Blumers Lawyers congratulates Susan Kiefel AC on her appointment as Australia’s first female High Court chief justice.
Ms Kiefel is the first woman to lead Australia’s highest court in its 113 year history. The Queenslander left school in Year Ten and sat the bar exam at age 21. Ms Kiefel was the first woman to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in Queensland in 1987 and the second woman to be appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in 1994. In 2007, Ms Kiefel was appointed to the High Court, making her the third female High Court justice of the court’s forty six overall. Ms Kiefel currently serves as one of two women on the bench of seven High Court justices.
For the past 20 years, more than 50 per cent of Australian law graduate have been female. Despite this, women still account for less than 20 per cent of partners in law firms and 6 per cent of silks at the Australian bar. It is imperative the legal profession takes steps to promote women to senior positions to remedy this inequality. At Blumers Lawyers, 50 per cent of our managing directors are female, a record we are proud of and endeavour to continue.
We are also proud to practice in the ACT, under Chief Justice Helen Murrell, whose appointment in 2013 marked the first female to be appointed to the ACT Supreme Court. Moreover, we are pleased to see a Supreme Court bench where 40 per cent of the members are women.
Ms Kiefel’s appointment also serves as a reminder that the legal profession must continue to actively promote and support women, in the hope that one day we may see gender equity on Australia’s High Court bench.