24 August 2004

Retiring Family Court judge and the last of the Court's original appointees, Justice John Ellis, will leave an indelible mark on the Court and the family law system, Chief Justice Diana Bryant said today.

Justice Ellis, who retired this week, is the Family Court's longest serving judge having been first engaged as a 'Judge Designate' in October 1975.

"Justice Ellis has made a tremendous contribution, not only to the Family Court but to family law and the judicial system more broadly," Chief Justice Bryant said.

"In particular, Justice Ellis' ongoing commitment to delivering expeditious judgments has been a hallmark of his long and outstanding career."

Justice Ellis was formally appointed on 5 January 1976, the day the Family Law Act and the Family Court commenced operation. His contribution to the Court was acknowledged with his appointment as a Senior Judge in 1978, a Judge Administrator in 1988 and his assignment to the Appeals Division of the Court in 1989.

"Justice Ellis' leadership and handling of his administrative responsibilities has received widespread praise from his judicial peers both within and outside the Court.

"His wisdom and experience will be greatly missed," the Chief Justice said.

Justice Ellis' retirement was formally marked with a ceremonial sitting at the Court's Sydney Registry last Monday.