Our Patron - Brian Lacy AO

The IRSV is honoured to call Brian Lacy AO its patron.

Brian served two years as President of the Industrial Relations Society Victoria and one year as President of Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association.  Brian has been the stalwart of the IRSV’s acclaimed annual advocacy course for many years alongside Chris O’Grady QC.

Brian came to the legal profession somewhat late in life graduating with a Bachelor of Laws from Melbourne University in 1983.  He subsequently completed a Master of Commerce with Honours in 1992.  Entering the legal profession at a mature age has clearly been an advantage.  Brian has practiced as a Solicitor, a Barrister and in 2001 was appointed as a Senior Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, a position he held for 8 years. 

Most recently, Brian returned to Melbourne from the Indian Ocean Territories [IOT] at the conclusion of his three year commission as Administrator for Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Brian has a broad range of knowledge and experience in community and corporate responsibilities and administration.  He served as an analyst special duties and Indonesian Interpreter with the Australian Regular Army and Defence Signals from 1961 to 1974, seeing active service in Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and South Vietnam. He was District Registrar of the Federal Court of Australia and Registrar in Bankruptcy from 1983 to 1986.  Whilst practicing as a solicitor he was appointed managing partner of the firm from 1987 until 1992.

As Administrator for the IOT Brian chaired the Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands Emergency Management Committees. As such he was instrumental in coordinating the response and recovery in respect of the tragic asylum seeker boat disaster on 15 December 2010 and the containment of the Christmas Island detention centre riots in March 2011. He also chaired the Islands’ Economic Development Committees, the Health Consultative Committees and the Inter Agency Coordination Committees.

Brian’s strong sense of community remains an important part of his life beyond the field of industrial relations.  In the 1990s and early 2000s and on his return from the IOT, he undertook voluntary work with UnitingCare Harrison, an organisation which provided a range of services and support for the homeless and other people in need. He previously served nine years as Chair of Harrison Community Services. Brian also chaired the Trinity Uniting Church North Balwyn Council from 2006 until 2009.  He recently joined the North Balwyn Rotary Club and enjoys helping his local community through the assistance it provides to those in need. Brian is also very passionate about the plight of refugees. His hands-on experience with asylum seekers whilst Administrator of the IOT makes him a well-qualified speaker on this issue and he frequently speaks to community groups, members of the legal profession and other related professionals sharing his ideas for solutions to this world wide problem.