The Women’s Club presents the Salon Series; a consolidated program of events presenting topics and speakers from the arts and culture, media, justice and democracy, politics and science. The format is sit-down cabaret style and a light supper is provided.
Courting Power: Law, Democracy & the Public Interest in Australia
In Courting Power, Isabelle Reinecke, founder of Grata Fund, Australia’s first strategic litigation funder and incubator, takes us through the trials and triumphs of some of the public interest cases she has helped bring about—from one launched by Torres Strait Islanders to establish the federal government’s duty of care regarding climate change, to a High Court case on remote housing rights in the Northern Territory, and Doctors for Refugees’ successful challenge to government gag laws, among others.
Isabelle praises transparency infrastructure like our freedom-of-information system, which underpins checks and balances such as the media, a dynamic political opposition and independent voices, while alerting us to how it can be undermined by governments of any colour. She also examines the pernicious forces seeking to influence Australian courts, hungrily eyeing the impact of the far right on the US Supreme Court, and why political attacks on the courts are always sharpest when First Nations people’s rights are at stake.
About Isabelle Reinecke
Isabelle is a Churchill Fellow, a Women's Leadership Institute of Australia Fellow, the 2022 Emerging NFP Leader in Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards and the founder of Grata Fund – a litigation incubator that helps people and communities challenge systemic gridlocks that impact human rights, climate injustice and democratic freedoms. She also has a book out in October titled Courting Power: Law, democracy and the public interest in Australia as part of Monash’s ‘In the National Interest’ series.
Isabelle is an incredibly impressive emerging leader, driving systemic change on the critical issues of our time with a focus on a fairer, safer and more inclusive Australia. Through Grata, Isabelle has supported and launched numerous landmark legal cases that have set significant precedents and shifted the dial on important subjects – from challenging climate change injustice with the Australian Climate Case, to exposing abuse in offshore refugee detention centres and establishing new rights to humane housing in remote First Nations communities, to pursing a better Freedom of Information system that holds governments to account.
In a world of spin, inattention and information overload, media deregulation and TikTok, evidence and accurate information have never been so important. The courts are perhaps the last remaining place where facts are primary and hyperbole is ignored, and Isabelle wants to help all Australians understand how they can rely on and access the courts to keep the powers that be accountable, and this is largely what her book is all about.
Through her work, Isabelle helps government, law makers and decision makers understand key societal shifts in values and expectations and speed up change to avoid the civil unrest and inequalities that impact other countries. She is known globally for influencing the way the law, civil society and social movements work together to create a fairer world. And as a new mum of one, she is also part of the big conversations about providing more support for working mothers and female leaders.
About Dr Ingrid Matthews
Dr Ingrid Matthews is a lecturer in law and criminology at the UNSW Faculty of Law and Justice. She holds degrees in economics and law and a PhD in law from Western Sydney University (2021). Ingrid is co-author of Law in Perspective: Ethics, Logic and Critical Thinking (UNSW Press, 2015) and has undertaken extensive research on media coverage of conflict. Her study of mainstream reporting on the Uluru Statement from the Heart was undertaken in conjunction with her doctoral research on decolonising legal education.
$50 Members | $60 Non-Members | $225 Salon Series Subscription (five sessions)
Ticket includes supper. A tap and go bar is available to purchase beverages.
Note: Building is secure from 6pm and we encourage guests to arrive before 6pm and settle in.
Wednesday 25 October 5.00 PM
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