Queensland Law Society today paid tribute to Court of Appeal Justice Anthe Philippides as her Honour bowed out after more than 35 years of outstanding and dedicated service to the legal profession.
QLS President Elizabeth Shearer acknowledged Justice Philippides’ decades of dedication to “promote diversity and bring true equality of opportunity’’ to the legal profession.
Speaking at a valedictory ceremony for Justice Philippides this afternoon in the Banco Court at Brisbane’s QEII Courts of Law, Ms Shearer said her Honour had achieved many firsts in the law during a stellar career.
“There are many … who are called role models and influencers in society today,” Ms Shearer said. “But your Honour is set apart as a true role model for the next generation of legal practitioners in its full traditional meaning.
“I wish to acknowledge … (Justice Philippides for your) work to promote diversity and bring true equality of opportunity to the legal profession.”
Justice Philippides was honoured for her almost 21 years of service as a judge in Queensland’s Supreme Court and its highest jurisdiction, the Court of Appeal.
Her Honour became the first woman of Hellenic heritage to be admitted as a barrister in Queensland in 1984 and to attain silk in Australia in 1999.
She was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in December 2000 and a judge of the Court of Appeal in December 2014.
Those marked the first appointments in Australia to a superior court and an appellate court respectively of a woman lawyer of immigrant parents – who both emigrated to Australia from Cyprus.
Today’s ceremony was attended by a who’s who of the legal profession, including Queensland Governor and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul de Jersey AC and Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman.
Ms Shearer said Justice Philippides had also done much to progress reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations peoples throughout her career.
“This has been at a personal level, by your support of clerks and graduates taking their hard earned place in the profession, and at a systemic and symbolic level,” Ms Shearer said. “For example, your support for the launch of (the) inaugural Queensland Law Society Reconciliation Action Plan and attendance at (QLS) events with a First Nations focus.
“The solicitors of Queensland wish you well in the next chapter of your life, and we thank you for your immense contribution to justice in this state.”