Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told State Parliament on Thursday that the next legal chief would be Justice Helen Bowskill, taking over the reins from previous chief justice, Catherine Holmes.
In announcing the appointment, Palaszczuk said that when it comes to equality there is a truism: “We cannot be what we cannot see.”
She said that one day it would go unremarked that women have held the State’s most senior legal job, along with the State having a female police commissioner, however that day was not here yet.
Palaszczuk said she was proud of the fact that all three branches of public administration in Queensland were lead by women.
Justice Bowskill, currently the Supreme Court’s senior judge administrator, will take up the top job on March 19, upon the retirement of Justice Holmes.
Palasczcuk said that Justice Bowskill would bring a wealth of experience and skills to the role.
A university medallist in law from QUT, she was admitted as a barrister in 1998 and has practised in public, administrative and commercial law, with a particular focus on native tittle law.
She was made a silk and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013 and appointed a District Court judge in 2014 before moving to the Supreme Court in 2017.
Palasczcuk said that Justice Bowskill had an interest in mental health issues facing the legal profession and had presented papers on the issue.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman also paid tribute to outgoing Chief Justice Holmes.
“Her Honour has been a trailblazer in the profession for so many women, and her leadership of the court during Covid-19 was commendable, ensuring Queenslanders have continued access to justice during the global pandemic,” Fentiman said.
She said Justice Holmes was one of the State’s foremost legal minds who had been a steadfast leader of the State’s justice system during her tenure.