Swearing in the new Chief Magistrate by nyut545e2


									Swearing in the new Chief Magistrate
                                                  September 2008 saw the changing of                  Attorney-General and Minister for
                                                  the guard for Queensland’s Magistrates              Justice, the Honourable Kerry Shine
                                                  Courts with the swearing in of Chief                MP, congratulated Judge Butler for his
                                                  Magistrate Brendan Butler. Judge                    appointment as Chief Magistrate. Mr
                                                  Butler’s distinguished career includes              Shine made mention of the former Chief
                                                  appointments as chairperson of the                  Justice of the High Court, Sir Gerard
                                                  Crime and Misconduct Commission and                 Brennan, who recently compiled a list
                                                  its predecessor the Criminal Justice                of qualities which should be considered
                                                  Commission, and as the Deputy Director              when making judicial appointments.
                                                  of Public Prosecutions.
                                                                                                      ‘His list included integrity and
                                                  After five years of outstanding leadership          independence of mind, moral courage,
                                                  as Chief Magistrate, Judge Marshall                 tolerance of differences, equitable
                                                  Irwin was formally acknowledged in a                temperament, humanity, commonsense,
                                                  valedictory ceremony held in his honour             courtesy, humility of mind, and authority
                                                  on 12 September 2008. Judge Irwin was               without pompousness, commitment to
                                                  instrumental in the implementation of               the rule of law and consciousness of the
                                                  innovative court diversion programs. He             social significance of judicial service,’ Mr
                                                  was also the first Chief Magistrate to sit          Shine said.
                                                  in every Magistrates Court in Queensland,
                                                  including the new circuits throughout               ‘The characteristics seem inherently
Chief Magistrate Brendan Butler (left) being                                                          sensible and appropriate in our judicial
sworn in by the Deputy Chief Magistrate.          the Torres Strait. During his tenure, he
                                                  strengthened the working relationship               officers, and these qualities I have every
                                                  between the courts and the Department               confidence you will bring to this position.’
                                                  of Justice and Attorney-General (JAG).
                                                                                                      Judge Butler intends to be proactive
                                                  Judge Irwin will continue to play a key
                                                                                                      in visiting magistrates and court staff
                                                  role in our state’s justice system sitting
                                                                                                      throughout Queensland and sitting in
                                                  on the District Court bench.
                                                                                                      courts in every corner of the state.

          Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this document does contain at least one image of a deceased person.
                          Due care has been taken to ensure that all images have been used with the appropriate consent.

Edition 4 March 2009
2 Farewell to Magistrate Trevor Allingham                      6 Murri Court develops momentum in Richlands
3 Honouring our Elders                                         6 Counselling at the Townsville Community Justice Group
3 A candid talk with a Townsville Elder                        7 Caloundra looks to rehabilitation
4 Chief Magistrate visits Rockhampton Elders                   7 Mackay Murri Court officially opened
4 Murri Men’s support group, Mt Isa                            8 Townsville Murri Court update
5 Tribute to past Chief Magistrate Judge Irwin                 8 Profiling the ‘Face of Murri Court’ art search winners
                                                Farewell to Caboolture Murri
                                                Court Magistrate Trevor Allingham
                                                                                                 Magistrate Trevor Allingham
                                                                                                 proudly shows Magistrate Leanne
From the                                                                                         O’Shea an Indigenous painting
                                                                                                 which was presented to him by the
Director-General                                                                                 Association of Magistrates upon
                                                                                                 his retirement.
Welcome to the latest edition of
Murri Court News.

