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Macdonnell, Jane

North Queensland, Australia
Barrister, Lawyer, Public servant and Solicitor


Jane Macdonnell is a lawyer with extensive experience in public sector administration. She grew up in North Queensland and is a graduate of the James Cook University and of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Macdonnell's public sector career commenced as a graduate clerk with the Department of Defence in 1975 and thereafter she advanced to senior managerial positions in internal audit, corporate services, disability services and aged care programs in the then Departments of Social Security; Community Services; Community Services and Health. She was the first woman appointed to many of those positions.

Macdonnell was admitted to practise as a barrister in 1987 and was the recipient of the James Archibald Douglas prize for the outstanding reader of her Bar Practice Course. Having accepted an offer of employment with Henderson Trout, she was admitted as a solicitor in 1989. In 1990, she became the first head of the Queensland Office of State Revenue and served in that role for five years. She subsequently served as a General Manger of Victoria Legal Aid before returning to Queensland in 1998 as Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

In 2000, Macdonnell was named the Outstanding Alumni for Law by QUT. At the end of 2000, she returned to Victoria as a partner with Clayton Utz before joining the Victorian Bar in 2003 where she continued to practise public law. In 2010, Macdonnell was appointed the Principal Member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) and served in that role until the SSAT amalgamated with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 1 July 2015.

Sources used to compile this entry: Cohen, Kay, 'Jane Mcdonnell', in Susan Purdon and Aladin Rahemtula (eds), A Woman's Place: 100 Years of Queensland Women Lawyers, Supreme Court of Queensland Library, Brisbane, 2005, pp. pp 341 - 346; Information provided by Jane Mcdonnell July 2015.

Jane Macdonnell

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