Bond University awards highest alumni recognition to esteemed lawyer Derek Cronin

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Bond University awards highest alumni recognition to esteemed lawyer Derek Cronin

Cronin Miller partner Derek Cronin, winner of Bond University's Robert Stable Medal.

Bond University has recognised the achievements and community contribution of lawyer Derek Cronin, partner of Gold Coast law firm Cronin Miller, by awarding him its highest honour – the Robert Stable Medal.

The Robert Stable Medal is awarded to a Bond University graduate for achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, and who has brought distinction to themselves, credit to the university, and benefit to their communities through their vocation.

Both Cronin and his fellow law firm partner Stacy Miller are the only solicitors on the Gold Coast recognised as recommended lawyers for their area of commercial litigation in the prestigious Doyle’s Guide.

To help cement the reputation of the firm, whose team has doubled to 20 staff over the past decade including 12 solicitors, Cronin Miller also acquired the naming rights to their Gold Coast office at 33 Elkhorn Avenue in Surfers Paradise.

Founded in 2006 initially as Cronin Litigation, the firm itself is actively engaged in mediation and disputes as well we bankruptcy, liquidation and insolvency related matters, and is well-known for its work in high-profile insolvencies including those of Condev Constructions and Pivotal Homes.

Aside from Cronin’s professional success, Bond University has highlighted his advocacy for equality and inclusion.

It notes the contribution of his legal and advocacy knowledge to the Queensland Aids Council as its Vice-President from 2012 to 2018, and his efforts to push for increased government funding for the Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth as a member of its board.

Cronin was one of the university’s original 322 students in 1989, and since then has maintained active ties with the educational institution including eight years on the Bond University Council until 2023, among other positions held.

Cronin has also been a supporter of the Bond Law Clinic since its inception a decade ago, providing pro bono advice to the community.

He believes he was selected for the accolade, named after the university’s sixth Vice Chancellor Robert Stable, because of the numerous activities he is engaged in, also including his roles as honorary solicitor for both the Northcliffe Surf Club and the Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club.

“It’s also because of our involvement as a firm in the promotion of various initiatives such as Women of Influence, Pink Ribbon Cup Raceday and Young Professionals Gold Coast – we’ve been long-term supporters of them,” he says.

“There’s that long-term involvement, as well being a solicitor and being involved in a relatively successful business on the Gold Coast,” he adds.

He is particularly proud of his involvement in Women of Influence, promoting gender equality and diversity.

“We have more women in management roles than men. We don’t just talk, we practise what we preach,” he says.

The accolade winner is also regarded as the chief organiser for the ‘originals’ cohort who catch-up every few years – this year at Burleigh Brewing, owned by fellow alumnus Peta Fielding.

“I’ve definitely worn a number of different hats at the university,” Cronin says.

“I relished the role on the Bond University Council and with the alumni team, I felt I had a lot to give to help it develop and ensure we were properly engaging with graduates.

“The Bond spirit is what we live with when we attend the university, and it stays with us. I’ve been in London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai over the years and, whenever I’m in another part of the world, I always manage to find a Bondie to catch-up with.”

The annual award ceremony, which was held at Bond University on 16 May 2024, was attended by approximately 200 attendees at the Princeton Room at the University campus, including his parents, Dr David Cronin and Lyndell Cronin, and many of the alumni, staff and students of the University.

In accepting the award, Derek described his time on campus as a member of the then Student Council, and of the need to 'give back' to the Bond community in circumstances where he felt that the university had been the cornerstone and foundation of his career as a solicitor.

He praised Vice Chancellor of Bond, Professor Tim Brailsford, for his unwavering support for the development of the alumni over a significant number of years.

Derek also gave thanks to the immense support and encouragement from his mentor, The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC who has this month completed her term (as required by the Constitution) as Chancellor of Bond University for a record seven-year term.

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