Past Events

NSWCCL Annual Fundraising Dinner 2015

NSWCCL invites you to

The NSWCCL Annual Fundraising Dinner 2015

Date: Friday 31 July, 6:30pm for 7pm sit down
Venue: Sky Phoenix Restaurant, Westfield Plaza, Sydney
Ticket prices: $110 for members, $120 for non-members, $1320 for a table of 12 people


We are delighted that the 2015 key note civil liberties address will be given by

Professor Gillian Triggs

President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

In her current role Professor Triggs has been a strong and fearless advocate for human rights in an extraordinarily challenging context.

She has had a stellar academic career - including Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney; Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a Governor of the College of Law. She was formerly a Barrister with Seven Wentworth Chambers.

She has combined her academic career with international commercial legal practice and extensive work with governments and international organisations. Her longstanding commitment to legal education has in recent time been focussed on the Commissions' education programs to inform Australians – and especially children – about their fundamental human rights.

Gillian comes well qualified to speak with conviction and passion on current civil liberties and human rights issues.

NOTE  Ticket prices exclude alcoholic drinks, bar will be operating


Not able to attend or want to show your support?
Consider sponsoring a place.

Every year we seek sponsorship for Annual Dinner tickets for students, young lawyers and other interested supporters who might otherwise not be able to afford to attend this important civil liberties event. Show your support by donating to sponsor a place at our Annual Dinner. 




Defend University of Sydney civil liberties - staff and student meeting

This event was held on Wednesday 29 April.

Read President Stephen Blanks' address to the meeting, and also the related media

NSWCCL President Stephen Blanks will be speaking at this meeting at the University of Sydney. NSWCCL are participating in this event because of the importance of protecting free speech and the right to protest on university campuses - read more about our position in the media coverage of the event

On 11 March, students and human-rights activists interrupted a speaker at a campus talk. Now the students and a staff member, Jake Lynch, are facing disciplinary action that could see them suspended. NSWCCL is appalled at the use of the code of conduct to discipline staff and students in the context of legitimate protest.

Other speaks at the event include: Senator Lee Rhiannon (Australian Greens), Prof. Stuart Rees AM (Founder, Sydney Peace Foundation), Kyol Blakeney (President, USyd SRC), Michael Thomson (President, USyd NTEU), Fahad Ali (President, USyd Students for Justice in Palestine), Nick Riemer (English and Linguistics, USyd). 

More information and to RSVP please go to the Facebook event - Defend USyd civil liberties - staff and student meeting


CITIZENFOUR screening: Avoca Beach Picture Theatre

Click here to read the speech by CCL Vice President Pauline Wright on the night.

Following on from NSWCCL's successful screening of CITIZENFOUR at Parliament House in February, we're pleased to partner with award-winning cinema Avoca Picture Theatre to bring this special screening of the Oscar-winning documentary on Tuesday 24 March at 7pm, introduced by Vice President (and Avoca Beach local) Pauline Wright. 

Click here to download the flyer (pdf). 

Read more

CCLs take CITIZENFOUR to Parliament House

On the evening of Monday 9 February NSWCCL - supported by the Victorian, Queensland and South Australian CCLs and Electronic Frontiers Australia - invited our federal members of parliament to a special, pre-release screening of the gripping documentary CITIZENFOUR in Parliament House.

It was a terrific success with MPs from the ALP, Greens and cross benchers as well as staff, journalists and members of the public coming to watch the film and discuss it over drinks afterwards. (Maybe the failure of any liberal MPS to attend was related to their ongoing drama around leadership and policy directions.)  

Read more

AGM 2014 - Renewal and optimism

The 51st NSWCCL Annual General Meeting was held on the 15th October 2014 in the Council Chambers at Sydney Town Hall. Around thirty CCL members -including a strong cohort of firstimers -gathered to hear annual reports from the President, Secretary and Treasurer,to elect the Executive and Committee members for 2014/5 and to endorse formal CCL policies around major civil liberties issues.

They heard that the year had been a particularly challenging and depressing one with multiple legislative assaults on civil liberties and rights from both the NSW and the Federal Governments-but that, nonetheless, CCL as an organisation was traveling well.

CCL very actively opposed unwarranted and unwise changes to the recently reformed Bail Act and two rounds of bills proposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug and alcohol fueled violence.   For most of the year CCL has been campaigning against a veritable avalanche of new and proposed counter-terrorism laws from the Federal Government which will continue to the end of the current Parliamentary session. CCL had also engaged with electoral processes at both the national (2013 election Senate voting  processes) and state level (The City of Sydney Amendment (Elections) Act 2014.)

Read more

2014 NSWCCL Annual Dinner

This year’s NSWCCL fundraising dinner was a ripper. It was a success on all fronts.  

There was a splendid turnout of over 250 friends and supporters.  The lively crowd appeared to be having a very enjoyable evening. A strong contingent of students and young members made their presence felt and overall the vibes were terrific.

Most significantly, the gathering was treated to a riveting address by the keynote speaker: Professor Ben Saul. His topic -‘The ideological war on human rights. Why are politicians so hostile to basic freedoms?”-  was spot on for the times. It was directly relevant to the efforts of civil liberties organisations across Australia to temper the Government’s unwise and reckless over-reach in its avalanche of new counter-terrorism laws, its shameful asylum seekers policies and its general attack on traditional rights and liberties.   

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2013 NSWCCL Annual Dinner (50th Anniversary)

The NSWCCL dinner in the Sky Phoenix Restaurant in the Pitt St Westfield Plaza was a grand celebration of our 50th anniversary. There was a splendid turnout of old and new members and friends of NSWCCL and of our key note speaker. We also had several tables of interested students and interns sponsored by member donations.

The formalities of the evening were, understandably, more focused on NSWCCL’s history than usual. Michael Kirby, a member since 1964 and now an honorary life member, spoke movingly via video of his personal experience as a young lawyer working with NSWCCL and, more broadly, of the beneficial impact on the legal profession in Australia from the large numbers of lawyers who had cut their teeth in civil liberties and then gone on to occupy high office on the bench or as solicitors and barrister within the profession. Michael also paid tribute to significant NSWCCL figures who had deeply influenced him over the years. His lifelong engagement with NSWCCL was encapsulated in his final observation that he had now spoken at the 30
th, 40th and 50th anniversary dinners.

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AGM 2013

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties held its AGM on Wednesday 23 October 2013, and a number of significant decisions were made:

  • A new executive and committee were elected, following a very strong field of nominations, requiring a ballot in key positions.
  • Life membership was conferred on our longest serviing President, Cameron Murphy.
Read more

2012 Annual Dinner

Over 350 people gathered in the CBD Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Friday 19 October 2012 to support the NSWCCL Annual Dinner.

Professor George Williams AO tonight launched a national campaign led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties to wind back the excessive and disproportionate powers given to ASIO in the decade since 9/11. "The greatest assault on civil liberties in Australia since World War II."

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