Fiona McLeod SC, the senior vice chairman of the Victorian Bar Council, has been recognised for her dedication to fighting against slavery, people trafficking and forced labour.
McLeod was one of seven awarded an individual contribution award in the inaugural Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Awards, presented by the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Brendan O'Connor, in Canberra on 23 November.
McLeod was feted as a pioneer in the field of anti-slavery and human trafficking in Australia, with her pro bono work as a legal representative and advisor to victims highlighted. She also pursued the first victim's compensation claims on behalf of victims of sex trafficking in NSW and Victoria, in which she acted pro bono for Project Respect.
McLeod was the senior counsel for the Commonwealth appearing in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, and the senior counsel for the Commonwealth in the 2011 Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.