New Coroners thank supporters

Two new Coroners - Magistrates Megan Fairweather and Amanda Bain - were welcomed by the court today. Photo: Geoff McLeod

New Coroner Magistrate Amanda Bain echoed the words of movie character Ferris Bueller and took time to thank colleagues and family for their support at today’s welcoming ceremony for herself and Magistrate Megan Fairweather.

Chief Magistrate Janelle Brassington formally welcomed them to the busy Coroners Court of Queensland after their swearing-in on 7 May 2024, with both happy to share the special day with each other.

Magistrate Bain told the packed court that she had been searching for a quote to sum up her feelings today and that she had found it in the classic movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The Ferris quote “Life goes pretty fast if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”, seemed right for the day, Magistrate Bain said.

“So I want to take this opportunity to stop and look around, and thank those who have helped me along the way in my career, both at work and at home,” Her Honour said.

“I would not be here today without the support and mentoring that I have received from the many wonderful people that I have worked with and the unwavering love and support of friends and family.


“I do want to particularly thank my son Jack who will also make sure that I keep my feet firmly on the ground and remember the important things in life.”

Magistrate Bain has 20 years’ experience as a barrister with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Crown Law, and in February 2024 was at the private bar in Holmes Chambers. She will be based at Southport.

Magistrate Fairweather also thanked for family for their help and understanding, saying it had “been quite the journey” as a “late starter to the law”, having first tried her hand at working in “hotels and nightclubs”, as well as running a catering business and “having three wonderful children”.

“I had a deep calling to the law which I could not shake,” she said. “I started my degree in my late 20s and slowly but surely graduated in my mid 30s. I am living proof that it is never too late for changing.”

Magistrate Fairweather had two decades in public health and led Queensland Health’s legal branch during the COVID-19 pandemic during a “not uneventful time”. She will be based in Brisbane.

The Chief Magistrate said: “It is an exciting time to be joining the Coroners Court as there have been three new additional Coroners appointed late last year, bringing the total number of Coroners to 10.


“I am very happy to assure our new Coroners that the Coroners Court of Queensland is a very long way from the court described by Charles Dickens in Bleak House.”

In that novel, Dickens wrote that it was quite typical for coronial investigations to take place in public houses with the smell of sawdust, smoke, spirits and beer.

QLS President Rebecca Fogerty said while we were far away from the Dickensian squalor noted by Her Honour, the court was “no stranger to the drama and pain and suffering caused by these human affairs”.

“Fortunately the community need not have any reservations about Your Honours’ appointments; in fact, it can rightly be proud that Your Honours’ backgrounds make you both ideally qualified to sit on a court that is contemporary and in touch with the needs of the communities it serves,” Rebecca said.

“The importance of family in public life is also highlighted today, as I understand there are multiple generations of your families witnessing these proceedings.

“A support network is so critical to success in the law and it is important that the profession acknowledges the ongoing sacrifices that those we love most quietly make to support those who accept the service of higher office.”


The Chief Magistrate said the Coroners Court was “experiencing increasing demand pressures”.

“Over 6500 deaths were reported during 2022 to 2023 which is the highest number of deaths lodged in the court’s history and represents an eight per cent increase from 2021,” she said.

“Already this financial year, 5053 deaths have been reported to the court for investigation.”

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