Juvenile justice advocate receives ACU honorary doctorate

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

8 May 2008: Australian Catholic University (ACU) is proud to have awarded an honorary doctorate to Eugene Cullity for his service to the juvenile justice system and his community service to the people of Victoria. The former judge and Youth Parole Board Chairman delivered the Occasional Address at ACU's Health Sciences graduation ceremony on Tuesday 6 May.

Hon Doc Eugene Cullity

“The name of Eugene Cullity is synonymous with care for the young offenders of our Victorian society, and rightly so. Eugene Cullity devoted the best years of his professional and distinguished legal career to ensuring that these juveniles were treated with justice and with appropriate fairness,” said ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven.

Eugene Cullity began his career as a barrister and solicitor with Justice John Stark. In 1975 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel, and two years later was appointed a judge of the County Court specialising in Criminal Law. He served on the Bench for 26 years.

Seven years after his appointment as a judge, he was appointed chairman of the Youth Parole Board of Victoria, revolutionising the way young offenders were treated during his 18-year tenure.

“Eugene Cullity worked tirelessly for the rehabilitation of youth,” Professor Craven said. “The young offenders who appeared before him always found a man of sensitivity, ethical concern and compassion. He was able to balance concern for the individual and justice, each with an ability to achieve the best outcome for the young person’s future rehabilitation.”

Eugene Cullity’s tireless work on the Bench and his chairmanship of the Youth Parole and Residential Boards were matched by his equally generous community service to Bethlehem Hospital and especially his commitment to palliative care of patients and those with chronic neurological illnesses. For six years, he served as chair of the Bethlehem Hospital Board of Management.

Since his retirement in 2003, Eugene Cullity has maintained a range of service activities, serving as the Deputy Chair of the Legal Professional Tribunal and patron of the Jesuit Social Services Community Justice Program.

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.