BRANSON, Catherine

Born: 2/5/1948

Special Achievements:

Catherine Branson was the first woman in Australia (and probably in the common law world) to be appointed Crown Solicitor when appointed head of South Australia's  Attorney-General's department (1984).  She was also the first woman to be appointed a permanent head in the South Australian Public Service.

Additional Information:

In 1989, Catherine resigned from the public service to practice as a barrister and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1992.  She was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia in May 1994, where she served for more than 14 years, and was the Rapporteur of the Human Rights Nexus Working Party of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges for a number of years. Catherine was the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission (2008-12) and Human Rights Commissioner (2009-12).  She has since been appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide Law School, a Council Member of the University of Adelaide and a Director of the Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne.

In 2011, Catherine received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Adelaide and in 2012 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Flinders University.

In 2018, she was invested as a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours.