Melbourne, 21 November 2007: Australian Catholic University (ACU) has welcomed a generous $1 million donation by leading legal figure Allan Myers AO QC to fund a national Chair of Law position.
The Allan Myers Chair of Law, initially funded for a period of five years, will be based on ACU’s Melbourne Campus (St Patrick’s) and will oversee the University’s Institute of Legal Studies across its six campuses.
ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan AO said it was fitting that the role would bear Mr Myers’ name, given its combined focus on legal education and promoting social justice and ethical concerns.
“Allan Myers is one of Australia’s most eminent lawyers and one of the legal profession’s most generous figures. Allan, and his wife Maria, are renowned philanthropists and their patronage of the arts, medical research and education is well documented,” Professor Sheehan said.
“ACU is deeply grateful to Allan Myers for the funding of this Chair of Law. The role will provide stewardship of the University’s Institute of Legal Studies and oversee its provision of postgraduate legal education, research and community engagement. It will also provide high-level legal scholarship and leadership.”
Mr Myers said the donation reflected his own belief in education and its potential to change lives.
“Education is one of the most effective ways to enrich and add meaning to life; it has certainly been a defining factor in my own career successes. It is my hope that the Allan Myers Chair of Law will build upon ACU’s foundation of academic excellence by overseeing the provision of quality legal education with a strong focus on issues of ethical practice and social justice,” he said.
Mr Myers has practiced in commercial law for more than 30 years. During his career, he has appeared as leading counsel in many large and complex matters in the courts and before arbitrators. In 2003, Mr Myers was awarded a Centenary Medal for service to philanthropy and business; this month, he and his wife Maria were named Officers in the General Division of the Order of Australia for their active support and sponsorship of a range of significant causes.
The Institute of Legal Studies was established as a national initiative of ACU, to foster professional education and to promote, in the Australian context, interdisciplinary studies in law with a focus on ethics, philosophy and theology. The distinguished human rights lawyer Professor Frank Brennan SJ AO was appointed the Institute’s Foundation Professor of Law.
Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.