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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.
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.
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 targeting. Her 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.
Dr Peter Cashman
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.
Executive Director and Founder
Isabelle founded Grata Fund to unlock the power of the law to fight systemic injustice. Based at UNSW, Grata has supported communities to bring litigation to force corporate accountability on climate change, expose abuse in offshore refugee detention centres, and establish legal rights to humane housing in remote First Nations communities; and has facilitated over $1M in philanthropic case funding.
Isabelle is a Churchill Fellow and the 2021 Women's Leadership Institute of Australia Fellow, awarded to women "who are leaders in their respective fields, women who have innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change". Previously Isabelle was Legal & Governance Director, GetUp and Solicitor, Clayton Utz.