NSW appoints Australia’s first indigenous silk

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The NSW Bar Association appointed Tony McAvoy to the top honours of senior counsel last week.

McAvoy, one of just two indigenous barristers in the state, was admitted to the bar in 2000 and awarded the inaugural National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year in 2010.

“Mr McAvoy’s deep commitment to Indigenous justice is widely known and respected,” said Australian Bar Association president Fiona McLeod SC of McAvoy’s appointment.

“On behalf of the Australian Bar Association, I warmly congratulate Mr McAvoy on his appointment as Senior Counsel.  I am sure he will continue to make a valuable contribution to the legal profession long into the future.”

Despite the low number of indigenous lawyers and law students, McAvoy remains optimistic, saying that he expects many more with continued support.

“In countries like Australia where the rule of law does play a very strong, important role, there is the ability to make a huge contribution,” he told the Australian Financial Review last week.

“If we are not represented at the bar table, in the solicitors' firms, in those matters of consequence to the country, it denies us the capacity to engage in the important discussions that shape the country.”

Of the 26 silks appointed to the bar, just three were women.  A full list of the appointments is below.
Grant Allan Brady

Anthony Peter Cheshire

Maria Maddalena Cinque

Wayne Thomas Creasey

Dominique Horgan-Doran

Timothy Hans Gartelmann

Jeremy Christopher Giles

Michael Green

Patrick James Griffin

Matthew James Johnston

Jean-Jacques Thomas Loofs

Anthony Logan McAvoy

Paul Rennie McGuire

David Alexander McLure

Edward Charles Muston

Gina Maree O’Rourke

Craig Christopher Patrick

Andrew Michael Pickles

Dominic Alexander Priestley

Paul Neil William Sansom

Andrew John Stone

John Barclay Turnbull

Dominic Robert John Toomey

Mark Justin Walsh

Christopher Scott Ward

David Michael Wilson