Legal Aid’s choice of former COA President as their chair an inspired appointment: QLS
4 May 2017
Queensland’s peak solicitor group has labelled the appointment of former Queensland Court of Appeal President Margaret McMurdo as chair of Legal Aid Queensland a coup for an organisation which works tirelessly for the state’s financially disadvantaged.
Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth on Thursday (May 4) welcomed Ms McMurdo’s appointment – saying the position aligned perfectly with the former judge’s long dedication to assisting society’s most vulnerable people.
“I noted at Ms McMurdo’s valedictory that sitting around with her heels up was probably not on the agenda, and indeed, the lady is not for sitting,” Ms Smyth said.
“Having a lawyer of her ability, experience and commitment to justice in the position of Chair is an absolute boon for Legal Aid, the legal profession and the wider community should celebrate her appointment.”
Ms Smyth said former Justice McMurdo was one of Queensland and the Australian legal profession’s all-time leading lights, and that Legal Aid Queensland and its clients would benefit greatly from her stewardship.
“Standing up for those in need is not a recent passion for Ms McMurdo, going back at least as far as her Uni days, where she co-founded the Women’s Legal Service, and she has continued to exhibit and live by that generosity of spirit,” Ms Smyth said
“It is unsurprising that Ms McMurdo continues to give back to the community even in retirement, given her lengthy track record of giving up her free time to help others.
“The former COA President has always been generous with her time, often speaking at events to educate the profession, including several QLS events.
“Indeed she will deliver the next in the Society’s Modern Advocate Lecture Series next week.”
Ms Smyth said the appointment meant Ms McMurdo’s knowledge and experience would not be lost to the Queensland community, which was something for which all Queenslanders should be grateful.
“All we can do is be thankful for her ongoing dedication and contribution – it is simply a boon for Queensland,” she said.
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