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THEIR HONOURS HONOURED FOR QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY

Published date: Monday, 10 June 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

Today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list has recognised the contributions of some of NSW’s most outstanding jurists and lawyers, including a former long serving Director of Public Prosecutions and the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW.

Attorney General Mark Speakman congratulated everyone honoured with Orders of Australia today especially those who have given distinguished service to the NSW justice system.

“I’m particularly thrilled that the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW Dr Annabelle Bennett SC is named among the very few Australians to receive the highest available award, becoming a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC),” Mr Speakman said.

“The award recognises Dr Bennett’s enormous contribution to intellectual property law and higher education, including as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and an additional judge of the Supreme Court of the ACT. Dr Bennett is also leading the NSW Law Reform Commission’s work on modernising the way digital assets, like Facebook or Instagram accounts, are dealt with after death.”

Mr Speakman also welcomed the award of an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) to Professor Nicholas Cowdery QC who, since his retirement as Director of Public Prosecutions in 2011, has lent his expertise to Sydney University, the University of NSW and the University of Wollongong.

“For more than 16 years, Professor Cowdery contributed to the safety of our community by leading the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a fiercely independent Director.

“During this period convictions were achieved against backpacker murderer Ivan Milat, political assassin Phuong Ngo, the Skaf gang rapists and family killer Sef Gonzales,” Mr Speakman said.

Other prominent NSW legal figures to be honoured today include:

Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)

  • Acting NSW Judge of Appeal Hon Reginald Barrett;
  • Former NSW Land and Environment Court and Federal Court judge Hon Dennis Cowdroy QC;
  • Acting NSW Judge of Appeal Carolyn Simpson, for distinguished service to the law, and to the judiciary, particularly in the areas of criminal, defamation, administrative and industrial law.

Member in the Order of Australia (AM)

  • Legal author, former Public Defender, Acting District Court judge and Arbitrator of the Supreme Court of NSW James Glissan ESM QC, for significant service to the law in NSW;
  • Leader in the area of intellectual property law Peter Banki, for significant service to the legal profession and the community;
  • Former judge of the NSW Industrial Court and Industrial Relations Commission andpresently Supreme Court Justice Monika Schmidt, for services to the judiciary and industrial relations;
  • NSW District Court Judge Christopher O’Brien, for significant service to the law, and to the judiciary;
  • Alastair McEwin, for significant service to people with a disability, and as a human rights advocate.

Order of Australia Medal (OAM)

  • Former Principal Solicitor of the Redfern Legal Centre and community legal sector advocate Elizabeth Morley, for service to the law and to the community;
  • Lawyer Bruce Levet, for service to the law;
  • Lawyer Robin Speed, for service to the law.

“Each of these people has contributed much to our community, affirming the reputation of the NSW legal profession as the strongest in Australia. Today’s honours rightly recognise those in the profession who toil for the rights of others, administer justice and continue to set an example to which all young lawyers can aspire,” Mr Speakman said. 

Those named in today’s awards will receive their honours at investiture ceremonies at Government House in the coming months.