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Parting is such sweet sorrow

Michael Chesterman
Michael Chesterman June 22, 2022

A valued and loved member of the Helix family is leaving and boy, are we going to celebrate her awesomeness!!

An integral member of the Helix family, Teresa Allison (affectionately ‘T’) has decided to explore life options outside of being a lawyer.  All of us could not be more excited to support her in her next adventure. The world is her oyster and we all want to see her kick ass!

I have no doubt that she certainly has ‘put down a marker’ in making this decision, and all power to her. This saying means:

“to do something that shows people what you are capable of, or what you intend to do in the future”.

I always tell our young Helix chargers to walk tall and be brave. This is exactly what she is doing and I could not be prouder of her.

Will we miss her friendship? So much.

From a selfish business perspective, would we prefer her to stay? Absolutely!

Are we going to sulk? Certainly not.

Are we going to celebrate everything she has done for us and the new and exciting stage of her life she is about to charge headlong into? You bet. That is the Helix way!

T along with her two other Helix humans, Johanna Cardona and Emily Taylor has featured in two previous articles of mine, namely:

A spotlight on Helix humans

Helix Humans are the best

I could go on and on about all the personal traits I appreciate about T, but my absolute favourite thing I have ever seen her do happens to be my very first encounter with her, be it by video. She came along to an event we were running essentially pitching for a job. There, she agreed to do a ‘one hot minute’ never having previously met any of us. When I saw this video a week or so after this event, I was 100% sold on her.  As they say, the rest is history.


Let’s enjoy this one more time T!

Let’s hear from some of her Helix Humans

Janelle Kerrisk

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

T – You are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your soul.

I have been extremely fortunate to work with wonderful people throughout my career.  Some of whom are friends that I have had for nearly 2 decades, and the majority of whom, if they called me tomorrow and said they needed my help, I would be there in a heartbeat.

In my early career as a partner, I was told it was not a good idea for me to be “friends with the staff”.  Now I lead a firm where if we would not choose to be friends with the person, we will not ever invite them in.

That makes saying goodbye to Teresa all the sadder.  Teresa is an extraordinarily capable human who has enriched my workdays and given our clients her very best every time, but that is the minimum benchmark to work at Helix….This is not even close to what makes her special.

Teresa is meticulous, eloquent, organised, reasoned, intelligent and brave.  She loves Metallica and hard spirits, she has a strong moral compass with no propensity for judgement, she sings like a pop star and runs like the wind, she is just as comfortable in heels and 400 Co and she is in Helix T and Jeans! Here are some pics of T being a 400 Co supermodel/lawyer:

Teresa is so much more than a billing widget in a law firm and she leaves Helix all the better for an investment of her time, intelligence and passion.

Thank you, Teresa, for choosing to spend your precious time with us at Helix.  Thank you for making Helix better, thank you for bringing all your *Ducks to work with you every day.   We all wish you every success in your next adventure.  The door will always be open for you.

I know now because I am old and I’ve been around the legal block a few times, that the key to a successful career is to fill your work world with people that you respect, that bring you joy, who you admire, who you enjoy spending time with, who you are proud to know.  Happy adventures and see you soon.

Dayna Gilbert

It seems crazy that I have worked in the legal industry for 26 years and 6 of those have been developing the world of Helix.

It is an absolute rarity in law to find people that you connect with on a work and personal level. Whilst some workplaces frown upon those personal relationships, I will never apologise for who I am and what friendships I make during my working career. Some of my current colleagues I have worked with for 14 and 18 years. I have worked with T for nearly 3 years, and it feels like I have known her just as long. The impact she has had on me is beyond measure.

Embrace your team mates, lift them up, teach them all the things you wish others would have taught you, respect them, guide them and ask them if they are OK. This is what T does for Helix.

Since creating Helix, a saying I live by and carry with me every day…

“Building a better life, one step at a time”

I admire your strength and courage T to not wait 20 years to decide you want to try doing something different.  You are completely unaware of how exceptional you are which is why I respect you so much. T is an old soul, she works hard and plays even harder, she cares deeply for others, and she shares her time helping others be the best they can be whether it’s at work or personally.

T has been an integral part of the Helix team and has assisted me greatly in the development of the Helix Legal Group. T is a very talented and determined young lady who I am blessed to have worked with and learnt a lot from during the last few years. Teaching this old girl new tricks and ways of doing things has to be a win 😊.

I am going to miss seeing you every day but you will always be part of the Helix family.

Emily Taylor

T, I wasn’t sure where to start writing my message to you so I decided to make you this wordcloud with all of the qualities that I think best describe you.

