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Three magistrates appointed

Three women with impressive achievements in the legal profession have been appointed to the Queensland magistracy.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman today congratulated Magistrate Dzenita Balic, Magistrate Veena Jattan and Magistrate Edwina Rowan on their elevation to the bench.

Ms Fentiman said each of the new magistrates had been a very strong contributor to their workplaces and the community at large.

“Magistrate Balic was admitted to the Bar in 2006, beginning her career as a legal support officer with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and worked her way through the ranks from there,” she said.

Her Honour had been Principal Crown Prosecutor at Ipswich, Maroochydore and Brisbane over the past seven years and had prosecuted more than 150 criminal trials to verdict and more than 120 appeals in the Court of Appeal.

Magistrate Balic is the Chair of Diversity at the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland and is a former board member of the Islamic Centre Rochedale, where she represented women in Islam and specific issues faced by Islamic women in Queensland.

Ms Fentiman said Magistrate Veena Jattan was an expert in litigation dispute resolution, having focused on this area over the past two decades.

“Her Honour was a long-time senior associate lawyer with Adamson Bernays Kyle & Jones (ABKJ) Lawyers on the Gold Coast and was more recently a senior associate at Mullins Lawyers in Brisbane” she said. “She has also been a sessional academic at QUT for almost five years.”

Magistrate Edwina Rowan was raised in Bundaberg and began her career with the century-old Bundaberg firm Charltons Lawyers in 2005, working her way up to partner in 2017.

Her Honour was admitted to the Bar in 2007, having graduated with Honours in a Bachelor of Law at QUT, as well as gaining a Distinction in a Bachelor of Journalism.

Her Honour had been an active member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, was president of the EDON Place Bundaberg Women’s Domestic Violence Service and was a past President of the Bundaberg District Law Association.

“All three of our new magistrates have worked incredibly hard for their appointments and I wish them every success for the future.”

Queensland Law Society President Elizabeth Shearer welcomed the appointment of three very capable women to the bench, including two solicitors.

“I congratulate Magistrates Balic, Jattan and Rowan on their appointments and it is particularly pleasing to see people who have been such strong contributors to the community and the profession stepping into these roles,” Ms Shearer said.

“Magistrate Jattan has tremendous experience in litigation and dispute resolution and has been an active member of Queensland Law Society, serving on the Commercial Litigation Specialist Accreditation Advisory Committee.

“Magistrate Rowan’s appointment to Bundaberg, where she has already made such a strong contribution to the community, is particularly welcome. Magistrate Rowan was a very successful president of the Bundaberg Law Association, and has been a stalwart contributor to many community organisations. Her contribution to the legal profession and community was recognised in 2019 when she was named the winner of the prestigious Agnes McWhinney award, named after the first woman solicitor in Queensland.

“The new magistrates are each highly respected in their fields and their appointments will be celebrated by the legal profession. “These are wonderful announcements for the communities in which they will work and we wish them all the best in their new roles.”

The magistrates will begin their appointments on 4 January 2022. Magistrate Jattan and Magistrate Balic will be at the Southport Magistrates Court and Magistrate Rowan will be at the Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

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