Celebrating the legacy of Jeff Shaw

The Jeff Shaw Memorial Lecture was held at Parliament House in Sydney late July. Thomas Frank, an American political analyst, historian and journalist delivered the lecture. Frank has documented the decline of the American middle class and the need for more meaningful action on income inequality. His latest publication is Rendezvous with Oblivion which examines the way inequality has manifested itself in American cities, jobs, lifestyle and politics.

The event also celebrated the awarding of four scholarships to Year 12 students from both independent and public schools, presented annually with the support of the IEU, Public Education Foundation and Unions NSW.

Jeff Shaw was one of the great legal minds of his generation and a trail blazer of law reform in NSW and he was a friend of unionists and Australian unions. He was a leading industrial barrister working tirelessly in courts and tribunal across Australia to improve the pay and conditions of working people.

Shaw served as NSW Attorney General 1995 to 2000 as part of the Carr Labor Government and then as a Supreme Court Judge in 2003 and 2004. He died in 2010 leaving a legacy of technically competent law reform in both the civil and criminal area of law and legislation.

On Jeff Shaw’s death in 2010, The Hon Justice Michael Walton President NSW Industrial Relations Commission said: “Jeff was no ordinary man, although he behaved like everyman. He was neither lofty nor pompous. He was courteous, engaging and kind to those connected to litigation, even to opponents, and often, particularly in industrial matters, would try to find consensus”.