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Lawyers recognised in Australia Day awards


Cite as: March 2015 89 (3) LIJ, p.13

Victorian solicitors and barristers have been honoured in the 2015 Australia Day awards.

Property lawyer Murray McCutcheon, a member of the LIV’s Property and Environmental Law Section, was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to property and commercial law and national reform. Partner and CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgath John Denton was appointed an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his service to business and commerce, particularly in the legal profession, to the visual and performing arts, and to social welfare and the rights of refugees.

Mr Denton is chair of the Australian group for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, chair of the Business Council of Australia’s Global Engagement Taskforce, board member of Asialink and the Asia Society, chairman (emeritus) of the Experts Group on Trade and Investment in Indonesia and a founding member of the Australia China CEO roundtable meetings.

Mr Denton has been a guest speaker at the LIV and has won many awards for his legal work. He received a managing partner award from the LIV in 2010. Other solicitors recognised in the Australia Day awards with an AM included Donald Heathcote for service to the community, particularly through support for the arts and to surf lifesaving; Allens partner Stephen Spargo, LIV member since 1975, for his service to the community through a range of executive roles with business, agricultural, sporting and health organisations; Richard Viney for his service to the finance and insurance sector as a contributor to consumer protection and dispute mediation; and Julius Colman for his service to the community through philanthropic support for educational initiatives and programs for underprivileged children.

Also, the Australian Government Solicitor CEO Ian Govey was awarded an AM for his leadership in the provision of government legal services, and for significant service to public administration and to the law. Australian Law Reform Commission president Professor Rosalind Frances Croucher was awarded an AM for her contributions to law reform, legal education and professional development.

LIV president Katie Miller congratulated the award recipients.

“The LIV has known for a long time that lawyers contribute to every part of our society, often voluntarily and outside work hours. It is wonderful to see so many lawyers recognised with Australia Day honours. I am particularly thrilled that LIV members Murray McCutcheon and John Denton have been recognised for their contributions.

I hope these awards inspire more lawyers to share their stories with the community and to nominate for awards, such as the LIV Legal Awards and the Australia Day Awards,” she said.

Barristers recognised included former federal minister Richard Alston who was awarded an AO for his distinguished service to the Parliament of Australia, to international relations through diplomatic roles, to business development, and to the community; former NSW Supreme Court judge the Hon Andrew Rogers QC who was awarded an AO for his distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law, particularly reforms to commercial dispute resolution and case management, through contributions to international commercial arbitration and to the community; and Kingsley Davis who was awarded an OAM for his service to the community through youth and heritage organisations and to the law.

Lady Anna Cowen, the widow of the late Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen QC, received an AM in honour of Sir Zelman for service to youth, medical research, educational, historical and cultural organisations, and to the community through vice-regal patronages and support roles.


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