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New Chief Magistrate and Southport judge announced

Queensland Deputy Chief Magistrate Janelle Brassington has this afternoon been announced as the replacement for outgoing head Judge Terry Gardiner, who will move to a seat on the bench of the District Court.

The appointment also elevates Ms Brassington to the role judge of the District Court, the only member of the state’s magistracy to hold the superior court office.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman announced the newly minted Judge Brassington would take over from Judge Gardner – who has served almost three years in the role – from 8 July.

Ms Fentiman, in a statement late this afternoon, announced veteran prosecutor and respected silk Jodie Wooldridge had been appointed as a judge of the District Court to the Gold Coast.

Queensland Law Society President Kara Thomson welcomed the appointments on behalf of Queensland solicitors.

“The new Chief Magistrate already has unique insights into this challenging role, given the wealth of experience already gained in her deputy role,” Ms Thomson said.

“I also congratulate Ms Wooldridge, who has a substantial amount of relevant experience and will serve the District Court well.

“Both of these appointments are well deserved.”

The soon-to-be Judge Brassington was appointed a magistrate almost 17-years ago and rose to the role as one of the state’s two deputies on 8 October 2019.

“Deputy Chief Magistrate Brassington has served the court with distinction while administering justice to the highest standards in communities across Queensland including Brisbane, Southport, Innisfail and Cairns,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1992, (Ms Brassington) held roles with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General prior to her appointment to the court.

“I congratulate Her Honour on this well-deserved appointment and wish her all the very best in this new role.”

With regards to Ms Wooldridge’s appointment, Ms Fentiman said she would take on the role of judge at Southport District Court on 20 June 2022.

A veteran prosecutor, Ms Wooldridge went to the private Bar in September 2003 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in November 2020.

In March (2022), she was appointed by the State Government to the role of Queensland Work Health and Safety prosecutor.

“Ms Wooldridge is eminently qualified for this appointment and brings to the bench two decades of legal experience working for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions0,” Ms Fentiman said.

“(Since 2003) Ms Wooldridge has since gone on to appear in a range of complex criminal trials and appeals, including before the Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia.

“I am confident Ms Wooldridge will be an asset to the District Court of Queensland in administering justice for all Queenslanders. I congratulate her and wish her every success in her new role.”

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