Council Members

Chief Justice Chris Kourakis (Chair)

Chief Justice Chris Kourakis (Chair)

The Honourable Chris Kourakis was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia on 25 June 2012. His Honour is recognised as one Australia’s leading law reformers in the area of civil litigation processes and the modernisation of court infrastructure, enabling more efficient and accessible administration of justice for all court users. His Honour was admitted to practice in 1982 and worked at the Legal Services Commission for several years then at a suburban practice before going to the Bar in 1989. His Honour was a Legal Services Commissioner from 1993-1997, and took silk in 1997. His Honour was President of the Law Society in 2001 before being appointed as Solicitor-General for the State of South Australia in 2003. His Honour was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 2008. His Honour has been a National Patron of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association since 2014 and conferred a Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Flinders University in April 2015.

Ms Munya Andrews

Ms Munya Andrews

Munya Andrews is the most senior Indigenous barrister at the Victorian Bar who practices in criminal and civil law. A former legal academic, she has taught law at the University of Melbourne and the Southern Cross University in Lismore on legal issues impacting Indigenous peoples. A Bardi woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, she is well versed in traditional laws, customs and practices. Munya has run many cross-cultural workshops for the legal profession, including for the judiciary, on Indigenous legal issues, racism and gender bias in the law. She is passionate about equal rights for everyone and the fair administration of justice.

Justice David Berman

Justice David Berman

Justice Berman was appointed to the Family Court of Australia on 18 July 2013. Prior to this, His Honour practised as a barrister in the area of family law and de facto relationships. Justice Berman was appointed Senior Counsel in 2010.

Judge Karl Blake

Judge Karl Blake

Judge Blake was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia on 30 January 2019. Prior to his appointment, Judge Blake was a Partner in large law firms where he practised in the areas of Employment, Discrimination, Workplace Safety and Industrial Law. His Honour was consistently recognised as a leading practitioner in these areas. He was considered to be a pre-eminent practitioner in Australia by Asia-Pacific Legal 500 in the area of Employment Law.  He was year after year recognised as a leading practitioner by Best Lawyers and Doyle’s Guide.

Since his appointment, Judge Blake hears cases across the jurisdictions of the Federal Circuit Court including employment disputes, migration, family law, bankruptcy and administrative law.

Justice Helen Bowskill

Justice Helen Bowskill

Justice Bowskill was appointed to the Supreme Court of Queensland on 10 July 2017. Her Honour previously served as a Judge of the District Court of Queensland from November 2014, in that capacity also sitting as a Judge of the Children’s Court of Queensland and the Planning and Environment Court. Her Honour served as the Associate to the Honourable Justice Drummond of the Federal Court of Australia in 1996, and completed articles of clerkship with Minter Ellison in 1997. Her Honour was admitted as a solicitor in January 1998, and as a barrister in July 1998. She commenced practice at the private Bar in Brisbane in July 1998. Her Honour took silk in November 2013. As a barrister, she practiced widely in public, administrative and commercial law areas, with a particular focus on Native Title law.

Ms Anne Britton

Ms Anne Britton

A Principal Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Anne is a member of NCAT’s Appeal Panel and Guardianship, Occupational, Administrative and Equal Opportunity divisions. For two decades Anne has held senior roles in State and Commonwealth Tribunals, including as a Senior Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Deputy President of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal and Chairperson of the Government and Related Employees Appeal Tribunal. Anne taught in the Masters’ program at UNSW Law School and has significant experience in governance roles, including as a former director of the NSW Legal Aid Commission and the Communications Law Centre. Anne is the Chair of the Council of Australasian Tribunals (National).

Ms Samantha Burchell

Ms Samantha Burchell

Samantha Burchell has been Chief Executive Officer at the Judicial College of Victoria since March 2015. She was acting Chief Executive Officer since June 2014. The College is a learning institution dedicated to providing education to Victoria’s judiciary. Samantha has extensive experience in the Victorian justice sector, including almost eight years as Director of Education at the College. She is an experienced lawyer, having worked in private practice (including as a barrister at the Victorian Bar), in the courts (as a judge’s associate), in policy and law reform, and as an executive of a legal NGO and of a statutory authority. Samantha has a post-graduate management qualification (in organisation dynamics) and a record of leading and managing organisations. She is a current Professional Doctorate candidate.