Murri Courts in Queensland continue to go
from strength to strength. Late last year we
opened a Murri Court in Mackay, bringing
the total number in Queensland to 13. The
success of these 13 courts could see the        Magistrate Trevor Allingham was            a Youth Murri Court was established
continued expansion to other communities.       appointed as a magistrate in Brisbane      at Caboolture in February 2006 and an
A community meeting was recently held in        in 2001. Soon after, he was privileged     Adult Murri Court began operating in
Richlands to gauge community interest in        to attend meetings convened by then        June 2008.
the program.                                    Chief Magistrate Diane Fingleton and
                                                Deputy Chief Magistrate Brian Hine to      Magistrate Allingham then retired in
The justice system in Queensland aims           forge links to establish the Murri Court   November 2008. He now draws great
to be accessible and equitable for all                                                     satisfaction from the fact that within
                                                in Queensland.
Queenslanders. Murri Courts, by allowing                                                   weeks of his retirement, the 13th
Indigenous people to access a specialised       Transferring to Mareeba Magistrates        Murri Court in Queensland opened
court where local Elders work with              Court in July 2002, he presided over       at Mackay in Central Queensland. He
magistrates, go a long way to achieving
                                                the district of Far North Queensland.      attributes the Murri Court’s success
that equity and accessibility. Murri Courts
                                                In the next two years, he experienced      in Queensland to the cooperation,
play a significant role in reducing the over-
representation of Indigenous offenders in
                                                first hand the positive effects a          goodwill and solid commitment of
the criminal justice system.                    traditional Elder system has upon          each court’s local Elders and respected
                                                Indigenous community members.              persons. He considers it most important
Finally, the Murri Courts would not be          To promote understanding between           to now work towards identifying and
such a success without the commitment           the justice system and Indigenous          training suitable members from local
of the community Elders and the local           people, he presented opportunities         Indigenous communities, regenerating
magistrates. These two groups of people         for community Elders and respected         justice groups and ensuring the
provide a vital service to the Murri Courts     persons to attend court.                   continued success of Murri Courts.
and their dedication should be applauded.
                                                After transferring to Caboolture           All those associated with the
Law Week                                        Magistrates Court in June 2004,
                                                Magistrate Allingham explored
                                                                                           Caboolture Murri Court wish Magistrate
                                                                                           Allingham well in his retirement. In
Law Week, 11 -17 May 2009, is an annual         opportunities to establish an              addition, members of the Caboolture
event that helps Queenslanders to               Indigenous Community Justice Group         Justice Group who hold him in high
understand the legal system and improve         in the district. After a period of         regard look forward to his continued
their access to legal services within their     contact and consultation between the       friendship and promised support.
community.                                      magistrate and community leaders,
During Law Week, information on JAG’s
services will be available for Indigenous
communities, including:
• obtaining identification and birth
                                                Murri Court fast facts
• access to mediators for settling              • The Queensland Murri Court model         • Elders do not do the sentencing. They
  disputes in traditional ways                    comes from an Indigenous court             do not send people to jail or order
• assistance with paying fines                    system in the Northern Territory and       community service.
• support for victims and offenders               South Australia.
                                                                                           • Murri Courts were set up so
• study and employment opportunities.           • Murri Court is for Aboriginal and          Indigenous people could understand
For more information about Law Week               Torres Strait Islander people.             what law they had broken and help
or how to access the above services,                                                         them not to break the law again.
call 07 3239 3520                               • Elders help the magistrate to
or visit www.justice.qld.gov.au.                  understand Murri issues and culture.

