Page 169 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 February 1990

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Thursday, 15 February 1990


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR COLLAERY (Deputy Chief Minister) (10.31): I move:

That the Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Mr Justice Gordon John Ford Yuill and tenders its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.

Mr Justice Gordon Yuill was known to me and many members of the Canberra community for many years, and it is in the sense that, though a federally appointed judge, he had and retained a profound interest in the Canberra community. He sat on the bench of the Family Court of Australia here for a good number of years. It is in that context that the Government deems it appropriate to offer this message of condolence to his widow and family.

Mr Speaker, the Honourable Gordon John Ford Yuill was born on 12 April 1921. He was educated at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School at North Sydney, known as Shore, as my senior secretary informed me, and the University of Sydney. He was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1947 and then joined the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department in Canberra in 1948.

During the Second World War, Mr Justice Yuill served in the Australian Army from 1941 to 1945, his unit being the Second-First Light Anti-Aircraft Battery.

After the introduction of the legislation that became the Matrimonial Causes Act 1959 he was in charge of the family law work of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department. Mr Justice Yuill was closely associated with the preparation of the present Family Law Act 1975, a momentous piece of legislative drafting with considerable impact, as we all know, world wide in the wealth of innovation it brought to that vexed area of social and legal impact.

With the establishment of the Family Court of Australia, His Honour went to the bench and was known in a wider sense throughout that time. In 1970, Mr Justice Yuill was awarded a United Nations Human Rights Fellowship to study family law reforms overseas - in particular, to review and report on family court developments in North America.

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