Margaret Beazley QC is set to become the second female NSW Governor of 39 people to hold the role, after officially accepting the position from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over the weekend.
Justice Beazley is a former Federal Court of Australia judge and NSW Court of Appeal judge. Born in Sydney, she graduated from Sydney Law School in 1974 at a time when women were very much still in the minority.
Replacing David Hurley, who has been named the next Governor General of Australia, Justice Beazley follows Dame Marie Bashir to become the second woman in the position in more than 200 years. Bashir served as NSW Governor from 2001 to 2014.
Proud to announce the appointment of an outstanding Australian, The Hon Justice Margaret Beazley QC AO, as the 39th Governor of NSW. She has already served NSW with distinction for many years in the law and will continue in this most significant role. pic.twitter.com/dGrWW14Ase
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) January 13, 2019
Berejiklian described Justice Beazley as a leader in the legal profession and mentor to many aspiring legal professionals. “I know she wills serve the people of NSW with absolute distinction.”
Jane Needham SC recalled meeting Beazley when she was a pregnant commercial silk. “I was so impressed with her acumen, skill and kindness,” she wrote.
I first met Margaret Beazley when I was a law student working in the courts and she was a pregnant commercial silk. I was so impressed with her acumen, skill, and kindness. She is a great choice for Governor #auslaw #nswlaw
— Jane Needham SC (@JaneNeedhamSC) January 13, 2019
Justice Beazley was emotional while accepting the role, saying she, “didn’t think I would be emotional, so I do apologise.”
“It’s an absolute privilege to be given the opportunity to continue to contribute in such a public way to the life of the community and, obviously, I will do my utmost,” she said.
She added she would use the position to continue her work with regional and indigenous communities in NSW. “When we talk about diversity in community we don’t only talk about gender diversity, nor do we only talk about ethnic diversity, but we talk about social-economic diversity.”