Activist lawyer, Bernard Collaery, will be guest speaker at an upcoming Australian Bravery Association function, to be held at the Ballina RSL Club on October 15.
The black tie dinner is open to the public and starts from 7pm.
An unveiling and dedication ceremony for Collaery will be conducted by the ABA Chaplain Padre, Jim Cosgrove, on the grounds of St Andrews Village, 59 Bentinck Street, Ballina, starting at 3pm on the same day. This is also open to the public.
Mr Collaery was dragged into a lengthy and secret trial by the federal government after he represented a former spy, known as Witness K.
In June 2018, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions charged Collaery under the National Security Information Act 2004 with disclosing protected intelligence information.
Former intel officer, Witness K, revealed details of an alleged bugging operation by the then-Howard government in Timor-Leste, during sensitive oil and gas treaty negotiations, which benefited Woodside Petroleum.
The case against Collaery was dropped by the new Labor Attorney General Mark Dreyfus (Labor), while Witness K pleaded guilty.
Prosecuted by govt
The ABC reported that ‘Although the trial had never officially begun, the [Collaery] case racked up millions of dollars in legal costs, as the government sought to prevent Mr Collaery’s team from getting access to classified information he wanted for his defence’.
The ACT Supreme Court formally ended Collaery’s prosecution in July, according to the ABC.
Australian Bravery Association Reunion Coordinator, John Thurgar, told The Echo, ‘Bernard has represented many people on a pro-bono basis, including the interests of the people of Timor-Leste over a long period of time’.
‘Bernard has been the Honorary Legal Advisor to the ABA for almost two decades’.
‘He jumped at the offer to speak at this event, as he wishes to thank our Northern Rivers region in person for all the support he has been given, and the pressure local residents have exerted on politicians in his fight for our freedoms’.
To book a ticket, email: [email protected].