Ceremonial sitting of the Full Court

For the welcome of the Honourable Justice Goodman

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THE HONOURABLE JAMES ALLSOP AO, Chief Justice
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE GREENWOOD
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE PERRAM
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE JAGOT
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE NICHOLAS
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE YATES
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE KATZMANN
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE MURPHY
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE WIGNEY
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE MARKOVIC
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE BURLEY
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE HALLEY
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE CHEESEMAN
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE ROFE
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE GOODMAN

SYDNEY

9.30 AM, WEDNESDAY, 20 APRIL 2022

ALLSOP CJ: Welcome, everyone, to this ceremonial sitting to welcome Justice Goodman to the Court. Sitting with Justice Goodman and myself on the Bench are the Sydney Judges and Justice Greenwood, senior Judge from Queensland; Justice Murphy from Victoria; and Justice Rofe from Victoria. 

May I first acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet and sit, the Gadigal People of Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present. 

May I particularly welcome Justice Goodman’s family and friends: his wife, Vanessa Chapman; mother, Beverley; daughter, Charlotte, with her partner, Karl Gwynne; three sons, Henry, George and Edward, and daughter, Adelaide; and your many friends and colleagues from the profession and outside the profession. 

May I also acknowledge the presence of Justice Gleeson from the High Court; Justice Brereton of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales; Justice Wright and Justice Armstrong of the Supreme Court; Justice Robson of the Land and Environment Court; Judge Smith SC from the District Court; Senior Member Younes from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. May I also warmly welcome former colleagues, the Honourable Brian Tamberlin QC and the Honourable Peter Jacobson QC. And may I also acknowledge the presence of Matt Collins, President of the Australian Bar Association. Justice Goodman, COVID has delayed this occasion but not diminished its importance and its pleasure. 

It is the tradition of the Court to welcome publicly new Judges, whether at a formal swearing in or at a welcome such as this. You have been with us since last year, and you have thrown yourself into the work of the Court with enthusiasm and to great effect. I said to you when you came that I hope you enjoy the work of the Court as much as I have over the years. It is a busy and happy Court, and I am sure you will love it. I formally welcome you to the Court on behalf of all the Judges of the Court around Australia and wish you well for the path that lies ahead. 

GOODMAN J: Thank you.

ALLSOP CJ: Ms Buchanan, representing the Attorney-General for the Commonwealth.

MS L. BUCHANAN: May it please the Court. I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. I pay my respects to their elders, past and present, and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today. It’s a great privilege to be here, on behalf of the Australian Government and the Australian people, to congratulate your Honour on your appointment as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia. 

The Attorney-General, Senator the Honourable Michaelia Cash, regrets that she cannot be here to share this occasion with you today. She has, however, asked that I convey the Australian Government’s sincere thanks for your Honour’s willingness to

serve on the Bench of the Federal Court, and that I pass on her best wishes for what she trusts will be a distinguished career as a judicial officer of this Court. Your Honour’s appointment to this Court is another success in an esteemed career. That so many of your colleagues in the judiciary and the legal profession are here today is a testament to the high regard in which your Honour is held. 

May I particularly acknowledge the Honourable Jacqueline Gleeson, Justice of the High Court of Australia; the Honourable Justice Paul Le Gay Brereton, New South Wales Court of Appeal; the Honourable Justice Robertson Wright, Supreme Court of New South Wales; the Honourable Justice Lea Armstrong, Supreme Court of New South Wales; the Honourable Justice John Robson of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales; other current and former members of the judiciary and members of the legal profession. May I also acknowledge the presence of your Honour’s family and friends, who proudly share this special occasion with you. 

I would like to especially acknowledge your mother, Beverly, and your wife, Vanessa, who is here today with your children, Charlotte, Henry, George, Edward and Adelaide. A full exposition of your Honour’s achievements and contribution to the law would occupy more than my allotted time permits. Therefore, I will focus on just a few of the qualities and experiences that have marked your career to date. Since your early years, your Honour has been known to have demonstrated determination and a remarkable work ethic. I am told that your Honour was an exemplary student, receiving the highest marks and awards throughout your studies. 

