who we are

About

who we are

Who we are

The Cultural Diversity Justice Network brings together individual Cultural Diversity Advocates from courts and tribunals around Australia into a professional network, with the aim of supporting and inspiring each other to raise greater awareness for cultural diversity and improve access to justice for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australian courts and tribunals.

The Network is the primary mechanism through which Cultural Diversity Advocates receive resources and support from Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD), and provide feedback back to the JCCD on issues experienced within their jurisdiction.

The Network primarily focuses on recommendations for adapting court and tribunal policies and practice to enhance their cultural responsiveness, acknowledging that enabling cultural considerations does not provide advantage, but rather provides an assurance that all Australians are treated equally before the law and have access to justice.

The Network is composed of Cultural Diversity Advocates from each level of court and tribunal in every state and territory in Australia, who have been nominated by their head of jurisdiction to be responsible for issues relating to cultural and linguistic diversity and access to justice in their jurisdiction. The Network reports periodically to the JCCD to provide updates on implementation initiatives, and issues arising, for the consideration of the JCCD.

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Court and Tribunal Cultural Diversity Advocates



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.



Magistrate Anderson was admitted to legal practice in Western Australia 2000 and in Queensland in 2003. After working in private legal practice, in predominantly family law and child protection, he joined the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (ALSWA) as a family and child protection lawyer in 2010. In 2014, he was appointed manager of ALSWA’s family law and child protection practice area. He was appointed as a Family Law Magistrate in Western Australia on 7 January 2019.



Supreme Court of Queensland



Justice Anne Elizabeth Bampton was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia on 14 November 2013. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Bampton was appointed as a Master of the District Court of South Australia in 2004 and a Judge of the District Court of South Australia in 2010.

Justice Bampton chaired the South Australian Indigenous Justice Committee and the South Australian Indigenous Law Students’ Mentoring Program Management Committee, as well as representing South Australia on a number of national Indigenous justice committees between 2014 and 2017. Her Honour is the Supreme Court of South Australia’s Cultural Diversity Advocate for the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity. Justice Bampton chairs the Higher Courts Redevelopment Project Working Party, tasked with the delivery of three additional jury capable criminal courtrooms and the redevelopment of the Supreme Court civil precinct. Justice Bampton acts as a mentor to women appointed to the Step Up to the Bar Program in the Supreme Court.




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.



Justice Blokland was appointed to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory on 9 April 2010. Her Honour previously served as a Magistrate in the Northern Territory from 2002-2006 and Chief Magistrate from 2006-2010. Justice Blokland has also previously practised in criminal law and family law with the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and the Australian Legal Aid Office and was General Counsel to the Director of Public Prosecutions (NT). She was formerly a legal academic and Dean of the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University) law school. She is co-author of the text “Criminal Laws, Northern Territory”.



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.



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 Sue Burdon-Smith is VCAT’s first member for Diversity and Inclusion, and is a member of the Diversity Committee. She is a Senior Member allocated to the Residential Tenancies, Civil Claims, Owners Corporation, Guardianship and Human Rights Lists, and has been sitting in those lists for over 20 years. Sue’s early career was in the Victorian Government Departments of Corrections and Police and Emergency Services, and as a consultant to AusAID on Law and Order projects in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.



County Court of Victoria



Judge Culver is a judge of the District Court of NSW. She previously was Deputy Chief Magistrate, Magistrate, Crown Prosecutor, Trial Advocate and Solicitor at the NSW DPP, Senior Lawyer at the NSW Crime Commission, litigation lawyer at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and volunteer solicitor at Kingsford Legal Centre. Judge Culver was a member of the Education Committee of the Local Court of NSW and is now a member of the Education Committee of the District Court of NSW.



Deputy Chief Magistrate Michael Daly has been a Tasmanian Magistrate since 2007. Prior to his appointment his Honour was a barrister, practising in criminal, civil and administrative law.