2 Murri Court news
 Honouring our Elders
 By Linda Ryle, Caboolture Case Coordinator
 Caboolture Murri Court community             On Saturday
 representative and respected Elder           17 January
 Aunty Ann Martin sadly passed away           2009 Aunty
 in early July 2008. Aunty Ann was a          Ann’s life was                                 From the
 Senior Gubbi Gubbi Elder.                    celebrated
                                              with the                                       Magistracy
 Aunty Ann was a founding member of           scattering
 the Buranga Widjung Justice Group                                                           Although I have spent most of my working
                                              of her ashes
 and a well regarded senior Elder of the                                                     life in Brisbane, I was born and educated
                                              on her                                         in the Rockhampton area. So like many
 Caboolture Murri Court. Additionally,        childhood                                      readers of this magazine, my roots are in
 Aunty Ann had been involved in an inter-     homeland                                       regional Queensland. I recently had the
 departmental youth justice conferencing      waterways in Ann Martin –                      opportunity to visit Rockhampton and
 partnership project in the Caboolture/       accordance                                     appreciated the opportunity to meet with
                                                               Caboolture Murri Court
 Moreton Bay area. Aunty Ann had been         with her                                       many of the Elders who support the Murri
 suffering bravely with ongoing illness for   wishes. Family and close friends were          Court in that region. I look forward to
 some time.                                   invited to the celebration. JAG staff          visiting more Murri Courts throughout the
                                              representatives Linda Ryle and Allen           year and meeting with as many of you
 Many had the joy of spending time            Ebbert also attended.                          as possible.
 in Aunty Ann’s company. Some
 most recently when she played a              Aunty Ann was ever gracious,                   I am very aware of the Murri Court’s proud
 key cultural role in the ‘Welcome            strong, honourable and a joyfully              history and achievements in Queensland.
 to Country’ at the 2008 Annual               mischievous Aboriginal woman. She              I regard myself as fortunate in having the
 Magistrates Conference. A further                                                           opportunity to join its magistrates, Elders,
                                              was a wonderful example of Aboriginal
                                                                                             stakeholders and court staff to forge new
 testament to her commitment to               womanhood who has blessed the
                                                                                             pathways in its future development.
 our community is evidenced with              life of many and was a family woman
 her formidable demand not to be              who shared much with our evolving              The Murri Court is convened in 13 court
 excluded from our recent Murri Court         Queensland justice system. A truly             centres throughout the state. Its success is
 Conference (‘or anything else!’),            respected and respectful senior Elder,         undoubtedly due to the dedication of the
 despite her advancing illness.               Aunty Ann will be forever missed.              Elders, respected persons and support staff
                                                                                             who assist the court in administering justice
                                                                                             to Indigenous Australians.

A candid talk with                                                                           I congratulate all concerned with the Murri
                                                                                             Court operation throughout 2008. I look

Townsville Elder                                                                             forward to joining with you in creating new
                                                                                             possibilities for the court in 2009.

Elsie Kennedy
                                                                                             Judge Brendan Butler AM, SC
                                                  Elsie Kennedy – Townsville Murri Court     Chief Magistrate
                                                                                             Queensland Magistrates Court
By Adair MacGregor, Townsville Case Coordinator
What country are you from and who are         What do you enjoy about court days?
your tribal mob?                              Being able to be helpful to clients in their
I was born in Charters Towers. My tribe       efforts to obtain the best outcome of
is Keitjala clan on my mother’s side and      their charges, for all concerned.
Kalkadoon on my father’s side.
                                              How many children/grandchildren do
How long have you been a Murri                you have?
Court Elder?                                  I have reared eight children and now I
Since the inception of Murri Court in         have 19 grandchildren.
Townsville – about three years.
                                              Did you enjoy your childhood as much
What makes you proud to be an Elder?          as your grannies do?
The fact that we are there for our people     I had a very good childhood. My grannies
and can speak for them. We hope this          seem to be enjoying their childhood, I
makes a difference to them.                   love each and every one of them.

                                                                                                                 Murri Court news 3
Murri Men’s Support Group, Mount Isa
The Mount Isa Murri Men’s                    to disclose their problems or events
Support Group meets every                    in their lives in a sober environment
Monday night at Centacare. It’s              with the support of other men who
a successful program that gives              have experienced similar issues,’
men the opportunity to talk about            said Murri Men’s Support Group
issues such as drinking, violence,           coordinator, Tim Shaw.
pressures from family, dealing
with anger and domestic violence.            ‘Men who attend have found ways
                                             to overcome their domestic violence
The group originally started as              – strategies like ‘walk away’, the
a ‘Time Out’ place on Sunday                 traffic light system, to recognise
giving men the opportunity to get            when you are heading towards the
together, have a yarn and play               red light.’
some music – a place of healing
and spirituality. The music part             Father Mick Lowcock and Terry
                                             Lees are two other members of              Tim Shaw (third from right) standing with participants
gradually faded out as the men
                                             the support group who help with            from the Murri Men’s Support Group.
started to talk more and play less.
                                             sourcing of funding and programs
‘All participants are encouraged to          to assist. A child safety officer also
share their story. Many of the men           attends the meetings and is able to
have deeper issues that they have            give support on various issues.
never dealt with. The men are able

Chief Magistrate visits
Rockhampton Elders
By Carolyn Willie,
Rockhampton Case Coordinator

Recently appointed Chief Magistrate
Judge Butler met with the Rockhampton
Murri Court Elders at the Magistrates
Court in Rockhampton. This was
instigated by Magistrate Annette
Hennessy who recognised the significant
role of Elders in Murri Court in assisting
the courts and the local Aboriginal and
Islander community.