As well as being academically minded, growing up, you demonstrated impressive sporting skills, most notably in cricket and soccer. Your Honour not only captained your school but also captained the school’s first-grade soccer team and played representative cricket for Maitland District. Childhood friends acknowledge the inspiration you have been to those around you, as a boy from Lorn with no legal experience or university education in the family, through to now being appointed to the Federal Court of Australia. 

Your Honour graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in mathematics and psychology, and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 1989. Thereafter, your Honour was admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1989, and went on to obtain a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney in 1994. Your Honour has had an extensive career in commercial disputes, and you bring considerable experience in commercial law and equity, corporations law, trade practices and insurance law, litigating many influential corporate law cases. In 1999, you became a commercial litigation partner at Clayton Utz. In 2001, you were called to the Bar, and in 2016 your Honour was appointed senior counsel. 

Reflecting on this experience, your Honour’s colleagues have told of your impressive ability to assimilate enormous amounts of evidence whilst still identifying the two or three points that matter the most from that material. I understand your approach is to

leave no stone unturned and that your meticulous attention to factual detail has underpinned your career. This methodical approach while still having regard to the bigger picture will no doubt put you in good stead for your time on the Bench. Your Honour’s colleagues have also spoken of your impressive dispute resolution skills and collaborative approach. I understand that your calmness and honesty as a director during the merger of Seventh Floor Selborne Chambers and Seventh Floor Wentworth Chambers was pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition for all involved at a critical time. 

Your temperament in court has been described as measured and calm, but with an unmistakable power and strength in your advocacy. Your Honour’s colleagues have described how much you enjoyed working with and helping people. Your Honour has repeatedly been described as compassionate. Your thoughtful and reliable nature is exemplified in your approachability for advice at any time. The reassuring, candid and honest assessment that your Honour so often provided your clients exemplifies the pragmatic and thoughtfulness your Honour has had throughout your professional and personal life.

I’m told your first sporting love was soccer, so passionate about the game that you continued to play for many years, in the words of one colleague only recently limping into retirement. But I am told your Honour now gets a large part of your sporting fix supporting the Newcastle Knights in a faded, vintage Knights jersey. Your Honour’s colleagues and family have also mentioned that your love for sport extends to providing all your children an opportunity to play. I am told you operated on a military-like schedule, somehow managing to ensure all your children could attend different sporting venues, at often overlapping times. I’ve also been told that your Honour usually demonstrated these impressive organisational skills with a smile and while holding a dog close by on a lead.

Your Honour’s appointment to this court acknowledges your dedication to the law and accomplishments in the legal profession. Your Honour takes on judicial office with the best wishes of the Australian legal profession, and it is trusted that you will approach this role with the diligence and commitment that have characterised all of the other roles you have undertaken throughout your career. On behalf of the Australian Government and the Australian people, I extend to you my sincere congratulations and welcome you to the Federal Court of Australia. May it please the Court.

ALLSOP CJ: Thank you, Ms Buchanan. Mr McHugh, President of the New South Wales Bar Association and representing the Australian Bar Association.

MR M. McHUGH SC: May it please the court. I wish to acknowledge that we meet on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, and the Bar Association acknowledges each of the First Nations peoples on whose lands this court sits, and pay our respects to their elders past and present. Chief Justice Allsop, honourable Justices, although the appointment of Justice Goodman was announced on 29 October last year and took effect on the following Remembrance Day, this

ceremony and others like it might have been deferred indefinitely by the pandemic. I congratulate the Chief Justice for persevering and welcome this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Australian and New South Wales Bar Associations, and in particular the many barristers in this state who practice in the Federal Court, whether at first instance or on appeal before the Full Court.

The Chief Justice of New South Wales, the Honourable Andrew Bell, wrote to me recently referencing members of the Bar attending ceremonial sittings of his Honour’s court. His Honour described them as occasions of great institutional significance, and an opportunity for all who attend to participate in the corporate life of the Bench and Bar, and to learn something of the career of the newly appointed judge. I congratulate the Attorney General, Senator the Honourable Michaelia Cash, for making such a fine appointment. Justice Goodman, the origins of the surname may not simply be that of a good man, and may lie in the Saxon name Godmund, or its Norse equivalent, Guðmundr – I’ve no doubt got that pronunciation wrong – which combined “good, “Guð”, “battle”, and “mund”, “protection”.