Ms Maria Dimopoulos

Ms Maria Dimopoulos

Maria Dimopoulos is a nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of cultural diversity, gender equality and the law. As Managing Director at MyriaD Consultants she has had extensive experience in policy formulation for Government, research for social planning and in community education. Much of Maria’s work has been aimed at promoting and enhancing cultural diversity and gender informed approaches in the ongoing complex legal and political reform processes and in ensuring the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives in those reform processes. She also continues to deliver judicial education programs across Australia.

Magistrate Sue Duncombe

Magistrate Sue Duncombe

Sue Duncombe was appointed to the Local Court of NSW in January 2010. She was appointed to the Children’s Court of NSW in September 2010 and has maintained that appointment since. Magistrate Duncombe was instrumental in the establishment of the first Youth Koori Court in NSW in February 2015 (pilot). She presides over that court on average each Friday at Parramatta Children’s Court. Prior to her judicial appointment Magistrate Duncombe was a foundation director of the Mawul Rom project, a cross cultural leadership, mediation and conflict resolution program working closely with, and learning from, Elders and respected people in North East Arnhem Land. In addition, Magistrate Duncombe has served as a member of the Ngara Yura Committee of the Judicial Commission of NSW since 2014.

Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough

Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough

Anne Goldsbrough has been a Victorian Magistrate since 1996. She has undertaken all areas of the court’s work at a number of Magistrates’ Court locations, including the Children’s Court. Anne was the Supervising Magistrate for Family Violence and Family Law from 2002-2007 and oversaw the development and introduction of the Courts’ specialist Family Violence Court Division. In 2009, Anne was appointed as a Part-Time Law Reform Commissioner for the Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry into family violence. She was appointed as the magistrate with responsibility for the Multicultural and Diversity Portfolio in 2011. She contributes regularly to ongoing legal and judicial professional development both inside and outside the court, and to a range of community information and education programs.

Justice Judith Kelly

Justice Judith Kelly

Justice Judith Kelly completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 and a Diploma of Education in 1976, working as a teacher in Batchelor, in the Northern Territory, from 1977 to 1982.  She graduated in Law with honours from the University of Queensland in 1985 and was first admitted as a barrister in Queensland in 1986, then worked as a solicitor in the Northern Territory, becoming a partner of Morris Fletcher and Cross (later Philip & Mitaros, then Clayton Utz).  She went to the independent bar, joining William Forster Chambers in Darwin, in 1996.  Her practice had a focus on commercial litigation, banking and insolvency with some insurance, construction, admiralty and native title law.  She was appointed Senior Counsel in 2008 and a Judge of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 2009.

Kate Latimer

Kate Latimer

Kate Latimer is the CEO of the National Judicial College of Australia. The role of the college is to provide national leadership in judicial education, to support the rule of law and to strengthen judicial capacity and independence. Prior to this, she was the CEO of the Cranlana Programme for some nine years, a not-for-profit organisation that focussed on delivering ethical courses to senior leaders in Australian business, government and in the community sector. Earlier in her career she was a documentary film-maker whose work has been broadcast on ABC-TV, BBC-TV and in film festivals.

Alison MacDonald

Alison MacDonald

Alison is the Executive Director of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA). The principal objectives of the AIJA include research into judicial administration and the development and conduct of educational programmes for judicial officers, court administrators and members of the legal profession in relation to court administration and judicial systems. With an Arts/Law degree from The University of Sydney, Alison began her career as a solicitor and then for over 25 years has held executive roles with a variety of professional associations including The Law Society of NSW; The Law Society of England & Wales; and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, where most recently she held the position of NSW Regional Manager. She has also worked in senior marketing positions in law and accounting firms. Since 2014, Alison has been a member of the New South Wales Professional Services Panel for the Winston Churchill Memorial trust.

