MICHAEL RAPER of the Welfare Rights Centre of NSW has been awarded with the 2007 Justice Award presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW.
Raper was presented with the award by Sir Anthony Mason at a ceremony last week, in recognition of his campaigning and advocacy for reductions in levels of poverty, inequality and hardship. Since 1990, Raper has been director of the centre which specialises in social security and family tax benefit law, helping the disadvantaged access their entitlements.
Other awards presented included the Aboriginal Justice Award to Paul Teerman, Aboriginal Client Service Officer at Penrith Local Court. Teerman won for helping young people better understand the legal system and by helping them to avoid the criminal justice system. He is currently setting up a mentoring program with community groups and schools, identifying opportunities for young people to either pursue further education or trades.
Terri Janke was highly commended in the same category for her work to assist Aboriginal artists and cultural organisations on matters relating to intellectual property rights.
Other awards handed out on the night included: the Pro Bono Partnership Award presented to the partnership of the Homicide Victim’s Support Group and Henry Davis York; the Law And Justice Volunteer Award presented to Brenda McKinnon of the Albury Wodonga Community Information Referral Centre; the Law Society President’s Award presented to David Roth of Mulley Roth Solicitors; the Combined Community Legal Centres Group Award presented to Linda Wright of the Illawarra Community Legal Centre; and the LIAC Centre of Excellence Award presented to Richmond-Upper Clarence Regional Library and Maitland City Library.