10/08/2004 - 22:00

Women in WA Law

10/08/2004 - 22:00


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Women in WA Law

Although not an exhaustive list, the following women are noteworthy for their contributions to the State’s legal profession.


  • Justice Christine Wheeler in 1996 became the first woman appointed to the WA Supreme Court. She came from the bar, where she was the first woman in WA to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994. Before joining the bar, she was with the Crown Solicitor’s Office.
  • Justice Carmel McLure was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2001. She came from the bar as a QC, where she worked as a barrister after leaving her position as partner with Keall Brinsden (now Corrs Chambers Westgarth) in 1997.
  • Justice Narelle Johnson was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003, and also came as a QC from the bar. She was with the Crown Solicitor’s office before joining the bar.
  • Justice Lindy Jenkins was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2004, where she came from her position as a judge at the District Court. She worked for the Crown Solicitor’s Office before her appointment to the District Court in 2001.
  • District Court Chief Judge Antoinette Kennedy is joined by Mary Ann Yeats, Valerie French, Shauna  Deane QC, Catherine O'Brien, and Jane Crisford SC.
  • At the Family Court, Carolyn Elvina Martin and Julienne Penny are two of the court’s five judges.
  • Libby Woods is deputy chief stipendary magistrate.
  • Gillian Braddock SC is currently WA’s only silk.
  • Also at the bar are Penelope Giles (current president of Women Lawyers WA), Judy Eckert, Moira Rayner, and Anette Schombee.
  • Immediate past president of the Law Society WA, Elizabeth Heenan, is a partner with Marks and Sands.
  • Rosemary Waldron-Hartfield is the managing partner at Sparke Helmore.
  • Mary McComish has left a prominent legal career and is currently an associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame.
  • MHR Julie Bishop (ex-Clayton Utz managing partner who is now the Federal member for Curtin and Minister for Ageing), Cheryl Edwardes was a senior minister in the Court Government, while Sue Walker is current State member for Nedlands.
  • In public service roles are Darryl Wookey, who is Acting WA Information Commissioner, Evelyn Vicker the deputy State coroner, Janine Pritchard at the WA Crown Solicitor’s office.
  • Patti Chong is a crown prosecutor with the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions of WA, and Fiona Low is director of legal services at the DPP WA.


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