Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Barrister, Board member, Chairperson, Coroner, Law reporter, Lawyer, Magistrate and Solicitor
Susanne Elizabeth Schreiner (Sue) was born in Sydney in 1939 of parents who left Vienna before the outbreak of World War II. She spent her early life in Canberra and was in the year of the first graduates (in Law) of the Australian National University (ANU) in 1962. She also completed a Diploma in Criminology from the University of Sydney.
Schreiner signed the High Court roll as a barrister and solicitor in 1962, the same year she was admitted to practise at the NSW Bar. She was the first female barrister to appear in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the fourteenth woman admitted to the NSW Bar. She had difficulty gaining articles in NSW and this led to her finally gaining employment as a solicitor in Canberra with Mr J. D. Donohoe. She stayed with him until 1964 when she went to Sydney. She practised at the Bar there until 1975 when she was appointed a NSW Magistrate. She was the second woman appointed as a NSW Magistrate and the first person to be so appointed from outside the Public Service. Her appointment caused great outcry as it heralded a big shift in the way in which NSW Magistrates were appointed.
Schreiner is the co-author (with K.B. Morgan) of 'Probate practice and precedents'. She did some law reporting as well as research for Butterworth's into the feasibility of an Australian version of Halsbury's Laws of England, the existence of which is now a fact.
Please click 'Details' below to read a reflective essay written by Sue Schreiner for the Trailblazing Women and the Law Project.