Luke Davis was appointed as a Magistrate in 2013, and as a Youth Court Magistrate in 2016. Prior to this, Luke worked for many years as a solicitor and barrister with the Legal Services Commission of South Australia, where he began in 1991 as a Duty Solicitor to the Youth and Magistrate’s Courts as well as to Cavan Youth Training Centre, the Adelaide Remand Centre and Yatala Labour Prison, as well as Northfield Women’s Prison. Luke has had extensive experience of grass roots, social justice advocacy and has acted for clients from many different cultures and circumstances, including asylum seekers. Luke has an interest in restorative justice, Youth justice and specialist family violence intervention courts and has presented papers nationally on the role of Men’s behavioural change groups within the South Australian context. Luke has also spoken to the legal profession of his personal experience with depression and the importance of seeking help.




Magistrate 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.



Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Melbourne)


Magistrate Gett was appointed a Magistrate in January 2013 and thereafter spent three years in Far North Queensland, which included presiding in regional indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands. Prior to becoming a Magistrate, he was admitted as a barrister and spent almost thirteen years at the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions as a federal prosecutor.

For some eight of those years as a Federal Prosecutor he worked mainly in the prosecution of child exploitation offences. He appeared as counsel in the prosecution of such offences in all courts from the High Court of Australia to the Magistrates Court of Queensland.  He has presented papers at numerous international and domestic conferences on child exploitation offences, including as a keynote speaker to the Council of the European Union in 2012 in Copenhagen.

More recently in 2015 and in 2016, Magistrate Gett travelled to various parts of Indonesia on nine occasions as part of an Australian Government assistance program for judicial co-operation and capacity building with that country’s judicial officers. Magistrate Gett has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian-based International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law since 2004 and in 2019 he won that society’s President’s Medal.




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.


Michelle Howard is a Senior Member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). She has held full-time appointments at QCAT since 2009, initially as a Member and more recently as a Senior Member.

Admitted as a lawyer since 1986, Michelle holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws (Public Law). She formerly worked in private practice as a solicitor and in government roles, across broad jurisdictional areas. She previously held appointments as a Member of the Guardianship and Administrative Tribunal (2000-2006), the Mental Health Review Tribunal (2002-2005), and the Children Services Tribunal (2005-2006). For some four years Michelle was the Public Advocate, Queensland (2006-2009), a role in which she advocated for systemic change to law, policy and service provision to protect the rights and interests of vulnerable Queenslanders from diverse backgrounds who have impaired decision-making capacity.




Justice Robert Mazza was educated at St Louis School, Claremont and the University of Western Australia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1980 and was admitted to practice in 1981. His Honour practised predominantly in the area of criminal law.
In 2002 he was appointed as Deputy President of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal. In 2004 he was appointed as a judge of the District Court of Western Australia.
In 2010 his Honour was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and in 2011 he became a judge of the Court of Appeal.
Justice Mazza was formerly the President of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administrators (AIJA) and is currently a trustee and governor of the University of Notre Dame Australia.



Associate Judge Verity 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.


Deputy Chief Judge Morris was appointed to the Local Court in the Northern Territory in 2010. Prior to that her roles included appointments as Deputy Coroner, Executive Director of Racing, Gaming and Licensing and Deputy CEO of the Department of Justice in the Northern Territory. She was named the NT’s Children’s Lawyer of the Year in 1999 and formerly worked as a barrister and solicitor with the NT Legal Aid Commission, predominantly in crime.

Deputy Chief Judge Morris is the Chair of the Board of the NT Legal Aid Commission and maintains positions on, amongst others, the National Domestic Violence Bench Reference Committee and the Courts Technology Committee. As well as degrees in Law and Arts from the University of Sydney, she has a Graduate Certificate in public sector management, is a graduate of the ANZSOG Executive Fellows Program and holds an Executive Certificate in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare from Georgetown University.




Associate Justice Nemeer Mukhtar was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in August 1999. He was educated at Melbourne University, commenced practice at the Victorian Bar in 1982, and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1999. His predominant field of practice was in equity and commercial law.



Judge Catherine Muir was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 1991. In the following years, she developed a broad range of experiences as a solicitor including as a criminal defence solicitor/ advocate with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Legal Service and as a solicitor in commercial litigation and insolvency. At the Bar, her Honour established a broad civil and commercial practice acting for a wide range of clients. In 2015-2016, her Honour assisted in the Commission of Inquiry into the closing of the Barrett Adolescent Centre, and acted for the Special Purpose Liquidators in the Queensland Nickel public examinations. In November 2016, she was appointed as a judge of the District Court of Queensland, the Childrens Court of Queensland and the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland.



