Vale Magistrate Donna MacCallum
The Women Lawyers Association of Queensland commemorates the outstanding career and contributions of long serving Magistrate Donna MacCallum who sadly passed away on 1 June 2021.
Magistrate MacCallum was a trailblazer for women lawyers, being the second woman to be appointed as a Magistrate in Queensland. Her Honour was a highly respected Magistrate within the legal community and served on the bench with dedication to the law and with the utmost integrity. The local Ipswich legal community have spoken highly of her Honour’s many contributions to the local Ipswich community.
Before being appointed to the bench, Magistrate MacCallum was a well-respected solicitor practising in Cairns. In 1980 Magistrate MacCallum became the first female partner of a long-standing law firm in Cairns, Murray & Lyons Solicitors. Her Honour ultimately left the firm and was appointed, initially, as a Magistrate in Toowoomba in 1991. Her Honour then served as a Magistrate in Ipswich from 2001 onwards.
Throughout her career on the bench, Magistrate MacCallum served as the Coordinating Magistrate at Ipswich for 20 years between 2001 to 2021. Her Honour also demonstrated remarkable leadership, acting as Deputy Chief Magistrate for various periods from 2002 to 2008 and also acted briefly as Chief Magistrate in 2005.
Magistrate MacCallum was one of the longest serving Magistrates in Queensland’s history. In three months time, Magistrate MacCallum would have celebrated 30 years serving on the bench. One of Magistrate MacCallum’s greatest achievements whilst serving on the bench was pioneering the introduction of the first Murri Court at Ipswich in 2007.
Many Ipswich legal practitioners refer to Magistrate MacCallum as a pillar of the Ipswich legal fraternity. Her Honour will be remembered as a mentor, a friend, and a positive role model for young and emerging legal practitioners. Local Ipswich barrister, Dan Boddice, recalls the mentorship and support that her Honour gave him for his transition to the private bar. Mr Boddice speaks highly of her Honour’s work ethic on the bench. “Magistrate MacCallum worked tirelessly to ensure the Court was run as efficiently as possible. She was never afraid of working late or bringing matters on to assist not only the practitioners but also her fellow Magistrates.”
The Women Lawyers Association of Queensland offers its sincere condolences to the family, colleagues, and community connections of Magistrate MacCallum at this time.