Monday, 14 June 2010

Family law identities honoured

Several family law identities have been honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours list issued by the Governor-General. I have used "identities" deliberately as some of those honoured are not normally associated with family law.

Jude Munro

Jude is the retiring CEO of Brisbane City Council. Jude became an Officer of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to local government, particularly the Brisbane City Council, and to the community through contributions to business, professional development and philanthropic organisations.

What was not mentioned in the citation was the continued strong support  by Jude for Australia's CEO Challenge. This charity, of which I am a board member, is the only organisation in the country that partners business and the domestic violence sector. Jude, as CEO, has strongly supported it, including in 2008 participating and winning the annual race to increase the profile of the organisation and raise money. She did so by having posters put on many Brisbane City Council buses advertising help for those in domestic violence relationships. Jude Munro won a Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Award on behalf the council from her efforts in the race.

Jim Soorley

The former long serving Mayor of Brisbane, Jim Soorley was made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to local government and to the City of Brisbane, particularly as Lord Mayor and through the implementation of a range of cultural, urban design, transportation and waterway improvement projects.

It is not widely recognised that on being elected mayor, Jim Soorley decided to do something about domestic violence in Brisbane. He commissioned a wide ranging study of domestic violence, a topic not previously touched by any mayor. He then ensured that a co-ordinated community response was started at Wynnum in suburban Brisbane, one of the country's firsts.

Jim Soorley also was the founder of Australia's CEO Challenge. He ensured that pioneering social worker Jim Hardeman came from the US to speak about his model of a charity to link businesses and the domestic violence shelter. Inspired by Jim Hardeman's visit, Jim Soorley then founded Australia's CEO Challenge.

 Justice  Dessau



Justice Linda Dessau has been made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the judiciary, particularly through contributions in the area of family law policy and practice, and to the community.


A barrister from 1978 to 1982, Justice Dessau was first appointed a Victorian magistrate in 1986, and in 1995 was then appointed as a Family Court judge, based in Melbourne.

Justice Dessau has had a distinguished career, including:



  • Member and former Board Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, since 1996.
  • Council Member, National Judicial College of Australia, since 2005;

  • Commissioner, Australian Football League, since 2008.

  • Member, Community Council Against Violence.

Dr Judy Cashmore


Dr Cashmore has been made a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for distinguished service to the protection of children, as a research psychologist and advocate for the rights of children, through the development and implementation of social policy and law, and through leadership roles of organisations supporting child welfare.

Her service has included:
Various advisory roles with the NSW Department of Community Services, including:
- Member, Ministerial Advisory Council.
- Member, Research Advisory Committee, since 2002-2003.
- Current Member, Academic Advisory Group.
- Foundation Member, Child Protection Advisory Group, since 2008.
- Co-Chair, EnAct, 1998-2000.
- Deputy Chair, Community Welfare Legislation Review, 1994-1998.
Member, NSW Judicial Commission, since 2001.
Member, Advisory Committee on child sexual assault cases, NSW Department of Public Prosecutions, for many years.
Chair, New South Wales Child Protection Council, Deputy Convenor, NSW Child Death Review Team, for several terms.
Extensively involved in discussions to establish the NSW Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) and the related legislation requiring employment screening for people working with children, 1998.
Consultant, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Consultant, Australian Law Reform Commission.
Deputy Chair, Association of Child Welfare Agencies, 2001-2005; Member of 2005 non-government delegation to the UN Committee on Rights of Child, Geneva.
President, Australian National Committee, Defence for Children International.
Adjunct Professor and Foundation Chair, Advisory Board, Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University.
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, since 2003; as development psychologist.
Honorary Research Associate, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, for over 10 years.
Board Member, National Children's and Youth Law Centre, since 2004.
Dr Cashmore is one of 4 international scholars appointed to edit the Handbook on Research with Children led by Professor G Melton, an American psychologist. Research since 1985 focused on children’s involvement in, and experience of, legal proceedings in relation to family law, care and protection and as child witnesses.
Co-Author, The Voice of the Child in Family Law Disputes, Oxford University Press, UK, 2008; (with Professor P Parkinson AM).
In 1996 Dr Cashmore co-authored a longitudinal study entitled Wards Leaving Care and the follow-up publication Wards Leaving Care - Four to Five Years On, in 2007.
Author of a further 30 referred articles, 15 book chapters and 15 reports and conference papers.

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