There is universal agreement that corruption is a major impediment to the social and economic well-being of many communities. A legal, political and moral challenge arises to identify the sources of corruption and to put in place systems for nurturing and maintaining integrity. In Queensland, this brief was placed in the guiding hands of the Hon. Tony Fitzgerald when, in 1987, he was appointed to conduct the Commission of Inquiry into "Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct". Over the two years of its operation, the Fitzgerald Inquiry made a dramatic impact on public life in Queensland and influenced the entire future institutional framework of the State as well as becoming a model for other Inquiries.
Born and educated in Queensland, the Hon. Tony Fitzgerald achieved a distinguished legal career at the bar and as a member of the judiciary. He has become one of 'the defining figures, not only of the Queensland legal profession, but of the Queensland community generally'. He is a person to whom the State of Queensland and the Australian nation owes a great debt.