AGS Alumni was launched in Canberra in March 2012, followed by events in every capital city in the following months. The events attracted significant numbers of past and present AGS employees, and an array of distinguished Alumni speakers. CEO Ian Govey described the setting up of the Alumni program as a very important achievement for AGS.
'In its current and earlier structures, AGS has been at the centre of the Australian Government's work for over 110 years,' he said. 'Whatever former colleagues do or did after leaving (AGS), the time spent working as the primary legal advisers to the Commonwealth is remembered fondly, both for the important and interesting work we do, the commitment to acting in the public interest and because of the colleagues with whom the experience was shared.'
AGS Alumni includes 4 High Court judges – Mary Gaudron (1987), Sir William Deane (1982), Sir Alan Taylor (1952) and Sir Charles Powers (1913), as well as 2 current Federal Court judges, several State Supreme Court judges and many other judicial officers who spent some, and in a number of cases, many years at AGS and its earlier emanations. In addition to judicial appointments, former colleagues currently occupy a range of senior Commonwealth public service positions, particularly general counsel positions. New South Wales Attorney General, Greg Smith and Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells are also alumni.
High-profile Alumni speakers at our launches were the Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler SC, in Canberra; the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley, NSW Court of Appeal, and the Hon Justice Alan Robertson, Federal Court of Australia in Sydney; Dr Claire Noonan, Executive Director of Consumer Affairs, Victoria in Melbourne; the Hon Justice John Logan, RFD, Federal Court, and Barry Cosgrove, Queensland Magistrate in Brisbane; Sarah Court, ACCC Commissioner in Adelaide; George Turnbull, Legal Aid Commissioner of Western Australia and Michael Cole, CEO College of Law, in Perth, and Martyn Hagan, Executive Director, Law Society of Tasmania in Hobart.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback received from Alumni and current AGS employees about the initiative, and the launch events were showcased in the inaugural AGS Alumni newsletter.
This is an extract from the 2011–12 AGS annual report