Katrina Dawson Award May 2024



The Bar Association is delighted to announce that Olivia Ronan is the recipient of the Katrina Dawson Award for May 2024.

Olivia was admitted as a solicitor in 2018, having graduated from the University of Sydney with degrees in Arts and Law (Hons). In 2020, she completed a Masters of Law at the University of Sydney on a Professor Ross Waite Parsons Scholarship, and finished fourth in her graduating cohort.

Olivia has extensive experience as a public and government lawyer. She is presently Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth, a role which involves work on advice and litigation for the Commonwealth on complex questions of constitutional and public law, and in which she has recently been briefed as counsel for the Commonwealth in the High Court appeals from Stradford (a pseudonym) v Judge Vasta [2023] FCA 1020. Before working as Counsel Assisting, she was Associate to the Hon Justice Gleeson of the High Court of Australia, and was previously Associate to the Hon Justice Perram of the Federal Court of Australia. She has also worked as Counsel (Senior Lawyer) in the Office of General Counsel at the Australian Government Solicitor.

Olivia’s achievements also extend to her work in the community. In 2020, she was elected as Chair of the Board of Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) where she presently serves, after having been a Director since 2016. The ICLC is the community legal centre which provides the only state-wide legal service for the LGBTIQ community. As Chair, she oversaw the negotiations with three other community legal centres which led to the creation of the Migrant Employment Legal Service (now the Employment Rights Legal Service), the first state-wide service providing advice and representation to migrants and vulnerable workers across NSW.

Olivia is deeply committed to participating in life at the Bar, and in particular, promoting the inclusion and advancement of women and the LGBTIQ community at the Bar and developing a meaningful pro bono practice.

Olivia passed the Bar Exam in February 2024 and intends to sit the September 2024 Bar Practice Course.

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