I’m told that your Honour is an avid genealogist, and I won’t dare to speculate on which martial qualities have been passed down through the Goodman family tree, or whether they were apparent in your Honour’s 30-year career in commercial litigation, though I can note that your Honour’s advocacy, while always measured, was forthright and confident, the product of thorough preparation. Some of your Honour’s colleagues and friends describe your Honour as charismatic, while others confirm that your Honour was respected, committed and dedicated. A solicitor at one of the firms which briefed your Honour said:

He has a cool head in a crisis, which both we and the clients appreciated.

Another colleague had the sense that your Honour was unpretentious, and again noted the hard work and strategic approach to your cases. I can note that your Honour is a Novocastrian, and as we’ve heard, the father of five children, and can be obsessive about football, a Knights fan, and cricket. Your Honour attained a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws at the ANU in ’89, followed five years later, as we’ve heard, by a Master of Laws, this time from the University of Sydney.

Your Honour was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in December ’89 and joined the firm of Clayton Utz, where your Honour remained for the next 12 years. Your Honour specialised in corporations law matters, particularly takeovers, as well as taxation and general commercial litigation. Your Honour was called to the Bar in February 2001. The civil reading was with Ian Jackman and Peter Whitford, while your Honour’s criminal reading was with Peter Zahra. The reading report from the Bar Association notes that your Honour had all the portents of a successful career at the Bar. Your Honour was described there by Jackman as a very promising reader who was always well prepared. Whitford said your Honour was a very able and promising barrister, with excellent preparation skills and knowledge of the law.

In 2002, your Honour took a room on what became 7 Wentworth Selborne. There, by dint of dedication and hard work, your Honour built up a busy practice in commercial equity, corporations, trade practices and insurance law, as well as alternative dispute resolution. Your Honour took silk in September 2016, next after Kell SC. The Bar Association’s media release of that appointments noted – not inappropriately, I hasten to add – that your Honour was a founding member and leading light of Bar FC. Fascinated by this, I contacted the coach, Sir Alex Stanton. Apparently, he grants interviews only to Bar News, but did confirm through spokespersons that your Honour was one of the finest exponents of the Latin American style of play: technically, more skilful and flamboyant, with a touch of unpredictability. One member of the team described your Honour as – and I quote:

An elegant, cultured, and effective striker, more than making up for any deficiency in speed and agility with a cerebral and strategic first touch, crafty distribution, and no shortage of guile.

Only at the bar could one find player profiles with all the eloquence of a High Court special leave application. Your Honour is further said to be a major contributor as a player and administrator at the local football club – St Michael’s FC – in Lane Cove. Your Honour is said to be an enthusiastic punter and foundation member of the Greenway Punter’s Club. A judicial office, I understand, does not preclude your Honour from continuing in that field. More relevantly, your Honour has a strong social conscience, with empathy for the less fortunate – always ready to step in to help anyone in need. 

And your Honour has been a great mentor and guide to the junior members of chambers. In January 2017, your Honour moved to Greenway Chambers and maintained a busy commercial practice and mentoring of younger practitioners. All of this has been combined with a deep respect for the rule of law, and an innate sense of justice. In 2019, your Honour was appointed as a senior member of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal – NCAT. When I checked your Honour’s LinkedIn profile, it said:

Scott hasn’t posted lately.

I’m not surprised, judging by your Honour’s demanding practice while also handing down some 80 decisions while on the Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division and the Appeal Panel at NCAT. Justice Goodman, the bar is delighted with your appointment. We’re unconcerned by any alleged deficiency in speed and agility has – on the field. 

The Attorney General has surveyed the breadth and depth of the profession in New South Wales and chosen another highly-regard commercial silk. The Attorney chose well. We are emerging gradually from pandemic, only to face complex and evolving questions of law arising from dire environmental, strategic, and economic challenges. Your Honour, together with the rest of the Federal Court bench, will no doubt respond with a cerebral and strategic first touch. May it please the Court.

ALLSOP CJ: Thank you, Mr McHugh. Mr Liveris, President of the Law Council of Australia, who also represents the Law Society of New South Wales, who will address the court remotely from Darwin. Yes, Mr Liveris.

MR LIVERIS: May it please the court. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the country on which we all meet, and recognise their continuing connection to the land, borders, and community. I pay my respects to elders past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples here today. It is a great honour for me to represent the Law Council of Australia and the Law Society of New South Wales to welcome your Honour’s appointment to this honourable court. 

