National News

First-ever Indigenous Australian appointed as Supreme Court judge

Lincoln Crowley QC has become the first Indigenous Australian to be a Supreme Court judge after he was appointed to the role in Queensland today.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the decision, saying both Crowley and fellow newly appointed Supreme Court judge Melanie Hindman displayed years of expertise.

"They are both outstanding individuals who have a lot to offer the Supreme Court of Queensland," she said.

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Crowley, a Warramunga man, grew up in North Queensland before joining the bar in Sydney in 2003.

He was appointed as Queens Counsel in 2018.

"Mr Crowley has regularly appeared throughout Australia but particularly in Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian courts across a diverse range of matters, especially criminal trials and appeals," Palaszczuk said.

Crowley is the current chair of the Bar Association of Queensland's Indigenous Barristers Committee, has been a Crown Prosecutor for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in Sydney and has been Principal Crown Prosecutor at the Maroochy Chambers for the Queensland Office of the Director of Public Prosecutors.

He has specialised in defence and prosecution at the private bar since 2009 with particular expertise in criminal law, inquests and inquiries, and related civil proceedings and litigation.

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Crowley, a Warramunga man, grew up in North Queensland before joining the bar in Sydney in 2003.

The Law Council of Australia also congratulated Crowley on his new role.

"Mr Crowley has demonstrated professional excellence and is highly deserving of this appointment," Law Council of Australia President Tass Liveris said.

"On behalf of the Australian legal profession, I congratulate him on this significant personal and professional achievement – an achievement that also makes history."

Liveris said Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders were still underrepresented within the legal profession.

"While clearly there is much work still to be done, today's announcement marks a significant milestone," he said.

"Mr Crowley joins a distinguished group of First Nations judges and magistrates who make a significant difference to the Australian community, legal profession and justice system."

Crowley will join the bench on June 13.

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