"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.
Executive Director and Founder
Isabelle Reinecke is the Executive Director and Founder of the Grata Fund. Before joining Grata full time, Isabelle was Director of Legal and Governance and Company Secretary of GetUp, Australia's largest campaigning community, where she worked to build the Grata Fund from 2014.
Isabelle started her career as a lawyer at Clayton Utz, where she specialised in corporate law and was deeply involved in their pro bono program, working with Aboriginal communities in the East Kimberley to secure compensation for stolen wages.
In 2015, she was nominated for a Walkley Award for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs and was a finalist in the United Nations of Australia Media Peace Awards for the Promotion of Indigenous Recognition Award. She has served as board member for the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre in Sydney and was Chair of the Grata Fund until stepping into a more hands on role in 2016.
Isabelle is a 2016 Churchill Fellow and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the Australian National University, where she was awarded the Dean's Certificate Prize for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
Head of Strategic Litigation Development
Lou Dargan is a human rights lawyer and advocate with experience working for reproductive justice in the US, transitional justice and victims' rights in Sri Lanka, and exposing child abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia.
Before joining the Grata Fund, Lou worked for the South Asian Centre for Legal Studies (SACLS) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she worked to ensure victims of the Sri Lankan civil war receive reparations for human rights abuses suffered during the conflict. Before moving to Sri Lanka, Lou completed an LLM at NYU, where she was an International Law and Human Rights Fellow. At NYU, Lou was a member of the Reproductive Justice Clinic, where she advocated for the rights of pregnant and parenting women.
Previously, Lou was a senior lawyer at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, working on cases which exposed repeated failures by Catholic Church leaders to deal with abuse. Lou is also an experienced commercial lawyer, having worked for Clayton Utz in their litigation and international arbitration practice, before turning her focus to human rights work.
Lou was tipstaff to Chief Justice Allsop in 2011 and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts with a politics major from Macquarie University. She received the University Medal in law and was ranked first in her graduating law class.
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.
Jen Robinson has a broad practice in media law, public law and international law. She has advised individual and state clients in international law and has given expert evidence at the UN and in the UK Parliament. Jen has a particular focus on free speech and civil liberties, advising media organisations, journalists and whistleblowers on all aspects of media law, including defamation, privacy, contempt, freedom of information, national security and reporting restrictions.
Many of her cases and clients are high-profile and involve novel cross-jurisdictional and comparative law issues. For example, recent cases include acting for the BBC World Service to take action against Iran for the persecution of BBC Persian staff and their families; advising Julian Assange and WikiLeaks on legal issues related to publication, asylum, extradition and international law; and is acting with French counsel for a group of NGOs from around the world in challenging the cross-jurisdictional impact of the right to be forgotten in Google v CNIL.
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 human rights lawyers. From this work around the world, she brings a unique global network and comparative perspective. Jen serves as a trustee of Article 19 and the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, as well as on the advisory board of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
A media entrepreneur, company director and philanthropist, Deanne has more than 25 years’ experience in media and communications. A former corporate lawyer and media industry executive, Deanne was the founding Convenor of the Victorian Women Lawyers Association and a former member of the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria. Deanne is Chair of two private companies in which her company WeirAnderson.com is a significant investor: Hoodlum, an award winning television production company, and Ai-Media, a technology and social innovation company. WeirAnderson.com also invests in start-ups and film projects.
Deanne is Chair of Sydney Film Festival and a board member at Global Sisters.
Dr Peter Cashman is a barrister and 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 a forthcoming book ‘Practising Law in the Public Interest’ (co-authored with Ross Abbs).
Michael Eyers has combined commercial legal practice with executive roles in the public sector and experience as an investment banker. Michael has worked extensively as a consultant to Government or on Government projects, particularly during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, in infrastructure and in the preparation of legislation. A solicitor, he has been a partner in a number of firms and is now the solicitor director of General Counsel Pty Limited. Michael has also worked in land and housing policy and administration in Commonwealth and State governments, including as Department of Housing CEO in New South Wales. He has been a Visiting Fellow at UNSW Law School and has held visiting teaching roles in other faculties and other universities. His community service includes involvement with both the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Public Interest Law Clearing House in their early years and more recently has been on the board of the Black Dog Institute and a trustee of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.
Our Advisory Council is comprised of leading legal academics, non-profit strategic litigators and expert campaigners. Our Council provides advice on our overall strategic direction, cases we should support, and key issues on the horizon that may benefit from legal intervention.
Dean, UNSW Faculty of Law
Professor, Australian Human Rights Centre
Director, Centre for International & Public Law,
ANU College of Law
CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
CEO, Human Rights Law Centre
Legal and Governance Manager,
Amnesty International Australia
National Director, GetUp!
CEO, Greenpeace Asia Pacific
CEO, Environmental Defenders Office
New South Wales (EDO NSW)
CEO, Environmental Justice Australia