All Current Sitting High Court Justices Confirmed to Attend Prestigious Governor-General’s Prize Ceremony
Now open to all undergraduate students studying at Australian universities, the Governor-General’s Prize is now offering the prize of a lifetime in its 10 year history with all High Court Justices confirmed to attend the prestigious prize ceremony later this year.
With free entry and run by the Constitutional Education Fund Australia (CEFA), the Governor-General’s Prize is its 10th year and is an incredible opportunity for students nationwide to have their 2,500 word essay read by High Court Justices and be recognised for their academic skill, talent and research abilities.
With an increased prize pool of $15,000 for the winning essays and a prestigious event at the High Court in Canberra, 1 December with the seven7 current High Court Justices in attendance, this year the Governor-General’s Prize is supported by Reconciliation Australia (trading as Recognise). 2014 gives undergraduates the opportunity to choose from six questions relating to constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
The 2014 judging panel for the Prize is chaired by the Hon. Justice Susan Kiefel AC. The other illustrious judges include University of Queensland’s ARC Future Fellow, Professor Nicholas Aroney. All finalists will be interviewed by the judging panel before winners are selected.
“This is an exciting announcement and really exemplifies how much the Governor General’s Prize has grown over the last 10 years to the point where it is now one of the most important competitions for any undergraduate wanting to get involved in political, legal or constitutional debates,” said Director of the Governor-General’s Prize, Damien Freeman.
Inaugural winner in 2004 Ben Davies has since graduated from Monash University and spent several years working as a solicitor and then as Chief of Staff to the Attorney-General of Victoria. He is now the Chief of Staff to a senior Minister in the Commonwealth Government.
“As a student, my greatest academic interest was Australia’s system of Government. I have always had enormous respect for the centuries of constitutional history that has shaped Australia’s constitution and the way we are governed today. The opportunity to share my thoughts with three of Australia’s foremost authorities in the field was a true highlight of my university studies and added a grace note that I have greatly valued. I would strongly encourage undergraduates who are looking to make their mark in public life to compete for the Governor-General’s Prize” said Ben Davies.
Past winners have demonstrated cutting edge application of their studies. For example, the 2010 Governor-General’s Prize was awarded to Naomi Hart for an essay that weighed up the policy considerations involved in balancing Australia’s obligations to protect the human rights of asylum seekers. She reviewed the position the Australian Government had taken with the proposed Malaysian solution and her essay predicted the approach the High Court would subsequently take when that policy was challenged.
The Governor-General's Prize is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree at an Australian university. Each year, a series of questions are provided across topics related to law, politics, history, and social justice, for consideration, research, and response by students who wish to enter the competition.
Entries are open at www.ggprize.org.au and close June 30 2014 at 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth Of Australia
His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) in a letter dated the 12 May 2014 accepted the role to be Patron-in-Chief. “He sees the work of the Fund as complimentary to his responsibilities as Governor-General and to themes of personal interest to him.”
29 April 2014
It is with great sadness that CEFA mourns the passing, last Thursday, of The Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC. Mr O’Keefe chaired the CEFA Board from 2005 to 2014. At the meeting of the Board of Directors in March, he handed over the chairmanship to fellow Director and former Governor-General, Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery AC, AO (Mil.), CVO, MC (Rtd). At Mr O’Keefe’s request he remained an active director of CEFA after stepping down from the chairmanship.
Under Mr O’Keefe’s leadership CEFA grew from strength to strength. The receipt of our first Commonwealth Government grant in 2011, which saw the establishment of the Yaba Civics and Citizenship Online Project, was a particularly significant achievement during his tenure. Mr O’Keefe was a tireless leader of CEFA promoting wherever possible the importance of education on the history and operation of the Australian Constitution and our Australian democracy. His sage council, kindness and humanity will be sorely missed by us all. The team at CEFA will continue to uphold the values and vision for Civics and Citizenship education that Mr O’Keefe exemplified and this will be an enduring legacy.
The CEFA family offers our sincere condolences to Mr O’Keefe’s family at this time.
The funeral for The Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC will be held at St Mary’s Cathedral on Friday 2 May 2014 at 11:00am.