Donors, staff and students gathered to celebrate studentexcellence at a prize ceremony held at the Griffith Law School last week.

Law’s best and brightest studentsreceived awards in recognition of their achievements in a range of law courses from last year.

Helena Pay’s essay, completed as part of the Gender and Law course, received the 2015 Honourable Michael Kirby Prize. The prize, provided by an anonymous donor, is named in honour of the former High Court judge who has campaigned tirelessly for LGBTIQ rights.

Emily Muir and Rudolf Ondrich received the first of the 2015 Dean’s Essay Awards for work completed outside the Honours program. Their co-written essay proposed law reforms to provisional damages and damages for gratuitous services.

Emily thanked her course convenor Dr Kieran Tranter and spoke highly of the opportunity to think deeply about law reform in a supportive learningenvironment.

“This essay really opened us up to learning about what we can do with regards to law reform, helping others and what we can do in our own areas of practice,” she said.

Rudolf Ondrich was also recognised individually with a second Dean’s Essay Award, this time for his Honours project which interpreted the works of German composer Wilhelm Furtwängler through the lens of legal philosophy.

Award donors Tony Drake and Lesley Mills attended topresent the Peter Channell Law Prize, which honours a remarkable lawyer and founding member of the Caxton Street Legal Service, to Maxine Strachan.

In presenting the award, Lelsey congratulated and acknowledged that Maxine had balanced her responsibilities as a working mother with receiving the top gradein the Advanced Family Law Clinic.

Griffith Law School Dean Professor Pene Mathew acknowledged other award donors who had attended the afternoon including representatives from LexisNexis and law firms McCullogh Robertson and Fragomen. Their sponsored awards will be presented to students at a Griffith University ceremony later in the year.

The ceremony was also an opportunity to give special thanks to the donors and staff that had supported law students through the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. Led by Associate Professor Therese Wilson, she gave a sincere tribute to the contributions of Minter Ellison partner Khory McCormick.

Therese called Khory a co-coach to the Vis Moot team, whose support both financially and by giving up his time to refine the team’s arguments, were pivotal in making it an ‘experience that our students can enjoy’.

“Khory has been instrumental in sixty-four law students getting to compete in an international competition in Vienna, Hong Kong or both. That’s a significant contribution that he has made over the years,” she said.

Khory McCormick responded to the acknowledgement by encouraging Griffith’s continued involvement in the Vis Moot.He observed that legal practice in the area of international commercial arbitration has grown significantly since he became involved as a sponsor.

“It’s increasingly important this area of legal practice to Australia in relation to trade and it’s a skill set for the general well-being of the economy. A university that doesn’t have this as part of it, has a real piece of the puzzle missing,” said Khory.

Griffith Law School wishes to thank thesegeneroussponsors:

  • Tony Drake and Lesley Mills
  • Ben Lear from Fragomen
  • Marietta Gunn from LexisNexis
  • Khory McCormick
  • Tegun Middleton from McCullough Robertson Lawyers

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