2021 Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards


The Victorian Bar has a proud culture and tradition of providing pro bono assistance, which gives vulnerable members of the community the opportunity to access justice and pursue their rights under Australian law.

The Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards recognise barristers who make an outstanding contribution representing parties on a pro bono basis.

The winners of the 2021 Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards were announced on Wednesday, 5 May 2021 at a ceremony held at the Commonwealth Law Courts.

We were delighted to have honoured guests as speakers at the event. You are welcome to read the Honourable Justice Debbie Mortimer's remarks here and the speech given by Ron Merkel QC about the contribution made by Uncle Jim Berg here

Congratulations to the winners: 

  • The winner of the inaugural Debbie Mortimer S.C. Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy in a Tribunal or the Magistrates' Court is Joel Tito. 
  • The winner of the inaugural Uncle Jim Berg Award for outstanding pro bono advice or advocacy that enhances access to justice for First Nations clients, either nationally or in Victoria, is Jason Gullaci. 
  • The winner of the Daniel Pollak Readers' Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy undertaken by barristers who have completed their Readers' Course within the previous 12 months is Stephanie Brenker. 
  • The winner of the Ron Castan AM QC Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy undertaken by barristers who are between one and six-years' call is Jim Hartley. 
  • The winner of the Susan Crennan AC QC Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy undertaken by barristers who are between seven and 15-years' call but are not Silks is Scott Morris.
  • The winner of the Ron Merkel QC Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy undertaken by barristers who are more than 15 years' call or who have taken silk is Haydn Carmichael.
  • The winner of the Public Interest/Justice Innovation Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy, which has a strong public interest element or has involved a procedural or substantive innovation in the law likely to enhance access to justice is Michelle Zammit. 
  • The winner of the inaugural Equality Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy that furthers the rights or interests of a disadvantaged and/or minority group is Leopold Faust.
  • The winners of the inaugural Pro Bono Team Excellence Award for outstanding achievement in pro bono advocacy by a team of at least three barristers are Áine Magee QC, Dr Sue McNicol AM QC, Elizabeth Ruddle SC, Marko Cvjeticanin, Fiona Ryan, Maria Pilipasidis, Barbara Myers, Fiona Spencer, Andrew Sim, Dr Kylie Weston-Scheuber, Mathew Kenneally and Gayann Walker. 
  • The winner of the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Trophy for outstanding individual achievement in pro bono advocacy over a long period is Matthew Albert.

We thank all the winners and nominees for improving access to justice for our community. 

More information about:

  • the winners is here.
  • the nominees is here.