RBG may be gone, but Queensland has its own icons to admire
While we grieve the loss of an iconic female lawyer, I reflect positively that we have many such icons available to us here in Australia.
A Queensland lawyer, also female, has been Governor General of Australia and Governor of Queensland.
The current Chief Justice of the High Court and the Queensland Supreme Court share those qualities.
We have been represented by Justice Michelle May AM QC when she held the position of head of the Court of Appeal in the Family Court.
We have had outstanding judicial appointments to the president of the Queensland Court of Appeal in Justice Margaret McMurdo and Justice Margaret White before their retirement.
Supreme Court and District Court appointments such as the current benches inspire us too. The current Deputy Chief Magistrates in Queensland are both female.
It is dispiriting to most and offensive to many that we are watching an application of power in the US try to undo her hard work. The laws Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for many years to change are now being threatened.
More positively, someone in power, almost certainly a male, did appoint Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the bench. I do not know who that was but power used in a way that I would consider, wisely, restores faith.
Someone appointed those first women to the bench in Queensland.
Margaret McMurdo when appointed to the District Court was the first female judge in Queensland and when appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal, she was the first female in Australia to hold that role. She was appointed by the Goss Government. That is so remote in history. How recent it is may surprise the lawyers who have had the pathway opened for them. The attorney at the time was the Honourable Matt Foley.
Whilst we want to see more women in the power seats, we also need our male colleagues to support and foster this change for the benefit of all.