Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
- Barrister, Board member, Judge, Lawyer, Magistrate and Tribunal member
In 1985, Margaret Rizkalla was appointed a magistrate in the state of Victoria, the first woman to be appointed to the position. Changes to the appointment criteria, which introduced a Law Degree as a requirement for new appointments in the Victorian Magistrates Act, rather than a progression from the rank of Clerks of Courts, enabled this appointment. Rizkalla graduated with a law degree from the University of Melbourne in 1975 and completed the Leo Cussen Legal Education course as an alternative to completing articles in 1976. She was admitted to practice as a solicitor and barrister in Victoria in 1976.
Rizkalla practised at the Victorian Bar until December 1984, when she was appointed a Member of the Small Claims and Residential Tenancy Tribunal of Victoria. Her appointment to the magistracy occurred in September 1985.
Whilst a sitting magistrate, Rizkalla was also appointed Chair of the Police Disciplinary Board of Victoria. In June 1988, she was appointed President of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Board and Deputy President of the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
In June 1994, Rizkalla was appointed a Judge of the County Court of Victoria. She retired from this position in February 2013.
Please click 'Details' below to read a reflective essay written by Margaret Rizkalla for the Trailblazing Women and the Law Project.