The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) has announced the appointment of eight experienced family law practitioners to provide significant support to family law judges across Queensland.
FCFCOA Chief Justice Will Alstergren said these appointments – 42 in total across Australia – would assist in delivering some of the court’s major goals of reducing delays nationally, identifying risk early, and improving access to justice to people living in regional locations.
He said the appointments formed part of an ongoing widespread recruitment campaign which commenced last year. The registrar resources will play an enhanced role in the new family law case management pathway introduced on 1 September.
The Senior Judicial Registrars, Judicial Registrars and Deputy Registrars will undertake enhanced duties and roles in the early stage of proceedings, which will alleviate some of the burden on judges and enable them to direct significantly more of their time to the hearing and determination of complex interim applications and final hearings.
Three Queensland regional locations are among those receiving an additional registrar resource – Townsville, Cairns and Rockhampton.
The eight appointments to Queensland are:
Brisbane – Senior Judicial Registrars: Kara Best and Ann-Maree McDiarmid. Ms Best, who will take on her role in late October, is returning to the court having formerly been a Legal Associate in the Trial Division of the Brisbane Registry of the Family Court, Appeals Associate to the Honourable Michelle May AM QC and Senior Legal Associate to the former Chief Justice of the Family Court, the Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC in Melbourne. Ms McDiarmid, who commenced on 30 August, is a highly experienced barrister with extensive knowledge and experience of family law at both the trial and appellate level.
Brisbane – Judicial Registrar: Selena Cartwright, who commenced on Monday (13 September), has a legal career spanning some 21 years, having worked almost exclusively in family law and dispute resolution.
Brisbane – Deputy Registrars: Jessica Craddock and Keertan Samra both commenced their roles on 30 August. Ms Craddock has practised exclusively in family law since her admission in 2012, having worked at highly regarded boutique family law firms as well as for Legal Aid Queensland. Ms Keertan has worked exclusively in domestic and family violence and family law at Women’s Legal Service Queensland. Ms Keertan is experienced in providing legal advice to disadvantaged clients across Queensland in a trauma-informed way so that they can achieve safe and fair outcomes.
Townsville – Kerrie Stuart has been appointed in the blended role of Judicial Registrar/Senior Judicial Registrar. Ms Stuart, who commences in the Townsville Registry on 1 October, is well known to North Queensland family law practitioners, having worked in private family law practice in the Townsville region for over 20 years. She is recognised as the pre-eminent family law dispute resolution practitioner within the region.
Rockhampton: Clare McCormack took up the blended role of Judicial Registrar/Senior Judicial Registrar from yesterday (13 September). Ms McCormack comes to the court after more than 13 years’ experience as a family lawyer in private practice, both in Rockhampton and Brisbane.
Cairns Judicial Registrar: Corey Jenkins commenced his role in the Cairns registry on 30 August. Mr Jenkins has worked in regional practices in south-east Queensland from 2009 before commencing his own practice on the Sunshine Coast from 2013 to 2016. Following this, Corey relocated to Cairns and took a position at the Legal Aid Office in Far North Queensland in an extremely busy family law practice.