What does treaty really mean?

Former Australian of the Year Professor Mick Dodson AM will explore the real meaning of treaty when he delivers the keynote address at the seventh Annual Honourable Barry O’Keefe Memorial Lecture at Australian Catholic University.

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, will also speak at the event which for the first time will be held virtually at 4.30pm (AEDT) on Wednesday 24 February.

Professor Dodson is the Northern Territory’s Treaty Commissioner, a Yawuru man from the Broome area in Western Australia and was the first Indigenous Australian to receive a law degree.

He is on record as imploring leaders to begin the process of truth telling as a matter of urgency and will use the speech to discuss the topic of 'Treaty: It is a marriage not a divorce'.

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Zlatko Skrbis will open the event and Dean of Law Professor Patrick Keyzer will chair.

“This topic was chosen because reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is Australia’s most important unfinished business,” Professor Keyzer said. 

The Barry O’Keefe Memorial Lecture is an annual event hosted by the Thomas More Law School, and it is named in honour of the late Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC DUniv (HonorisCausa) (ACU).

ACU awarded an honorary doctorate to Justice O’Keefe in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the judiciary, the NSW legal system and to the Church.

Barry O’Keefe was an Australian judge and lawyer who served as a justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1993 to 2004 and the Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption from 1994 until 1999.

His ethos of service was reflected in his term as an alderman on Mosman Council from 1968 to 1991, as president of the Local Government Association of NSW and the National Trust of Australia, and as a member of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

Mrs O’Keefe will also attend the event, together with two of their sons: Philip O’Keefe and distinguished international lawyer Professor Roger O’Keefe.

Click here to register your virtual attendance.

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