Editor: Dr Hugh McDermott

Hugh  is a practicing Barrister and Senior Lecturer in Law Enforcement at the CSU Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security, Sydney. He has served in senior roles on numerous ALP policy committees, election campaigns, state and federal government committees and was a member of the AWU NSW State Executive.   Hugh was a NSW ALP Senate Candidate in 2010, working full time on the Federal Campaign.  During the 2011 NSW State Campaign he was the ALP Campaign Director for Parramatta.

Hugh was recently elected as a Rank-and-File Representative to the NSW Labor State Policy Forum,  Co-Chair of the NSW Labor Safer Communities Commission, and President  of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers.

Hugh’s Background

Hugh grew up in central and southern Queensland. After leaving school he worked in a number of unskilled and semi-skilled jobs including as a barman, jackeroo, office clerk and soldier in the Australian Army. Hugh was awarded the Australian Defence Medal (ADM) for his military service.

After moving to Sydney in 1992, Hugh began working as a Research Officer for former NSW Labor Council Secretary and Wran Government Minister, John Ducker AO, and as a part-time official in the Newcastle Branch of the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia. Subsequently during the amalgamation process, Hugh was appointed as a State Organiser with the NSW Branch of the AWU in 1994. Hugh was elected to the AWU NSW Branch State Executive in 1998 and later appointed NSW Metal Mining Industry Co-ordinator.

Hugh studied part-time completing a Bachelor of Laws (Hons 2:1) and a Masters in Labour Law & Relations from The University of Sydney. In 2000 Hugh was awarded a number of scholarships and offered the post of Doctoral Researcher at the School of Law, King’s College London. Hugh moved to the UK to complete a PhD in Law under the supervision of leading public law academic, Professor Keith Ewing. Hugh lectured law at The University of London and The University of Cambridge.

In the UK, Hugh continued to be involved with progressive politics and worked on election campaigns for the British Labour Party, trade unions and ALP Aboard. In February 2002 Hugh was elected a Commissioner of the International Commission for Labour Rights, Geneva. In 2004, he was appointed as the International Policy Adviser (Asia-Pacific) at The Law Society of England & Wales, London. He served as Executive Secretary to The Law Society International Issues Committee and in 2005 was appointed as a member of the UK Government Negotiating Team on FDI facilitation between India and Britain.

Continuing to build his international legal career, Hugh moved to the Caribbean in 2006. Whilst there he continued his progressive political activism by campaigning for the establishment of an anti-corruption commission in the Cayman Islands, immigration reform and the recognition of trade union rights. Hugh also assisted on the 2008 US Democratic Party Presidential Primaries in Florida.

Hugh returned to Australia in 2008 to take up a senior position within the Australian Securities & Investments Commision. In 2010 Hugh returned to private legal practice and academia.

To see Hugh’s comments about reform of NSW Labor go to www.hughmcdermott.com

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Progressing the Social Democratic Agenda