MLS community celebrates 160 years at Gala Dinner

MLS alumni, staff, students and friends celebrated the 160th anniversary of Melbourne Law School at a gala dinner on Saturday 3rd June.

Almost 500 friends of Melbourne Law School gathered at a black-tie event at the Sofitel Melbourne. MLS Dean Professor Carolyn Evans welcomed special guests.

“It is such a great pleasure to be here tonight with so many of our friends, alumni, colleagues and students to celebrate our wonderful law school and its rich history,” Professor Evans said.

“The opportunity to be part of such an exceptional community is never one that I have taken for granted,” Professor Evans said. “It is such a delight to spend tonight with you, celebrating our community and thanking our members for their ongoing support.”

The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, an alumna of the Law School, commended Melbourne Law School for its contribution to the wider Victorian community.

“As an alumna, I’m proud to have studied at Melbourne Law School. As the Governor, I’m proud that it is part of Victoria’s past and our future, and I congratulate all of those associated with it,” she said.

From left: Mr James Gorman, Dean Professor Carolyn Evans, The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC and Chancellor Mr Allan Myers AC QC.

Chancellor Mr Allan Myers AC QC thanked the MLS community for their generosity in supporting the Law School. He announced an upcoming gift from Peter and Ruth McMullin to establish the world’s first academic centre devoted to the problem of statelessness, describing it as “one of the most significant and visionary philanthropic initiatives in the history of the Law School”.

Recent graduate Ms Nyadol Nyuon, a graduate lawyer at Arnold Bloch Leibler and former scholarship recipient, spoke about the transformative impact that the generosity of the MLS community has had on her.

“Within the last twelve years, my family has moved from being stateless, and refugees, to enjoying the privileges and protections of being Australian citizens,” she said. “I have gone from sitting in an overcrowded classroom to graduating from the University of Melbourne.”

The keynote address for the night was delivered by Mr James Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley and an alumnus of the Law School, who spoke about the impact that his education in Melbourne has had on his subsequent career in international finance. His thoughtful and often humorous reflections traversed the Global Financial Crisis, the role for innovation in Australia’s future, and the trials and tribulations of being a Collingwood supporter. He also made clear how much he valued his time at Melbourne.

“I can honestly say that the education I received at the Law School made my transition to study and work in New York very straight forward,” he said.

Mr James Gorman delivered the evening's keynote address.

The Honourable Kenneth Hayne closed the event with a toast to the Law School that included an important reflection on the place of the Law School in our community.

The MLS 160th Anniversary Gala Dinner was made possible thanks to platinum sponsor Morgan Stanley and gold sponsors Arnold Bloch Leibler, Victorian Bar and Mr Bill Gurry AO.