Board members

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    Board chair—Margaret McMurdo

    The Hon Margaret McMurdo AC

    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. 

    From March 2021 until July 2022, Margaret was chair of the Queensland’s Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.

    Board member—Avelina Tarrago

    Avelina Tarrago

    Ms Tarrago was admitted as a legal practitioner in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2009 before being called to the bar in 2017. She has a general practice at North Quarter Lane Chambers with a focus on inquests and Commissions of Inquiry, regulatory and administrative law. Ms Tarrago has held senior roles in a range of organisations including senior legal officer for the Office of the Health Ombudsman Queensland and counsel assisting in the Coroners Court of Queensland. She has been a Federal prosecutor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and has also worked for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. She also sits as a legal member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Ms Tarrago was the President of the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland from 2018-2022, and in 2014, she was selected as an Indigenous Fellow by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to undertake a two month fellowship in Geneva.

    Board member—Sandra Deane

    Sandra Deane

    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—Mike Anstee

    Mike Anstee

    Mr Anstee is an experienced procurement and project manager, with more than 25 years’ experience in leadership roles in the construction industry and Queensland public service. A qualified architect, Mr Anstee has held senior positions in the Department of Public Works, including Director, Health, Law and Order Portfolio, where he oversaw the design and construction of major projects including correctional facilities at Gatton, Townsville, Lotus Glen and Brisbane, and the development of the new Brisbane higher courts complex and Ipswich Courthouse. He was a member of steering committees directing the development of major capital works projects in Queensland, including the Gold Coast University Hospital, Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital.

    Spencer Browne

    Spencer Browne

    Board member since September 2021. 

    Cairns-based lawyer Spencer Browne has a wealth of experience in 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 has organised a major youth-based event in north Queensland for the past 10 years, focusing on reducing youth crime and recidivism.

    Last updated 17 May 2023