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Appointments to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1)

Media Release

I am pleased to announce that Judge Penelope Kari, Judge Grant Riethmuller, Judge Michael Jarrett, Mr Peter Campton SC and Ms Suzanne Christie SC have been appointed as judges of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) (Division 1) (formerly the Family Court of Australia) and will commence on 15 October 2021.

Judge Kari has been appointed to the Adelaide Registry. She was admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of South Australia in 2001 and as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 2004. Judge Kari was later admitted as a Barrister in the Supreme Court of South Australia in 2011. She was appointed as a Judge of the FCFCOA (Division 2) (formerly the Federal Circuit Court of Australia) in 2019.

Judge Riethmuller has been appointed to the Parramatta Registry. He was admitted as a Barrister in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1987 and accredited as a Mediator by the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators in 1998. He was appointed as a Judge of the FCFCOA (Division 2) in 2004.

Judge Jarrett has been appointed to the Brisbane Registry. He was admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1989 and as a Barrister in 1991. Judge Jarrett completed his Articles of Clerkship at Clayton & Company and Hopgood & Ganim. He was appointed as a Judge of the FCFCOA (Division 2) in 2004.

Mr Campton has been appointed to the Sydney Registry. He was admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1984 and as a Barrister in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2000. Mr Campton was appointed Senior Counsel in 2014. He is currently Senior Counsel at Waratah Chambers.

Ms Christie has been appointed to the Sydney Registry. She was admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1999 and as a Barrister in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2004. Ms Christie was appointed Senior Counsel in 2018.

On behalf of the Australian Government, I congratulate Judge Kari, Judge Riethmuller, Judge Jarrett, Mr Campton SC and Ms Christie SC on their appointments and thank them for their willingness to serve the people of Australia as Judges of the FCFCOA (Division 1).

To find out more about the work of the court visit the new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.

Judge Penelope Kari

Judge Kari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws in 2001 from the University of Adelaide.

Judge Kari previously practised as a solicitor in the United Kingdom at Caldicott & Co from 2000 to 2001, at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham from 2002 to 2004 and at David Burrell & Co from 2004 to 2010. She specialises in family law and has been on the bench of the FCFCOA (Division 2) for the last three years. 

Judge Grant Riethmuller

Judge Riethmuller graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1987 from the Queensland Institute of Technology and with a Masters of Philosophy in 2016 from the University of Melbourne.

Judge Riethmuller was the associate to Judge Robert Hall of the District Court of Queensland in 1986. He began his legal career as a solicitor at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in 1988. Prior to his appointment, Judge Riethmuller practiced at the Townsville Bar from 1989 and also worked as a Delegate of the Registrar of the Child Support Agency, an Adjunct Lecturer at James Cook University College of Law, an Editor of the Queensland Lawyer Journal and Reports and sat as the President of Townsville Community Corrections Board.

Judge Michael Jarrett

Judge Jarrett graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1989 from Queensland University of Technology.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Jarrett practised as a solicitor at Hopgood & Ganim. Judge Jarret has been sitting on the bench of the FCFCOA (Division 2) for the last 17 years and has significant experience dealing with family law matters. As a Barrister, he had a diverse practice including matrimonial disputes, and care and protection litigation in respect of children.

Mr Peter Anthony Campton SC

Mr Campton graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1983 from the University of Sydney. 

Mr Campton began his career as a solicitor at Huxedurp Jessop & Brewer Solicitors. Prior to being called to the Bar, he was a Partner at Smythe & Mallam Solicitors. Mr Campton was accredited as a Family Law Specialist by the Law Society of New South Wales in 1995 and as a National Arbitrator by the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators in 2004. He specialises in complex family law financial disputes.

Ms Suzanne Christie SC

Ms Christie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1) in 1996 and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons 1) in 1998 from the University of Sydney.

Ms Christie began her career as a solicitor at Watts McCray Lawyers. She is one of the authors of Lexis Nexis Annotated Family Law Legislation and the contributing author to the Financial Agreements chapters in Halsbury's Laws of Australia. Ms Christie has extensive experience dealing with family law matters, having specialised in family law, adoption and domestic violence.