- How’s this for a hero – Former 15-year-old high school dropout, Justice Susan Kiefel will be the FIRST female Chief Justice of the Australian High Court!
- Justice Kiefel completed high school studies part-time, then completed her law degree at night while working as a legal secretary. Since then, her Honour has built an outstanding legal career, having been called a “trailblazer at every step of her career” by the Australian Law Council president.
- This is a landmark moment, as men have occupied the High Court’s senior role throughout its 113-year history.
- Justice Kiefel was appointed to the High Court in 2007, and is due to be sworn in as Chief Justice in January. Her Honour is to replace Current Chief Justice Robert French, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
- The High Court is the highest court in the the Australian court hierarchy; getting the final say on the interpretation of all laws in Australia.
- Justice Kiefel once said she felt like a “lonely tree in a forest of men” in her early days as a lawyer – but the landscape is thankfully changing with 3 women on the 7-judge bench.
- Sometimes heroes wear red robes.