In a meeting with the Elders, Judge
Brendan Butler acknowledged the
recent establishment of Murri Courts in
Queensland. He commended the Elders               Standing L-R Ethel Speedy (QIADP Coordinator - Traditional Owner), Carol Willie (Murri Court
on their dedication and commitment to             Coordinator ), James White (Elder), Dean Edmund (Traditional Owner Respected Person),
the Murri Court in Rockhampton and                Judge Brendan Butler, Connie Coolwell and Dorothy Hustler (Elders), Magistrate Annette
other Murri Courts throughout the state.          Hennessy, Deanna Beatson (Regional Advisor).

4 Murri Court news
                                                                    A tribute to former
                                                                    Chief Magistrate
                                                                    Judge Irwin
A crowd of in excess of 200 people          During his tenure in office as Chief        Irwin and have found him to be a great
farewelled Queensland’s Chief               Magistrate, Judge Irwin achieved his        leader and a gentleman. In his time
Magistrate Judge Marshall Irwin at          goal of visiting all 114 centres where      as Chief Magistrate we saw many
a valediction in his honour on 11           Magistrates Courts are held. He was         significant changes. Judge Irwin clearly
September 2008.                             well known in the Gulf, the Cape            demonstrated good leadership having
                                            and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait        the ability to inspire others to follow,’
Judge Irwin gained a wide experience        Islander communities and maintained         said Uncle Albert Holt, one of Brisbane’s
of the law as a Crown Prosecutor and a      the respect of Elders throughout            Murri Court Elders who attended the
barrister in private practice from 1976.    Queensland. Deputy Chief Magistrate         valediction ceremony.
He was appointed a legal advisor to the     Hine describes his Honour as a very
National Crime Authority in Melbourne       compassionate person, with an abiding       ‘Judge Irwin’s commitment to the Murri
and later general counsel to the Criminal   interest in the welfare of Aboriginal and   Courts has shown profound humility
Justice Commission in Queensland. He        Torres Strait Islander people.              and respect towards Indigenous people.
co-authored Carter’s Criminal Law of                                                    His support has made an impact on
Queensland and was a member of the          Judge Irwin was instrumental in the         Indigenous people’s lives through the
International Society for the Reform of     addition of extra court circuits to         Murri Courts. It’s impacts like these in
the Criminal Law.                           the islands of the Torres Strait. The       the Murri Courts that has made us as
                                            courts have an entourage of police,         Elders feel, on one of the rare occasions,
Judge Irwin was a member of the             probation officers, Aboriginal and Torres   dignified as Aboriginal people and for
National Crime Authority from 1998 to       Strait Islander legal officers, family      the very first time in our lives making us
2002, and had periods as the Central        department officers and others who can      feel valued.’
Crown Prosecutor at Rockhampton,            assist in many ways. His Honour has
Northern Crown Prosecutor and Deputy        also been a great supporter of the Murri    The Murri Court would like to thank
Director of Prosecutions at Townsville.     Courts with 13 opened during his tenure.    Judge Irwin and his wife Louise for their
These appointments helped give him                                                      support and wishes him all the very
the administrative ability to run a large   ‘I’m sure I’m speaking for the majority     best in his transition to the District
organisation.                               of the respected Elders who have had        Court and beyond.
                                            the pleasure of working with Judge

“ Judge Irwin clearly demonstrated good leadership,
having the ability to inspire others to follow”

                                                                                                          Murri Court news 5
Murri Court develops
momentum in Richlands
Richlands Magistrate Errol Wessling convened
a public meeting with community Elders at the
Western Districts Courthouse on 5 November 2008
to discuss establishing a Murri Court.

