The Examiner-John West Memorial Lecture: ' We can do much better'


Presented by Julian Burnside AO QC

Start Date

13th Mar 2015 8:00pm

End Date

13th Mar 2015 9:00pm


Albert Hall, Tamar Street, Launceston

RSVP / Contact Information

E.; T. 6226 2521

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'We can do much better'

presented by

Julian Burnside AO QC

Julian Burnside is a barrister based in Melbourne.  He specialises in commercial litigation.  He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989.

He acted for the Ok Tedi natives against BHP, for Alan Bond in fraud trials,  for Rose Porteous in numerous actions against Gina Rinehart, and for the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute against Patrick Stevedores. He was Senior Counsel assisting the Australian Broadcasting Authority in the "Cash for Comment" inquiry  and was senior counsel for Liberty Victoria in the Tampa litigation.

He is a former President of Liberty Victoria, and has acted pro bono in many human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of refugees.

He is passionately involved in the arts.  He collects contemporary paintings and sculptures and regularly commissions music.  He is Chair of Fortyfive Downstairs, a not for profit arts and performance venue in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, and Chair of Chamber Music Australia. 

He is the author of a book of essays on language and etymology, Wordwatching (Scribe, 2004) and Watching Brief, (Scribe, 2007) a collection of his essays and speeches about the justice system and human rights.  He compiled a book of letters written by asylum seekers held in Australia's detention camps.  The book, From Nothing to Zero  was published in 2003 by Lonely Planet.  He also wrote Matilda and the Dragon a children's book published by Allen & Unwin in 1991.

In 2004 he was elected as a Living National Treasure.  In 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.

In 2014 he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. Logo of the Launceston Historical Society


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 Presented in partnership with The Examiner and the Launceston Historical Society.