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Roma Mitchell, QC
Title : Roma Mitchell, QC Roma Mitchell, QC
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Date of creation : 1964
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 150 x 200 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Roma Mitchell, Vice President of the Law Society of SA, addresses the full sitting of the Court at the retirement of President of the South Australian Industrial Court, Lancelot Vivian Pellew, on Monday 14 December 1964.

Dame Roma Mitchell was one of Australia's most distinguished lawyers and an outstanding female leader. Dame Roma achieved many significant 'firsts': in 1962 she became the first woman Queen's Counsel in Australia and in 1965 she was the first woman to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia - this appointment was supported by reformist lawyer Don Dunstan, later Premier of South Australia.

From 1991 to 1996 Dame Roma was Governor of South Australia, the first female Governor in Australia. Additional firsts include first female university Chancellor in Australia: Dame Roma served as Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 1983-1991 and she was the inaugural Chairman of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 1981-1986, particularly championing the causes of indigenous people and women.

In recognition of her achievements, in 1982 Roma Mitchell was created Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her service to the community; in 1991 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) and she was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by The Queen. Dame Roma was especially respected for her commitment to justice and her compassionate advocacy of human rights.

Period : 1946-1979
Further reading :
De Vries, Susanna. Great Australian Women: from federation to freedom, Pymble, NSW: HarperCollins, 2001-2002

Healey, John, ed. S.A.'s greats: the men and women of the North Terrace plaques, Adelaide: Historical Society of South Australia, 2001

Magarey, Susan. Dame Roma: glimpses of a glorious life, [Adelaide]: Axiom (in association w. John Bray Law Chptr Alumni Assn Univ. Adel.), 2002

Mitchell, Susan. The matriarchs: twelve Australian women talk about their lives to Susan Mitchell, Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin Books, 1987

Internet links :

'Hon. Dame Roma Mitchell AC CBE' Women and politics in South Australia (State Library of SA)

'Mitchell, Roma Flinders (1913 - 2000)'Australian Women's Archives Project: Australian women biographical entry

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