Justice Talks: The Hon Pat O'Shane | Law

Justice Talks: The Hon Pat O'Shane

Event date: 
19 September 2013
6:00pm to 7:30pm
Law Building, UNSW Kensington

Join us for the fourth Justice Talks lecture in 2013 by the Hon Pat O'Shane, Australia's first Indigenous magistrate.

About the talk:

An eye for an eye– an oxymoron or real justice?

For too long justice and punishment have been seen as interchangeable terms. Retribution, not rehabilitation has been focus of the justice system, spurred on by public outcry and political pressure. Is the idea of ‘retributive justice’ an effective form of punishment or an excuse for vengeance? Is the long-term social cost of retribution really equal to the crime?

Register here

About the speaker:

Pat O’Shane began her career as a teacher in Queensland before completing a Bachelor of Laws at UNSW in 1976. Soon after she became Australia’s first Indigenous barrister and worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service in Sydney and Alice Springs.  

In 1981, O’Shane was appointed the Head of New South Wales Aboriginal Affairs Department, breaking more records as the first woman and first Indigenous person to be the head of a government department in Australia. During this time, she was the Commissioner of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission from 1983 to 1986 and later became the Chancellor of the University of New England from 1995 to 2003.

Pat O'Shane is most recognised for becoming the first appointed Indigenous Australian magistrate for the local courts of New South Wales in 1986, a position she held until her retirement in 2012.