I thank the court for permitting my appearance to be made by audio visual link, and I also extend the apologies of the Law Society President, Joanne van der Plaat, who is unable to attend this sitting today. As my learned friend, Mr McHugh – as he touched upon, your Honour joins the court during a time of considerable change, and takes an important place as part of the ongoing evolution of our justice system. 

Most prominently, COVID-19 has challenged the way justice is delivered by our courts and tribunals. But amongst the various setbacks, it has brought with it some important opportunities to work through, and which must be embraced. In 2017, in a speech to the 40th anniversary of the Federal Court of Australia conference, the Chief Justice observed that this court’s broad jurisdiction is central to the economic wellbeing of the nation, and underpins the health of the economy and of society more generally. 

The Chief Justice made those remarks in the context of the benefits of looking back to the court’s origins in considering its future. Indeed, when one does that, one sees that since it was established, the ongoing expansion of the court’s jurisdiction, and the amount of people who seek access – who seek to access it demonstrate that the court is part of a judicial system that we can be very proud of. In terms of effectiveness, accessibility, equity, and integrity, Australia is a world leader. But of course, this doesn’t mean that improvements can’t be made. 

When properly analysed, the Law Council considers that our Federal Courts and tribunals have unfortunately been under-resourced for a substantial period of time, and that the capacity to resolve matters swiftly is hampered by insufficient resources in the face of increasing demands for services. The Law Council believes there is a timely opportunity for government to commission a review of the resourcing needs of the judicial system, incorporating the challenges and benefits that have been identified in the context of the pandemic, and then addressing those needs. 

Of course, people are at the heart of the justice system. It needs to remain human-centred, not just for the people who seek justice, but indeed, every participant in the delivery of justice has human limitations, foibles, and strengths. With a depth of experience in commercial law and equity, corporations law, trade practices and

insurance law, the many strengths your Honour brings to the court are well-known and widely respected and admired. 

I am told that your Honour was motivated to pursue a career in the law by a desire to make a difference to people, and has always strived to find solutions to legal and commercial problems, no matter how objectively simple or complicated they might be, because with sensitivity, your Honour understood that they were always extremely important in the lives of the people who were involved on any of the sides of the dispute. 

And so upon joining the court, it was anticipated that your Honour would be patient, professional, and fair. In the five or so months since your Honour’s elevation, you have shown those expectations to be completely correct. Everyone who comes before your Honour has benefitted from your humanity. Your Honour is patient, empathetic, and has an innate sense of justice. 

Here, with your knowledge and your respect for the rule of law, your meticulous preparation, your ability to see both sides of a situation, and your commitment to achieving an outcome without delay in the five or so months that your Honour has been a judge, you have embodied the Federal Court’s objective to decide disputes according to law promptly, courteously, and effectively. Your Honour, on behalf of the legal profession, congratulations. The people of Australia will be privileged to be served by you in this new role. May it please the Court.

ALLSOP CJ: Thank you, Mr Liveris. Justice Goodman.

GOODMAN J: Chief Justice Allsop, Justice Gleeson of the High Court, judges of this court and other courts, former judges, colleagues, family, friends, ladies and gentlemen. I also acknowledge and pay my respects to the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today – the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. I pay my respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you all for coming today, including those of you watching on the electronic broadcast. I am honoured and humbled by your presence – actual and virtual. More importantly, you honour this Court with your attendance. I also thank Ms Buchanan, Mr McHugh, and Mr Liveris for their exceedingly kind, occasionally accurate, but mostly airbrushed account of my journey to this point. 

My deep thanks also to most of your informants.

It takes a village to raise a judge. This is my opportunity to thank the members of my village for their love, guidance, and support in assisting me to reach this point. Ms Buchanan suggested that there was no legal ancestry in the family. That’s not quite accurate. I’m not the first person in my family to have been involved with the law. Some of my ancestors who came to Australian in the early 1800s were very familiar with it and, indeed, that was the very reason for their voyage to this country. However, I can count one ancestor who had legal training: Henry Tessier, who was educated at Lincoln’s Inn in London in the 1850s. He tossed it in for a life at sea, which brought him to these shores. I’m

sure that all of those who have been at the Bar have had that feeling at one point or another.

