A small number of members of the Australian Association of Women Judges have been particularly recognised for their extraordinary contribution to the organisation.
This page has been made exclusively for the purpose of displaying those people who have been awarded Life Membership of the AAWJ.
The Honourable Jane Mathews, AO
In May 2019 the AAWJ Committee voted to confer Life Membership on the Honourable Jane Mathews, AO. Jane started the AAWJ in 1991 and was its Foundation President. She also contributed significantly to the IAWJ including as President from 2004 to 2006.
Jane’s history as a trail-blazer for women Judicial Officers is legendary. She was the first woman appointed to the District Court of NSW in 1980 and to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1987. Then as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, and on the AAT, she made a significant contribution on indigenous issues as Deputy President of the Native Titles Tribunal. Her contribution in the field of human rights included a period as the first Senior Judicial member of the NSW Equal Opportunity Tribunal. She spoke out also for the human rights of another marginalized group between 1993 and 1995 when she was a Trustee of the Aids Trust of Australia.
Outside her judicial role, Jane is much loved within the Arts community, making enormous contributions, especially to music. She is a well-loved and regarded patron and friend of Opera Australia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Opera and other musical organisations in Australia. She generously donates her time too as patron of the NSW Women Lawyer’s Association.
The award was presented to Jane in Sydney on 11th May with the following citation:
In recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the Australian Association of Women Judges, including as a foundation member, first President and continual support, the Committee of the AAWJ, on 8 May, 2019, decided by unanimous vote to confer the inaugural Life Membership of the Association on The Honourable Jane Mathews, AO.