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OUR PATRON

The Honourable Tony Fitzgerald AC QC

"I'm proud to be associated with the Grata Fund at this critical time for our democracy. Thanks to the Grata Fund, Australians are better able to hold politicians and corporate leaders accountable in court when they fail to adhere to basic principles of accountability and good governance."

Tony Fitzgerald is an iconic legal figure who, over the course of his distinguished career as a barrister and judge, has brought about significant reforms to standards of government accountability, transparency and adherence to the rule of law in Australia. He presided over the Fitzgerald Inquiry into corruption in Queensland’s police force and politics. He has been a Member of the Australian Law Reform Commission and was the Inaugural Chairman of the Queensland Litigation Reform Commission. Among his many governance positions, he was the Chairperson of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre and the Chairperson of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. He now practices in mediation, arbitration, and expert determinations in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, specialising in corporate and commercial law.

OUR BOARD

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The Honourable Marcia Neave AO

Director

The Hon. Marcia Neave AO has had a career as a judge, lawyer, academic and public policy maker. She is the Former Chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria.

From February 2015 to March 2016, she was the chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. That Royal Commission was entrusted with the task of making recommendations regarding the family violence support system and justice system in Victoria.

Prior to her role as Commissioner, for nine years she was a Justice of the Court of Appeal Division in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Ms Neave has held chairs at Adelaide University, Monash University and the Australian National University. She was also a visiting Professor on three occasions in New York University’s Law School’s Global Law Program. In 2006 she became the first academic in Victoria’s history to be appointed to the Court of Appeal.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1999, Ms Neave was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her services to the law, and in 2001, she was awarded the Centenary Medal.

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Jennifer Robinson

Director

Jen Robinson is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London with a broad practice in media law, public law and international law. She has appeared before the International Court of Justice, has given expert evidence at the UN and regularly engages with UN Special Mechanisms. Many of her cases and clients are high-profile and involve novel cross-jurisdictional and comparative law issues.

Jen has a particular focus on free speech and civil liberties, advising media organisations, journalists and whistleblowers and issues associated with journalist safety, unlawful detention and targetingHer recent international advisory work includes advising the UN Special Rapporteur in relation to the investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, acting for the International Federation of Journalists in relation to attacks on Palestinian journalists, and advising Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in relation to US extradition proceedings. 

She has committed part of her practice to climate change work, which has so far involved advising small island states on international law and climate, successfully challenging a sweeping anti-protest injunction to prevent protests against fracking and having the UK’s fracking policy declared unlawful on climate change grounds.

Before joining the UK Bar, Jen created the Bertha Justice Initiative, a global program to support strategic public interest and human rights litigation and educate the next generation of movement lawyers. Jen serves as a trustee of the Bureau for Investigative Journalism and on the advisory boards of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Bonavero Human Rights Institute at Oxford University.

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Deanne Weir

Chairperson

Deanne Weir is passionate about storytelling, change making and gender equality. A former media lawyer turned investor and company director, Deanne's company WeirAnderson.com invests in entrepreneurs and storytellers to help them change the world. 

Deanne is Chair of Ai-Media, a global provider of speech to text services, and Seer Data & Analytics, a technology start-up helping the social sector make better decisions through the use of data and insights.

Deanne also serves as Chair of the Sydney Film Festival, the Grata Fund, and Global Sisters, and as a Trustee at The Asia Foundation. Having served on the board of Screen Australia for 8 years, Deanne remains a member of its Gender Matters taskforce.

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Roxanne Moore

Director

Roxanne Moore is a Noongar woman and human rights lawyer from Margaret River in Western Australia. She is currently working as the Principal Advisor to Change the Record Coalition, and also for the National Peak body on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS). Previously, Roxanne was an Indigenous Rights Campaigner with Amnesty International Australia. Prior to this, Roxanne worked for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. She has worked as Principal Associate to the Hon Chief Justice Wayne Martin AC QC; as a commercial litigator; and has international experience with UNHCR Jordan and New York University’s Global Justice Clinic. Roxanne studied law at the University of WA, and completed an LLM (International Legal Studies) at NYU, specialising in human rights law, as a 2013 Fulbright Western Australian Scholar.

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Dr Peter Cashman

Director

Dr Peter Cashman is a barrister and an Adjunct Professor of Law at UNSW Law. He was previously Professor of Law and Director of the Social Justice Program at the University of Sydney Law School. He has practised in Australia, the UK and the United States, and holds a Law degree and a Diploma in Criminology from the University of Melbourne and an LLM and a PhD from the University of London.  

He has made significant contributions to law reform through his role as Commissioner with the Victorian Law Reform Commission in charge of the Civil Justice Review, and as a Commissioner with the Australian Law Reform Commission on its reference on class actions (jointly with Justice John Basten).

He was the founder and senior partner of Cashman & Partners, which merged to become Maurice Blackburn Cashman (now Maurice Blackburn Pty Ltd). He was the founding director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and more recently has served on the boards of PIAC and  the Public Interest Law Clearing House (now Justice Connect). In addition, he has authored many publications about social justice law, class actions and public interest litigation, including Class Action Law and Practice, The Federation Press, 2007.

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Scientia Professor George Williams AO

Director

George Williams AO is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and Assurance, Anthony Mason Professor and Scientia Professor at UNSW. He has served as Dean of UNSW Law and held an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship and visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Columbia University Law School in New York, and Durham University and University College London in the United Kingdom.

He has written and edited 37 books, including Australian Constitutional Law and Theory, The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia and Human Rights under the Australian Constitution. He has appeared as a barrister in the High Court in many cases over the past two decades, including on freedom of speech, freedom from racial discrimination and the rule of law. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji, including on the legality of the 2000 coup.

His experience in higher education includes serving as Chair of the Australian Laureate Fellowships Selection Advisory Committee for the Australian Research Council. He was an invited member of the inaugural ERA Research Evaluation Humanities and Creative Arts Committee. He also led a Centre of Excellence bid.

George is a well-known media commentator on legal issues. He has been a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times and an on-air analyst for ABC Television. He is currently a columnist for The Australian, and reviews science fiction and fantasy books for The Weekend Australian and The Bookshelf on ABC Radio National.

George was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011: ‘For distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator.’

 

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Simone Whetton

Director

Simone Whetton is a partner in the corporate team at Colin Biggers & Paisley. Simone's expertise is in corporate transactions and corporate advisory, with a focus on unlisted companies across key industry sectors including transport and logistics, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare, energy and resources and technology, telecommunications. Simone also advises in respect of outsourcing and procurement issues.

Simone is a fluent German speaker and acts for many German and foreign companies operating in Australia. She is a member of the Australian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Simone became partner at the legal practice in 2014.

 

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