I was blessed to grow up in Maitland in the 1970s and eighties, in a loving and supportive family, Mum and Dad and my wonderful sisters Michele and Kim. All three of us enjoyed the unqualified love and support of our parents. Mum and Dad both worked hard and made sacrifices so as to provide us with a happy upbringing and many opportunities. Mum worked as a legal secretary until I was born and later worked in school administration. I am blessed that she and Kim are able to be here today. Michele is working in Central Australia and can’t join us. 

Regrettably, Dad is no longer with us. I know he would have enjoyed the occasion immensely. Dad worked on the railways, and he had a second job as a volunteer fireman which often involved him leaving the house at short notice, including in the middle of the night, to tackle what were often very dangerous events. Dad had a knack with words, and there are particular words that I still remember learning from him over the Scrabble board, or from doing crosswords together. He also broadened my vocabulary when we were fishing together, particularly when things didn’t quite go to plan.

 You’ve heard something of my school days. I am very lucky to still be close to my friends from school, and I am grateful that some of them – Anthony Gibb, Gareth Penny and Annie Fullerton, and their partners – made the journey down here today, in particular Anthony Gibb, who I have known since I was seven – which is some little while ago now – and is now an Adelaide-based author and raconteur. My recollection of my time at school is that my focus was mainly on sport, and sometimes schoolwork, and I had no real concept of a career, let alone a career in the law. 

The 1983 Maitland Boys High Year 12 cohort was 38 boys. At the end of year 10, that number had been closer to 200. Many were lost to the lure of well-paying apprenticeships in the mines. It was a different time. The remaining 38-boy cohort produced, perhaps unusually, a number of lawyers, including two members of the New South Wales Bar: myself and Christos Mantziaris. As you have heard, I then attended the ANU in Canberra. What you haven’t heard is that my plan was to study science, and in particular maths. My HSC marks allowed me to enrol in law, so I chose a double degree, with no real conception of what that involved or where it might take me. My honours thesis was in family law, an area I have largely managed to avoid since 1988. 

Toward the end of university, other students started to apply for jobs, so I thought I should do the same. The appeal of driving cabs to support myself was fading. I was lucky enough to secure a number of interviews with Sydney firms. This meant some very early starts as my trusty Datsun 120Y, also known as the Kalahari Flyer, travelled from Canberra to Sydney and back for these interviews. There was, however, one interview for which the Kalahari Flyer was unnecessary. Clayton Utz flew me

from Canberra to Sydney for the interview, and then again for a cocktail party. I was easily impressed. It was the first time I had been to an airport, let alone on a plane.

Of course, the reason I joined Clayton Utz over other firms was the persuasive qualities of Ronald William Schaffer. Ronnie also supervised Justice Wigney and Justice Markovic, who are both members of this court, and Ron takes the credit for both of their appointments. In addition to Ron, I was blessed at Clayton Utz to have a number of superb teachers and mentors, including John Lees, Dean Jordan, Stuart Clark and Mary Still. Dean and Stuart in particular recognised that I had an interest in advocacy well before I did. At least, I think that’s the reason I was encouraged to appear so often in the Commercial List on a Friday morning.

My time at Clayton Utz not only taught me a lot, but it also gifted me more lifelong friends. I won’t name them all, as I will no doubt leave some out. I am grateful that so many of them are here today. However, the most important gift, and the most important lifelong friend from my time at Clayton Utz is my wife, Vanessa, who – for reasons I, and I suspect many others, don’t understand – agreed not only to go out with me, but one year later to marry me. For that, I am eternally grateful. Since then, we have been blessed with five wonderful children, of whom we are both very proud: Charlotte, Henry, George, Ed, and Adelaide. During those 28 years, Vanessa has forged her own stellar legal career. I love you all.

