The Australian Institute of Employment Rights (AIER) Executive is delighted with the Australian Government’s decision to honour the work and life of Professor Ron McCallum AO by naming him Senior Australian of the Year. The recognition of Professor McCallum in this way is an appropriate reflection of a personal and professional life committed to social justice and equality, respect for individuals and their rights, advancement in our laws to achieve this and the education of generations of students who can carry this message forward.
There is hardly a labour lawyer in the country who hasn’t been influenced by the teachings of Professor McCallum and it is noteworthy that Australia’s courts are populated by a number of judges who have at one time or another passed through his classroom.
Professor McCallum is ever generous with his time and intellect, mentoring and supporting many who have gone on to be influential lawyers, policy advisers, academics and human rights activists. His humility and generosity with his substantial intellect means that in every conversation every person feels their views are encouraged and genuinely considered. It is an enriching process to have even fifteen minutes with him.
In recent years Professor McCallum has turned his considerable skills to the international stage, becoming a skilled diplomat in order to progress the interests of disabled persons within the United Nations as a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Professor McCallum became a Patron of AIER in 2010 and he gives his time generously, assisting AIER to achieve its objects.