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Seven new Federal Magistrates appointed

This is a news release issued by the Attorney-General Robert McClelland
Seven new Federal Magistrates appointed

Attorney-General Robert McClelland today announced the appointment of seven new Federal Magistrates to the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Ms Barbara Baker, Ms Evelyn Bender, Ms Anne Demack, Mr David Dunkley, Mr Terry McGuire, Associate Professor Geoffrey Monahan and Ms Judith Walker PSM as Federal Magistrates, Mr McClelland said.

I look forward to each of them making a positive contribution to the law in their new capacity.

The Rudd Government has made these important decisions after a more transparent judicial appointment process.

I sought expressions of interest and nominations through the national media, undertook extensive consultations, and I appointed a high level panel to assess candidates and recommend suitable candidates to me, Mr McClelland said.

This new process for judicial appointments can give the public confidence that the appointments were made on merit.

Indeed, I am happy that the new Federal Magistrates not only have the requisite expertise, but also come from diverse backgrounds and experience including legal aid and academia, as well as from the ranks of solicitors and the Bar.

Ms Bender, Ms Demack and Ms Walkers appointments commence in September 2008. Ms Baker, Mr Dunkley and Mr McGuires appointments commence in October 2008. Mr Monahans appointment commences in November 2008. Ms Baker will be based in Hobart; Ms Bender, Mr McGuire and Associate Professor Monahan in Melbourne; Ms Demack in Brisbane and Mr Dunkley and Ms Walker in Sydney.
Short biographies of appointees are attached.

Biographies of appointees to the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia
 
Ms Barbara Baker
 
Ms Baker holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Tasmania. She has practised as a barrister at the Tasmanian Independent Bar since 2007 and is co-ordinator and lecturer of the Family Law Practice and Procedure Course at the University of Tasmania. Ms Baker currently holds appointments to the Tasmanian Board of Legal Education and the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Tasmanian Law Society.

Ms Evelyn Bender

Ms Bender holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and a Graduate Certificate of Management from La Trobe University. Ms Bender has been a senior family law advocate with the Family, Youth and Civil Division of Victoria Legal Aid since 2005. In 2004, Ms Bender was awarded the Chief Justices Australia Day Medal for her contribution to the Family Court of Australia.

Ms Anne Demack

Ms Demack holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the James Cook University in Townsville and a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology. Ms Demack is a part-time legal member of the Children Services Tribunal and currently holds the position of Director, Anglicare Central Queensland Limited. She was an associate in the Supreme Court of Queensland from 1995 to 2000.

Mr David Dunkley

Mr Dunkley holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University. He is an accredited family law specialist and registered family dispute resolution practitioner. Mr Dunkley was appointed to the New South Wales Legal Aid panel of Independent Childrens Lawyers in 1996 and the New South Wales Legal Aid panel of mediators in 1994.

Mr Terry McGuire

Mr McGuire holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania. He has been at the Tasmanian Independent Bar since July 2007. He is a member of the Tasmanian Guardianship and Administration Tribunal, the Tasmanian Forensic Tribunal and the Law Council of the Law Society of Tasmania. He is a former vice president of the Tasmanian Family Law Practitioners Association.

Associate Professor Geoffrey Monahan

Associate Professor Monahan holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, a Master of Laws from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University. He has been an associate professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney, since 2000. He is co-chair of the Academic and Professional Development Committee of the International Bar Association and a current member of the Examinations Committee of the New South Wales Legal Profession Admission Board.

Ms Judith Walker PSM

Ms Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma of Education and a Master of Arts (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. She is a member of the Family Issues Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales, the National Legal Aids Family Law Working Group and the Family Courts Magellan Program Steering Committee in New South Wales. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2008 for outstanding public service to the development of family law in Australia.
Edited

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