List of first women lawyers and judges in Oceania

This is a list of the first women lawyer(s) and judge(s) in Australia and Oceania. It includes the year in which the women were admitted to practice law (in parentheses). Also included are the first women in their country to achieve a certain distinction such as obtaining a law degree.

American Samoa (USA)Edit

See List of first women lawyers and judges in the Territories of the U.S. for more details.

AustraliaEdit

 
Edith Cowan: First female magistrate in Australia (1920)
  • Flos Greig (1905):[1] First female barrister in Australia
  • Agnes McWhinney (1915): First female solicitor in Australia (upon being called to the Queensland Bar)
  • Edith Cowan:[2] First female magistrate in Australia (1920)
  • Elizabeth Evatt (1956):[3] First female appointed as a Judge of the Family Court of Australia and serve as its Chief Justice (1976)
  • Mahla Pearlman (1960):[4] First female appointed as a Chief Judge of any jurisdiction in Australia (upon her appointed as the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales in 1992)
  • Roma Mitchell (1962):[5][6][7][8] First female judge in Australia (1965). She was also the first female Queen's Counsel (QC) in South Australia and Governor of South Australia (1991).
  • Mary Gaudron (1968):[9][10][11] First female appointed as a Justice of the High Court in Australia (1987), as well as the first female Solicitor-General in Australia (upon her appointment to the position in New South Wales in 1981). She was also the first female Queen's Counsel (QC) in New South Wales (1981).
  • Diana Bryant (1970):[12] First female appointed as the Chief Federal Magistrate of Australia (2000)
  • Deidre O'Connor (1974):[13] First female appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1990)
  • Marilyn Warren (1975): First female justice appointed as a Chief Justice in Australia (upon her appointment as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2003)
  • Susan Kiefel (1975): First female justice appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (2016). She was also the first female Queen's Counsel (QC) in Queensland and the first female appointed as a Justice of the Norfolk Island Supreme Court (2004).
  • Margaret McMurdo (1976):[14] First female to serve as the president of an appellate court in Australia (upon her appointment as the President of the Queensland Court of Appeal in 1998)
  • Catherine Branson (c. 1977):[15] First female to become a Crown Solicitor in Australia (1984)
  • Norah Hartnett, Christine Mead, Judy Ryan:[16] First females appointed as Federal Magistrates for what is now the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (2000).

Firsts in a particular region in AustraliaEdit

Federated statesEdit

New South WalesEdit
  • Marie Beuzeville Byles (1924):[17] First female solicitor in New South Wales, Australia
  • Phyllis M. Boissier:[18] First female Justice of the Peace in New South Wales, Australia (c. 1920s)
  • Mahla Pearlman (1960):[19] First female to serve as the Chief Judge of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court (1992)
  • Jane Mathews (1961):[20] First female to serve as a crown prosecutor in New South Wales (1978). She later became the first female appointed as a Judge of the New South Wales District Court (1980) and Judge of the New South Wales Supreme Court (1987).
  • Ella Simon:[21] First Aboriginal female Justice of the Peace in New South Wales (1962)
  • Margaret Sleeman:[22][23] First female magistrate in New South Wales, Australia (1970)
  • Margaret Beazley (1974):[24] First female appointed as Judge of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1996) and serve as its President (2013)
  • Patricia “Pat” O’Shane (1976):[25] First Aboriginal female barrister and judge of the local court in New South Wales
  • Leone Glynn:[26] First female appointed as a Judge of the Industrial Court in New South Wales (1980)
  • Lyn McLardy:[27] First female solicitor in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
QueenslandEdit
  • Irene Winifred Paten (1914):[28] First Queensland female to become a barrister (though she was admitted to the Victorian Bar)
  • Agnes McWhinney (1915): First female solicitor in Queensland, Australia
  • Matilda Hennessey:[29][30][31] First female Justice of the Peace in Queensland, Australia (1918)
  • Una Prentice (1938):[32] First female admitted to the Queensland Bar and serve as a prosecutor for the Australian Commonwealth Crown Solicitor.
  • Margaret White:[33] First female appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1992)
  • Patsy Wolfe:[34] First female appointed as the Chief Judge of the District Court (1999)
  • Catherine Holmes (1982):[35] First female justice appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland (2015)
South AustraliaEdit
TasmaniaEdit
VictoriaEdit
  • Joan Rosanove (1919):[45][46] First female barrister and solicitor in Victoria, Australia. She was also the first female Queen's Counsel (QC) in Victoria, Australia (1965).
  • Mary Catherine Rogers:[47] First female Justice of the Peace in Victoria, Australia (1920)
  • Francine McNiff:[48][49] First female judicial officer in Victoria (1983)
  • Margaret Rizkalla:[49][50][51] First female appointed to the Magistrates’ Court in Victoria, Australia (1985)
  • Lynnette Schiftan (1967):[52] First female appointed as a Judge of the County Court of Victoria (1985)
  • Kathryn Kings:[53] First female judicial officer (Master) of the Supreme Court of Victoria (1993)
  • Rosemary Balmford (c. 1960s):[54] First female appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria (1996)
  • Susan Kenny (1981):[55] First female appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal in Victoria (1997)
  • Pamela Tate:[56] First female Solicitor General in Victoria (2003)
  • Linda Lovett (2006):[57][58] First Aboriginal female lawyer in Victoria, Australia
  • Elizabeth Nickolls:[59] Reputed to be the first female solicitor in the Western District of Victoria, Australia
Western AustraliaEdit
  • Auvergne Doherty (1922): First Western Australian female called to the English Bar following the enactment of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 (Western Australia)
  • Daisy Bates:[37] First female Justice of the Peace in South Australia and Western Australia (c. 1920)
  • Alice May Cummins (1930):[60] First female admitted to practice law in Western Australia
  • Margaret Battye (1933):[61] First female lawyer to represent a client and start a legal practice in Western Australia
  • Valerie French (1975):[62] First female barrister called to the Western Australia Bar
  • Antoinette Kennedy:[63] First female judge in Western Australia (upon her appointment as a Judge of the District Court in 1985). She later became the first female Chief Judge of the District Court (2004).
  • Cheryl Edwardes:[64] First female Attorney General of Western Australia (1993)
  • Carmel McLure (c. 1970s):[65] First female appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (2009)
  • Christine Wheeler (c. 1980):[66] First female Queen's Counsel (QC) in Western Australia (1994)
  • Rosalinda Fogliani (1985):[67] First female (a barrister) to serve as the State Coroner of Western Australia (2014)