A number of local Elders attended and heard Chief
Magistrate Brendan Butler, Uncle Albert Holt and
Murri Court Manager Greg Wiman speak about the
work of Murri Court and the support available to
Elders volunteering for the role.

Magistrate Wessling plans to offer orientation
training to interested Elders in 2009 with a view to
commencing a Richlands Murri Court in March or
April 2009.

                                                        Richland Elders meet with court officials and staff to discuss the establishment of a
                                                        Murri Court in Richlands.

Counselling at the Townsville
Community Justice Group
By Adair MacGregor,                            interventions they need to get involved
Townsville Case Coordinator                    in to try to break the cycle. Counselling
                                               is confidential and available to all
Magistrates in Townsville now have             defendants who have been previously
the option to direct offenders to a            granted bail. They are given the
counselling service before they are            opportunity to see the counsellors, and
sentenced in the Murri Court. This             in the 10 weeks (approximately) prior to
service is available on Mondays. Social        sentencing, get involved in interventions
worker Vincenzo Cositore and Brian             (e.g. relationship counselling, Domestic
Twomey (a psychologist employed by             Violence Perpetrator Program, alcohol
the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander         and/or drug counselling including
Health Service), said that even though         residential rehabilitation). If they do
these sessions are voluntary, an average                                                        Social worker Vincenzo Cositore and
                                               so, their willingness to address their
of four to five defendants attend the                                                           psychologist Brian Twomey – Townsville
                                               offending behaviour can be taken into
Townsville Community Justice Group             account by the court.
weekly for their appointments.

The purpose of the service is to
help defendants identify issues
that are contributing to their repeat
offending behaviour. It then identifies

6 Murri Court news
Mackay Murri Court officially opened
Chief Magistrate Brendan Butler              to help with dropping the crime rate
officially launched the Mackay Murri         of young offenders. It will give children
Court on 20 November 2008.                   a cultural perspective and gives parents
                                             and children a chance to have their
At the opening ceremony, local Elders        say around the table,’ said Uncle
spoke of the important role the Murri        Arnold Doyle.
Court plays in providing an effective
means of communication between the           Ten Elders have undertaken the JAG
local Indigenous community and the           training for Murri Court, representating
justice system.                              the Torres Strait Islander, Aboriginal,
                                             and Australian South Sea Islander
Magistrate Ross Risen and Elder Arnold       communities.
Doyle initiated the Murri Court in Mackay
which has taken three years to develop.      Children’s Murri Court will run every        Attending the Mackay Murri Court launch were
                                                                                          (from left) Chief Magistrate Judge Butler, Jim
                                             month and plans are underway to have
‘This is a great achievement for the                                                      Butterworth, Director-General Julie Grantham,
                                             an adult Murri Court in operation later in
Mackay community. Murri Court will deal                                                   Winnie Boah, Gary Mooney and Magistrate
                                             the year.                                    Damien Dwyer.
with young people in a support role

Caloundra looks to rehabilitation
By Magistrate Di Fingleton, Linda            • Sunshine Coast TAFE                        Magistrate Fingleton hopes to visit more
Ryle, Caboolture Case Coordinator            • North Coast Aboriginal Corporation         agencies around the Sunshine Coast,
and Alan Ebbert, Caloundra                     for Community Health (NCACCH)              expanding the resource manual which
Courthouse staff member                                                                   informs the magistrate and Elders of the
                                             • Dilly Bag and Sunshine Coast Youth
                                                                                          agencies and the services they provide.
Magistrate Di Fingleton and Linda Ryle,        Justice ’Bush Tucker’ program
                                                                                          The resource manual is used to help
Murri Court Case Coordinator, recently       • Keys to Early Intervention in              tailor specific programs for individual
visited various local organisations which      Homelessness Service (KEIHS)               defendants as part of bail orders.
offer programs and services to help          • Nambour, Nungeena Womens.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people with life issues such as housing,     ‘Some of the defendants who appear
education, employment and health.            in court are unaware of the services
                                             available to them, at little or no cost,
Magistrate Fingleton and Linda were          which can impact significantly on
encouraged by the degree of enthusiasm       their self esteem and life skills,’ said
shown by the groups they visited who         Magistrate Fingleton. ‘I am confident
are keen to get involved in court directed   that with the active participation of
activities. The level of commitment to       these groups and our Elders, we can
their specialist areas of assistance,        implement court ordered programs
often while running on the smell of the      which will improve the outlook for
proverbial ‘oily rag’, was observed as       defendants and consequently reduce
nothing less than selfless.                  the incidence of recidivism,’ she said.
                                             ‘The efficient and professional services     Magistrate Fingleton (fourth from left)
Organisations visited included:                                                           and Linda Ryle (third from left) inspect the
                                             visited this week continually evidenced
                                             a dignified and practical approach           new premises of the Youth Justice Office
• Building Futures Flexi School                                                           in Mooloolaba.
                                             to assistance.’
• The Cultural Healing Centre

