Her Honour QC
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- 28 August 2016
- Barrister, General Manager, Judge, Lawyer and Queen's Counsel
- Alternative Names
- Opas, Lynnette (birth name)
- Schiftan, Lynette (common misspelling)
- Schiftan, Lynne
Lynnette Schiftan was the ninth woman to sign the Victorian Bar Roll (1967) and the second Victorian woman to take silk (1983). In 1985 she was appointed a Judge of the County Court of Victoria - the first woman to be appointed to a Victorian State Court.
A Victorian Bar News article published at the time of Schiftan's appointment to the bench quoted her reflections on the early days of her legal career:
'I experienced a great deal of prejudice as a female barrister, from the community generally, from solicitors and from the Bench. However, I suffered no such prejudice from other members of the Bar, who formed a protective barrier around me, which I remember with great affection.'
She was also treated well by the majority of her 'brother judges', several of whom 'were accepting and helpful particularly as it was a Court in which I had never practiced. I had three judges come to me separately unbeknownst to the other two and say, "you haven't done much crime like this, have you. Okay how about you come at 7:30 in the morning and I'll help you." All offered a list of things to consider.'
When Schiftan resigned from the bench in 1988, she was still the only female member of the Victorian State Judiciary. In March 1988 she joined Coles Myer as General Manager Legislative Affairs, a role requiring her to monitor the company's compliance with relevant legislation and to represent the company in an advocacy role as necessary.
Please click 'Details' below to read a reflective essay written by Lynne Schiftan for the Trailblazing Women and the Law Project.