The Honourable, QC
- 5 January 1943
Moree, New South Wales, Australia
- Academic, Barrister, Commissioner, Judge, Lawyer, Public servant, Queen's Counsel, Solicitor and Solicitor-General
Mary Genevieve Gaudron, born 5 January 1943, was the first female justice of the High Court of Australia, and the only one in the Court's first 100 years. She was born into outback NSW Moree's working class railway community adjacent to a camp of dispossessed Aboriginal Australians. Both communities held the status of battlers, somewhat apart from the rich white business community on the other side of the Mehi River. Fittingly, she became one of the High Court justices who decided Eddie Mabo's landmark case on Aboriginal land rights.
Throughout her career Gaudron, a colourful and lively personality, remained down-to-earth, proud of her working class origins, and humble about her achievements.
On her retirement from the High Court in 2003, Gaudron accepted a part-time appointment on the International Labour Organisation's Administrative Tribunal in Geneva. She served a term as its President before retiring in 2012 to her Sydney home.
Please click 'Details' below to read an essay written by Pamela Burton for the Trailblazing Women and the Law Project.