Our Patron

Diana Bryant AO QC

The Patron of Australian Women Lawyers (AWL) is the Hon. Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Diana Bryant AO QC.

Her Honour was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia in 2004 and appointed patron of AWL in 2009 in recognition of her support for women lawyers and her efforts to promote equality of opportunity for women in the community.

In 2004, Her Honour was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, and became only the second woman in Australia’s history to head a federal court.

Prior to this appointment in 2000, Her Honour was appointed the inaugural Chief Magistrate of the Federal Magistrates Court and played a vital role in overseeing the establishment of this Court.

Born in Perth, Her Honour is a third-generation lawyer who graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne and with a Master of Laws from Monash University.

Her Honour was admitted as a legal practitioner in Victoria in 1970 and returned to Perth in 1977 to join law firm Lavan and Walsh (which became Phillips Fox) where she worked as a solicitor and counsel specialising in family law until 1990.

Between 1984-1989 Her Honour held the position of Director of Australian Airlines and between 1990 and 2000 she practised at the Victorian Bar specialising in family law and de facto property disputes.

Through her family law practice, Her Honour also handled bankruptcy, human rights and equal opportunity matters and in 1997, she was appointed a Queen’s Counsel.

Most notably, in 2012 Her Honour was recognised in the Australia Day Honours lists with an Officer of the Order of Australia for her “distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law, particularly to family law policy reform and practice, through the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court, and to the advancement of women in the legal profession”.