Associate Justice Verity McWilliam

Associate Justice Verity McWilliam

Associate JusticeVerity McWilliam was sworn in as the Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory on 26 June 2017. Her Honour was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2002, and interspersed with her employment as a solicitor, she served as the Associate to Justice Finn in the Appeal Division of the Family Court of Australia, and Justice Beaumont and Justice Madgwick in the Federal Court of Australia. Her Honour was called to the NSW bar in 2006, where she developed a diverse practice across the areas of commercial/equity, criminal, employment, environmental/planning, public law and torts. Her Honour also lectured variously in public law, federal constitutional law and litigation at the University of NSW from 2010 until 2017, and in public law at the University of Sydney from 2010 to 2012.

Justice Melissa Perry

Justice Melissa Perry

Justice Perry was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia on 23 September 2013. Prior to this appointment, Justice Perry had practiced at the Bar since 1992. In 2004, Her Honour was appointed Queen’s Counsel. Justice Perry has held positions on numerous professional bodies including the Administrative Review Council, the New South Wales Bar Association Human Rights Committee (2010-2013) and Equal Opportunity Committee (2011-2012). Her Honour holds a LL.B (Hons) from the University of Adelaide and a LL.M and PhD in international law from the University of Cambridge.

Mr Ernie Schmatt

Mr Ernie Schmatt

Ernest Schmatt has been the Chief Executive of the Judicial Commission of New South Wales since 1989. As Chief Executive he is responsible for its operations, which are designed to foster public confidence in the judicial system in New South Wales by providing a program of continuing judicial education, promoting consistency in sentencing and investigating complaints made against judicial officers. Mr Schmatt is also a member of the International Organisation for Judicial Training Executive Committee and its Board of Governors, the Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Asia Pacific Judicial Reform Forum Secretariat. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 1997 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service to public sector management and reform, public sector industrial relations and judicial education in New South Wales.

Judge Rauf Soulio

Judge Rauf Soulio

Judge Soulio was appointed to the District Court of South Australia in 2006. His Honour has been the Chair of the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia since 2003. He was Chair of the Australian Multicultural Council between 2011 and 2014 and in that capacity was a member of the national Access and Equity Inquiry Panel which conducted an inquiry into the availability and accessibility of government services to people from culturally diverse backgrounds. Between 2011 and 2014 he also served as a member of the National Anti-Racism Partnership Strategy. Judge Soulio was previously Deputy Chair of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council, which provided advice to government on multicultural policy, until the completion of the Advisory Council’s term in 2011.

Judge Andrew Stavrianou

Judge Andrew Stavrianou

Judge Stavrianou was appointed to the District Court of Western Australia on 10 April 2006. He graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence in 1975, a Bachelor of Laws in 1976 and a Master of Laws at the University of Western Australia in 1994. He was admitted to practice in Western Australia in December 1977. He was a partner of a Perth law firm between 1982 and 1992. He joined the Independent Bar at Francis Burt Chambers in 1992.

Ms Carla Wilshire

Ms Carla Wilshire

Ms Wilshire is the CEO of the Migration Council Australia (MCA). The MCA was set up to provide independent research and policy advice on migration, settlement and social cohesion. Ms Wilshire has a background in public policy and has worked as public servant and advisor to Government on multicultural affairs. She has a background in tertiary research and policy development.

Justice Helen Wood

Justice Helen Wood

Justice Wood was appointed to the Supreme Court of Tasmania on 9 November 2009. Prior to this appointment Her Honour served as a Magistrate, and was the first woman appointed to that role in Tasmania. Previously, Justice Wood practised in criminal law as Crown Counsel with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and later in civil litigation as a barrister and solicitor with a Hobart law firm. Her Honour has a longstanding interest in human rights and equal opportunity matters, having served as Chairperson of the Sex Discrimination Tribunal (1996-1999) and the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (1999-2009).