Michael Kirby AC CMG served as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1975–83); Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975–84); Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1983–4); President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984–96); President of the Court of Appeal of the Solomon Islands (1995–96) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996–2009). In 1991 he was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal; in 1998 he was named Laureate of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education; in 2010 he was named co-winner of the Gruber Justice Prize; and in 2011 he received the inaugural Australian Privacy Medal.
Photo: Sasha Hadden
Enter the internationalist
What we can do is to look back on the time of Whitlam for encouragement – especially young lawyers and young citizens. Seize the moment: carpe diem. He sure seized the moment. That’s why learning from him in my own life – I think all of us can learn to be more courageous. Where there is injustice, we should seek to right the wrongs. That is what Whitlam demonstrated. That we could do a lot as a democratic nation.