meant that the show is no longer entirely populated by those aspiring to practice law (although there are of course still law students in the cast and ¾ of the production team are studying the JD). However, the Law Revue has always drawn from students across the faculties (and non-students) and this cross disciplinary mingling, I believe, provides a good window into the world outside the JD. That the LSS has kept the program running is a credit to the LSS leadership’s broad minded and outward looking attitude. The LSS should feel a great sense of pride and ownership in the Revue.
The Law Revue is a wonderful opportunity for budding comedians. For the performers it is the chance to be part of a tight knit family. The mentorship program, supported by the Vizard Foundation, provides top entertainment industry professionals as mentors. In the last few years alone cast members have been invited to audition for Neighbours, invited to New York to perform, joined Working Dog, joined the Mad as Hell writing team, have been accelerated into production companies to perform at the Fringe and Comedy festivals and asked to produce and perform for the Melbourne Shakespeare Company. That opportunity in student theatre is unrivalled.
The power in the Revue is that it remains relevant and continues to evolve. The Revue provides a platform for critique and satire. It is a stage through which to challenge attitudes, inspire change and protest in a way only art can. And it is fun. The Law Revue seeks to promote student theatre, entertain audiences and raise money for this worthwhile cause. If you haven’t seen a sketch comedy show, this isn’t a bad place to start.
If you were lining up a fun run as your next charitable venture, I recommend pairing it with this show, which we promise, involves a lot less sweating and running and more laughter, drinks and sitting down. It’s performed at the Guild Theatre at Union House on campus from the 30th of August until the 8th of September at 19:30.
The Law Revue is proud to be able to help the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation by donating a percentage of the proceeds raised to help raise awareness of depression and mental illness in the legal workplace.
We ask for your support to continue this work.
Click here [https://chook.as/law-revue/2018] to buy a ticket.
I encourage you also to visit the TJMF website and to seek help if you feel you may need or desire it.
The Melbourne University Law Revue is proudly supported by the UoM Theatre Board, Melbourne University Law Students Society, Vizard Foundation, and Norton Rose Fulbright.