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Law Council of Australia


Welcome ceremony for the Hon Justice Steward

Speech delivered by Ross Drinnan, Treasurer, Law Council of Australia at the High Court, Canberra, 1 February 2021.

"May it please the Court.

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, and pay my respects to all of Australia’s Indigenous people.

As the Chief Justice noted at Your Honour's swearing-in on 1 December last year, there was considerable uncertainty as to the manner of your swearing-in and the conduct of the traditional welcome ceremony, due to restrictions of movement imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although some restrictions continue, it is a special privilege to be able to welcome Your Honour's appointment on behalf of the Law Council of Australia today, some two months after you were sworn in. Such an important occasion is best honoured in person, and I am delighted that we are able to do so with your current and former judicial colleagues, family, friends, and representatives of the profession present.

Your Honour's legal career commenced as an articled clerk at Mallesons Stephen Jacques. I understand that as part of your early training you were required to work in the tax group with Michael Clough and David Wood. You came to appreciate and enjoy the intellectual challenges that the tax practice offered and you have acknowledged, and they are no doubt proud to claim, that they converted you..."

You can read the full speech below.


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