24 June 2004

Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, today announced the appointments of Chief Federal Magistrate Diana Bryant as the new Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and the Hon Justice John Faulks as Deputy Chief Justice of the Court. To view a copy of the Media Release click the PDF icon.

Biography of Ms Diana Bryant new Chief Justice

Ms Bryant is the inaugural Chief Federal Magistrate of the Federal Magistrates Court, having held that office since May 2000.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Ms Bryant practised at the Victorian Bar from 1990 until 2000 where she specialised in family law and de facto property disputes, particularly at appellate level.

Through her family law practice, Ms Bryant also dealt with bankruptcy and human rights and equal opprotunity matters. She was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1997.

Between 1977 and 1990, Ms Bryant was a partner with the firm of Phillips Fox in Perth where she practised as a solicitor and counsel specialising in family law. She was a Director of Australian Airlines from 1984 to 1989.

Ms Briant holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees. She was admitted as a legal practitioner in Victoria in 1970.

Biography of Justice Hon Faulks - Deputy Chief Justice

Prior to his appointment to the Family Court of Australia in 1994, Justice Faulks was a Senior Partner of Phillips Fox, practising extensively in family law.

He was Chairman of the Family Law Council of Australia from 1992 to 1995, and a Member of the Council between 1990 and 1992.

Justice Faulks was President of the Law Council of Australia from 1987 to 1988, Vice President from 1986 to 1987, and Treasurer from 1984 to 1985.

He was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1969 and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Australian National University.