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Board chairperson since May 2017
Margaret McMurdo was appointed President, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland from 1998 until 2017 and was Acting Chief Justice of Queensland in 2015.
Margaret graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland in 1976. She began her legal career as a student volunteer in 1974 with the newly formed Aboriginal Legal Service.
In 1976, she became the first female paralegal in the Public Defender’s Office. She was admitted as a barrister in December 1976 and was an Assistant Public Defender from 1977 to 1989. She practised at the Bar from 1989 until 1991 when she was appointed to the District Court of Queensland. In 1993, she also held a commission as a Childrens Court judge.
Margaret has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates and is a founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a member of the American Law Institute. She is patron of Women’s Legal Service, Caxton Legal Service and LawRight’s Civil Justice Fund. In 2017, Margaret was appointed chair of the Board of Governors of Queensland Community Foundation, the state’s largest public perpetual charitable trust.
Margaret chaired the Victorian Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informers from 2018 to 2020.
Since March 2021, Margaret has been chairing Queensland’s Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.
Board member since July 2017
Joshua is a descendant of the Waanyi and Kalkadoon nations from north west Queensland. He has been practicing as a barrister since 2011. In 2009, Joshua was an associate to the late Honourable Justice Peter Dutney, Supreme Court Queensland.
Joshua has developed a strong reputation as one of the leading lawyers in the country in matters that involve Indigenous Australians.
Joshua has developed a strong reputation as one of the leading lawyers in the country in matters that involve Indigenous Australians. In 2017, Joshua was awarded the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award. In 2016, he was recognised by Chambers Asia-Pacific as one of Australia’s Outstanding Young Lawyers. In 2013, Joshua received the Griffith University, Outstanding Arts, Education and Law, Young Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2008, he was awarded Griffith University’s Rubin Hurricane Carter Award for Commitment to Social Justice.
Board member since September 2014
Sandra Deane is an experienced board member and tribunal member with extensive private and public sector experience. She brings experience from senior positions (including as CEO) in the corporate (publicly listed, large private and government-owned corporations) and professional (legal) sectors. Sandra was admitted as a solicitor in 1988 and has more than 25 years’ experience in legal practice in corporate and private practice and tribunal roles. She also has more than 15 years’ experience in the energy sector. She brings professional expertise in contract management and negotiation, dispute resolution and compliance. She is currently an external Audit and Compliance Committee Member of the Local Government Association of Queensland Limited and is a part-time member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Board member since July 2008
Allan Welsh has led major projects in the public and private sectors for the past 20 years, with extensive experience in managing capital infrastructure, information and business system projects and events. In 2008 he received a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and was awarded two Australia Day medals for capital works programming and arts infrastructure management in Queensland.
Board member since September 2021.
Cairns-based lawyer Spencer Browne has been appointed to the Legal Aid Queensland board, bringing with him a wealth of experience from private practice and the not-for-profit sector.
Spencer graduated from James Cook University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws and obtained his Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University in 2010. He was an associate to two District Court Judges, before practising in planning and environmental law and commercial litigation. He is the North Queensland Law Association’s longest-serving president and currently sits as the organisation’s treasurer.
Spencer has a keen interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and has spent the last 10 years doing legislative compliance work in the Aboriginal Community Control Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector. He enjoys running community events and has organised a major youth-based event in north Queensland for the past 10 years, focusing on reducing youth crime and recidivism.
Last updated 2 September 2021