October 2015 Networking Dinner Meeting

Previous Event
Date: Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Venue: Grand Ballroom, Novotel Wollongong Northbeach
Speaker: The Hon Justice Jane Mathews - The 2015 Hargrave Lecture

Sponsored by RMB Lawyers

The annual Hargrave Lecture is the highlight of The Illawarra Connection calendar.

The Hargrave Lecture is traditionally presented by an eminent public figure, usually with links to the Illawarra.

This year we are proud to announce that JUSTICE JANE MATHEWS AO will present the 2015 Hargrave Lecture on Tuesday 13 October, when she will talk about her long and distinguished career in the law.

Justice Mathews pioneered senior roles for women in the judiciary. She graduated from the University of Sydney Law School in 1962 and was admitted as a solicitor in 1963. She was admitted as a barrister in 1969 when she was one of only nine female barristers in the state – and the only one specialising in criminal law and defamation. In 1978 she became the first female Crown Prosecutor in NSW, in 1980 she was appointed the first female Judge of the NSW District Court and in 1987 she became the first female Judge of the NSW Supreme Court. In 1994 she was appointed to the Federal Court.

Justice Mathews has held many other positions, including President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Deputy President of the Native Title Tribunal, a Law Reform Commissioner and senior judicial member of the NSW Equal Opportunity Tribunal.

Justice Mathews was born in Wollongong in 1940. Her father was the legendary Frank Mathews, Chief Engineer of the Port Kembla Steelworks during its massive expansion phase in the 1950s and 1960s. Frank Mathews played a leading role in the establishment of the Wollongong University College which grew into the University of Wollongong, and Justice Mathews herself has made and continues to make a considerable contribution to the University’s Law School. 

Since retiring as a Federal Court judge in 2001, Justice Mathews has continued to work as an Acting Judge in the Supreme Court of NSW.

Justice Mathews has close family ties to RMB Lawyers, previously known as Russell, McLelland & Brown. Her great grandfather Charles Russell established the law firm in Wollongong in 1885, and her grandfather James Russell joined his father at the firm in 1900 and worked there until 1942. Justice Mathews’ uncles Harry and Alec McLelland were also partners at the firm.

RMB Lawyers are proud to sponsor this prestigious evening as part of the firm's 130th anniversary celebrations and have generously offered to make copies of their book "RMB: 130 Years of Legal Leadership" available for members on the night.