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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Attorney-General announces new appointments

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Thursday, May 12, 2016

    Attorney-General announces new appointments

    Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has today announced the appointments of a judge of the District Court, two Magistrates, and a new Public Guardian.

    District Court

    Respected barrister Craig Chowdhury will be welcomed to the bench of the District Court in a ceremony in the Banco Court on Thursday 19 May. Mr Chowdhury is an accomplished criminal lawyer who started his career as a prosecutor at the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, prior to the state Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.  He later served as a Deputy Public Defender at Legal Aid Queensland before going into practice at the private Bar in 2002. He has since enjoyed a busy practice and built a respected reputation for his legal expertise and advocacy.

    Magistrates Court

    Queensland’s two new Magistrates are James Blanch of Blanch Towers Lawyers at Deception Bay, and David Shepherd, Deputy Public Defender and General Counsel at Legal Aid Queensland.

    Mr Blanch is a busy and well respected practitioner on the north side of Brisbane of almost 25 years’ experience. He has enjoyed a broad practice in conveyancing law, family law and domestic violence matters, estates, and criminal defence work. Mr Blanch has been appointed to the Caboolture Magistrates Court.

    Mr Shepherd has been Deputy Public Defender at Legal Aid Queensland since 2008, having commenced his legal career at the then Public Defender’s office in 1978. He spent some time in private practice at the bar and held a number of positions within the Criminal Justice Commission. Mr Shepherd will sit in Ipswich.

    These appointments will be followed by the appointment of one further Magistrate next week. All three Magistrates will be sworn in at a ceremony in the Magistrates Court at Brisbane on Wednesday 25 May.

    Public Guardian

    Ms Natalie Siegel-Brown has been appointed to the role of Public Guardian.

    The Office of the Public Guardian is an independent statutory body tasked with the important role of protecting the rights and interests of vulnerable children in the Queensland child protection system, and adults with impaired decision making capacity.

    Ms Siegel-Brown brings a wealth of experience to the appointment having led government organisations working in the areas of child protection, Indigenous affairs, disability, family violence, mental health and crime prevention.

    Ms Siegel-Brown will commence the appointment on 25 July, 2016 for a three year term.

    Mrs D’Ath thanked Ms Julia Duffy for acting in the Public Guardian role since August 2015 following the retirement of the former Public Guardian, Kevin Martin. Ms Duffy will continue in the role until 25 July, 2016.

    Media Contact: 0417 272 875