Since we started at Helix together, I have always looked up to you as a role model. You are a hard working, intelligent, incredibly organised, inquisitive effortlessly cool and totally yourself. It has been inspiring to see you grow into the confident and very capable “young professional” you are over the past three years.

Thank you for always being generous with your time to teach us new skills, new quick hacks, explain what you’re working on, and to listen and have a chat (and really anything at all!).

You have been an incredible colleague and will always be a treasured friend. I wish you nothing but the best wherever your journey takes you.

P.S I forgot to include “foodie” and “gilet hunter” in the wordcloud.

T and the team!

Johanna Cardona

T, the second you walked into Helix I couldn’t imagine what Helix was like before you came and now can’t imagine what it will be like without you!

I have always looked up to you and admired your work. You have not only taught me so much about how the law works and tips and tricks to get things done but also taught me so much about what kind of person I want to be. Someone who encourages others to give things a crack and try their best, someone who always offers a helping hand no matter what else they have on, and someone who always listens with an open heart and without judgement.

You are the most brilliant, kind, generous, hard-working and beautiful person inside and out and I could not be more grateful to have worked with you and to have you in my life as one of my dearest friends.

As sad as I am to see you go, I am beyond proud of you for taking this huge step in your career and I cannot wait to see what is in store for you next. I wish you nothing but the absolute best and have no doubt that you will kick ass in your next adventure.

Sophie Port 

As much as  I have only known you for a short time T, you are the kind of person that leaves the biggest impact. I look back to when I started at Helix, I was so nervous and the imposter syndrome was real haha, but you welcomed me with nothing but support, kindness, honesty and the most helpful tips. I am beyond grateful for you taking me under your wing and for your willingness to teach me all that you know. Your patience and generosity never went unnoticed.

You taught me to give things a go and to always be forward looking, not only in work but in life as well. You have shown me the ropes when it comes to navigating the legal industry as a young professional, and I plan to take your advice with me everywhere I go. I am beyond proud of you for taking this leap and for showing us that listening to your heart is one of the most important things we can do. No matter where you end up, I know you will be amazing and we will be rooting for you always.

Laura King

It is unsurprising to me that T is about to forge her own path.  From day one, I could tell she is what I like to call a “slashie” – a lawyer/something else.  We have a lot of them at Helix: Lawyer/Fashion Designer, Lawyer/Boss, Lawyer/Triathlete, and the list goes on.

T is truly special in what she has to offer.  Always a well-reasoned approach that takes into account the “outside the box” factors too.  She will be missed but she will always be Helix at heart.  All the best T, be seeing you.

Jonathan Miliszewski

I think out of everyone at Helix I will miss Teresa the most.  She’s been a great teammate and I have been very lucky to have her by my side over the last few years. I’m gutted to see her leave but I have a lot of respect for her in making a decision to pursue something completely different in a completely different city – no doubt she will thrive. Thanks for everything T!


Final thoughts.

I believe that the most significant and revealing aspect of any business is its demonstrated commitment to one issue. Do they unconditionally put the welfare, well-being and prosperity of their people at the centre of everything they do? For me, they have to be able to demonstrate that they ‘walk the talk’. Nice platitudes do not cut it.

I remain amazed that businesses still these days seek to restrictively ‘bend their people’ into a shape they think is best for the business.

One size fits and let’s not worry about the crushing of individuality and uniqueness of the people that can be heard through the corridors or offices of such businesses.

There certainly has to be a very broad vision and purpose of the business, with applicable strategies, reporting outcomes and appropriate delegated responsibilities but that is about it. In my view, it then becomes a matter for the business to assist their humans in maximising their unique skills and abilities within these broad parameters. The businesses humans benefit by growing and potentially discovering skills and abilities they never knew they possessed and the business becomes outcomes-focused per its aligned purpose.

What has this got to do with T?

Well, as a vital, integral member of our Helix team, this was the philosophy she enjoyed working under for the past several years. We are a work in progress in establishing Helix with our humans at the centre of all we do. I am very proud of what we have achieved in this regard but we are always looking to do better.

However, the other day, after I had a moment of sadness about her leaving (or was it selfish arrrrrrrrr!!), I messaged her along those lines.  T responded with these words:

“Thanks so much for being such amazing support. Everyone was so great today which just speaks to the Helix family ️ You’re mentorship and friendship have been so pivotal in my confidence and development as a professional. Looking forward to many more years of friendship!”


The fact of the matter is we have been great for T and she has been great for us.

Time to celebrate T’s awesomeness!!

Not intended as legal advice. Read full disclaimer.
Michael Chesterman
Michael Chesterman June 22, 2022

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