Fellow of the University of Wollongong
Citation orated by Professor Alex Frino
Chancellor, I present Craig Osborne.
Lawyer and civic leader, Craig Osborne sets a high benchmark for service to education, his profession and the community. As a champion of the University’s Law students, he personifies the qualities they will need to find not only success but also meaning and fulfilment. Craig’s example shows that continuity of commitment is a bedrock for innovation and change.
Craig Osborne graduated from the University of New South Wales in 1987 with degrees in Commerce and Law. He quickly joined the Wollongong law firm, Russell, McClelland and Brown, and played a key role in their transformation into RMB Lawyers, the Illawarra’s largest law firm. Craig’s long and impressive career with RMB is a testament to the respect he has earned from colleagues and clients and his capacity to drive change. His standards helped to shape the RMB brand. Today, he is their Managing Partner as well as the Founder and CEO of Unison Outsourcing Pty Ltd, Australia’s first legal process outsourcing firm.
The University of Wollongong is fortunate to have “retained” Craig Osborne’s services for nearly two decades. His professional and personal commitment to the Law Faculty has provided valuable advice and opened up study and career opportunity doors for our students. Craig has championed RMB’s student training and internship programs, prizes and workshops, and the employment of UOW law graduates. Over 60% of RMB’s lawyers are now UOW alumni.
Craig was instrumental in assuring RMB’s contribution to the Jack Goldring Scholarship which supports students with the passion and proven capacity to pursue law reform or social justice. RMB made the largest corporate donation of $25,000, a pledge they have recently renewed. Craig has generously given his time to serve on the scholarship interview panel. He is also an active member of the Faculty of Law Advisory Committee.
In 2014, the University knew where to look for the business and entrepreneurial intelligence needed to guide its flagship development, iAccelerate. Craig Osborne is a member the Advisory Panel, providing pro bono legal and business advice to start-up companies. This is a partnership “made in heaven”, the combination of a paradigm shift in how businesses are grown and a business leader committed to innovation, to motivating talent and, in his own words, to “building regional Australia’s capabilities and economy.”
Craig Osborne’s devotion to family and community is witnessed in voluntary roles across many organisations, from football and surf life-saving to Illawarra Health and LifeLine. He has been named Illawarra Business Person of the Year twice and received the 2005 Philip King Memorial Award, a national accolade for outstanding leadership to the legal profession.
Chancellor, Mr Osborne’s contribution to the University and its Law Faculty is influential and open-hearted. His services to his profession and to his community are enduring and far-reaching. Craig Osborne shows us how to steer towards the future with values, conviction and skill.
It is a privilege to present Craig Osborne for admission as a Fellow of the University of Wollongong.