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Annabelle Claire Bennett AC, SC (born 8 January 1950)[1] is the Chancellor of Bond University and a former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

Annabelle Bennett

Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
In office
5 May 2003 – 23 March 2016
8th Chancellor of Bond University
Assumed office
19 April 2016
Preceded byHelen Nugent
Personal details
Annabelle Claire Darin

(1950-01-08) 8 January 1950 (age 69)
Sydney, Australia
David Bennett (m. 1972)
EducationUniversity of Sydney
University of NSW
OccupationJudge, Lawyer

Early life and educationEdit

Annabelle Claire Bennett (born Darin). Was born in Sydney, Australia, to Emanuel Darin (born Finkelstein) and Raissa Darin (born Atlas).

Bennett's father was a lawyer, and at an early age she had hopes of following him into the legal profession. Her father, however, thought that law was a bad career choice for women, because "you had to be better than the best to break even"[2] and discouraged his daughter from pursuing this ambition. Instead, Bennett studied science at the University of Sydney and completed a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the same institution.

In 1980, still interested in the legal profession, Bennett went on to study law at the University of New South Wales.[2]


After graduating from the University of New South Wales, Bennett began practising as a barrister, specialising in intellectual property law.[3]

Federal CourtEdit

She was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia on 5 May 2003.[3] Bennett was also an additional Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and a presidential member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.[3]

Bennett is arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was named for the special arbitration panel to operate during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[4]

Bennett retired from the Federal Court on 23 March 2016,[5] and now practises as a consultant barrister, mediator and arbitrator at 5 Wentworth.[6]

Bond UniversityEdit

In April 2016, Bennett became the eighth Chancellor of Bond University in Queensland.[7]

Awards and honoursEdit

Bennett was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2005, for "service to the law, particularly in the areas of intellectual property, administrative law and professional conduct; and to the community through a range of educational, medical, womens and business organisations".[8] In 2011, she received the honorary degree of Doctor of the University from the Australian National University.[9] She was upgraded to a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours.[10] In 2016 she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of New South Wales[11].

Personal lifeEdit

Annabelle Bennett is married to David Bennett, the former Commonwealth Solicitor-General[2] and has had three children with him.

Outside of the courtroom, Bennett's interest in biological sciences has continued, and she has been involved in a number of committees, including the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee, the Biotechnology Task Force and the Gene Patenting Advisory Committee of the Australian Law Reform Commission. She has also served as a Director of the Sydney Children's Hospital and Neuroscience Research Australia and is a former president of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.[2][9] In 2012, she was appointed Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council.[12]

Bennett is also a past President of Chief Executive Women, a former Trustee of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, and was a member of the Reference Group for the APEC Women Leaders' Network Meeting 2007 and the Head of the Australian Delegation to the APEC Women Leaders' Network Meeting 2008 in Peru.


  1. ^ Who's Who in Australia. ConnectWeb.
  2. ^ a b c d Jerums, Georgina (January 2009). "A Top Honour". Management Today. Australian Institute of Management. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Ceremonial Sitting of the Full Court to farewell the Honourable Justice Bennett AO". Federal Court of Australia. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  4. ^ Jeffery, Nicole (9 December 2015). "Rio Olympics: Canberra judge Annabelle Bennett on arbitration panel". The Australian. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Former Judges of the Federal Court". Federal Court of Australia. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  6. ^ "The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC". 5 Wentworth. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  7. ^ "8th Chancellor and the new Council". Bond University. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  8. ^ "BENNETT, Annabelle Claire". Australian Honours search facility. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Roll of honour". Australian National University. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  10. ^ "The Honourable Dr Annabelle Claire Bennett AO SC". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Honorary Degrees". UNSW Sydney. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Members of Council 2012–2015 triennium". National Health and Medical Research Council. Retrieved 24 August 2017.


Academic offices
Preceded by
Helen Nugent
Chancellor of Bond University