Let’s talk about grief: Covid-19 and loss

"What Are We Not Talking About?" is a free series of virtual lunchtime chats, hosted by the ACT Law Society’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee, about the elephant in the room — how do we go about achieving an inclusive and diverse legal profession? Every month, a new speaker will introduce a topic and lead a discussion with participants. These informal webchats will also be an opportunity for legal professionals and law students who are interested in inclusion and diversity issues to connect with like-minded peers.

Many people in the legal profession – from multinational firms to locally based legal assistance services – continue to have their lives and work affected by Covid-19. For many, the pandemic has given rise to both individual and collective grief. Grief, and even anticipatory grief, for loved ones and communities here and overseas. Alongside this, perhaps you have found yourself grieving for the ‘old ways of working’, in-person conversations with colleagues and clients, or now uncertain future career plans?

The aim of this webinar, led by Chantel Cotterell, is to create a space for, and to normalise talking about, grief in the context of Covid-19. Along with creating a space to share experiences, this webinar will discuss different understandings of and stages of grief and how ultimately, like the pandemic, grief is not a linear process with a clear end date.

Chantel Cotterell has worked in a range of policy, project and research roles across the not-for-profit sector and federal and state governments, having studied social work and law. Chantel will soon be commencing a PhD on the intersection of outer space and intellectual property laws. Chantel is also a photographer who uses the visual arts to engage with and promote community. A key initiative has been an arts project that captures the changing built environment and reactivation of community hubs on the Central Coast of New South Wales, where Chantel hosts walking tours with the community. Chantel has a particular interest in the topic of grief drawing on her own experiences and background in social work and aged care, and is currently working on a podcast on the topic, titled ‘Let’s talk about grief’.

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