On Friday 22 May, Madgwicks Lawyers hosted clients and a panel of AFL industry legends at Etihad Stadium for a charity luncheon, successfully raising funds for beyondblue.

Chaired by prominent AFL commentator, David Galbally AM QC, the panel featured retired Richmond FC legend and AFL’s All Australian selection committee member, Matthew Richardson, renowned AFL player advocate Iain Findlay and Sydney Swans Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Ireland, in discussion on current issues facing the AFL industry and their career experiences.

In addition to the panel, beyondblue ambassador, Sean Towner, presented on the impact of mental health issues on individuals and communities, and highlighted the social stigmas surrounding depression, including his own personal experience.

Towner commented that guests at the event, which included a range of senior members from a broad range of industries and professions, were “most engaged and receptive to beyondblue’s messages.”

When put to the panel for discussion, Galbally and Ireland reinforced the message, Ireland suggesting mental health and depression is “the biggest issue in AFL footy today”, noting for this reason Sydney FC has appointed a clinical psychologist rather than a pure sports psychologist. Richardson also highlighted the particular void around the ongoing support needed for delisted players as they embarked on a life after football.

The panel covered a broad range of topics including the recent WADA intervention and the issue of drugs in sport, the future of AFL and its potential expansion. Richardson, Findlay and Ireland also shared entertaining stories from their respective careers on and off the field.

Net proceeds from the event ticket sales amounted to approximately $5000. This donation was further bolstered by Iain Findlay’s generous donation of a round of golf at the prestigious Victoria Golf Club, which raised an additional $1400 by auction at the conclusion of the event.

Madgwicks’ Partner, Peter Kennedy, noted that “in addition to being Madgwicks’ Charity of the Year, beyondblue is particularly relevant to the legal community more broadly given the high rate of depression among lawyers.” He further commented, “It was a fantastic event in support of a worthy cause, and we can’t thank our speakers enough for kindly donating their time to make this event a success.”

Madgwicks was also supported by ticketing sponsor, Floktu, an Australian online registration and ticketing platform provider.

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beyondblue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in Australia and to reduce the associated stigma. For more information about beyondblue please see their website: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/about-us 

Madgwicks is a Melbourne-based commercial law firm with more than 40 lawyers and 100 staff. Madgwicks’ lawyers are highly experienced legal professionals, providing outcome focused legal solutions for organisations and individuals.

As a driving member of Meritas (one of the world’s largest international affiliations of independent law firms) in the Australian/New Zealand region, Madgwicks can also provide clients with access to over 6900 lawyers in 176 firms in 80 countries.

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