At Clayton Utz, I was lucky enough to have several trips to the High Court in my first few years. During one of those trips in 1992, our Queen’s Counsel suggested as we walked from the Hyatt to the High Court that I should think about a move to the Bar. It was the first time I had ever thought of such a thing. That thought lay dormant until 1998, when I had the privilege of instructing the late Peter Hely QC and Rod Smith in a hearing which went for over 140 days in this Court before the late Lehane J. Peter Hely was appointed to this Court at the conclusion of that hearing. Also in that courtroom were Tom Hughes AO QC, who led the late Lindsay Foster SC, and John Nicholas, both of whom were subsequently appointed to this court, and Michael Slattery QC, now of the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Rarely is such a gathering of talent on the Bench and at the Bar captive in one room for so long. For me, it was the ultimate education. The wizardry of Tom Hughes and the surgical precision of Peter Hely in particular were mesmerising. The lessons learned in working closely with Peter Hely during that hearing were invaluable. I was now ready to move to the Bar. However, at the end of 1998 I was made a partner of Clayton Utz. Charlotte was one and a half, and Henry was five months old. It was not until 2001 when Charlotte was almost four, Henry was two and a half, George was almost one and we were pregnant with Ed that the time seemed right to make the economically irrational decision to leave a partnership at Clayton Utz for a career at the Bar.

As you have heard, I was very fortunate to have been accepted by 7 Selborne and to have read with Ian Jackman SC and Peter Whitford SC, now Judge Whitford of the District Court. I have had a number of excellent clerks over the years. Again, I

won’t name them all, but I was blessed to be on 7 Selborne with Nick Tiffen, the prince of clerks. Nick’s cultivation of relationships with solicitors and his ability to fill my diary with work in areas that I didn’t realise I was interested in and in courts in suburbs of which I had not heard was outstanding, and perhaps of another era. Nick has recently retired, again, and I wish him and Victoria a very happy retirement.

I was very fortunate at the Bar to have some outstanding leaders. I won’t name them all, lest you think I am name dropping. However, there are three people in particular that I spent considerable time with, and who I wish to specifically thank: Ian Jackman SC, Phil Greenwood SC, and David Williams SC. All of them have different skills and strengths, and I am so grateful for their time and effort in working with me and teaching me the arts, and particularly the dark arts, of advocacy.

 I’ve also worked with many very talented juniors and solicitors. 

I wish to acknowledge two what I call “old school” solicitors, who have taught me by sharing their vast experience: Harold Werksman, who has recently retired from Thomson Geer, and Michael Callanan of Rank Ellison.

 I have also been blessed with excellent support staff. I wish to thank in particular Gabriella Barry, or Saint Gabby, as she is known at Greenway, and Adele Romanis. Adele worked with me for a number of years when I was on 7 Selborne, and I am very grateful that she is part of my team here at the court. Her work and personality are absolutely essential to the smooth running of chambers. Regrettably, COVID precautions mean she must watch remotely today. 

The bar has also given me many friends, too numerous to mention individually. Work at the bar can be a grind, and it is important to maintain one’s mental health. I thank all of my friends at the bar for helping to keep me relatively sane. 

Another important aspect of mental health is having an interest outside the law. You have heard a little about the mighty men of St Michael’s FC. Running around – although that may be an exaggeration – with these men on football fields since the early 2000s has been a privilege, and one conducive to positive mental – if not physical – health. As we have grown old and the years have condemned, the games are fewer, yet the golf and the other social events remain fully subscribed. 

Many of my teammates are here today, some barely recognisable in suits, and I thank them all. 

In the two years before my appointment, as you have heard, I sat for a few days a month at NCAT, both at first instance and on appeal. NCAT is a very important institution in the administration of justice in this State. It deals with very many cases annually in a wide variety of fields. It does so exceedingly well, and I enjoyed my time there very much.

I am honoured that the first two presidents of NCAT – Justices Wright and Armstrong – are present, and that the Honourable Dennis Cowdroy AO QC – formerly a judge of this court, and with whom I sat on numerous appeals at NCAT – is present virtually. On 11 November last year, I took an oath in front of the judges of this court at a gathering reduced in size because of COVID. 

That oath was to well and truly serve the queen, and through her, the people of this country in the office of Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, and to do right to all manner of people according to law without fear or favour, affection or ill will. I reiterate that promise today before all of you. If I had made this speech on 11 November 2021, I would have referred to my hopes that I would find the court to be a collegiate place with challenging and rewarding work. I am now in a position to say that my hopes have been well exceeded. 

In summary, I am honoured and humbled to have been appointed to this court, and I am very grateful to all who have guided me to this point. It is an opportunity to serve the people of this country; the people who many years ago gave me a free secondary and tertiary education, and all the benefits that flowed from that. I promise to serve to the best of my ability. I thank you all for your attendance today.

ALLSOP CJ: The court will now adjourn.

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