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 certificates 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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