Published: 15 October, 2021

Media Release: Eleven new appointments to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia welcomes the appointment of 11 new Judges to the Court. These judicial appointments substantially increase the Court’s judicial resources and will greatly assist the Court to effectively manage its demanding caseload and provide access to justice across Australia.

Five new judges have been appointed to Division 1 of the Court and six new judges to Division 2. This provides five additional judges overall, with two additional judges in Division 1 and three additional judges in Division 2. The Newcastle and Sydney registries have each received an additional judge, and Adelaide has received three additional judges. This brings the total number of judges nationally to 104. The Court is anticipating further appointments in the coming months.

The Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren, said that he was delighted to be able to welcome the appointment of such esteemed and eminently qualified individuals to the Bench.

“The Court is undergoing a period of significant reform and modernisation. I am pleased to welcome a number of enthusiastic and highly skilled practitioners to the Court who have an incredible depth of knowledge and experience in family law and general federal law, as well as the elevation of several very experienced judges to Division 1 of the Court, and a very experienced Senior Judicial Registrar to Division 2.

“The calibre of these appointments reflects confidence in the Court’s reform agenda to deliver widespread improvements to the experience of litigants engaging with the Court, particularly in the area of family law.

“The Court looks forward to welcoming the new judges to assist in delivering a world-leading court system that places the safety of children and vulnerable parties at the heart of the legal process.

“On behalf of the Court, I warmly welcome the new judges who will play a critical part in the Court’s future and serving the Australian community.”

Judicial appointments announced by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash on 15 October 2021


Division of the Court

Justice Michael Jarrett

Division 1 (elevated from Division 2)



Justice Grant Riethmuller

Division 1 (elevated from Division 2)

Judge Samantha Murdoch

Division 2 (elevated from Senior Judicial Registrar to Division 2 judge)



Justice Peter Campton SC

Division 1

Justice Suzanne Christie SC

Division 1

Judge Sophie Given (general federal law)

Division 2



Justice Penelope Kari

Division 1 (elevated from Division 2)

Judge John McGinn

Division 2

Judge Caroline Jenkins

Division 2



Judge Vivien Carty

Division 2

Judge Julie Kearney

Division 2

* On 1 September 2021 the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia commenced following the amalgamation of the Family Court of Australia (Division 1) and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (Division 2).

Denise Healy

Director – Media & Public Affairs, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

m. 0409 743 695e.