29 November 2011

After more than 11 years of service to the local community of Townsville and the wider area of Far North Queensland, The Honourable Justice Robert Monteith will retire from the Family Court of Australia on Wednesday 30 November 2011.

To mark the occasion, the Honourable Chief Justice Diana Bryant will preside over a ceremonial sitting in the Supreme Court of Queensland, Courtroom 1, 31 Walker St Townsville at 4.30pm this Wednesday.

“I wish to thank Justice Monteith for his contribution to the Family Court over the past 11 years, particularly to Townsville and Far North Queensland more generally,” Chief Justice Bryant said.

Justice Monteith was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1967 having done his Articles with Corr & Corr Solicitors in Melbourne. He was a member of Victorian Bar from 1968 to 2000 and was made a Senior Counsel in 1999. In 1990 he was admitted to practice in Queensland and in 1993 His Honour moved to Townsville and commenced practice predominately in Townsville.

On 28 November 2000, Justice Monteith was appointed to the Family Court of Australia.

Upon reflection of His Honour’s time as a Family Court Judge, Justice Monteith said that an area of work of which he is particularly proud, has been in managing very complex family law property cases from throughout Far North Queensland.

Another very difficult area of family law that Family Court judges must deal with involve allegations of abuse of children. To ensure that these types of cases are dealt with expediently and are very carefully managed, the Court introduced what is known as the “Magellan Program”. This is a fast-track program specifically designed to deal with these complex cases. The program involves very close cooperation between the Judge, registrars, family consultants as well as external authorities such as legal aid and state child protection agencies.

“I believe that the introduction of the Magellan Program by the Court has been one of its greatest achievements.
“Because the Townsville registry covers such a wide geographic area of Far North Queensland, the number of stakeholders who deal with the court has been quite large and it has been a pleasure to work closely with them,” Justice Monteith said.

“Working in a small registry can be challenging but I am very pleased to have worked alongside Federal Magistrate Coker, and we have achieved an excellent working relationship in dealing with the various matters that come before us,” Justice Monteith added.

“The Court wishes Justice Monteith a very happy retirement to be enjoyed with his family and friends,’ Chief Justice Bryant said.

Media contact:     Denise Healy, Media and Public Affairs Manager 
telephone:          03 8600 4357 or 0409 743 695
email:                denise.healy@familycourt.gov.au