The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has welcomed the appointment of four new sessional members at a swearing-in ceremony conducted by Chief Justice Helen Bowskill on Tuesday.
The Honourable Colin Forrest SC was sworn in as judicial sessional member while Land Court members Peta Stilgoe, James McNamara and William Isdale were sworn in as sessional members.
Mr Forrest has been a lawyer for 35 years and was called to the Queensland Bar in 1990 where he established a practice in family law and succession law before taking silk in 2010. He was appointed to the Trial Division of the Family Court of Australia in 2011 where he wrote over five hundred judgments before he resigned his judicial commission in 2021 to return to practice at the Bar as a barrister, a mediator and an arbitrator.
Members Stilgoe, McNamara and Isdale, who are currently members of the Land Court, all join QCAT as sessional members as part of an important resource sharing arrangement initiated by President Kingham of the Land Court, and facilitated by the Attorney-General’s recommendation to Governor-in-Council for the appointments of Land Court members as sessional members.
Under this initiative, members Stilgoe, McNamara and Isdale will hear and determine some QCAT matters, when time permits, without charge to QCAT.
This initiative builds on the earlier initiative of President Kingham to make some of the Land Court facilities available to QCAT for the hearing of cases.
“I am very grateful to President Kingham, the Land Court members, associates and Registry staff, for this important initiative which sees the justice system operating as a true community in the provision of justice services to Queensland,” QCAT President Kerri Mellifont said.
“I also offer my sincere thanks to Chief Magistrate Gardiner, Deputy Chief Magistrates Brassington and Gett, for their cooperative and collegiate approach in the giving of permission for the Land Court facilities, which are housed within the Magistrates Court building.
“So too, I am grateful that the Chief Justice made time in her extremely busy diary to be with QCAT at this welcome ceremony.”