Self-governing territoriesEdit

Australian Capital TerritoryEdit
Northern TerritoryEdit
  • Lorraine Liddle (1986):[74] First Aboriginal female lawyer in the Northern Territory, Australia
  • Sally Gearin (1990):[75] First female lawyer in the Northern Territory Bar, Australia
  • Jessie Litchfield:[76] First female Justice of the Peace in the Northern Territory, Australia (1955)
  • Sally Thomas (New South Wales; 1963):[77] First female judge in the Northern Territory (upon her appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 1992). She is also the first female to serve as the Administrator of the Northern Territory (2011).
  • Marion Scrymgour: First female (non-attorney) to serve as the Attorney General of the Northern Territory (2009)

Cook Islands (NZL)Edit

Federated States of Micronesia (USA)Edit

FijiEdit

 
Patricia Hackett: First female lawyer to take out a practicing lawyer's certificate in Fiji (c. 1930)
  • Patricia Hackett (1936):[92] First female lawyer to take out a practicing lawyer's certificate in Fiji
  • Mere Pulea:[93][94] First Fijian female to earn a law degree. She was later appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Fiji.
  • Vusega Helu:[93] First female (of Tongan descent) magistrate in Fiji (c. 1980s)
  • Nazhat Shameem (1983):[95][96][97] First female judge (who is of Indo-Fijian descent) in Fiji (upon her appointment as a Judge of the High Court of Fiji in 1999). She was also the first woman lawyer in Fiji's Department of Public Prosecutions.

French Polynesia (FRA)Edit

Firsts in a particular region in French PolynesiaEdit

  • Marie-France Luneau:[99] First (female) juvenile judge in Papeete, French Polynesia (1984)

Guam (USA)Edit

See List of first women lawyers and judges in the Territories of the U.S. for more details.

KiribatiEdit

Marshall Islands (USA)Edit

  • Rosalie Konou (1983):[103] First female lawyer in the Marshall Islands
  • Grace L. Leban:[104][105][106] First female appointed as a full-time Judge of the Traditional Rights Court in Marshall Islands (2010)
  • Vanessa Tzoannos:[107] First Greek (female) lawyer qualified to practice law in the Marshall Islands (2019)

NauruEdit

New Caledonia (FRA)Edit

New ZealandEdit

Firsts in a particular region in New ZealandEdit

Niue (NZL)Edit

  • Sarah Reeves (1985):[140][141] First female appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Niue (2014)

Norfolk Island (AUS)Edit

Northern Mariana Islands (USA)Edit

See List of first women lawyers and judges in the Territories of the U.S. for more details.

Palau (USA)Edit

  • Ernestine Rengiil (1987):[151][152] First Palauan female lawyer in Palau. She is also known as the first Palauan female to serve as the Attorney General of Palau (1992).
  • Jerrlyn Uduch Sengebau Senior:[152][153] First female judge in Palau (upon her appointment as an Associate Judge of the Land Court in 1999)
  • Kathleen M. Salii:[152] First female appointed as an Associate Justice of the Palau Supreme Court (2000)
  • Lourdes F. Materne:[152] First female appointed as a Senior Judge of the Palau Court of Common Pleas (2003)

Papua New GuineaEdit

 
Meg Taylor: First female lawyer in Papua New Guinea

Pitcairn Islands (GBR)Edit

SamoaEdit

  • Olive Nelson (1938):[167][168] First female barrister and solicitor in Samoa
  • Brenda Heather-Latu (New Zealand, 1987):[169] First female appointed as the Attorney General of Samoa (1997)
  • Mata Keli Tuatagaloa:[170][171][172] First female judge in Samoa (upon her appointment as a Judge of the District Court of Samoa in 2011). She later became the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of Samoa (2015).
  • Mareva Betham-Annandale:[173][174] First female elected as the President of the Samoa Law Society (c. 2014)

Firsts in a particular region in SamoaEdit

Solomon IslandsEdit

  • Ester Lelapitu:[176][177] First female appointed as a magistrate in the Solomon Islands (1999)
  • Jane Hamilton-White: First female appointed as the Principal Magistrate of the Solomon Islands (c. 2003-2005)
  • Emma Garo:[178][179][180][181] First female appointed as a Principal Magistrate in the Central Magistrates Court (2007) and the Chief Magistrate of the Solomon Islands (2017). Garo is also known as one of the first qualified female lawyers in the Solomon Islands.
  • Nkemdilim Izuako:[182] First female appointed as a Puisne Judge of the High Court of the Solomon Islands (2008)
  • Katalaini Ziru:[183] First female elected as the President of the Solomon Islands Bar Association (2014)
  • Rachel Subusola Olutimayin:[184][185] First female to serve as Solomon Islands' Director of Public Prosecutions (2019)

Tokelau (NZL)Edit

TongaEdit

TuvaluEdit

VanuatuEdit

KEY

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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