Promoting people's rights and civil liberties. It is non-party political and independent of other organisations.
Civil Liberties Australia

CLA Management Team

Kris KlugmanPRESIDENT: Dr Kristine Klugman OAM

Dr Klugman’s PhD in Politics at ANU analysed the two-way communication flow between MPs and electors. Earlier degrees were in Community Studies, and History. Kris previously served on the NSW Legal Aid Commission, was a foundation member of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, and a researcher with the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, helping to establish the Criminal Justice tertiary course for police and prison officers in NSW. Her OAM was for ‘services to education and the community’. She was the first-ever female President of the board of Australia’s oldest museum, The Australian Museum. She was also the first female board member and full-time Deputy President in the 100-year history of the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW, running the NSW Fire Brigades, and a member of state bushfire and rescue governing councils. She was co-founder of Civil Liberties Australia, and served as President from its outset in 2003. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristine_Klugman

VenkataramanVICE PRESIDENT: Rajan Venkataraman

For nearly 20 years, Rajan was a federal public servant in the Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s and Prime Minister’s departments. His diverse career spanned foreign and domestic policy, trade negotiations and national security. He did a three-year diplomatic posting to Chile and also worked in a ministerial office in Parliament House. In 2006, Rajan was appointed a member of the Australian Film and Literature Classification Board. He is currently based in Tasmania where he works as an independent consultant and freelance editor, and volunteers as a tutor for adult literacy and numeracy. Rajan is CLA’s main media spokesperson.


VICE-PRESIDENT: Margaret Howkins

Margaret returned to WA in the early 2000s, after more than 30 years away in Canada and England, where she worked in communications before gaining formal qualifications in sociology and psychology. She ran training and management programs for the Trades Union Congress and British police among others. Back home in Perth, she was surprised to find some attitudes, training and actions of authorities antiquated by comparison: she set about becoming a change agent to ensure better monitoring of police and bureaucracies, and to boost understanding for how citizens must stand up for themselves to retain civil liberties. Recently she has tutored students to prepare them for final high school exams and university early-year courses. Her major areas of concern are police and prison matters.

CEO: William (Bill) Rowlings OAM

Bill’s career included journalism on Australian, UK and PNG daily and Sunday newspapers, as well as being editorial director of a monthly business and sports publishing house. In PR, he was media adviser to a senior federal politician and consulted to major corporates, federal departments and agencies and NGOs, as well as co-authoring an Australian tertiary PR textbook. In 2013 he received an OAM for services to civil liberties and human rights. From the co-founding of Civil Liberties Australia (in 2003, with Dr Kristine Klugman), he has managed the organisation’s affairs day-to-day, and edited the monthly CLArion newsletter. For a brief period in 2021, he served as President.

DIRECTOR: WOSP: Dr Tony Murney

Tony has lengthy experience in government and international organisations across the Commonwealth Parliament, ACT Policing, and the AFP International Deployment Group as well as appointments with the UN. He served three tours in Afghanistan and two in Somalia and held several key positions including Chief Technical Adviser on Police Professionalisation in Kabul and Deputy Commissioner of the UN integrated Police Team in Mogadishu. Tony is a committed advocate for international police development and reform with a strong interest in civil liberties, balanced security solutions and good government. He speaks regularly on these subjects both domestically and internationally, and manages CLA’s ‘Watch Over Policing & Security (WOSP) campaign. Tony has a PhD in anthropology and undergraduate qualifications in regional development.


National Manager HRAs: Chris Stamford

Chris retired in 2019 from the GM level with Austrade, after earlier experience in the APS across Tourism, Mining Productivity, and National and International Airspace, in Australia and in overseas forums. He has qualifications in History, Philosophy and Air and Space Law. Chris is leading CLA’s national campaigns and lobbying for a federal Human Rights Act, and for HRAs in jurisdictions which have not yet adopted one (SA, WA, NSW, Tasmania and the NT). In the ACT, CLA is helping to entrench the basic principle of ‘No Rights Without Remedies’ as Australia’s first HR legislation is updated on its 20th anniversary in 2024.

Last updated 9 March 2022

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