It has always seemed to me that the priviledges I've enjoyed bring an obligation of repayment. Thus I should put my talents and time at the service of the community in a way that can help develop a healthy, productive, humane, equal society.
The ANU Alumni of the Year – Philanthropy award has gone to The Hon Justice Richard Refshauge SC for his generous contribution to Canberra in the arts and community sectors.
Since earning his BA (Hons) in 1972 and his LLB in 1975, Justice Refshauge has become a leading figure in the ACT legal community as well as a generous contributor to the arts, charity and social justice sectors.
In his speech at the 2017 gala dinner, Justice Refshauge highlighted one of his passions, the importance of people.
"I do hold humankind dearly," he said. "The important thing for me, however, has been that this worth is universal and without distinction."
"For example, every accused person, no matter how serious their alleged crime, and no matter how severe the punishment they deserve, is in my court Mr X or Ms Y and entitled to be treated with the dignity due to every human being, not just as second class citizens."
Listen to Justice Refshauge's full speech.
Two other ANU Law alumni were recognised at the awards. Xiao He (Helen) Zhang B Asian Studies (Specialist) ’10, LLB (Hons) ’10, GDLP ’11 was named Young Alumni of the Year and Caitlin Figueiredo received the Vice-Chancellor's Commendation - Student Philanthropst of the Year (Undergraduate).
ANU College of Law Dean Professor Stephen Bottomley was pleased to see the continued recognition of ANU Law graduates and current students at the annual awards.
"It speaks volumes about the quality of our students," he said. "It also underlines the quality of the education and the broader learning experience that we provide."