Elizabeth Morley receives Order of Australia Medal

Former RLC principal solicitor Elizabeth Morley has been honoured with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Elizabeth served as RLC's principal solicitor for 14 years and retired in 2017. She features among a number of pre-eminent jurists and lawyers recognised in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, including a former long-serving Director of Public Prosecutions and the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW.

The award acknowledges her immense and lasting contribution to the community legal centre movement, her tireless dedication to helping clients, and the important role she played in mentoring staff and volunteers at RLC and across the CLC sector.

Prominent NSW legal figures who received Honours included:

Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

  • Dr Annabelle Bennett SC, for eminent service to the law, and to the judiciary, particularly in the field of intellectual property, to higher education, and to sports arbitration.

Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)

  • Professor Nicholas Cowdery QC, for distinguished service to the law, to the protection of human rights, to professional legal bodies, and to the community
  • Acting NSW Judge of Appeal Hon Reginald Barrett, for distinguished service to the law, and to the judiciary, particularly in the area of corporations law and legislation
  • Former NSW Land and Environment Court and Federal Court judge Hon Dennis Cowdroy QC, for distinguished service to the law, and to the judiciary in the civilian and military spheres, through a range of senior roles.

Member in the Order of Australia (AM)

  • Legal author, former Public Defender, Acting District Court judge and Arbitrator of the Supreme Court of NSW James Glissan ESM QC, for significant service to the law in NSW
  • Leader in the area of intellectual property law Peter Banki, for significant service to the legal profession and the community
  • Former judge of the NSW Industrial Court and Industrial Relations Commission and presently Supreme Court Justice Monika Schmidt, for services to the judiciary and industrial relations.

Order of Australia Medal (OAM)

  • Former Principal Solicitor of the Redfern Legal Centre and community legal sector advocate Elizabeth Morley, for service to the law and to the community.

Attorney General Mark Speakman congratulated everyone honoured with Orders of Australia Medals, especially those who have given distinguished service to the NSW justice system.

“Each of these people has contributed much to our community, affirming the reputation of the NSW legal profession as the strongest in Australia. Today’s honours rightly recognise those in the profession who toil for the rights of others, administer justice and continue to set an example to which all young lawyers can aspire,” Mr Speakman said.

Elizabeth Morley paid tribute to the hard work of the many staff and volunteers at RLC, saying that this honour “is a recognition not so much of me but of the committed co-workers and the volunteers”.