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List of the first women appointed to Australian judicial positions

The first court was established in 1788,[1] the first woman to be awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree graduated in 1903,[2] and the first woman barrister was admitted in 1905.[3] It was not until 1965 that the first women was appointed to an Australian judicial position.[4] These pioneering Australians have been described as members of the FW2 club or First Woman to club.[5] The list includes positions to which no woman has been appointed as of September 2018. It does not include abolished courts to which no woman was appointed, such as the Commonwealth Industrial Court.

For a list of the first women lawyers see list of first women lawyers (Australia)

Jurisdiction first woman to be appointed Name Date Comments Notes
Commonwealth Chief Justice of Australia Susan Kiefel 31 January 2017 [6]
Judge of the High Court Mary Gaudron 6 February 1987 [7]
Chief Justice of the Federal Court
Judge of the Federal Court Deirdre O'Connor 1 July 1990 [8]
Chief Justice of the Family Court Elizabeth Evatt 11 November 1976 [9]
Judge of the Family Court Elizabeth Evatt 11 November 1976 [9]
Chief Federal Magistrate [a] Diana Bryant 11 May 2000 [10]
Federal Magistrate Norah Hartnett
Christine Mead
Judy Ryan
28 June 2000 [11]
NSW Chief Justice
President of the Court of Appeal Margaret Beazley 1 March 2013 [12]
Judge of Appeal Margaret Beazley 29 April 1996 [12]
Judge of the Supreme Court Jane Mathews 7 July 1987 [13]
Chief Judge of the Land & Environment Court Mahla Pearlman 6 April 1992 [14]
Judge of the Land & Environment Court Mahla Pearlman 6 April 1992 [14]
Judge of the Industrial Court Leonie Glynn 14 April 1980 [15]
Chief Judge of the District Court
Judge of the District Court Jane Mathews 1980 [13]
Victoria Chief Justice Marilyn Warren 25 November 2003 [16]
President of the Court of Appeal
Judge of the Court of Appeal Susan Kenny 25 July 1997 [17]
Supreme Court Rosemary Balmford 6 March 1996 [18]
Chief Judge of the County Court
Judge of the County Court Lynette Schiftan 1985 [19]
Queensland Chief Justice Catherine Holmes 11 September 2015 [20]
President of the Court of Appeal Margaret McMurdo 30 July 1998 [21]
Judge of the Supreme Court Margaret White 2 April 1992 [22]
Chief Judge of the District Court Patsy Wolfe 1999 [23]
Judge of the District Court Margaret McMurdo 29 January 1991 [21]
South Australia Chief Justice
Judge of the Supreme Court Roma Mitchell 23 September 1965 [4]
Chief Judge of the District Court
Judge of the District Court Kemeri Murray 1973 [24]
Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Bolton February 2007 [25]
Tasmania Chief Justice
Supreme Court Shan Tennent 15 March 2005 [26]
Western Australia Chief Justice
President Court of Appeal Carmel McLure November 2009 [27]
Judge of the Supreme Court Christine Wheeler 30 October 1996 [28]
Family Court
Chief Judge of the District Court Antoinette Kennedy 1 January 2004 [29]
Judge of the District Court Antoinette Kennedy 15 March 1985 [30]
ACT Chief Justice Helen Murrell 28 October 2013 [31]
Additional judge of the Supreme Court Margaret Beazley 22 June 1994 [12]
Resident judge of the Supreme Court Hilary Penfold 1 February 2008 [32]
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker 13 October 2011 [33]
Magistrate Karen Fryar 6 September 1993 [34]
NT Chief Justice
Supreme Court Sally Thomas 30 July 1992 [35]
Norfolk Island Chief Justice
Supreme Court Susan Kiefel 16 December 2004

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ David Collins (1798), An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales
  2. ^ O'Brien, Joan M. (1981). "Evans, Ada Emily (1872 - 1947)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 8. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3. ^ Campbell, R; Barton (1983). "Greig, Grata Flos Matilda (1880–1958)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 9. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Roma Flinders Mitchell", Australian Women Lawyers
  5. ^ McColl, R. "Celebrating Women in the Judiciary". [2014] New South Wales Judicial Scholarship 2. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Susan Kiefel". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Mary Genevieve Gaudron". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Deirdre O'Connor". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Elizabeth Andreas Evatt". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Diana Bryant". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  11. ^ "2000-01 Annual Report". Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "Margaret Beazley". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Jane Mathews". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Mahla Pearlman". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Leone Carmel Glynn". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  16. ^ Shiel, Fergus (26 November 2003). "Trailblazing lawyer named chief justice". The Age. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Susan Kenny". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Inspiring trailblazer for women in law". Sydney Morning Herald. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Lynnette Rochelle Schiftan". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Catherine Holmes named as Queensland chief justice". ABC News. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  21. ^ a b "McMurdo, Margaret". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  22. ^ "The Honourable Justice Margaret J White AO". Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Patricia (Patsy) Wolfe". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Highly respected Judge farewelled". Family Court of Australia. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Ill health forces first female South Australia chief magistrate Elizabeth Bolton to resign after eight years". The Advertiser. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Shan Eve Tennent". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Carmel McLure". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  28. ^ Offer, Kate. "The Judges of Western Australia: Part II" (PDF). (1998) 27 University of Western Australia Law Review 248.
  29. ^ "Past District Court Judges". District Court of WA. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Antoinette Kennedy". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  31. ^ Inman, Michael. "Introducing the ACT's first female Supreme Court Chief Justice". Canberra Times. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  32. ^ Gorrey, M (6 October 2017). "Justice Hilary Penfold to retire from ACT Supreme Court". Canberra Times. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  33. ^ Cummins, Jamie (1 February 2012). "Canberra Conversations: Lorraine Walker". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  34. ^ Back, Alexandra (8 March 2019). "Karen Fryar, first woman to the bench in Canberra, retires". Canberra Times. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  35. ^ "Sally Gordon Thomas". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 4 January 2018.