                                                                                                              Murri Court news 7
Townsville Murri Court Update
                                               The Gudjal Justice Group in Charters         NQDVRS workers observed our court
                                               Towers has shown interest in setting         processes and spoke to the court about
                                               up a Murri Court for their community.        the defendant’s participation in the
                                               Bill Jerri and about 10 members of the       program when a graduated participant
                                               justice group and community Elders           was being sentenced.
                                               and respected persons attended the
                                               Townsville Murri Court in October to         Forensic Mental Health also observed
                                               observe proceedings. Townsville staff        our court in October and is available to
                                               and Elders attended the Charters Towers      offer any assistance to defendants in
                                               registry on 9 December 2008 to meet          Murri Court.
                                               with all interested parties.
                                                                                            Townsville Murri Court has obtained large
By Adair MacGregor,                            We have also had visits to our Murri Court   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags
Townsville Case Coordinator                    from members of the North Queensland         that hang in the court room on Murri
                                               Domestic Violence Resource Service           Court days. These flags hang on the
Townsville has had a busy couple of                                                         bench on either side of the magistrate
                                               (NQDVRS) who facilitate the Domestic
months. Salli-Ann’s secondment to the                                                       and Elder. They look great when hanging
                                               Violence Perpetrator Program known as
role of Indigenous Training Support                                                         in the courtroom and we are now aiming
                                               Mentor. The program is used in Murri
Officer gave me the opportunity to act                                                      at getting some artwork.
                                               Court to refer defendants who are on
in her role from September until the end
                                               domestic violence related charges. The
of 2008.

Profiling the ‘Face of Murri
Court’ art search winners
By Dennis Muckan – Caboolture                  two semicircles mean it doesn’t matter if
                                               the judge is Indigenous or not, he makes
My name is Dennis and I am a proud             his decision based on the information he
descendant of the Gubbi Gubbi people           finds out.                                   Caboolture Artist – Dennis Muckan
and South Sea Islanders. I have spent
time across Queensland and now base            The lines of black and white dots coming
myself in Caboolture. I am presently           out from the centre represent Elders and
studying at the University of Queensland       Indigenous people in the court coming
completing a nursing degree. In my spare       to a decision. In the bottom right hand
time I like to paint and I draw inspiration    corner the white patches with the black
from the struggles and environment that        dots mean Aboriginal and Torres Strait
surround me. I sign my paintings with          people living with in white communities.
my middle names, Able Jones, from my           The top left hand corner with the black
father and grandmother. I lost my father       patches and white dots mean white
eight years ago and this has provided me       people living black communities.
with the drive to see my goals come true.                                                   Winning artwork
I am now determined to make my family          The two white sections in the bottom left
proud, stand tall and learn from my life       hand corner separated by lines of black      background colour means we all bleed
experiences, looking forward to my future      and white dots symbolises those affected     the same so we are all treated the same.
and the path that I will follow.               by crime - shop keepers, business owners
                                               and others. The two black sections in the    Brisbane artist David Williams and
My painting symbolises justice for the         top right hand corner separated by the       Caloundra artist Dale Mann’s profiles
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander          lines of black and white dots symbolise      can be found in the next Murri Court
people in Caboolture. In the centre the        Indigenous families’ members. The            Newsletter.

                   The artwork used for this newsletter is supplied
                   by local Brisbane artist David Williams.

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