Debra Maher will sit in the NSW Children’s Court, following her appointment on Monday, 18 June.
Ms Maher brings over 20 years of experience to the bench, having worked as a prospection and defence solicitor. Throughout her career, she has worked in the Children’s Court, Drug Court, Local Court, District Court and Supreme Court.
“Ms Maher will join the Children's Court where she will preside over a range of matters from crime to applications for apprehended violence orders and cases involving the care and protection of children,” NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said.
He added that Ms Maher has worked as a senior criminal lawyer for major legal organisations such as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Legal Aid.
“She also has extensive knowledge and experience in civil matters and victim's compensation, as well as care and protection proceedings,” a statement from the A-G said.
Ms Maher served on the board of Women’s Legal Services from 1995–2009 and has specialist knowledge of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The new magistrate was also credited by the A-G as having played a major role in “shaping changes to criminal laws”, with involvement in providing feedback for the introduction of the Early Guilty Pleas reform designed to reduce court delays and alleviate stress for victims in the justice system.