Judge, Cairns lawyers both toasted

Judge Patricia Cope (centre) with past and new pin and certificate recipients at the CRS event in Cairns. Photos: Supplied

Although Judge Patricia Cope gave the toast to the profession at the Queensland Law Society (QLS) Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise Cairns event, she was also toasted herself.

QLS President Chloé Kopilović presented Her Honour with a slightly belated, 25-year membership pin at the event on Thursday night.

Judge Cope was appointed to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in July 2021 after being a leading family law practitioner in Cairns. She worked with Legal Aid Queensland and as a volunteer with the North Queensland Women’s Legal Service.

Her Honour became a QLS Accredited Specialist in family law in October 1999. In 2004, she established Cope Family Law. Judge Cope also served for several years as part of the QLS Specialist Advisory Committee for Family Law.

“Indeed, Her Honour had reached 25 years membership of the Queensland Law Society directly before her appointment to the bench,” Chloé said.

“I am delighted to take this opportunity to present Your Honour with the Queensland Law Society’s 25-year membership pin, in honour of your long-standing dedication and support for the Society and the solicitor’s branch in Queensland.”


At Her Honour’s 2021 welcoming ceremony, Dr Jacoba Brasch, Law Council of Australia President, commented: “Fortuitously, I was here in Cairns on 23 July 2021, the day Your Honour’s elevation was announced. We sat in your office waiting until the announcement was made public.

“When it was, your phone ran hot, your emails pinged like a submarine closing on a target, and your staff were in tears of joy and pride; such was the welcomed response by all to your elevation.”

The QLS President also highlighted the outstanding work of Cairns practitioners in particular those who received QLS Excellence in Law Awards earlier this year “where it’s fair to say this town swept the pool!”

“I would like to acknowledge the three of those four winners who are in the room tonight: 2023 Emerging Leader award recipient Arabella Kullack, Tricia Price – our 2023 Agnes McWhinney Award recipient – and Regional Practitioner of the Year Award winner and FNQLA committee member Bianca Stafford,” she said.

“Congratulations once again on your remarkable achievements.

“The excellent work being done by all local practitioners to future-proof our profession is vital.


“This year in my term as President, I wanted to highlight the importance of collegiality in our profession.  Ensuring we remain connected in our profession is critical because in real terms it’s our relationships with each other that ensure we are delivering great outcomes for our clients.” 

She also acknowledged QLS Senior Counsellors Peter Apel, John Hayward and Jim Reaston.

“Thank you for your guidance and support for your fellow practitioners.

“For many years, the QLS has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Far North Queensland Law Association.

“We are delighted to welcome this evening President Ms Jerry Tucker, Vice-President Ms Lynette Lyons, Treasurer Mrs Kerrie Wood, and committee members – once again Mr Peter Apel, as well as Ms Julia Petratos and Ms Yakira Walmsley.

“We value our partnership with the association which advances the interests of its members, and we are truly appreciative of all your hard work and dedication.”

(Centre) Terry Newman and Suzanne Hadley.


Family law specialists Suzanne Hadley and Terry Newman were also acknowledged for their 25 years of Specialist Accreditation.

“It is a proud moment, and we are privileged to share it with you. You are a shining example for those who will follow in your footsteps, and the legacy you have built strengthens our profession as a whole,” Chloe said.

“This event tonight is perhaps made all the more special as QLS celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. You have now taken your place in the Society’s history through your own legacy, like the many esteemed practitioners before you.”

Both Terry and Suzanne are sole practitioners.

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