The CEO of Civil Liberties Australia, Bill Rowlings, was awarded an Order of Australia Medal, OAM, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The award was “For service to the community through the protection of human rights and civil liberties”.
CLA CEO awarded OAM
Bill Rowlings – Chief Executive Officer of Civil Liberties Australia – received an Order of Australian Medal (OAM) in the June 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The award was made “for service to the community through the protection of human rights and civil liberties”.
“I think its a rewarding recognition of the status of Civil Liberties Australia,” Mr Rowlings said. “With CLA just on 10 years old, we have made significant improvements to law, regulations and how bureaucracy treats the little guy over the past decade.”
Mr Rowlings said CLA was the only national civil liberties body operating in all states and territories and concentrating on federal issues.
“There are state bodies doing good work, but increasingly the centralisation of government control means the main game is in the federal space.
“CLA is fortunate to have an experienced Board of Directors, with divergent backgrounds, so we can be attuned to issues throughout the nation, as well as internationally where that is important to Australian and Australians’ interests.”
The organisation has nearly 300 members in all states and territories of Australia, as well as some overseas. Canberra-based, there are particular strengths in WA and Tasmania. Rex Widerstrom is the Director from WA and Richard Griggs from Tasmania.
“We have major initiatives under way in relation to the federal election. For example, we’re asking that the draconian anti-terrorism laws are re-written back into the Crimes Act, so that criminals are treated like criminals, not given some special status,” Mr Rowlings said. “We are also asking that the states and territories introduce new ‘Right to Appeal’ legislation, which will provide a way out of jail for people locked away because of miscarriages of justice.
“The OAM won’t help with such work, but it provides great encouragement for all of us in Civil Liberties Australia to keep working harder and harder to protect people’s freedoms,” he said.