Episode 94 – From Glasow to Brisbane via Bosnia-when life in the law creates opportunities for happiness with Barrister John Selfridge
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing my good friend, Barrister John Selfridge. You will only have to hear a few seconds of this interview to work out John’s heritage. His beautiful Scottish accent will have you smiling but his fascinating career and life will get you thinking. Despite having known John for a good few years now, I learned so many things about him in this interview that I didn’t before know!
Having spent a number of years in the British Army before undertaking his law degree, John has many stories to tell and he did share with me a few entertaining annecdotes of his experience serving in Bosnia during the 90’s- an era that many of you will recall was filled with war and unrest in that region. John’s early life experience, coupled with his time in the military inspired his desire to be a lawyer (although he is very open in his wish that he could have pursued a career as a professional sportsperson instead if he really had his way in life!)
John and a group of Brisbane legal colleagues are heading off to Timor Leste in a few weeks time to undertake a trek to raise funds for the social enterprise ‘With One Seed’. John shared with me the origins of this enterprise and how he has come to be involved thanks to the work of Justice Colin Forrest of the Family Court who has been to Timor Leste a number of times now and has himself been assisting the ‘With one Seed’ project.
John is a lawyer like all of us but like all of my guests has a fascinating life story. Throughout this interview he shared many great insights on managing stress, keeping things in perspective and of course happiness that will be helpful for anyone in our profession. And as the regular star of my annual Pantomimes we found some space in our chat to talk all about the importance of a bit of fun (or perhaps pursuing your otherwise failed dreams!) in law land.
John Selfridge and I also spoke about:
- If he wasn’t a lawyer, John would have been a sports person or perhaps an actor… (He may have tried his hand at both!)
- Born in Glasgow, Scotland John shared some insights into his childhood. He is one of eight children and spent some time as a ward of the state after his Father left their family and his mother struggled to provide for her children. It is no surprise that this experience
- early in John’s life has in part fueled his passion for his work in the area of Child Protection.
- John joined the British Army in his late teens- we chatted about his experience serving as a soldier and how his experience in the military ultimately helped him to pursue his legal studies.
- John served in Bosnia during his time in the military and shared with me some of his memories of that time.
- I asked John how he found his way to Australia- it started with a trip out here way back in 1988 to play football (aka soccer for us!) That early trip had stuck with him and when he met his wife Therese, he convinced her to make the journey and they haven’t looked back since!
- John’s decision to transition to the Bar and his love of this role in the Law.
- The importance of health, family and relationships to building a great career but more importantly, to life.
- John’s upcoming treking adventure, (with around 100kms of track) with some of his legal colleagues, to Timor Leste to make a difference in the community. He is part of a plan to raise funds for the organisation ‘With One Seed’- a social enterprise that is (amongst other things) assisting local Timorese to build sustainable farming businesses through education and empowerment.
- The beauty of serving in the community and what John receives on a personal level.
- I encourage you to Donate to ‘With One Seed‘ Trek 18 to help John and our other colleagues reach their goal of $10,000.
- John’s Happiness Tip
Sit back and enjoy this interview with the entertaining and passionate Johnny Selfridge.
Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre- A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside
of the law.
Listen to last week’s episode here