December 2021


From left to right: Kim attacks the foliage in her Yarra Valley garden, Kim and her son Tom, The Bradey bunch – Kim, Steve, Tom and Paul, Kim and Steve.

Country property provides relief from work rigours

Covid-19 lockdowns can have some unlikely benefits.

For new AILA life member, Melbourne barrister Kim Bradey, the pivot to remote court appearances has enabled her to spend more time at her 2.5ha Upper Yarra Valley property.

In contrast to pre-Covid-19 workdays, Kim now has the flexibility to work from her chambers, her Melbourne home, or the property. There, you’ll find her on the ride-on mower, tending the rose gardens, pruning camelias, picking fruit in the orchard, or weeding the veggie patch.

“I love it,” she told Resolve. “It’s a great relief from the intellectual intensity of my day job.”

Another big fan of the property, 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, is the family dog Murphy. He loves exploring across the land that’s shared with wombats, wallabies and deer.

Pinnacle of practice

Kim joined the Bar in 2013, seeking new career challenges after many years with high-profile law firms. “It’s the pinnacle of legal practice and I wanted to be there,” she said. Kim’s work is mainly personal injury litigation, including asbestos, historical sexual abuse, public liability and workers’ compensation claims.

She says the change was challenging but rewarding, with its focus on high-level legal work and analysis. It’s a demanding, time-intensive job, but “a thrill to work with some of Victoria’s leading legal minds”. She admires her colleagues’ intelligence and their fearlessness to stand up and advocate for others.

Kim joined AILA in 1997 to broaden her education in insurance law and network with others in her field. She soon realised she wanted to be involved at a deeper level, so applied to join the AILA Victoria committee, where she served for 21 years.

Keen to help steer AILA’s national strategic direction, she became a director in 2001 and served on the National Board for 18 years, including 11 as secretary and two as acting treasurer.

Lifelong friends

“Over my decades of involvement with AILA, I have valued the opportunity to be part of a national organisation and made many lifelong friends throughout Australia and internationally,” Kim told Resolve.

“I look forward every year to attending the National Conference and reigniting acquaintances and friendships in a collegiate, convivial atmosphere.” Kim was a member of the organising committee for the last three Victorian conferences, in 2002, 2009 and 2015.

She says AILA membership is now more important than ever. “In a post-Covid-19 world, AILA provides remote learning and networking opportunities, and enables the continued exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge, even when members cannot spend time with colleagues in a face-to-face environment.

“AILA provides this service on a not-for-profit basis, lowering the financial hurdles otherwise associated with online education. Through its extensive network, AILA can access highly experienced speakers across a broad range of subjects.

“I encourage everyone to become as involved as they can with AILA, as the rewards are many and on so many different levels.”

Intense career

Kim and her partner Steve, a former professor of biochemistry at Monash University, have a nine-year-old son, Tom, and is stepmother to Steve’s son Paul, 20. Kim greatly appreciates Steve’s support, saying: “I couldn’t do what I do without him.” He stepped down from his academic role after Tom’s birth to enable Kim to focus on her intense and successful career.

When Resolve last profiled Kim, in August 2003, she was learning French, having become enamoured with the language after a Noumean holiday.

And she’s still loves everything about the country, the people and the language. Regional France, with its fresh food markets, and relaxed, simple lifestyle, is a greater attraction than the cities.
No doubt France will be on top of the holiday list, once borders re-open and the family can be assured of an easy return to Australia.

Kim shared few secrets in her last profile, but this time grudgingly admitted the thing she would never give up is chocolate – a passion likely shared by many AILA-NZILA members.

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Resolve is the official publication of the Australian Insurance Law Association and
the New Zealand Insurance Law Association.