7 February 2014
CEFA is delighted to announce that the Hon. Justice Susan Kiefel AC, of the High Court of Australia, has agreed to chair the judging panel for this year’s essay competition. In its tenth year, the 2013-14 undergraduate essay competition for the Governor-General’s Prize is supported by Reconciliation Australia, and offers students the opportunity to research and discuss various topics related to constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
In 2004, the Governor-General’s Prize was launched by Chief Justice Gleeson at Parliament House, Sydney, and each year it has been judged by a panel chaired by a Justice of the High Court:
2004: The Hon Justice Dyson Heydon AC
2005:The Hon Justice Ian Callinan AC
2006:The Hon Justice Susan Crennan AC
2007: The Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG
2008: The Hon Justice Dyson Heydon AC
2009: The Hon Chief Justice French AC
2010: The Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC
2011:The Hon Justice William Gummow AC
2012:The Hon Justice Kenneth Hayne AC
A major event will be held later this year to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Governor-General’s Prize.
“The Governor-General’s Prize is one of the most prestigious essay competitions in Australia for undergraduates,” said CEFA’s Executive Director, Mrs Kerry Jones, “and we are very excited about our plans for celebrating the tenth anniversary, details of which will be released shortly.”
Damien Freeman has been appointed as the Director of the Governor-General’s Prize, and will be responsible both for administering the 2013-14 undergraduate essay competition, and the reception to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Prize.
For further details, please see the Governor-General’s Prize website (www.ggessaycomp.com.au) or contact Phuong Van in the CEFA office.
26 January 2014
On behalf of the CEFA Board and staff, I wish you a very happy Australia Day.
Most Australians wish to celebrate the importance of the Australian democracy and what it means. We celebrate our citizenship, our rights and responsibilities and how they are balanced with the freedoms we enjoy under our Australian Constitution, considered by most as the best in the world. We recognize our own communities and celebrate the fact that those things which unite us are much more than the things that divide us. Tolerance, inclusiveness, care, compassion, mateship, a fair go, working for harmony and peace, these are some of the values that help us pull together when the chips are down. From 40,000 years of indigenous occupation, through European settlement and right through to today it is the people who are Australians who have given shape to our vibrant multi-racial and multi-cultural society.
We acknowledge and respect the traditions and heritage, going back further then the Ancient Greeks, that give us our Westminster based parliamentary democracy. The daily workings of our Australian Commonwealth is defined for us in our Australian Constitution endorsed through our first referendum in 1901 through a peaceful federation. Today Australia is recognized as a leading democracy on the world stage and it is our Constitution that provides the heartbeat of our nationhood. Australia Day is a great celebration for us all of our nationhood and our democracy. Enjoy your celebration.
Best wishes in celebrating our Australian citizenship together,
Mrs Kerry Jones
CEFA Executive Director
24 December 2013
From all of us at CEFA we wish you, your family and friends all the very best over the upcoming festive and holiday season. We are very excited about our 2014 Project Plans, encouraging informed, knowledgeable and active Australian citizens of all ages. Most of us agree Australia is the best democracy in the world. Yet research results continue to show cynicism, ignorance and apathy in attitude to our system of government and our Australian Constitution even though it is the heart of our democracy. Our 2014 projects are being united under a new campaign to be announced early in the New Year. The aim will be to encourage informed voters of all ages so we treasure our vote as precious, not simply a duty, and better understand the freedoms and rights our Constitution gives each of us as the heart of our nationhood.
A warm welcome to our new Director The Hon Peter Lindsay. Peter was a Minister in the Howard Government and has had a distinguished career in TV and communications. His home town being Townsville, he will represent the interests of remote Australia and in particular Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. We are also delighted that our Principal Partner 2014 will be Baker & McKenzie. Our own Director Mrs Joy Chambers-Grundy has been appointed to the newly established position as CEFA’s Governor-General and Principal Benefactor 2014. Early in the New Year we will welcome our full time CEFA Teacher consultant Ms Janet Doyle joining our CEFA staff team.
As with all NGO’s, CEFA is always dependent on the goodwill of our supporters. We need friends such as yourselves to be spreading our messages and encouraging new people to join with us. We would love to hear from you regarding family, friends and business contacts who may like to join CEFA at this important time. To make a tax-deductible donation in support of our civics and citizenship work, please click here.
I particularly thank our hard-working Board of Trustees who have once again inspired us with their leadership over the past 12 months. CEFA’s education programs are encouraging Australians of all ages to value our system of government, our vote and our rule of law. I look forward to working with you on the challenges of 2014 and the many education opportunities for CEFA the New Year will offer us all.
My warmest personal best wishes in working for democracy,
Mrs Kerry Jones
CEFA Executive Director
* To download our summer 2013 CEFA newsletter, please click here.