Agnes McWhinney Award goes to Judge Fleur Kingham
4 October 2010
Tribunal reform advocate Judge Fleur Kingham was awarded the prestigious Queensland Law Society Agnes McWhinney Award on Friday 1 October as part of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland’s 2010 Awards Dinner.
President of the Queensland Law Society, Peter Eardley said the award recognises Judge Kingham’s significant contribution to making justice more accessible to the community and bridging the gap between land and resources issues and Indigenous communities.
“For more than 10 years Judge Kingham has been tireless in building awareness with government and mining stakeholders on the environmental impacts of their activities on Indigenous communities.
“Her work in the environmental and Indigenous rights fields includes development of mediation techniques for representing Indigenous interests,” Mr Eardley said.
In addition to being a District Court Judge, Judge Kingham is the Deputy President of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), which provides informal, responsive, cost-efficient dispute resolution services.
“She is most well-known for forward-thinking reform recommendations, now adopted by QCAT, that outlined how justice services could be simplified and made more accessible,” he said.
“I am immensely proud of QCAT and what it has achieved so far, especially in our use of alternative dispute resolution to help people quickly and inexpensively move through what can be a painful process.
“At QCAT we strive to be actively fair, by which I mean our role is to assist parties to achieve a just outcome through a fair and efficient process.”
Judge Kingham said receiving the award is an honour.
“Women lawyers of my generation stand upon the shoulders of the women who pioneered a professional path for us. Agnes McWhinney, a woman based in a remote regional centre, faced obstacles I have not had to overcome myself.”
Mr Eardley said Judge Kingham was a wonderful exemplar of the good works the legal industry can perform for the community.
“Judge Kingham’s passion is inspirational and the Queensland Law Society sincerely values its relationship with QCAT,” he said.
The annual Agnes McWhinney Award commemorates Australia’s first female solicitor, admitted to the Bar in Townsville in 1915.
Other awards presented at the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland’s 2010 Awards Dinner included:
- Woman Lawyer of the Year 2010: Linda MacPherson
- Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year 2010: Magistrate Suzette Coates
- Emergent Woman Lawyer of the Year 2010: Debbie Kilroy OAM.