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Three new federal magistrates call Melbourne home


Melbourne will be the base for three of the seven new federal magistrates appointed last month.

Ms Evelyn Bender, Mr Terry McGuire and Associate Professor Geoffrey Monahan will be based in the Victorian capital.

The other four new federal magistrates will be based in Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney.

All seven were all appointed on 1 September by federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.

Ms Bender, who has been a senior family law advocate with the Family, Youth and Civil Division of Victoria Legal Aid since 2005, took up her appointment last month.

In 2004, Ms Bender was awarded the Chief Justice’s Australia Day medal for her contribution to the Family Court.

A Tasmanian barrister, Mr McGuire was a member of the Tasmanian Guardianship and Administration Tribunal, the Tasmanian Forensic Tribunal and the Council of the Law Society of Tasmania. He is a former vice-president of the Tasmanian Family Law Practitioners Association.

Mr McGuire begins his appointment this month.

Sydney University of Technology faculty of law associate professor Monahan takes up his new role next month.

Associate professor since 2000, he is co-chair of the International Bar Association Academic and Professional Development Committee and a member of the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board Examinations Committee.

Anglicare Central Queensland Ltd director Anne Demack will be based in Brisbane; Tasmanian barrister Barbara Baker will be based in Hobart; NSW accredited family law specialist and registered family dispute resolution practitioner David Dunkley and NSW Law Society Family Issues Committee member Judith Walker will both be based in Sydney.

In announcing the appointments, Mr McClelland said the Rudd government had made the decision regarding the magistrates 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,” he said.

“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.”


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