13 December 2006

The longest-serving Family Court judge, the Honourable Justice Kemeri Murray AO, retires this week after more than 30 years on the bench.

Justice Murray’s tenure with the Family Court of Australia will be acknowledged by current and past judges and senior lawyers at a ceremonial sitting to be held at the Commonwealth Law Courts in Adelaide this Friday. The proceedings will be presided over by the Family Court’s Chief Justice, Diana Bryant.

Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, said that Justice Murray has served the Court with distinction.

“Her judgments have been compassionate, fair, thorough and just, in even the most demanding of circumstances,” said the Chief Justice. “She showed strong support for women to occupy positions on the bench, long before it became fashionable to do so.”

Justice Murray was born in Adelaide, attending the University of Adelaide graduating in Law in 1953. She was admitted to the bar in 1955 and soon after became the first married woman to be offered a partnership in a legal practice in South Australia. She remained in private practice until 1973 when she was appointed a judge of the District Court in South Australia – making her only the second female judge in Australia.

Justice Murray was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in June 2004 and will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Flinders University on Friday.

Justice Murray was appointed to the Family Court at time of the Court’s inception in 1976.

Speaking on the occasion of her retirement, Justice Murray said that, “The Court is a court designed to help people and I am proud of the court and proud of the part that I have played in its history,”

The Ceremonial Sitting of the Family Court of Australia for the Retirement of the Honourable Justice Kermeri Murray AO will be held at 4.00pm Friday 15 December 2006, Ceremonial Courtroom 1 -Level 5, Family Court of Australia, Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Courts.