Bernard Collaery is a lawyer and former politician.  He was a member of the Australian Capital Territory’s first Legislative Assembly from 1989 to 1992 and he served as Deputy Chief Minister and Attorney-General from 1989 to 1991 in the Kaine Alliance Government.

In June 2018, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions charged Mr Collaery under the National Security Information (NSI) Act with disclosing protected intelligence information. That case, the “Whistle Blower” or “Witness K” case, relates to the Australia–East Timor spying scandal, in which the Australian government bugged Timor-Leste offices in order to gain an advantage during commercial negotiations to carve up the resource-rich Timor Sea.  However, in July 2022, the charges were waived by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.  Mr Collaery’s defence to the charges was never reached.  More than four years were taken up on pre-trial challenges to secrecy.

Mr Collaery will present on his experiences and insights in that extraordinary case.