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 and the New South Wales Bar Association Human Rights and Equal Opportunity committees, and is a squadron leader with the RAAF Legal Specialist Reserves. Her Honour is also a member of the JCCD and chaired the specialist committee that prepared the Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals published in 2017 by the JCCD. 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.



Malcolm Schyvens was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1997. Malcolm holds degrees in law and commerce from the University of Tasmania. Malcolm is a past president of the Law Society of Tasmania (2007– 2008), having been in private practice in Hobart for 11 years. He was also a part-time member of the Guardianship and Administration Board (Tas), the Forensic Tribunal (Tas) and a Director of the Centre for Legal Studies in Hobart. He also held the position of President of the Board of Cosmos Inc (2003–2008), Tasmania’s largest provider of day services for persons with an intellectual disability. Malcolm was appointed as the Deputy President of the Guardianship Tribunal of New South Wales in October 2008 and was subsequently appointed as President of the Tribunal in September 2011. Upon the establishment of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) on 1 Jan 2014 he was appointed as a Deputy President of NCAT and the Division Head for Guardianship. He is a member of the NSW Law Society’s Elder Law and Succession Committee and is currently the Convenor of the Council of Australian Tribunals, NSW Chapter and Chair of the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council.



Chief Judge Sleight graduated with an LLB from the University of Western Australia in 1973. In 1975 he was admitted as a legal practitioner. His Honour was appointed as a Judge of the District Court of Western Australia in January 2005. Between 2011 and 2014 his Honour served as an acting Supreme Court Judge (a Commissioner) for a total of 22 months. On 20 April 2015 his Honour was appointed the Chief Judge of the District Court of Western Australia.



Magistrate Louise Taylor was appointed to the ACT Magistrates Court in September 2018. Immediately prior to her appointment Louise was the Deputy CEO of Legal Aid ACT. She is a former senior prosecutor with the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. She was a long time Chair of the Women’s Legal Centre ACT, a past member of the ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council and former Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. Louise is a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee as well as an associate of the Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW. Louise is a Kamilaroi woman born and raised in inner city Sydney.



Judge Willis was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in February 2009 in Cairns, having been at the Bar for 14 years. Her Honour has chaired a national committee of the Court examining listing practices and work load and now chairs the Court’s Indigenous Access to Justice Committee addressing how the FCC can be more accessible to ATSI litigants throughout Australia. The work of the committee, commissioned by the Chief Judge, led to the FCC entering into a Reconciliation Action Plan with Reconciliation Australia in March 2014, the first Court to do so in Australia. Judge Willis, like all judges in the FCC, has hundreds of matters a year in her docket, sits all around Australia and really enjoys first instance work.



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).



Magistrates Court of Western Australia

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what we do
what we do

What we do

The Cultural Diversity Justice Network:

  • implements frameworks and initiatives recommended by the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD), as appropriate to each jurisdiction;
  • develops good practice strategies to manage issues relating to cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia’s judicial system, including but not limited to:
  • interaction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and migrant and refugee communities with Australian courts and tribunals
  • attitudes of the judiciary toward Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant and refugee communities – including identifying and minimising areas of discrimination or bias against these communities
  • attitudes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant and refugee communities toward Australia’s judicial system – including improving knowledge, understanding and trust, and minimising areas of concern for Australia’s social cohesion
  • perceived and actual barriers to justice experienced by people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant and refugee communities
  • interpreting and translating services in Australia’s judicial system experiences of people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and migrant and refugee communities as jurors, litigants, or consumers of court or tribunal information;
  • engages in two-way communication with the JCCD regarding implementation of initiatives to improve access to justice, including identification of issues not already considered by the JCCD;
  • troubleshoots issues that individual court Cultural Diversity Advocates encounter;
  • provides support and resources (through Secretariat) to Cultural Diversity Advocates to assist in implementation of cultural and linguistic diversity-related projects in their respective jurisdictions; and
  • facilitates the sharing of knowledge and information to promote good practice across courts and tribunals in all jurisdictions.
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