Yesterday, Past President and Life Member of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, the Hon. Cameron Murphy AM, MLC recogonised the Councils 60th anniversay celebrations.
"I recognise the important work of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, which will celebrate its sixtieth anniversary tonight with a gala dinner in Sydney. The anniversary event will be hosted by Dr Meredith Burgmann, AM, who is a former President of this House. The guest speaker will be Craig Foster, AM, who is the current chair of the Australian Republic Movement. He will be discussing the need for an Australian republic and a strong and independent Australia. It is a cause that I have a deep and abiding interest in.
The council was formed in 1963 by Ken Buckley and Berenice Grainger, two academics from the University of Sydney who, along with a group of young lawyers, including the Hon. Michael Kirby, AC, CMG, decided that an organisation was urgently needed to protect and promote civil liberties in this State. Since its inception, the council has taken up cases for individuals who need support and have suffered from violations of their civil rights. The council has a number of subcommittees that pursue various issues and worthy goals, such as a human rights Act for New South Wales.
The council plays an important and valuable role in our democracy by advocating for basic rights and liberties. It has always been a politically nonpartisan organisation and has had committee and executive members from all major political parties. Shayne Mallard, who is a former member of this House, served for many years as a member of the council's committee for almost the entire duration that I served as president. I feel incredibly fortunate to have served as the president of the council for 13 years, from 1999 to 2013. The council is recognised for its ability to be at the forefront of debates around rights and engaging with young people on rights issues that affect them. That has been central to the council's longevity and has allowed it to be continually relevant. The anniversary event is certain to be a great night. It is an excellent opportunity to discuss ongoing efforts to protect civil liberties and human rights in New South Wales and beyond."